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Developer Guide: Why .NET Is A Good Choice For Building Ecommerce Websites

The choice of a dependable framework is crucial to ensure resilient, secure, and functional ecommerce websites. .NET, the Microsoft platform, has become one of the industry’s most trusted platforms for such tasks. It provides a robust and versatile framework that supports not only web but also desktop applications, with C# as its primary language.

Robustness and Reliability of .NET for Ecommerce

.NET provides a robust framework essential in building scalable and reliable ecommerce applications. There are several factors that make .NET well-suited to ecommerce websites:

System Performance

.NET is designed to surpass the performance of traditional web frameworks. It offers asynchronous programming and parallel execution to boost application performance, allowing ecommerce platforms to handle multiple user requests simultaneously.


Security is the linchpin of any ecommerce application. .NET provides secure platforms built on the Windows Operating System, which includes features like Code Access Security (CAS) and validation and verification controls. The framework also provides APIs for secure communication, guaranteeing the integrity and confidentiality of data.


.NET enables applications to scale both vertically (by increasing hardware capabilities) and horizontally (by adding new nodes). This flexibility helps ecommerce businesses grow without worrying about the technical aspects as it provides effective handling of increased demand.

Versatility of .NET: Support for Web, Desktop and Mobile Applications

Another reason for the popularity of .NET is its versatility. It supports both web and desktop-based applications, thereby offering a broad development horizon.

Web Applications

The .NET framework, particularly .NET Core and previously ASP.NET, allows the development of dynamic, feature-rich web applications. With the Model-View-Controller (MVC) design pattern, ASP.NET MVC enables clear separation between application logic and user interface, resulting in cleaner code that is easier to manage and test.

Desktop Applications

WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) and WinForms are commonly utilised in the .NET framework for the development of desktop applications. These libraries provide a wide range of user interface controls and data binding capabilities, making the development of user-friendly, interactive desktop applications a breeze.

Mobile Applications

.NET is supported on Android, Apple (iOS), Linux and Windows so a single tool (Visual Studio) can be used to develop on all major platforms and devices.

C# - The Primary Language for .NET Development

The use of C# as the primary language for .NET app development is an asset. It's characterised by simplicity, yet it is a powerful, object-oriented language that comes with substantial built-in functionality.

Modern and Easy-to-Learn

C# shares many similarities with Java. Its syntax is easy to comprehend, which is helpful for developers starting on the .NET environment. It's designed to be a straightforward, general-purpose language that excludes unnecessary complexities.

High Performance

C# runs on the .NET framework, which compiles code using a Just-In-Time compiler, leading to efficient execution and improved performance of complex applications. Recently, Microsoft have added support for Ahead of Time compilation as this boosts performance further – this was introduced in .NET 8.

Large Community Support

There's a massive and active community for C#, providing resources, answering queries, and continuously updating libraries. This ensures developers have the support they need to overcome challenges they encounter while coding. Stack Overflow has around 1.7 million questions tagged C# (, C# Corner ( has been around for decades and provided help to countless developers.

Tools and Libraries

C#'s comprehensive standard library significantly simplifies the coding process, reducing the need for external libraries. Additionally, the .NET environment comes with Visual Studio support, which provides many helpful tools, like IntelliSense for code completion, debugging and diagnostic tools making the development process more efficient.

That said, that are a huge number of libraries (or packages to be formal) available via NuGet, a resource maintained by Microsoft. Some of the metrics of NuGet are dizzying – for example, there have been (at time of writing) 454,418,898,092 package downloads, which is over sixteen times more than Taylor Swifts’ videos have been viewed on YouTube!

Dynamic Software Programming with .NET

Dynamic software programming refers to the capability of developing applications that can adapt at runtime based on user input, data, or environmental conditions. .NET facilitates dynamic programming predominantly through features such as reflection, dynamic types, and the Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR).

Faster Development Cycles

One significant advantage of .NET's dynamic programming capabilities is the speeding up of development cycles. Dynamic types in C# (introduced with the dynamic keyword) allow for operations where types are only known at runtime, bypassing the compiler's type checking. This feature is particularly useful when interacting with COM APIs, dynamic scripting languages, or in scenarios where the specific type of an object can change at runtime, such as modern Content Management Systems. The result is a more flexible codebase that can adapt to new requirements or data formats without extensive rewrites or compilations, leading to faster development and deployment cycles.

Enhancing Performance with JIT Compilation

Performance is critical in ecommerce, where users expect fast and responsive applications. .NET improves application performance through Just-In-Time (JIT) compilation, a runtime compilation process that converts the application's intermediate language (IL) code into native machine code just before execution.

Since this compilation happens at runtime, the compiler can optimise the machine code based on the actual hardware it's running on. This leads to significantly faster execution times compared to interpreting or running bytecode in a virtual machine. JIT compilation also allows for certain optimisations that are not possible with traditional compile-time optimisation, such as dynamic method inlining and loop optimisations tailored to the runtime environment.

Lightweight Nature and Performance Benefits

.NET Core has been designed to be lightweight and modular. It ships only with the necessary components required to run a given application, reducing the overall footprint and boosting performance. This modular approach also means that applications can be optimised further for performance by including only the necessary dependencies.

Additionally, .NET Core features its version of the JIT compiler, optimised for modern cloud and web applications. It also introduces Ahead-of-Time compilation through the .NET Native project for scenarios where JIT compilation might not be ideal. Furthermore, .NET Core includes performance improvements in areas such as garbage collection, networking, and serialisation, making it a superior choice for performance-critical applications.

Streamlined Ecommerce Development

.NET simplifies various aspects of ecommerce development with its comprehensive approach that includes an integrated development environment (IDE), powerful languages, libraries, and frameworks. Here are some ways .NET streamlines the process:

  1. Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

With Visual Studio, the .NET provides developers with a state-of-the-art IDE that is conducive to rapid ecommerce development. It comes equipped with advanced features like IntelliSense, code refactoring, and debugging tools, which streamline the development process and helps developers to write code more efficiently.

  1. Extensive Class Libraries

.NET comes with a vast set of class libraries that offer pre-written code for common programming tasks. Developers can leverage these libraries to handle complex tasks like data access, security, and network communications more efficiently, thus reducing the amount of code they need to write and test.

  1. Consistent Programming Model

.NET offers a consistent programming model where one set of APIs can be used for both desktop and web applications. This means that developers can build various components of an ecommerce system (like inventory management desktop applications and online storefronts) while maintaining a consistent approach throughout.

ASP.NET MVC and Razor Pages for Clean Code


The ASP.NET MVC framework has been a game-changer for web applications and significantly impacts ecommerce solutions. It follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern, which helps in separating the application's business logic, user interface, and input control, leading to organised code that is easier to test and maintain. This clear separation of concerns simplifies the coding approach for large-scale ecommerce websites which can become very complex.

Razor Pages

Razor Pages, a more recent addition to the .NET universe, is a page-focused programming model that simplifies web UI development. It eliminates the complexity of MVC for simpler scenarios without losing MVC's power for more complex applications. Razor Pages is perfect for developers who want to focus on coding page-by-page tasks without dealing with a full MVC infrastructure, making it ideal for simpler ecommerce applications or prototypes which can be evolved if necessary.

Entity Framework for Streamlined Database Interactions

Entity Framework (EF) is another gem in the .NET stack that drastically streamlines database interactions. It is an Object Relational Mapper (ORM) that eliminates the need for most of the data-access code that developers usually need to write.

Simplified Data Access

With EF, developers can work with data using higher-level abstraction by dealing with data as objects and properties. This simplifies data CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) operations, which are a substantial part of ecommerce development.

Minimised SQL Knowledge Requirement

While knowledge of SQL is always beneficial, EF allows .NET developers to interact with databases with minimal SQL knowledge. They can focus on the business logic of the application while Entity Framework takes care of the database operations.

Code-First Development

Entity Framework supports a code-first approach where developers can create database models using C# and then generate the database schema from the models. This not only accelerates development but also keeps the database design in sync with the application's data models.

Automated Database Schema Migration

EF automates the process of keeping the database schema in sync with the data models through migrations. This is particularly useful in ecommerce development, where frequent changes to the product catalogue structure or pricing system may necessitate database updates.

Direct Database Operations for Performance

Entity Framework simplifies many things, but the .NET framework permits more direct forms of database access which perform better when under load. Quite often, the demands of busy ecommerce sites mean that the Entity Framework is not the best design choice, but a great strength of .NET is that it is not opinionated as far as data access is concerned, and other mechanisms can be used that, whilst needing more developer input, result in much faster performance.

Emphasising Security with .NET

The unique challenges of ecommerce demand an approach that prioritises security. Microsoft, understanding this, has oriented the .NET framework towards a safer programming environment.

Secure By Default Design

.NET is designed to be secure by default. User data stored in .NET applications is given robust protection, and the framework provides developers with controls to manage application security effectively.

Automatic Windows Update Service

.NET fully integrates with the Windows Update service for automatic updates. Every .NET patch release incorporates the latest security improvements, enforcing vulnerability mitigation and preventing older security issues from reoccurring.

Microsoft's Secure Development Lifecycle

Microsoft incorporates its Secure Development Lifecycle (SDL) into .NET development. As a mandatory company-wide initiative, SDL introduces security and privacy early in the development process, making it a fundamental part of the .NET framework architecture.

Built-in Security Features

.NET provides several security features inherently designed to ensure data protection and safeguard web transactions on your ecommerce site.

Authentication and Authorisation

.NET provides built-in support for industry-standard authentication protocols. Features like ASP.NET Identity allow you to manage usernames, passwords, and profile data securely. .NET also supports external authentication with providers like Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and more.

Authorisation, dictating what an authenticated user can access, is also deeply ingrained within .NET. It provides options to configure access rights at granular levels using Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) and Claims-Based Access Control (CBAC).

Cross-Site Scripting Protection

.NET includes defences against Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), where a malicious script is injected into a trusted website. The feature called Web Protection Library (AntiXSS) offers a suite of tools to protect against XSS, offering huge value to ecommerce sites that deal with frequent user interactions.

Data Protection APIs

To ensure sensitive data like credit card numbers and passwords are secure, .NET provides Data Protection APIs. These allow secure storage and handling of data to prevent unauthorised access.

Best Practices for Securing User Data

Using .NET effectively requires adopting secure coding practices. Here are some best practices for securing user data in .NET-based ecommerce websites:

User Input Validation

Always validate user input on the server-side, even if client-side validation is in place. This protects against bypassing client-side scripts or HTTP verb tampering. Consider adopting a whitelist approach, where only proper inputs are accepted, rather than trying to block harmful inputs.

Prevent SQL Injection

SQL Injection exploits can manipulate database queries. Prevent this by always using parameterised queries or stored procedures when interacting with the database, and never constructing SQL commands using string concatenation of unchecked user input.

Handling Sensitive Data

When dealing with sensitive data, always use HTTPS for transport layer security. Do not store sensitive data in plaintext. Always encrypt such data if it must be stored and carefully manage encryption keys.

Least Privilege Principle

Run your code with the least privileges that it needs to function, meaning it has only the permissions necessary to complete its task and no more, thereby limiting potential damage.

Regular Updates

Update your .NET framework and associated libraries regularly. These updates often include security enhancements and fixes for known vulnerabilities.

Use Security Headers

Using security headers like HSTS, X-XSS-Protection, and X-Content-Type-Options can help your application to mitigate certain types of attacks and intrusions.

Seamless Integration with Microsoft Ecosystem

.NET's cohesive design ensures that it acts as a linchpin within the broader Microsoft ecosystem, delivering a unified development experience. This seamless integration streamlines workflows and enhances productivity for ecommerce developers.

Integration with Azure Services

Azure, Microsoft's cloud computing service, is an essential player in modern ecommerce solutions, providing a range of services that complement .NET's capabilities:

  • Azure Active Directory (AAD): .NET integrates smoothly with AAD, providing secure sign-in and identity services that are crucial for ecommerce platforms.

  • Azure Functions: Ecommerce sites can leverage serverless computing with Azure Functions. .NET can trigger these functions, which allows developers to write less code, maintain less infrastructure, and save costs.

  • Azure SQL Database: .NET's integration with Azure SQL Database enables scalable and managed database services that can handle high-traffic ecommerce operations without comprising performance.

  • Azure Storage: .NET applications can easily access Azure Blob, File, Queue, and Table storage services, thus offering scalable cloud storage for ecommerce data like images, documents, and content.

  • Azure DevOps: The combination of .NET and Azure DevOps simplifies CI/CD pipelines, which is critical for the iterative development needed in ecommerce projects.

Collaboration with Microsoft SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server is a popular choice for the data storage needs of an ecommerce platform:

  • Entity Framework (EF): .NET's EF integrates flawlessly with SQL Server, allowing developers to query and manipulate data using strongly typed objects and LINQ.

  • Performance: SQL Server's robust performance metrics and optimisations are easily accessible through .NET, ensuring that ecommerce platforms can handle the intensive load of transactions with ease.

  • Reporting and BI Tools: SQL Server's reporting and business intelligence tools can integrate with .NET to create dashboards and reports that help ecommerce businesses analyse and visualise their data.

Other Microsoft Enterprise Tools Integration

.NET's prowess is not just limited to Azure or SQL Server. It can interface with a host of other Microsoft enterprise tools:

  • Power BI: .NET can integrate with Power BI to help turn ecommerce data into actionable insights, providing rich data visualisation capabilities to drive business decisions.

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Integration with Dynamics CRM allows .NET developers to manage customer data more effectively, linking customer interactions with sales, marketing, and customer service.

  • Microsoft SharePoint: For ecommerce sites that require document management and team collaboration features, .NET's integration with SharePoint is invaluable.

  • Microsoft Business Central: An Enterprise Resource Planning application for order, warehouse and inventory management – a usual component of ecommerce retail IT infrastructure

Wired In are experts in the integration of ecommerce websites with other Microsoft products, so contact us today if you want to explore to possibilities.

Advantages for Ecommerce Development

For an ecommerce application, these integrations provide numerous advantages:

  • Scalability: .NET's integration with Azure services means ecommerce applications can scale on demand with the fluctuating volume of visitors and transactions.

  • Security: With robust security features provided by services like AAD and SQL Server, ecommerce applications can safeguard sensitive financial transactions and personal customer data.

  • Development Efficiency: The use of a common development environment across Microsoft technologies promotes faster and more efficient development of ecommerce platforms.

  • Data-driven Insights: Integration with analytics and reporting tools ensures ecommerce businesses can make informed, data-driven decisions to enhance user experience and boost sales.

  • User Experience: Smooth integration with Microsoft technologies ensures a seamless user experience, from login to check-out.

Implementing Accessibility Features

Accessibility ensures that your ecommerce platform can be used by as many individuals as possible, including those with disabilities. Implementing comprehensive accessibility features is not merely a legal obligation; it also broadens your customer base, enhancing your business prospects.

ARIA Roles

The Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) standard is a set of attributes that define ways to make web content and web applications accessible to people with disabilities. In .NET, these can be added to HTML components in Razor views. For example, you can use the @Html.TextBoxFor helper method, specifying an ARIA role as an additional HTML attribute:

@Html.TextBoxFor(model => model.FullName, new { aria_label = "Full Name" })

The above code will output a text box with an ARIA label attribute for screen readers.

Semantic HTML

Using semantic HTML provides a meaningful structure to web pages, boosting accessibility and SEO rankings. .NET's Razor syntax promotes the use of semantic HTML. For example, form controls rendered by HTML Helper methods, like @Html.EditorFor or @Html.LabelFor, are rendered as semantic HTML, which is easier for screen readers and search engines to interpret.

Responsive Design and Mobile-friendly Approaches

An integral part of UX in our mobile-dominated age is responsive design. Users accessing your platform through mobile devices should have an equally engaging and efficient experience as those using desktop browsers.

Bootstrap Integration

.NET MVC's default templates leverage Bootstrap, a widely adopted framework for crafting responsive designs. By utilising the grid system, CSS classes, and components offered by Bootstrap, developers can ensure a consistent UX across various screen sizes, orientations, and resolutions. This makes developing mobile-friendly interfaces with .NET a seamless process.

Viewport Meta Tag

.NET also encourages the usage of the viewport meta tag, which controls the layout on mobile browsers. It's automatically included in the layout file in .NET core Razor views, enabling developers to design fluid and scalable ecommerce interfaces for mobile devices.

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">

Mobile-Optimised Views

.NET also allows creating separate mobile-optimised views if the mobile experience is significantly different from the desktop version, designing custom-tailored mobile layouts for an enhanced UX.

.NET offers a powerful, secure, and efficient development environment, which is why Wired In chose to specialise in the platform for ecommerce website developmentContact us today to discuss your .NET ecommerce project.

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