Most of us may take for granted all that goes on “behind the scenes” when we log into our computers and begin working. The truth, though, is that each keystroke is firing off a chain reaction inside the platform we’re using and the result can be anything between a letter showing up onscreen or the operating system accepting a specific command. Two of the most important functions at work when this occurs are frameworks and libraries.
Depending on the work you’re doing, frameworks and libraries can have a number of different definitions. However, when it comes to creating an application or using a specific form of software, there are two general definitions that should suffice.
In everyday life, a library is one big collection of reference materials. It may contain actual reference materials, of course, but every book (at least the non-fiction ones) could definitely be called references as well. This is basically all the software version of a library is too. Depending on the programming language being used, libraries are collections of various functions, objects and methods that may be called upon by the person using the program.
This library is part of the framework of a program. However, the framework contains many other pieces a swell. For one thing, a framework could contain numerous libraries. Many programs have the same software framework, with various tweaks made to meet its unique purpose. Aside from libraries, a software framework may also contain scripting languages, support programs and other software that helps to hold the various components together.
Some software will leave the framework available for editing, which allows a user to go in and make whatever changes they like, thus altering the way the software will perform. This could include modifying an existing library or adding in a new one.
If your company is using software of any kind, it’s already making use of both frameworks and libraries. The question is whether or not your company needs the kind of software that allows you to create your own.
Many companies would probably benefit from these types of products. The proprietary software you could make with your own frameworks and libraries may make it much easier for your staff to do their jobs. At the moment, you could be struggling to use various forms of software to achieve your company’s goals, though they’re far from ideal. Even companies that don’t recognize a bottleneck is occurring in their workflow could potentially benefit from frameworks and libraries if their staff is currently wasting daylight doing manual work that a program could carry out just as well and much quicker.
Furthermore, your company may be interested in creating its own software for sale. If you currently need a type that isn’t available, frameworks and libraries would help you create your own, which you could then sell off to other companies. However, if all you do is recognize a demand in the market and create software that will meet it, libraries and frameworks will provide a sizable payoff.
If you’re interested in creating your own programs, then you’ll need framework and library software. There are a number of versions available these days, from .NET and ActiveX for Windows to Cocoa for Mac OS X to Android’s Android framework. In order to pick the best possible option for your needs, consider the following factors.
This is usually nonnegotiable. In most cases, your native operating system will be providing support for your framework. It’s important you have an idea of the software you’re trying to create and what kind of native environment it will need to worry properly. Aside from an operating system, you may need other frameworks available as well.
There’s no sense in reinventing the wheel. Professional programmers have become adept at looking at other forms of software, seeing what worked for them and then using what they needed to build their own. If you saw a car for the first time and wanted the same benefits, it would make sense to look under the hood and try to mimic a combustion engine, right? The same goes for creating software
Once you have a good idea of the type of software you want to build, look for other versions out there that are similar. Then see if any of the framework and library products they’re using could help you build something similar.
If you’re not a programmer, no framework or library software is going to be user friendly. To those who are familiar with programming, though, understanding this type of software means that the lightest and most loosely-coupled options are usually also the easiest to use. This may not always be the case (or these types of frameworks and libraries may simply not be up to the task), but typically, they’ll make your life a lot easier.
With the right framework and library software, nothing is out of reach in terms of digital solutions. You can build anything your company needs either for internal use or selling to customers.
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