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The One Person Framework for the Rest of Us

The technology and development world is always changing. First released in 1998, Xojo’s longevity is a testament to its ability and willingness to adapt from the early days of desktop apps, to web apps and on to mobile apps.

Throughout that time, software development has generally become more difficult with developers having to learn a wide variety of tools and programming languages, many of which are the hot thing for a short while and then disappear afterwards for the next hot new thing as the cycle repeats.

Up until recently this was not as big a deal for tech companies because they could just hire their way out of the problem. Teams got big and bloated, often because the tools being used were large, complex, rapidly changing and difficult to learn. So the solution, in opposition of the Mythical Man Month, was to throw more people at it. This was feasible because of 0% interest rates and the relative ease of raising capital.

But that era is over. Interest rates are no longer historically low and raising capital for companies is now much harder and less desirable than it once was. This means technology companies are reducing staff and hiring more judiciously. Fewer people now have to do more with less.

The idea of a “one person framework” is that there should be a way for a single developer to create software using just one development framework. This is not a new idea, but it is being talked about again because of these recent changes with how technology companies work. In many ways, Xojo is the original one person framework. From its inception, with inspiration from Visual Basic, Xojo let you make complete apps more efficiently without having to also learn other tools, languages or frameworks.

So what can Xojo, as a one person framework, do for you? Xojo lets you build most of the apps your company is likely to need, using only Xojo itself and its easy-to learn object-oriented programming language (which is similar to Visual Basic and Python, languages that many people already are familiar with). Xojo is a cross-platform, integrated development environment (IDE) that combines an object-oriented programming language, visual designer, code editor, debugger and more into one tool and one framework.

With Xojo you can make apps for most of the commonly used platforms that your business is likely to need.

Desktop Apps

Xojo has been a great way to make desktop apps since its inception in 1998. Unlike Java, Electron or other frameworks you’ve seen throughout the years, Xojo makes native apps and can do so for the major desktop platforms: Windows, macOS and Linux. Yes, that includes native ARM and x86 apps as well.

With a single project, you can click one button to have Xojo build separate native apps for each of those platforms. To further drive that point home, the Xojo IDE itself is a desktop app made with Xojo that runs on Windows, macOS and Linux.

With Xojo you have access to many commonly-used controls and the Xojo framework with support for databases, JSON, XML, RegEx, Zip/Unzip, networking and so much more.

Web Apps

Since 2010, Xojo has been able to make web apps. Xojo uses a somewhat unique approach to web apps by running compiled code on the web server. This code communicates to the app running on the web browser using an internal JavaScript framework and Bootstrap for the UI, which you don’t really need to worry about. It’s all handled automatically.

This approach is great for business purposes as it lets you make web apps using a development pattern that is very similar to what is used to make desktop apps.

If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of managing your own web app server, Xojo even offers Xojo Cloud as a fully managed web hosting service with 1-click deployment of your Xojo web apps.

Mobile Apps

Mobile support first appeared for iOS in 2013 and Android support was recently added in 2023. Using Xojo to make native mobile apps that can be deployed in their respective app stores is yet another way Xojo can help one person make more apps.

A developer that already knows how to use Xojo can jump right into mobile development without having to learn yet another IDE and programming language.

Console Apps

Console apps are text apps that run from the command line. These app are great for automating internal processes or other command-line tools. You can even build Console apps that communicate with other console apps to build a chain of tools for processing or converting data, for example.

Xojo Framework

A single person can create all of the above types of apps because Xojo uses the same programming language for all of them. And as mentioned above, the Xojo framework has many built-in features and is broadly compatible across all the different project types. There are differences, of course, but we strive for consistency and compatibility.

For just a few of its many capabilities, all platforms have the same framework classes and methods for things such as Dictionary, Set, URLConnection, files, SQLite, and most graphics. And speaking of examples, Xojo includes over 400 example projects from which to learn.

Could Xojo Work For You?

As you should now realize, a single developer using Xojo could reasonably create a desktop app (for Windows, macOS and Linux), a web app, and mobile apps for iOS and Android. If you previously had multiple teams of multiple people creating that many apps, then Xojo could really save you a lot of money and time.

Will you use Xojo to make the next Photoshop, FaceBook, Excel or Google Docs clone? Perhaps not, but most companies don’t create those types of apps. Xojo does a lot, but it does not and cannot do everything. There is a limit to what any single framework can do, otherwise it becomes too large for its own good, collapsing under its own weight.

Instead, most businesses have much different needs and often require specially created software. For business apps, especially bespoke small-business apps, Xojo can often be an ideal solution by allowing apps to be created faster, more easily and at less cost than can be done with other tools. This saves you money and time, both of which are in short supply these days.

Xojo is free for learning, development and testing! Give it a spin to see what it can do for you.

Paul learned to program in BASIC at age 13 and has programmed in more languages than he remembers, with Xojo being an obvious favorite. When not working on Xojo, you can find him talking about retrocomputing at Goto 10 and on Mastodon