The Ultimate Guide to Blazor: How to Build Client-Side Web Applications with C#

Blazor is an open-source web framework that allows developers to build interactive client-side web applications using C# and .NET. It was developed by Microsoft as an alternative to JavaScript-based frameworks like Angular and React.

One of the main benefits of Blazor is that it enables developers to use their existing C# skills and code to build client-side web applications. This means that developers can use the same language and tools for both server-side and client-side development, reducing the need to learn multiple languages and frameworks.

In addition to its ability to use C#, Blazor also offers a number of other features that make it a powerful web development framework. It uses a component-based architecture, which allows developers to build reusable and modular UI components. It also has support for modern web standards like WebAssembly and Web API, and can be used with a variety of hosting models including client-side and server-side.

Overall, Blazor is a promising framework that offers a unique approach to web development by enabling the use of C# on the client-side. In this blog post, we will delve into the features and capabilities of Blazor, and explore how it compares to other popular web development frameworks. So, stay tuned!

Introduction to Blazor

Blazor is a relatively new open-source web framework that allows developers to build interactive client-side web applications using C# and .NET. It was developed by Microsoft as an alternative to JavaScript-based frameworks like Angular and React.

One of the main benefits of Blazor is that it enables developers to use their existing C# skills and code to build client-side web applications. This means that developers can use the same language and tools for both server-side and client-side development, reducing the need to learn multiple languages and frameworks.

In addition to its ability to use C#, Blazor also offers a number of other features that make it a powerful web development framework. It uses a component-based architecture, which allows developers to build reusable and modular UI components. It also has support for modern web standards like WebAssembly and Web API, and can be used with a variety of hosting models including client-side and server-side.

How does Blazor differ from other web development frameworks?

One of the key differences between Blazor and other web development frameworks is that it allows developers to use C# for both server-side and client-side development. This is in contrast to frameworks like Angular and React, which use JavaScript for client-side development.

Another difference is that Blazor uses a component-based architecture, which allows developers to build reusable and modular UI components. This can make it easier to manage and maintain complex web applications.

Blazor also has support for modern web standards like WebAssembly and Web API, which enables it to interact with a variety of external APIs and services. This makes it a powerful tool for building web applications that need to integrate with external systems.

Finally, Blazor can be used with a variety of hosting models, including client-side and server-side. This gives developers flexibility in how they choose to host their applications and can make it easier to build applications that meet specific requirements.

Comparing Blazor to Xamarin

In addition to React Native, another framework that is often compared to Blazor is Xamarin. Xamarin is a cross-platform mobile development framework that allows developers to build native mobile applications for iOS, Android, and Windows using C#.

One advantage of Xamarin is that it allows developers to build native mobile applications that can take advantage of the unique features and capabilities of each platform. This can be a major benefit for businesses that want to build applications that are tailored to specific platforms.

However, Blazor also has some advantages over Xamarin. It allows developers to use C# to build interactive client-side web applications, which can be a more familiar and efficient language for those with a .NET background. It also has support for modern web standards like WebAssembly and Web API, which can make it easier to integrate with external systems.

Ultimately, the choice between Blazor and Xamarin will depend on the specific requirements of the project and the desired target platform. Both frameworks have their own strengths and can be effective tools for building interactive applications.

Examples of Applications Built with Blazor

Blazor has been used to build a variety of interactive client-side applications, including:

  • A real-time chat application
  • A task management system
  • A data visualization tool
  • An online shopping cart
  • A gaming platform

These examples demonstrate the versatility of Blazor as a framework for building interactive client-side applications. Its support for modern web standards and its ability to use C# make it a powerful tool for building a wide range of applications.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Blazor

Like any technology, Blazor has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Some of the benefits of using Blazor include:

  • It allows developers to use C#, which can be a more familiar and efficient language for those with a .NET background.
  • It has strong support for modern web standards like WebAssembly and Web API, which can make it easier to integrate with external systems.
  • It has a growing community of developers, which means there is a wealth of resources and support available.

However, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider when using Blazor:

  • It is a relatively new framework, which means it may not have the same level of stability and support as more established technologies.
  • It may not be as well-suited for building applications that require a high level of performance or complex graphics.
  • It may not be the best choice for businesses that need to support a wide range of older browsers.

Overall, Blazor can be a powerful tool for building interactive client-side applications, but it is important to carefully consider its advantages and disadvantages before deciding whether it is the right choice for a particular project.

Blazor vs React for Front end developers

Here is a simple example of a Blazor component that displays a list of items:


@page "/items" <ul> @foreach (var item in items) { <li>@item</li> } </ul> @code { List<string> items = new List<string> { "Item 1", "Item 2", "Item 3" }; }
Code language: C# (cs)

This component uses a foreach loop to iterate over a list of items and display them in an unordered list. The @code block contains the logic for the component. In this case, it initializes a list of strings and assigns it to the items variable.

This is a very simple example, but it illustrates how Blazor allows developers to use C# to build interactive client-side applications.

React version

Here is a similar example in React:

import React from "react"; const Items = () => { const items = ["Item 1", "Item 2", "Item 3"]; return ( <ul> {items.map((item) => ( <li>{item}</li> ))} </ul> ); }; export default Items;
Code language: JavaScript (javascript)

Like the Blazor example, this React component displays a list of items in an unordered list. However, instead of using a foreach loop, it uses the map function to iterate over the items array and create a list item for each element.

Both examples achieve the same result, but they use different syntax and approaches. This illustrates how different frameworks can be used to solve similar problems in different ways.

How to Blazor component in a Razor page

To use the Blazor component in a Razor page, you can simply include it using the @ character followed by the path to the component:

@page "/items" <h1>My Items</h1> <Items />
Code language: HTML, XML (xml)

This will render the Items component on the page and display the list of items.

Alternatively, you can include the component in a layout or another component using the same syntax. For example:

@inherits LayoutComponentBase <div class="container"> <h1>My Items</h1> <Items /> </div>
Code language: HTML, XML (xml)

This would include the Items component within a container element in a layout or another component.

Compared to component usage in react

In React, you can use a component in a similar way by importing it and then including it in your JSX code:

import React from "react"; import Items from "./Items"; const MyPage = () => { return ( <div> <h1>My Items</h1> <Items /> </div> ); }; export default MyPage;
Code language: JavaScript (javascript)

Like the Blazor example, this will render the Items component on the page and display the list of items.

In both cases, the component can be reused and included in multiple pages or layouts, making it easy to create and maintain a consistent user interface.

Working with backend in Blazor

Blazor uses a programming model that is similar to traditional web development, where the server-side code is responsible for generating the HTML that is sent to the client. However, instead of using a traditional server-side language like PHP or ASP.NET, Blazor uses C# as the server-side language and executes it on the server using .NET Core.

To interact with a backend service, you can use the built-in HTTP client in Blazor or use a third-party library like Flurl. For example, you might use the HTTP client to make a GET request to a REST API in order to retrieve data:

@inject HttpClient Http @functions { private IEnumerable<Item> items; protected override async Task OnInitAsync() { items = await Http.GetJsonAsync<IEnumerable<Item>>("/api/items"); } } <ul> @foreach (var item in items) { <li>@item.Name</li> } </ul>
Code language: HTML, XML (xml)

This code uses the HttpClient to make a GET request to the /api/items endpoint and retrieves a list of Item objects in JSON format. It then iterates over the list and displays the name of each item in an unordered list.

In React, you might achieve a similar result using the fetch function or a library like Axios:

import React, { useState, useEffect } from "react"; const Items = () => { const [items, setItems] = useState([]); useEffect(() => { fetch("/api/items") .then((response) => response.json()) .then((data) => setItems(data)); }, []); return ( <ul> {items.map((item) => ( <li>{item.name}</li> ))} </ul> ); }; export default Items;
Code language: JavaScript (javascript)

This code uses the fetch function to make a GET request to the /api/items endpoint and retrieves a list of Item objects in JSON format. It then updates the component’s state with the list of items and displays them in an unordered list.

In both cases, the component makes an HTTP request to a backend service to retrieve data and displays it in the user interface. The main difference is the syntax and approach used to achieve this result.

Summery

To summarize, Blazor is a powerful framework for building client-side web applications using C#. It offers a similar developer experience to React, with the added benefits of being able to write code in a familiar language and sharing code between the frontend and backend. While it may not have the same level of community support as React, it is definitely worth considering for any C# developer looking to build client-side applications. In the end, the choice between Blazor and React will depend on your personal preference and the specific needs of your project.


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