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Deciding on the right computer language for a particular application will be a key factor determining the success or failure of a project - and the development time. Here are critical factors to consider when selecting computer languages:
· Which platform will the application be deployed on (Microsoft Windows, Linux, MacOS, mobile device)?
· What will user access be (hard drive, network, or internet-based application)?
· What is the application specification (number crunching, database access, graphic-oriented presentation)?
Microsoft .NET platform is a many faceted feature-rich development environment that encompasses C# (Microsoft’s latest version of C++), Visual basic (a form driven GUI-oriented dev) as well as ASP (an internet- targeted active server language that produces output accessed over TCP/IP in a browser).
C++ is a lower level environment that can access computer hardware directly. This makes it a hugely flexible, if unwieldy. It can be used to develop hardware drivers and processor intensive applications (such as 3D rendering and mathematical operations). Depending on the C++ compiler used, the source code can be compiled to run on Windows based systems as well as MacOS and Linux boxes.
Macromedia’s Coldfusion is a similar environment to ASP and PHP in terms of capability. Primarily designed to deliver web services and n-tier applications, the front end is delivered to a browser while the backend usually utilizes a database system such as SQL or Oracle. This type of language is usually used to develop interactive web community sites such as Myspace, eBay and photo/video sharing communities.
Sun Microsystem’s Java is a versatile language developed to run on a very wide range of target platforms. Although it lacks the low level capability of C++, it can still be used to develop most application types. Java applications will not run on a system until the Java runtime environment has been installed. The same code and final executable can run on most platforms, including mobile devices and PDAs.