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Desktop application development

Businesses still need installable applications and our desktop software developers are on hand to help. We offer desktop app development services for specific platforms or cross-platform. Whether you need help with an existing application or a new thick client application, we can help.

Ask us about desktop apps

8 reasons why businesses build desktop applications vs web applications

While web applications are become more and more capable and advanced, there are a number of reasons why you’d want to create a bespoke desktop application for your business.

Start building your bespoke desktop app

Better performance

In a web browser, your web application is sandboxed and only given limited access to the resources on your computer system. An installable (thick client) desktop application is less restricted, allowing better access to and use of a computer’s resources.

Data and storage

Where there is a need to utilise local storage or process large amounts of data on your system, a desktop application can be less restricted and more performant, with additional benefits such as background tasks.


If you have a need to integrate with other desktop applications installed on your system, an installable desktop app (thick client) will enable deeper integration than a web application (thin client).

Working offline

Where an application typically needs to work without a data connection, thick client (desktop) applications are bundled with all of the resources they need to run, with the added benefit of direct access to your computer’s storage and resources, meaning that your application can run without requiring external resources.

Operating system features

If your application needs to access specific operating system capability, it’s often only available through APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that are available to thick client applications.

Hardware integration

If hardware integration is crucial to your workflow or you need more control over how it works with your application, desktop apps will give the deep level of integration you require.

Controlled environment

Where your user base is highly niche or limited, well understood or within a controlled environment, an thick client installable application may be preferable.

Security limitations

It may not be possible or suitable for your application to be hosted externally. We’ve built desktop applications for businesses who want to completely separate it from the outside world.

Common desktop software development languages

Our bespoke software developers bring years of experience in desktop app development across a number of desktop application development languages.

Here are some common desktop application development languages that we’ve worked with. We can’t list them all, so if you don’t see what you’re looking for on the list, give us a try!

Ask about our desktop software services

Windows development languages and frameworks

C# Development

C# is a common language used to create bespoke Windows applications that run on the .NET Framework. Our desktop software developers have the necessary skills and knowledge to help create your bespoke business app in C#.

.NET Development

Our expertise in multiple Windows development languages means that our desktop app developers naturally use the .NET Framework. If you’re looking for .NET development, we have the skills to help turn that requirement into a solution.

WPF Development

WPF stands for Windows Presentation Foundation and is used within the .NET framework. It’s a common GUI Framework used for thick client applications an one which our desktop development team frequently work with.

MacOS and cross-platform development languages

Swift Development

Swift is a programming language developed by Apple for its products, including MacOS for iMac and MacBook. If you’re looking to develop an installable application for Apple Mac, our bespoke app developers can help.

Electron development

If you need a thick client app for Windows and Apple MacOS, Electron is a framework that enables cross-platform development of installable applications. It uses a web browser (Chromium) and Node.js to gain access to thick-client functionality, allowing for it to fit well within an ecosystem that already incorporates a web based presence.

Xamarin development

Xamarin was one of the first cross platform development frameworks allowing the development of thick client apps for Windows and MacOS with a single code base. If you’re looking for help with Xamarin development, we can help.

Legacy desktop development languages / frameworks

We understand business and we understand that sometimes it’s appropriate to work with outdated or superseded development languages. if you’re looking for support with a legacy system, we’re experts in working with existing systems.

System Takeover

C++ Development

C++ is an extension of the C language that is largely considered as a legacy language, commonly superseded by C#. That doesn’t mean to say that businesses aren’t still relying on C++ applications and we can help. Whether it’s developing or replacing an existing C++ application, we can help advise on the pros and cons for your business.

C Development

C is a legacy console language which your business systems may use. Whether you’re looking to work with or replace an existing system, our team are experienced in understanding your business requirements and offering a balanced, unbiased view on your options.

WinForms Development

WinForms has now been replaced by WPF but we can still help with your existing WinForms project. Our desktop app developers are experienced in working with modern and legacy technologies alike, giving you the best of both worlds when moving your business systems forward.

How desktop app development works at First Option Software

Whether it’s a new desktop software project or an existing one, every project is unique. Here’s how we approach desktop app projects to ensure you get the best for your business.

Talk to us

Good communication is key to any software project’s success so our focus on honesty, transparency and business sense ensures strong, trusting relationships with our customers. We’ll listen to your needs and offer our advice on your options for moving forward with your desktop application.

Analysis and specification

Taking the time to listen allows us to translate your needs into a System Requirements Specification. With the scope outlined in your SRS, the commercials of your project can be agreed, along with the approach we’ll take.

We develop your desktop app

Our desktop app developers will work to your system requirements specification, to build your bespoke desktop application. The thick client application will be developed on local environments, with all source code backed up to keep it safe. Our project managers will keep you in the loop, so that you’re always clear on your project’s progress.

We test your mobile app

A QA test engineer works alongside our developers to manually test your application as functionality is completed and if we’ve agreed to incorporate automated testing to your project, we’ll build unit tests as we go. Once our QA testers have tested your thick client app, you’ll be provided with a version to test yourself. Additionally, should you require thick client software pentesting, we’ll work with external pentesting providers to ensure that your application is secure.

Desktop app installation

Whether it’s a niche app for a small number of users or it’s going to be distributed far and wide, we’ll help ensure that your thick client application is ready for installation where needed.

Why choose First Option Software to build your desktop app?

Having been developing desktop applications in a wide range of languages for nearly 30 years:

  • Office software that involves scanning and OCRing large quantities of customer forms
  • Software service to sync data to a Cloud server
  • Software that acts as a plugin to Microsoft Outlook
  • Software to enable the layout of articles onto virtual pages
  • Software to register reception arrivals, capturing photos and printing badges

Whatever your needs, we’ve got the experience to be able to advise you on the best approach for your project. 

Our years of expertise in developing bespoke software for enterprise enables us to provide a balanced and unbiased view on the pros and cons of desktop software development. We take pride in our ability to listen and understand your needs, helping you to make the right choices when it comes to moving forward with a desktop app project.

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Discuss your requirements with one of our experts. Request a personalised 1:1 call

We understand that navigating the process of commissioning a software project can be confusing. That's why we offer a free 30 minute session with one of our experts, so that we can help you focus on how technology can transform your business.

In 30 minutes, we'll discuss

  • What are the real-world needs for your business?
    Building bespoke software is a process of converting a real requirement into code and its success is all down to how the requirement is interpreted. We'll look to listen and understand how a software system needs to work for you.
  • Bespoke software vs off the shelf vs system integrations
    Just because we can write the software, it doesn't always mean that it makes most business sense. We'll start to explore this with you.
  • Timescales, budgets, contributing factors
    There's more than one way to approach any software project, so we'll discuss any factors that might influence how we approach your project.