Qt framework is gaining ever-growing popularity worldwide. Qt’s motto “One framework. One codebase. Any platform” allows companies to develop various types of applications that can run across different platforms. It’s a versatile, reliable, and feature-rich toolkit created to make the development process more productive, time and cost-efficient.
In this article, we will cover the main characteristics of the Qt framework, its main advantages, and use cases to help you avoid confusion when choosing the right framework for your project.
Qt is an open-source free widget toolkit used to develop Graphical User Interface (GUI) as well as cross-platform applications. Qt stands out by allowing a single developer team to develop apps for various platforms at the same time with little or no code changes. It is good for the development of :
- mobile (Android, iOS, Blackberry 10, etc.) apps;
- desktop (Windows, Linux, Mac OS X) apps;
- embedded (Android, Linux, Windows Embedded) apps.
Although the majority of the apps in Qt are written in C++, this framework lets developers use other programming languages via language bindings provided by third parties. Bindings to QT exist for Python, PHP, Java, Ring, Go, Rust, etc.
Qt main tools include:
- QML (Qt Markup Language) is a declarative language used to describe the UI of an app.
- Qt Quick Designer is a graphical tool to design GUI.
- Qt Linguist facilitates the translation and localization of the software.
- Qt Assistant helps developers to view Qt documentation.
- CMake, qmake, and Qbs are used to build apps for different platforms.
Qt is a popular solution among such brands as Siemens, Valve, European Space Agency, Telegram, Walt Disney Animation Studios, etc., helping them create native-like applications with seamless user experience.
Since the choice of the software development toolkit determines the future course of the project, it’s worth considering it as a strategic decision, paying much attention to framework features and aligning them to your project requirements. Let’s consider the main advantages Qt has to offer.
Qt framework has been present on the market for about 20 years. During these years, Qt has gone through a vast number of improvements and has gained an excellent reputation due to a great variety of successful projects. Moreover, such considerable time in the sphere means that this framework was tested under various conditions and can guarantee stability and safety in contrast to just released development platforms.
The open-source nature makes Qt more robust and efficient. Apart from Qt Company, its main developer, the Qt framework is maintained and improved by other organizations and individuals. One of such contributors is KDAB, a Swedish consulting company, that helps to maintain QNX and Blackberry ports for Qt.
Many developers note a smooth learning curve when starting to work with this framework. Qt ensures an easy getting-to-know process since it offers comprehensive documentation and relevant examples, covering every aspect of the framework. Moreover, being written in C++, Qt has a large community ready to solve any arising issues.
Qt provides companies with a wide range of supported platforms, helping them reduce development time and costs while producing native-like applications. Moreover, Qt cross-platform app development allows software engineers to share data and reuse the code. This way, they can eliminate monotonous tasks and show better productivity.
Qt makes the development process more efficient since it provides companies with extensive IDE, easy-to-use APIs, well-tested libraries, and rich functionalities. It is a great solution to build responsive applications with a seamless user experience.
Here are some of the common use cases where Qt software development can be an optimal solution.
- Limited resources. Qt can be of great help for companies that don’t have enough resources to manage more than one developer team. This framework allows businesses to use a single team to develop software across various platforms and devices.
- From desktop to mobile. Qt is a neat solution when it’s necessary to extend a desktop application to a mobile one.
- Mobile cross-platform app development. By using this cross-platform toolkit for building mobile apps, developers can avoid issues related to the use of different frameworks for Android and iOS apps and reduce time-to-market.
- Multiple screens. Qt provides seamless integration of 3D graphics into 2D UI and helps to develop scalable 2D/3D, AR/VR UIs.
- Data management. Qt development platform is a good choice when it’s necessary to create a software product where data plays a crucial role, such as scientific apps, real-data collection, etc.
- IoT. Qt works seamlessly for IoT software development. It helps to connect separate devices into one ecosystem and manage efficient communication among them.
Qt is one of the most popular frameworks for app development across multiple platforms. It has become a choice of many businesses from various spheres since it helps create robust and scalable applications that can be deployed on almost any platform and device. Moreover, due to a vast number of tools and ready-made libraries, companies can develop and deliver their software products faster, getting a competitive edge in the market.
Although Qt is a preferable solution for many companies, before selecting this development stack for your project, consider its core features and align them with your business and project demands. This way, you will be able to make a conscious decision and use the full potential of this framework.
Victoria Puzhevich is a Lead Specialist at SCAND, a software development company. With more than 15 years of experience in the IT industry, Victoria is obsessed with all tech-related things. Her passion is to provide insights on the latest IT industry trends and help companies grow their business through technology.