.NET Core: Everything You Need to Know

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Titled as a robust and scalable development platform, .NET Core is a separate and superior version of the .NET Framework that Microsoft maintains. It is written from scratch to make it a lightweight, modular, fast, and cross-platform framework. .NET Core is a complete programming environment that takes extra care of cross-platform functionalities.

When you want to build high-quality applications faster, .NET will be your ultimate choice. It is called the most productive platform for developers. With this, you can target any application type running on any platform. If you are considering .NET Core development, you need to know about this .NET Core in detail. To help you, here we have pinpointed the most important things about .NET Core.

What is .NET Core?

.NET Core is an open-source, cross-platform framework developed by Microsoft. It serves as a successor to the traditional .NET Framework, offering several improvements and new features. One of the key differentiators of .NET Core is its ability to run on multiple operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and various Linux distributions.

Key Highlights of Asp.NET Core Framework

  • The Asp.NET Core can execute with two runtime environments (.NET Core and .NET framework).
  • It has a robust and precise architecture with required dependencies and modular MVC patterns.
  • Asp.NET Core project apps are executing using the new .NET Execution Environment (DNX).
  • It has a faster development cycle for its well-designed dependency injection methodologies to create an optimized environment.
  • It has a robust cloud configuration and support for scalable apps.
  • It can work well with different front-end frameworks, including AngularJS, Bootstrap, and KnockoutJS.
  • It streamlined the flexibility to deploy and run the app on cloud servers and on-premises configuration.
  • A higher number of modules will enable you to construct optimized development.

Features of .NET Core

1. Open-source framework

Available on GitHub under MIT and Apache licenses, .NET Core, is an open-source framework. It’s a .NET foundation project. You can view, download, and contribute to the source code using the GitHub repositories.

2. Cross-platform

The framework supports and runs on Windows, Linux, and macOS. Also, it is amazingly consistent across architecture, including x64, x86, and ARM. You can import and use identical assemblies and libraries on different platforms.

3. Wide range of applications

Various apps can be developed and run on the .NET Core Platform, including desktop, mobile, web, cloud, IoT, microservice, game, machine learning, etc.

4. Supports multiple languages

You can use F#, C#, and Visual Basic programming languages to develop .NET Core applications. Even you can use your favorite IDE, including Visual Studio Code, Visual Studio 2017/2019, Sublime Text, Vim, etc.

5. Modular architecture

It supports a modular architecture approach using NuGet packages. Different NuGet packages for various features can be added to the .NET Core project as required. Microsoft.NETCore.App is the NuGet package for the standard.NET Core application model. Thus, it boosts performance, reduces the memory footprint, and simplifies maintenance.

6. CLI tools

.NET Core includes CLI tools (Command-line interface) for development and continuous integration.

7. Flexible deployment

.NET Core application can be deployed user-wide or system-wide or with Docker Containers.

8. Compatibility

Using .NET Standard specification, it’s compatible with .NET Framework and Mono APIs.

9. High Performance

Performance is a crucial aspect of any software application. .NET Core introduces various optimizations and enhancements that result in improved performance compared to its predecessor. It leverages just-in-time (JIT) compilation and ahead-of-time (AOT) compilation techniques to optimize code execution, leading to faster application startup times and better overall performance.

Features of .NET Core 3.0

  • Support for MSIX Deployment in Windows Desktop
  • Build copies dependencies
  • Improvements in IEEE Floating-point
  • Fast built-in JSON support
  • .NET platform-dependent intrinsics
  • Framework-dependent executables support
  • Windows Native Interop
  • Unload assembly easily
  • TLS 1.3 & OpenSSL 1.1. on Linux
  • GPIO support for Raspberry Pi
  • Improved Cryptography

What Next: Features of .NET Core 5.0

  • F# updates
  • C# updates
  • System.Text.Json new features
  • Visual Basic updates
  • App trimming
  • Single file apps
  • Garbage Collection (GC)
  • Windows ARM64 and ARM64 intrinsic
  • System.Text.RegularExpressions
  • Async ValueTask pooling
  • System.Text.Json
  • Container size optimizations

What is the Difference between .NET Core and .NET Framework

Feature .NET Core .NET Framework
Open-Source It is open-source. Certain components are open-source.
Cross-Platform NET Core is compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac OS as it is cross-platform. It is compatible more with Windows operating system.
Application Models It focuses on the focuses on web, windows mobile, and windows store. It is used to develop desktop and web apps and supports windows forms and WPF applications.
Installation It is installed independently of the underlying operating system. It is installed as a single package for Windows operating system.
Packaging and Shipping It is shipped as a collection of Nugget packages. All the libraries are packaged and shipped together.
Deployment Model .NET Core has a flexible deployment model. When the updated version is released, it is initially deployed on the Internet Information Server only.
CLI Tools It provides lightweight editors and command-line tools for all supported platforms It is heavy for Command Line Interface.
Security It does not have Code Access Security features. The Code Access Security feature is available in .NET Framework.

What to Use .NET Framework or .NET Core?

.NET Core needs to be used for the server application when

  • There is a cross-platform need
  • Targeting microservices os using Docker containers
  • Need for high-performance and scalable systems
  • Side by side need for .NET versions per application

.NET Framework needs to be used for the server application when

  • The application is to be built to run only on Windows
  • If the application uses a .NET framework not available for .NET Core
  • Apps that are already running on .NET Framework

Also Read: Security Best Practices to Adopt for ASP.NET Core MVC Web Applications

Benefits of Using .NET Core

1. Increased Productivity

.NET Core provides developers with a rich set of tools and libraries, empowering them to write code more efficiently. It offers a unified programming model and a vast ecosystem of NuGet packages, simplifying common development tasks. This increased productivity translates into faster time-to-market for software projects.

2. Improved Security

Security is a critical aspect of any software application. .NET Core prioritizes security and incorporates several features to protect your applications against common vulnerabilities. It includes built-in support for data protection, secure communication protocols, and various authentication and authorization mechanisms.

3. Scalability and Performance

With its lightweight nature and modular architecture, .NET Core enables highly scalable and performant applications. It allows horizontal scaling by effortlessly distributing the workload across multiple instances. Additionally, .NET Core’s performance optimizations ensure that your applications deliver optimal performance even under heavy loads.

How to Get Started with .NET Core

1. Installation

To begin using .NET Core, you need to install the appropriate runtime and SDK for your operating system. Microsoft provides easy-to-follow installation instructions on their official website, along with download links for each platform.

2. IDE Integration

.NET Core integrates seamlessly with popular Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) such as Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code. These IDEs offer a wide range of features and tools that enhance the development experience with .NET Core.

3. Learning Resources

Learning resources for .NET Core are abundant, ranging from official documentation to online tutorials and community forums. Microsoft’s official documentation is a great starting point, providing in-depth explanations, code samples, and best practices.

Bottom Line

.NET Core has earned the “preferred choice” status for converting your business needs into a web presence. And it was made possible by its high stability for a scalable application and capacity to serve large requests per second.

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