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What is .Net Core?

.NET Core is an open-source, general-purpose development platform maintained by Microsoft and the .NET community on GitHub. It’s cross-platform, supporting Windows, macOS, and Linux, and it performs well in device, cloud, and embedded/IoT scenarios.

In November 2020, Microsoft released .NET 5, a unification of the .NET Core and the older .NET Framework. Subsequent versions (e.g., .NET 6) continue on this path, combining the best of both platforms. It’s worth noting that with the release of .NET 5, they dropped the “Core” branding. Consequently, future releases are just “.NET” followed by the version number.

Here are some key points about .NET Core

  • Cross-Platform: .NET Core can run on Windows, macOS, and various distributions of Linux. This makes it attractive for developers who want to develop or run applications on multiple platforms without significant changes.
  • Performance: Microsoft built .NET Core to be modular and optimized. It offers high performance for web applications, services, and server-side applications.
  • Open Source: One of the significant changes from the traditional .NET Framework is that .NET Core is open source. This means developers can view the source code, contribute to it, and ensure transparency in its development.
  • Modular and Lightweight: .NET Core uses a modular architecture. This means developers can include only the necessary libraries for their application, reducing its size and increasing performance.
  • Command-Line Interface (CLI): .NET Core includes a powerful command-line interface, which can be used for creating, building, and running applications.
  • Compatible with .NET Framework, Xamarin, and Mono: With the .NET Standard, code sharing across these platforms has become more straightforward.
  • Containers and Microservices: Due to its modularity and lightweight nature, .NET Core is an excellent choice for microservices architectures and can easily be used within Docker containers.
  • Unified Platform with ASP.NET Core: ASP.NET Core is a cloud-optimized framework for web applications and APIs which run on top of .NET Core. This integration provides a unified way to build web-based applications using the power and features of .NET Core.
  • Continual Improvements and Regular Updates: Since its launch, .NET Core has seen regular updates. The updates include new feature introductions and performance improvements driven by community feedback.
Microsoft .Net Core

When is .Net Core a good choice for a software application?

.NET Core has gained significant traction since its release. Various products, from web applications to mobile apps and enterprise software, leverage its robust features. Here are some notable kinds of products that employ .NET Core:

  • Web Applications: Through ASP.NET Core, developers build high-performance, modern web applications. This includes everything from simple websites to complex, large-scale applications.
  • Web APIs: Developers commonly use ASP.NET Core for RESTful services and APIs for mobile apps, web apps, and microservices.
  • Microservices: .NET Core’s modular architecture and support for Docker and Kubernetes have made it a popular choice for microservice systems.
  • Serverless Applications: Platforms like Azure Functions allow for building serverless applications using .NET Core.
  • Cloud Applications: Microsoft optimized .NET Core for cloud development, for Microsoft Azure as well as other cloud environments.
  • IoT Applications: Given its cross-platform nature, developers are using .NET Core in Internet of Things scenarios, especially for backend services.
  • Real-time Applications: ASP.NET Core SignalR works well for products that need real-time web functionality. Some examples include chat applications,  live data dashboards, etc.
  • Mobile Backends: Even if developers use Xamarin (for example) as a front-end system, they can still craft their backend services and APIs using .NET Core.
  • Games Backend: .NET Core handles things like player data, leaderboards, and real-time game state very efficiently.
  • Enterprise Software: Many businesses are modernizing their legacy software stacks and migrating to .NET Core. This is primarily due to its improved performance and cross-platform support.
  • Content Management Systems (CMS): Many CMS developers are opting to use .NET Core. Additionally, some traditional .NET CMSs are looking into migrating or offering .NET Core versions.
  • E-Commerce Platforms: As with CMSs, one can either build e-commerce from scratch on .NET Core, or migrate it from older .NET Framework versions.
  • Custom Software: .NET Core provides a versatile platform for bespoke software development.

While these are general categories, engineers have been developing many products and projects using .NET Core. Furthermore, companies have been opting to use .NET Core for many internal tools and applications that consumers might never see.

CodeStringers is a Trusted Microsoft .Net Core Development Organization

CodeStringers has built numerous SaaS products utilizing Microsoft .Net Core and can provide you with expertise to determine if .Net Core is the “right” choice for your product or if another backend technology is a better fit.