.NET Core vs. .NET Framework

.NET Core vs. .NET Framework: A Detailed Guide!

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In the world of application development, the choice of network is crucial. With the emergence of .NET Core alongside the established .NET Framework, developers face a decision: stick with the familiar or embrace the new?

This article compares the .NET Core and .NET Framework in straightforward terms, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. By understanding the differences, readers can make informed decisions for their upcoming projects.

Let’s dive into this professional analysis to determine the best fit for your development needs!

What Is .NET Core?

.NET Core is a versatile and free open-source development platform crafted by Microsoft. It’s tailored for building modern cloud-based software applications across various operating systems like Windows, Linux, and macOS. This framework is engineered to be fast, scalable, and contemporary, making it suitable for a varied range of projects. Notably, it boasts cross-platform compatibility, open-source accessibility, high performance, and supports multiple development environments.

What Is .NET Framework?

.NET Framework is a software framework exclusively developed by Microsoft. Serving as a virtual machine, it compiles and executes programs written in languages such as C# and VB.NET. Widely used for crafting form-based applications, web-based applications, and web services, it offers extensive functionality and supports industry standards. The dot net framework has been around since 2002, and it supports over 60 programming languages, including those developed by Microsoft and non-Microsoft languages.

The Differences Between .Net Core vs. .Net Framework

When comparing the differences between the two web development frameworks, .NET and .NET Core, it’s easy to assume that the .NET Core is simply an upgraded .NET version. However, this oversimplification doesn’t capture the full picture. In fact, the distinction between the two is more substantial than it may seem at first glance. The term ‘Core’ in .NET Core signifies the integration of fundamental elements from the original .NET Framework, encompassing both framework libraries and runtime components.

To gain a deeper understanding, let’s discover the significant differences that set .NET apart from .NET Core.

1. Platform Compatibility and Open Source

.NET Framework

Originally designed for the Windows platform, the .NET Framework empowers developers to craft applications within this ecosystem. It incorporates language compilers to facilitate coding in one language while enabling interoperability with others.

Initially launched as a proprietary and licensed framework, Microsoft later augmented the .NET platform by introducing new components and transitioning it to an open-source framework.

.NET Core

In comparison to the .NET Framework, .NET Core boasts cross-platform compatibility. This feature facilitates adherence to the “build once, run everywhere” principle and simplifies app migration across various platforms.

Renowned for its versatility, .NET Core is an exemplary choice for enterprise app development. It offers a plethora of productivity-enhancing features such as testing, debugging, project management, and source control integration.

2. Performance and Scalability

.NET Framework

Performance is a notable area where the .NET Framework lags. It lacks the flexibility, security, and speed offered by its counterparts.

During the initial launch of an application, the .NET Framework compiles Common Intermediate Language (CIL) code into executable code and then caches it into the Native Image Cache. However, users have the option to utilize the Native Image Generator to expedite the initial launch by manually compiling and caching their .NET applications.

.NET Core

In the performance and scalability comparison, .NET Core emerges as the superior choice. It facilitates seamless enhancement of application performance without necessitating hardware upgrades.

.NET Core features a recompilation capability, enabling automatic optimization of compiled code without requiring any code modifications. Additionally, it empowers developers to create, test, and deploy applications directly on cloud infrastructure, enhancing productivity and scalability.

3. Installation

.NET Framework

The installation process for the ASP.NET Framework is straightforward, as it comes as a single package. This package includes a comprehensive runtime environment containing all the necessary components for development within a Windows environment.

In essence, it provides developers with everything they need to create Windows applications. However, users have limited control over the components they receive, as the package is pre-determined and non-customizable.

.NET Core

In contrast, the installation of .NET Core is more flexible due to its cross-platform nature. As a result, it requires the installation of development modules and standard features, which can be tailored to the specific needs of different operating systems.

This flexibility allows developers to install .NET Core on various platforms and add modules according to their requirements. It’s worth noting that .NET Core relies on NuGet packages, which developers can compile or include in their application files for added versatility and customization.

4. Application Types

.NET Framework

The .NET Framework is known for its robust support for a variety of app models. Developers using the .NET Framework can create applications using Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Windows Forms, and ASP.NET. The .NET Framework supports a range of app models that make it a versatile choice for building desktop applications as well as web-based applications.

.NET Core

.NET Core is particularly advantageous for certain types of applications, particularly web-based ones. While it lacks support for desktop applications (which can be considered a drawback), .NET Core excels in building web applications, including ASP.NET Core apps. Additionally, it is well-suited for developing Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps, making it a valuable tool for cross-platform development, particularly in the context of web and UWP applications.

5. Deployment Model

.NET Framework

Deployment with the .NET Framework is somewhat constrained, typically limited to deployment on the Internet Information Services (IIS) server. ASP.NET developers have the option to use Xcopy deployment, which involves copying application files to a directory for immediate execution. While suitable for small-scale applications, deploying larger applications on the server can be complex due to the limitations and intricacies of the deployment process.

.NET Core

In contrast, deployment with .NET Core offers greater flexibility and ease. Developers can seamlessly update existing versions to the latest ones by creating new directories without disrupting ongoing operations. Moreover, .NET Core provides the option for self-hosting, allowing developers to host the application through a private hosting process or deploy it directly on the cloud infrastructure. This flexibility simplifies deployment processes and enhances scalability, making .NET Core an appealing choice for a variety of applications.

6. Library Collection

.NET Framework

Applications built with the .NET Framework have access to a wide range of built-in class libraries that facilitate various tasks, such as interacting with databases, manipulating XML documents, rendering graphics, and reading/writing files. These libraries provide developers with essential functionalities, simplifying development and accelerating the creation of applications.

.NET Core

In addition to offering class libraries, .NET Core introduces CoreCLR, a rebuilt common language runtime. Unlike the monolithic approach of the .NET Framework, .NET Core follows a modular approach, allowing developers to choose and use only the required libraries for their applications. This modular design enables developers to create lightweight and optimized applications by including only the necessary components, enhancing performance and flexibility.

7. Mobile App Development

.NET Framework

Unfortunately, the .NET Framework does not offer the capabilities to build mobile applications. This limitation is a significant drawback, particularly in today’s business landscape, where mobile apps play a crucial role in reaching and engaging with users. Due to this restriction, developers using the Dot NET Framework technologies must seek alternative frameworks or platforms for mobile app development.

.NET Core

In contrast, .NET Core provides comprehensive support for mobile app development. Developers can utilize Xamarin, a part of the .NET ecosystem, to create cross-platform mobile applications using the C# programming language. Additionally, Xamarin tools enable developers to customize their apps for various platforms, ensuring a seamless and tailored user experience across different devices and operating systems. This flexibility and robust support for mobile app development make .NET Core a preferred choice for app developers in NYC to build mobile applications.

8. Microservices and Rest Services

.NET Framework

In the context of microservices and REST services, the .NET Framework has limitations. It does not provide native support for the development and deployment of microservices. However, it fully supports the creation and deployment of REST API services, allowing developers to build scalable and interoperable web services.

.NET Core

On the other hand, .NET Core offers comprehensive support for both microservices and REST services. Developers can implement microservices architecture by creating REST APIs using .NET Core. Additionally, .NET Core allows for greater flexibility and customization, enabling developers to personalize microservices using various technologies and programming languages beyond just C#, thus accommodating diverse development requirements and preferences.

9. CLI Tools

.NET Framework

CLI (Command Line Interface) tools in the .NET Framework are relatively heavy compared to other frameworks. While some developers prefer working with CLI instead of using Integrated Development Environments (IDEs), the .NET Framework’s CLI tools may not provide the lightweight experience desired by those developers.

.NET Core

In comparison to the Dot NET Core or the .NET Framework, .NET Core offers developers a lightweight CLI experience. This CLI provides efficient command line tools that are well-suited for developers who prefer working in a terminal environment. Additionally, developers have the option to switch to an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) if needed, providing flexibility in their development workflow.

When Should You Choose .NET Framework or .NET Core?

Now that you know the difference between .NET Core and .NET Framework, let’s consider which to use when.

Use .NET Core for server applications when:

  • Cross-platform compatibility is required.
  • Targeting microservices architecture or utilizing Docker containers.
  • High performance and scalability are essential.
  • There is a need for side-by-side installations of different .NET versions for each application.

Use .NET Framework for server applications when:

  • The application is intended to run exclusively on Windows.
  • The application relies on .NET Framework technologies that are not available in .NET Core.
  • Existing applications are already running on the .NET Framework platform.

Summing Up

In conclusion, the ongoing debate between .NET Core and .NET Framework is unlikely to fade anytime soon. Both frameworks offer valuable and distinct advantages within their respective domains. However, Microsoft’s commitment to innovation means that both platforms are continuously evolving and improving.

When faced with the decision between .NET Core and .NET Framework, it’s essential to consider your project’s scope, development requirements, and budget constraints. While the choice may not always be clear-cut, rest assured that the future of the .NET ecosystem holds great promise. So, weigh your options carefully and pick the framework that aligns with your needs and objectives.

If you need assistance, feel free to get in touch with our custom software development company.