What should you choose for your next project — .NET Framework or .NET Core? Let’s compare these two platforms and see if we can come to a conclusion. Spoiler: .NET Core is the future of .NET.

The vast majority have heard at least something about the ASP.NET platform and ASP.NET Core as well. True, knowledge is very scattered and unstructured, and there is no clear idea of the capabilities of these platforms. And even more so about their differences. So, here are the crucial features of the Microsoft's frameworks and their comparison with each other.


ASP.NET MVC: how it works

ASP.NET MVC is incredibly popular. And this is deserved.

ASP.NET framework uses the traditional MVC scheme — Model-View-Controller. All elements are responsible for specific actions. For instance, a user starts the registration process and sends the registration data to the server. The controller interprets the human actions and transfers the information to the model about the changes made to the user's status. The model responds to controller actions and works with the supplied data. The view is responsible for displaying information from the model.

After sending a request to the server, the controller starts processing it, then it transfers the changes to the model, which reacts to the update and produces everything necessary to display the site. The view performs only the role of displaying the appearance of the page — a normal HTML template.

.NET Core is like .NET, only better

ASP.NET Core is the latest version of Microsoft's popular web application framework. ASP.NET Core is a completely new approach to development and deployment web applications that offers a host-independent structure and a high-performance model. This means that ASP.NET Core applications are high performance and can run on different OS.

The new approach let you make the application easily extensible, testable, and at the same time keep a beautiful code structure.

Basically, this is a total transformation of ASP.NET that combines the MVC framework and Web API into a single framework. Fantastic!

ASP.NET VS ASP.NET Core: pros and cons of both

Although millions of web developers use ASP.NET MVC to build web applications, the newest ASP.NET Core framework offers much more benefits for web application development than ASP.NET MVC. But they both certainly deserve attention.

.NET Framework is a runtime that is exclusively for Windows. It assists in the development of desktop programs for Windows and ASP.NET web applications for IIS.

Key advantages: a huge range of ready-made libraries, much more features in comparison with the previous platform.

.NET Core is a cross-platform runtime for web or console applications. The software products, which are elaborated on it, can be successfully executed on Linux, Windows, MacOS.

Main advantages: multi-platform, open source. It is much faster and has better support. Furthermore, Microsoft actively promotes and modernizes Core version, constantly adding useful functionality.

What is important in 2020?

Let's find out the features that make ASP.NET Core the right choice for app development this year and the near future.

  1. Razor Pages functionality. RP is a new ASP.NET Core element that makes programming scripts, based on web pages, more performant. Technically speaking, Razor Pages is a web page based coding model that makes it easy to create a web interface. With Razor Pages, every web page is self-contained with a View constituent element, and the code is clearly streamlined too.
  2. Support for popular JavaScript frameworks. Unlike ASP.NET MVC, the new .NET Core framework provides built-in patterns for the most widespread JavaScript frameworks, Angular and React.
  3. Improved collaboration and cross-platform support. The ASP.NET Core framework let you create apps on any OS. Furthermore, developers can select their development OS too. In short, they can work on Linux, MacOS or Windows and still be able to collaborate on the same project.
  4. Embedded dependency injection support. This means that you no longer need to rely on extra frameworks like Ninject or AutoFactor. Dependency Injection is, in fact, a template that can help the developers to decouple different parts of their applications. This obviously improves the testability and expansibility of web applications.

Which one to use? A couple of scripts for web developers

Both platforms have a lot of common characteristics and you can share code between the both. Nonetheless, there are main distinctions and your selection depends on circumstances and your goals.

ASP.NET MVC is the perfect decision if:

  • you do not need to organize cross-platform maintenance for a web application;
  • you need a stable development environment to work in;
  • you do not have a lot of time to develop;
  • you do not want to deal with continuous upgrades and changes;
  • you develop or upgrade an existent program;
  • you are a part of a team with ASP.NET experience;
  • you do not have time to learn new technology.

ASP.NET Core is best used if:

  • you want to set in-app targeting for all popular operating systems;
  • you are not afraid of learning new things;
  • you are ready to devote enough time to fixes and improvements, because Core has not reached a static point, it changes periodically.

ASP.NET Core version is great for beginners, because it offers a lot of future prospects. It will give more options to choose from in the next future. And as for the pros, luckily the transition to the new ASP.NET Core platform should not take long if the team is already familiar with ASP.NET MVC and / or Web API.

In conclusion

Undoubtedly, the opinion of every web developer is different, therefore the question of whether it's worth moving to ASP.NET Core version may remain open. The decision must be carefully considered and supported by strong arguments. Nevertheless, Asp.NET Core is our present and our future. And it's not over yet. We will soon find out what to expect from .NET 5.

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