It has been more than 19 years since Microsoft had brought to the public event its .Net strategy. Today, Microsoft has more than a couple of .Net ecosystems on offerings for developers to choose from. Although it is quite confusing to discern between .Net solutions, it has emerged as one of the reliable development tools to undergo servers and application processes for developers, hence Microsoft is building a great level of credibility and trust with enterprises across the world.
With the advancement of technologies and applications, .Net architectures offer better scopes beyond the Windows infrastructure, enabling Microsoft to bring more tools and technologies across the operating systems such as iOS, Android, and Linux.
Along with .Net, Microsoft also supports C# programming language, which is the first released software application solution for enterprises, and now the most preferred programming language for everyone. But, if you are a novice to application development, it is tough to compare between .Net framework and .Net Core.
Once we discover it, it is easy to find their real use cases of .Net Framework and .Net Core based on the industry applications.
Basic Ideas about .NET Framework and .NET Core
As of now, Microsoft has a total number of four .Net libraries and a trio of runtimes. Hence, it is tough to choose between the core application libraries for the enterprise.
Owing to its application capability, .Net library solutions allow for the development of desktop and web applications at ease. These days, it is one of the primary programming language ecosystems to enable application development because of its high-performing capability to support most software building phases. Hence, enterprises looking for multiple solutions for desktop software, web-based services, and cloud solutions can optimize .Net solutions with its wide range of tools and features.
.NET was first devised as a so-called managed code that could enable orchestration of a development process on a runtime. Hence, Microsoft released the first of its .Net Framework known as C# in 2002, containing the same design features as C++. The framework was compatible with Windows operating systems and servers. It also featured some high-end tools such as a GUI library for desktop, a web framework- ASP.NET, and data access tool-ADO.NET. All these embedded tools were supervised by Common Language Runtime (CLR) for executing managed code.
In addition to this, .NET also used a framework class library to enable various functions.
Ever since .NET has gone through multiple iterations and updates. And it was during 2016, .NET Core was introduced in the .NET Profile. Over time, .NET Core has taken charge as the main technology platform to execute all new .NET projects. But, the primary structure features the same application components as .NET Framework.
In the same year, Microsoft earned ownership for Xamarin, a cross-platform for mobile development, and is now available as open-source application tools.
Figure 1 .NET Ecosystem before 2016 soured from Microsoft
Well, these three different Microsoft platforms offer good scopes to work with together without any confusion and much trouble. And with Microsoft incorporating APIs in.NET standard library, the programming language framework is likely to ease the development process for engineers. It means developers have it easy working across all three .NET Platforms for future web or desktop developments.
But, .NET Framework and .NET Core feature the same fundamental components, which is so confusing to choose the best one for enterprise solutions. In addition to it, developers having expertise in the .NET framework can easily adapt to the ecosystems of .NET Core and Xamarin, so we can expect the further development of .NET with Microsoft offering enhanced support to this platform. On the other hand, .NET specialists can easily do the migration of their applications to .NET Core and Xamarin.
The .NET ecosystem includes four major components. They follow as below:
Common language specification (CLS)
This component decides the implementation of objects across the .NET architecture. It also uses the Common Type System which is a subset of CLS to define all supported types.
Framework Class Library
It is a part of Common Language Runtime or CLR, a standard library that provides reusable interfaces, classes, and value types.
Common Language Runtime
CLR makes it possible to manage codes of .NET architecture by running the framework using its virtual machine.
Visual Studio IDE
Integrated with .NET architecture, it provides the language centric ecosystem across platforms, including Android and iOS. It also helps in building interactive and dynamic website applications and web services.
Differences Between .NET Framework and .NET Core
Figure 2 Important Relationship between .Net Framework and .Net Core, sourced from Microsoft
The basic difference between the .NET Framework and .NET Core lies in their development capabilities. The common similarity between these frameworks is the presence of .NETStandard, the same shared APIs used in both frameworks. Here we would know the difference between these programming languages.
.NET framework includes a runtime ecosystem that allows for the development of Windows-based apps and web application services. This framework features two key components, CLR and the extensive class library.
The CLR processes runtime for apps while aiding in memory management. On the other hand, the extensive class library eases testing and trial to enable every type of development for developers. However, it is a closed sourced entity, which compels developers to migrate to the open-source platforms to enable the development of object-oriented infrastructure.
.NET Core is an open-source, free and cross-platform framework that helps build applications for every type of operating systems. Various languages such as C#, F#, and Visual Basic are used to write different applications and libraries for web service and mobile applications that are compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux.
The very first release of the product was focused to create high-performing web applications and micro services. However, the more advanced versions of .NET Core with added features like APIs and components help with migrating of the application to the main platform.
Let’s dive deep to unearth the core differences between the .NET Framework and .NET core.
As enterprises are geared up for software development with .NET architecture, various types of factors such as project requirement, platform and budget are key to determine which platform to choose between .NET Framework and .NET Core. Still, there are some compelling factors to consider when developing your next application.
Open-Source and Cross- Platform Flexibility
.Net Framework is a closed source, enabling developers to build web applications and services only for the Windows platform. However, its language compiler that allows the code programming in one language is adaptive to other languages as well. Although it is licensed software, some of the components of .Net Framework are now open-source.
By nature, .NET Core follows the cross-platform architecture. This means it can support every operating system, including Windows, Linux, and Mac environment. This range of flexibility allows for easy migration of platform applications to other platforms. .NET Core is an open- source platform. It does not require paying for any licensing fees while developing apps.
Easy Access to the Updated Product Versions
When the latest versions release, .NET Framework does not allow for auto-updates of the program. The developers must take responsibility to run the web application on the Internet Information Server. However, using the Xcopy deployment feature, you can copy the files to the directory and run your program. The process is faster with simple application development, but it requires extensive technicalities and tools to create complex apps on the server. In that case, the model deployment is tough with .NET Framework.
Developers have always the freedom to use the best-in-class platform to create their web services and applications with .NET Core. With the latest versions being launched, the existing program also gets updated on the machine and directories. So, developers can create new and improved products without being restricted by the new version launch while keeping the existing applications intact. .NET Core also allows self-hosting the application process or moving the product deployment to the cloud.
Performance and Scalability
In order to choose the best development architecture, it is essential to highlight the core performance capabilities of both frameworks.
.NET Framework does not feature machine code or run-time-interpreter. This hinders faster delivery of machine code executable, resulting in project delays. To process the application faster, it needs Just-In-Time compiler to integrate CIL code with executable codes and caches the codes into the .NET Native Image Cache. Sometimes, developers opt for Native Image Generator to create, cache, and compile any .NET applications.
As a whole, the performance of the .NET Framework is not so high-end and best in nature.
On the other hand, .NET Core is faster than .NET Framework. This platform does not call for any hardware implementation to improve the performance of the application.
The newer codes get directly optimized with the .NET Core without impacting its core functions. It features the recompilation capability that enhances the code optimization directly and increases the performance of the architecture. The best part of this architecture is that it allows access to the cloud for testing and deploying the application. So, it is easier and faster to develop applications in .NET Core.
Library Collection Class
The .NET Framework features an extensive list of class libraries. These are interfaces, namespaces, and value types to execute a number of applications such as desktop applications, web, and mobile applications. Various collection classes including queue, list, and stacks allow XML data manipulation, WPF for rendering user interfaces, namespaces such as System.IO.IsolatedStorage enables document writing, reading and rendering and more.
For .NET Core, it also has robust class libraries. But, it also enables developers to use the CoreCLR, a type of common language runtime to be creative about their development process. The features make use of the only important library as required for the development without going for unnecessary library classes.
Ease of Use
.NET Framework offers an easy learning curve. So, it is easy embarking on web development with .NET Framework as it takes less time to complete the project.
However, .NET Core is tough to learn. So, if developers lack a proper working knowledge of the platform, the project is about to get delayed.
Ease of Development of Cloud-Based Apps
Developing cloud-based apps is not easy with .NET Framework. For developers, the project is a tough one.
But, with .NET Core, the development of cloud-based apps is easier since it simplifies the process of development. At the same time, the apps can be published directly to the cloud.
Quick overview of .NET Framework and .NET Core
|Built and designed for Windows||Built and designed for Windows, Mac, and Linux
|Supports programming languages Visual Studio IDE using VB, C#, and F#
|Supports Visual Studio for Mac, and VSC using C# and F#|
|Open-Source and Cross-platform application ecosystem
|Build server-based and enterprise based web apps||Build cloud-based and modern web apps|
|Compatible with .NET Framework only||Compatible across .NET Framework and .Net Core|
Now, it is easily understandable that .NET Core is getting a slight competitive edge as compared to.NET Framework depending on the cost savings, time savings and higher rate of performance and scalability features. Where .NET Core steals the show with its exuberance showcases of qualities, there are certain conditions to use these two frameworks based upon their necessities.
Use by needs
.NET Framework – when to use
- No knowledge about new technology
- Have a tight schedule for project launch
- Your existing .NET Framework just needs some improvements
- Building web apps using WPF
- Don’t look out for continuous upgrades and changes
- Want to build a cross-platform application
- Want high-performance and scalability
- Keen to install apps depending on various .NET updates and versions
- Interested to develop micro services-based applications
Now, it is time to take your decision. When it comes to creating server-side rendering, building highly scalable and faster web applications, .NET Core offers more choices and freedom over .NET Framework in terms of cost savings and profitability. On the other hand, the .NET Framework eases the development process with existing applications. However, if the .NET Framework needs new features and functionalities, they can be migrated to the .NET Core framework.
If you are still confused and struggling to come to a decision, you can take assistance from Bytes Technolab. We are a renowned and expert web and mobile application development company that follows the latest technology development tools and processes to bring innovative engineering solutions to the businesses. With flare in custom software development and also Big Data Analytics, we can guide you through a better development process with various .NET solutions. For questions and queries, you can contact us.