Introduction to ASP.NET Core

This article tutorial gives a brief introduction to ASP.NET Core. The ASP.NET Core is new Framework built with aim of cross-platform portability. 

What is ASP.NET Core

ASP.NET Core is a collection of libraries that form a Framework for building web applications.

ASP.NET Core is not the next version of the ASP.NET. It is the brand new version written from scratch. It has a number of architectural changes that result in a much leaner and modular framework. 

ASP.NET Core can run on both .NET Core or full .NET Framework.

What is .Net Core

The .NET Core is a runtime. It is a complete redesign of .NET Framework. The main design goal of the .NET Core is to support developing cross-platform .NET applications. It is supported on Windows, Mac OS & Linux. .NET Core is an Open Source Framework maintained by Microsoft and the .NET community on GitHub 

The .NET Core is a subset of Full .NET Framework.  WebForms, Windows Forms, WPF are not part of the .NET Core

It implements .NET Standard specification.

What is .NET Standard

The .NET Standard is a formal specification of .NET APIs that are intended to be available on all .NET implementations. It defines a uniform set of rules that need to be followed  across all .NET implementations 

You can read more about .NET Standard from here 

Difference between .NET Core Vs .NET Framework

.NET Framework is older runtime which existed in windows for many years. The .NET Core supports the subset of features supported by the .NET Framework. The features like WebForms, Windows Forms, WPF  are unlikely to make into the .NET Core

.Net Framework Only runs on windows. .NET Core applications can run on any platform


The Core word in ASP.NET core is very misleading 

The name suggests that the ASP.NET Core applications can only be built on .NET Core, which is wrong.

ASP.NET Core web application can be developed using .NET Core or .NET Framework. The ASP.NET Core application built using the .NET Core runtime can run on any OS, while those built using .NET Framework can run only in Windows

ASP.NET Core in .NET Ecosystem

Important Features of ASP.NET Core

  1. You can build and run cross-platform ASP.NET apps on Windows, Mac and Linux (Open source and community focused
  2. ASP.NET Core Unifies MVC & Web API. 
  3. Ability to host on IIS or self-host in your own process.
  4. Built-in Dependency Injection.
  5. Easy integration with client-side frameworks like Angular, Knockout etc.
  6. An Environment based configuration system. 
  7. New light-weight and modular HTTP request pipeline.
  8. Built on .NET Core, which supports true side-by-side app versioning.
  9. Ships entirely as NuGet packages.

Flavours of ASP.NET

There are two flavours of ASP.NET present now

  1. ASP.NET 
    This is the current version of ASP.NET. It needs .Net Framework to run. The  Latest version is 4.6
  2. ASP.NET Core. 
    The new way to build the Web application. It can run on both .NET Framework or .NET Core Framework. The current version is 2.0

Important difference Between ASP.NET and ASP.NET Core

Current Version 4.6Current Version 2.0
Legacy versionThe complete redesigned version of ASP.NET
Runs on Dot Net FrameworkRuns on both Dot Net Core/Dot Net Framework
Runs Only on WindowsRuns on all Platforms if you are using Dot Net Core
Stable version with Rich Features. Not All the Features are not available. But it is expected to be added in the future releases
WebForms are supportedWebForms will not be supported
Bulky. System.web.dllSmaller, leaner and Modular
Proprietary to MicrosoftASP.NET Core is Open Source

What happened to ASP.NET 5

ASP.NET core was originally named as ASP.NET vNext

Later it was changed to ASP.NET 5. 

Finally, Microsoft named it as ASP.NET Core when the 1.0 was released

ASP.NET 5 is Dead 

ASP.NET Core Roadmap

You can read about NET Core Roadmap  

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