According to the latest usage statistics posted on various websites, ASP.NET is more popular than other web application frameworks. But the Window-based web application framework was originally designed with features to simplify development of dynamic websites, web applications, and web services. Despite being updated by Microsoft on a regular basis, ASP.NET lacked features to complement cloud computing, mobile technologies, and other emerging web development trends.
Microsoft recently redesigned the core architecture of ASP.NET. It introduced ASP.NET Core as a lean, modular, open source, and cross-platform framework. The developers can run the ASP.NET Core applications in three distinct platforms – Windows, OS X and Linux. Likewise, they can use ASP.NET Core to build cloud-based web applications, mobile backends, and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The new features and enhancements further completely changes the world of ASP.NET.
Overview of Important Changes included in ASP.NET Core
Most enterprises nowadays prefer open source technologies and frameworks to commercial and licensed software products. Microsoft has make ASP.NET Core open source. Hence, small businesses and start-ups can now use the framework without buying any licence. Likewise, the developers can download its source code directly from GitHub, and make changes according to their specific needs.
ASP.NET Core allows developers to use both .NET Framework and .NET Core. They can use .NET Framework to run the applications on Windows. On the other hand, they can run the ASP.NET Core applications on Linux or Mac by using .NET Core. Hence, the developers can run a single application on Windows, Linux and Mac simply by picking the right framework.
Lean and Modular Design
Microsoft has removed the System.Web.dll while redesigning the core architecture of ASP.NET. Hence, ASP.NET Core is both leaner and more modular than ASP.NET. Most features of the framework are further implemented as Nuget packages. Hence, the programmers have option to pick and use specific Nuget packages according to the needs of each project, and avoid using the framework fully.
Unified Programming Model
While working with ASP.NET, developers have option to choose from three distinct programming models – ASP.NET MVC, Web Pages and Web API. But ASP.NET Core comes with a single and unified framework that includes these three distinct programming models. The developers can use ASP.NET Core MVC to create both web applications and web APIs based on MVC design pattern. Also, they can take advantage of an array of new features provided by ASP.NET Core MVC to simplify and speed up development of large and complex applications.
Multiple Deployment Options
The developers can deploy and publish the ASP.NET Core applications in a number of ways. Like ASP.NET applications, the ASP.NET Core applications can also be published to IIS. But these applications can also be deployed to popular cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS). At the same time, the developers can also publish the application as self-contained apps that include everything required to run smoothly on varying platform runtimes.
Cloud Ready Configuration
ASP.NET Core is designed with features to facilitate development of a variety of cloud-based applications. It further supports cloud-ready environment-based configuration. The developers can further publish the applications efficiently to the cloud by taking advantage of the cloud-ready set up. The feature enables enterprises to build, deploy, and run their applications smoothly in the cloud, without building a physical environment.
Command Line Tools
The dotnet command line interface provided by ASP.NET Core enables programmers to compile and run their programs without using any integrated development environment (IDE). The programmers also have option to write application code efficiently by combining the dotnet command line interface and other widely used editors. ASP.NET Core further provides a command line tool manager called DotNet Version Manager (DNVM) to facilitate installation and update of .NET Frameworks.
Built-in Dependency Injection
ASP.NET Core is designed with a built in dependency injection framework. The dependency injection framework further includes containers that support constructor injection by default. Hence, the developers can use the dependency injection framework to inject four lifetime mode of each type – singleton, scoped, transient and instance.
MVC Tag Helpers
ASP.NET Core MVC allows developers to render views more efficiently through Razor view engine. The programmers can also use tag helpers to generate client-side code on the web server. The tag helpers further allow programmers to create custom tags and modify attributes of existing tags. They can take advantage of this feature of ASP.NET to generate high quality client-side content and code directly on the server.
Simplified Development and Deployment
ASP.NET Core works on a file system that simplified and speeds up application development and deployment. Each time programmers make changes to the application code; the file system starts code compilation automatically, and updated the running app immediately. Hence, the developers can check the impact of changes made to the code without refreshing the web browser. Likewise, they can also update the application without putting extra time and effort.
However, ASP.NET Core is younger than other web application frameworks. Hence, Microsoft will keep updating the framework at frequent intervals to enhance its popularity and adoption rate. Recently, Microsoft released ASP.NET Core 1.1 with enhanced performance, and an array of new features – cross-platform compatible site hosting capabilities and improved deployment experience.