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.NET Core vs. .NET Framework

Educative Answers Team

.NET is a free, cross-platform, open-source development platform that can be used to build many different types of applications. .NET Core and .NET Framework are two implementations of the .NET platform.

.NET Framework is the original implementation of .NET introduced in 20022002. It is a mature development framework that supports running websites, services, desktop apps, and more on Windows.

.NET Core, on the other hand, is a more recent open-source .NET platform, introduced in 2016, that allows you to build cross-platform applications, e.g., for Windows, Linux, and macOS.

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.NET Core was built as an open-source alternative to the Windows-specific .NET Framework. .NET Core started as a subset of the .NET Framework, but soon, more APIs were added and it is now the preferred choice for development.

Advantages of choosing .NET Core

  • New features, APIs, and runtime improvements
  • Better performance
  • Ability to have multiple .NET Core versions on the same machine (.NET Framework only allows one version of it)
  • Self-contained applications by packaging .NET Core with the application
  • Open-source
  • Better cross-platform support – you can build applications for websites, services, and console apps on Windows, Linux, and macOS

Advantages of choosing .NET Framework

  • Mature framework
  • Some older APIs are only available in .NET Framework
  • Better to keep using .NET Framework if your application is already developed instead of migrating
  • Some third-party .NET libraries or NuGet packages are only available in .NET Framework

Microsoft promises to support .NET Framework, and it will continue to receive all essential updates, so there's no need for you to migrate your old .NET Framework applications to .NET Core.

However, all new feature APIs will go to .NET Core; so, Microsoft recommends that developers shift to .NET Core to develop new applications in order to use the latest language features and runtime improvements.

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