Comparative Analysis between .NET and .NET Core

When you start a new web development project, it is indeed pivotal to choose between using .NET Core and .NET Framework. It is quite important to understand the distinctions, advantages, and disadvantages of each, as well as their unique features to begin with.

This blog will outline the differences between these two frameworks, alongside a concise history of each. We’ll conclude by highlighting factors that should guide you in selecting the most suitable framework for your upcoming project.

By the end of this read, you’ll be equipped to make an informed decision for your next project, potentially boosting your business profits and expanding your customer base simultaneously.

Let’s dive in.

.NET vs .NET Core – A Brief Introduction

It all started with the debut of the first version of the .NET framework in 2002. It simplified the functions as a virtual machine that compiles and executes programs written in various languages, such as C# and VB.Net. 

It’s a versatile framework utilized for creating form-based applications, web-based applications, and web services. The .NET framework is instrumental in building apps for Windows platforms, mobile devices, and the web, offering extensive functionalities and adhering to industry standards.

It supports over 60 programming languages, which includes 11 languages developed by Microsoft itself. It also extends support to numerous non-Microsoft languages that are compatible with the .NET Framework but weren’t conceived by Microsoft.

Key features of .NET Framework include:

  • Automatic Resource Management
  • Common Type System
  • Cross-Language Interoperability
  • Rich and Easy Debugging Support

On the other hand, .NET Core emerges as a free, open-source platform ideal for developing modern, scaled, and highly dynamic cloud-based software applications compatible with Windows, Linux, and macOS. It has been redesigned to cater the modern business requisites such as enhanced speed, scalability, and broad platform operability. 

As one of Microsoft’s significant open-source contributions, it’s distributed under the MIT License. 

Key features of .NET Core include:

  • Cross-Platform capabilities
  • Open Source nature
  • High Performance
  • Support for multiple environments and development modes, among others.

.NET vs .NET Core – Differences

Looking at their history, one might assume that the only significant distinction between .NET and .NET Core is that the latter is an improved iteration. However, this perception doesn’t fully capture the differences. 

To grasp these distinctions more clearly, let’s delve into the key areas that set .NET apart from .NET Core.

Parameters.NET Core.NET Framework
Open SourceIt is open sourceOnly a few components are open source.
Cross-PlatformIt follows the philosophy of “build once, run anywhere”. It is compatible with various operating systems — Windows, Linux, and Mac OS as it is cross-platform..NET Framework is primarily compatible with the Windows OS. However, it was built to provide support to all the modern operating systems.
Application ModelsIt doesn’t support desktop app development, it rather emphasizes the web, Windows Store, and Windows mobile.It has been used for building desktop and web apps and offers due support to WPF apps and Windows forms.
InstallationIt is a cross-platform solution and it is packaged and installed independently on any operating system.On the other hand, the .NET Framework is packaged and installed only on Microsoft Windows OS.
Support for Micro-Services and REST ServicesIt supports the development and implementation of micro-services, once the users create a REST API, they can implement Microservice..Net Framework does not support the development and implementation of Microservices but it supports the REST API services.
Performance and Scalability It offers high scalability and performance.It is slightly less effective than .Net Core in terms of scalability and performance of apps.
Open Source.Net Core is an open source.Certain components of the .Net Framework are open source.
Compatibility.NET Core is compatible with various operating systems — Windows, Linux, and Mac OS..NET Framework is compatible only with the Windows operating system.
Android Development.NET Core supports open-source mobile application frameworks like Xamarin via the .NET Standard Library. This allows developers to leverage Xamarin’s tools to tailor mobile apps for various devices, including iOS, Android, and Windows phones.It doesn’t support any framework which is used for mobile app development.
Packaging and ShippingIt is being shipped as a group of Nugget packages..Net Framework is offered as a package of various Libraries, which are combined and shipped together.
Deployment ModelWhenever a new version of .NET Core is released, it is immediately updated on a single machine, and installed into new directories or folders within the current application without causing any disruptions. As a result, .NET Core boasts a highly adaptable and efficient deployment model.In the case of .Net Framework, the release of an updated version initially takes place on the Internet Information Server exclusively.
SupportIt supports the creation of MicroservicesIt doesn’t support the creation of Microservices
WCF ServicesIt doesn’t offer support for WCF servicesIt offers end-to-end support for WCF services
Rest APIsIt supports Rest APIsIt supports Rest APIs
CLI Tools.NET Core comes with various command-line tools and lightweight editors for all supported platforms..Net Framework is heavy for Command Line Interface and developers prefer to work on the lightweight Command Line Interface.
Security It doesn’t offer capabilities such as Code Access SecurityIt comes with feature such as Code access security

Choosing Between .NET Framework and .NET Core: How to Make the Right Decision?

After a side-by-side comparison of .NET and .NET Core, you might be tempted to quickly start looking for ASP.NET developers for hire, particularly given .NET Core’s apparent advantages in saving time and resources for developers.

However, each platform has its unique strengths, and the choice between them truly depends on the specific needs of your project. Let’s explore the types of applications best suited for each technology.

Opt for the .NET Framework if your application:

  • Is intended for large-scale enterprise or desktop environments
  • Will operate exclusively on the Windows platform
  • Is already built on the .NET Framework
  • Requires integration with third-party libraries
  • Needs to utilize technologies such as WCF, webforms, or workflows that aren’t compatible with .NET Core
  • Will be deployed on non-.NET Core cloud services, such as Azure App Service

Opt for .NET Core if your application: 

  • Must be compatible across different platforms
  • Aims for high scalability and performance
  • Leverages Micro Services or container technologies, such as Kubernetes and Docker
  • Relies extensively on CLI (Command Line Interface) for operations
  • Needs to run different .NET versions concurrently on the same server
  • Is being developed by a team that’s prepared to navigate a steep learning curve

Concluding Thoughts .NET Framework vs .NET Core

The ongoing discussion around .NET Core and .NET Framework is set to continue, as each platform offers distinct advantages in their respective domains. Microsoft remains committed to evolving both, but selecting one platform for your development requirement is quite challenging.

Despite the complexities and considerations, the outlook for the .NET ecosystem is brighter than ever. Your decision should ultimately align with your project’s requirements, development objectives, and financial considerations.

At Arka Softwares, we’re ready to explore the potential with you. Our seasoned .NET experts are here to deliver the optimal application that aligns with your business aspirations, ensuring an outcome that drives significant results.

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