For all those architects and developers just starting in the .NET world or have been working with the .NET Framework for some time, this article aims to give an overview of the possibilities of the new platform for building applications and solutions with this new .NET8 framework as it offers several advantages over all previous ones.
Here you can see Microsoft’s plan for the evolution of the .NET platform
You can consult the official repository and documentation at GitHub – dotnet/core: Home repository for .NET
Note: The .NET8 preview versions are ready for download until the release of the official LTS version in October 2023
What is .NET8 in simple terms?
.NET8 is the evolution and convergence of all existing Microsoft .NET frameworks into a new unified common platform. In this way, it’s intended to reduce complexity and facilitate the creation of a new generation of applications with Visual Studio, Visual Studio Code and Command Line Interface where to build all kinds of solutions.
Building new applications, it will be possible using Visual Studio to develop and publish on different operating systems, cloud platforms, mobile platforms, Kubernetes platform, IoT and other devices with different languages and tools.
We found the following list of solutions available:
- Cloud Development
- Web Development
- Mobile Development
- Desktop Development
- Office Development
- Gaming Development
- IoT and Devices Development
- AI and Machine Learning Development
- .NET MAUI for Desktop and Mobile Development
- .NET interoperability with other languages
The new .NET8 will allow us to create solutions for Azure, AWS, GCP, Windows, Office, Linux, Android, macOS, iOS, tvOS, watchOS, WebAssembly, Xbox, Unity, IoT among others, all integrated within a single global solution development platform.
As an example, with Visual Studio 2022 we can create all kinds of solutions mentioned above, as shown in this screenshot.
What about .NET Core and .NET Framework?
As Scott Hunter (Microsoft Director Program Manager .NET) explained in 2019 in his official blog, NET Core is the future of .NET, it’s important to have the vision that all applications start developing with .NET Core as an investment so that, in the future, they can be migrated to the new .NET technologies or start new developments with this new technology once the official version is available.
Developers in the Microsoft and .NET ecosystem know that we currently have several .NET development frameworks for different application scenarios which is a fragmentation that adds a lot of complexity to projects and teams as they have to work with different code bases, libraries, SDKs and specific training for each of them.
While it’s true that the .NET Standard can simplify the code base, sometimes it’s not possible to cover all scenarios and compatibility between the different .NET Framework as can be seen in the following reference table to check compatibilities: https://docs.microsoft.com/es-es/dotnet/standard/net-standard
Microsoft continues with the evolution of the .NET development ecosystem of all types of modern and cloud native applications, therefore, it is recommended that development teams are updated and know all the capabilities and functionalities of the new framework both for the development of new applications and for the migration of current applications with .NET Framework and .NET Core in the future.
The new .NET8 version is recommended for all new developments that we start with the guarantee that it’s an LTS version with 3 years of updates support from Microsoft.