Microsoft unveils simpler .Net Core, standard .Net APIs

Microsoft promises greater ease of use in .Net Core 2.0 and more interoperable APIs in .Net Standard 2.0 spec

Microsoft’s .Net Core 2.0, an upgrade to the company’s open source, cross-platform implementation of .Net, is becoming available today. The new release includes improvements intended to make .Net Core easier to use. It also conforms to the .Net Standard 2.0 specification designed to facilitate code sharing among .Net Framework, .Net Core, and Xamarin.

The .Net Core framework can be used to build web applications and services that run on Windows, MacOS, or Linux. Ease of use improvements in .Net Core 2.0 include making the dotnet restore command (used to install project dependencies and other tasks) implicit for commands like run, build, and publish that require it.

Version 2.0 also introduces an opt-in mode providing basic globalization functionality, for localized user interfaces and regional data, across operating systems and languages. The .Net Core 2.0 runtime features profile-guided optimization, used by the C++ compiler to generate faster running code on Windows x86 and Linux x64 platforms. You can download .Net Core at this website.

The .Net Standard specification is an attempt to unify .Net and prevent fragmentation. It provides a specification that every .Net implementation has to support, enabling code-sharing across .Net variants including .Net Framework, .Net Core, Xamarin, Unity, and the Universal Windows Platform (UWP). (Support in UWP is due later this year.) Version 2.0 of the .Net Standard more than doubles the number of available APIs, bringing the total to 32,000. The additions make it easier to port existing code from one .Net implementation to another. 

Microsoft is also releasing the 2.0 versions of the ASP.Net Core development framework and the Entity Framework Core object-relational mapper. ASP.Net Core is a framework for cloud-based Internet-connected applications. ASP.Net 2.0 features the Razor Pages user interface design paradigm, which is geared to make coding of page-focused apps easier, along with built-in templates for the Angular and React JavaScript development tools. Entity Framework Core 2.0, meanwhile, improves LINQ (Language Integrated Query) translation with more efficient queries.

Finally, today Microsoft is also releasing updates to Visual Studio 2017 (version 15.3) and Visual Studio for Mac (version 7.1) to allow developers to work with .Net Core 2.0. Both new versions of the IDEs are being released today as well. Visual Studio Code also works with .Net Core 2.0.

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