This week, Microsoft released .NET Core 2.0, the second major version of its cross-platform, open source, and modular .NET platform. The software giant refers to it as its largest and most openly developed product to date.
In tandem with this release, Microsoft has also updated its key developer tools like Visual Studio and other related technologies.
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“.NET Core 2.0 includes major improvements that make .NET Core easier to use and much more capable as a platform,” Microsoft’s Rich Lander says. “You can start developing with it at the command line, in your favorite text editor, in Visual Studio 2017 15.3, Visual Studio Code or Visual Studio for Mac. It is ready for production workloads, on your own hardware or your favorite cloud, like Microsoft Azure.”
Put simply, .NET Core is an open, cross-platform, more modular, and more modern version of the .NET platform. The goal, over time, is to reimplement as much of the older Windows-only .NET technologies—the .NET Framework, for example—as possible.
For .NET Core 2.0, Microsoft has added major performance improvements, .NET Standard 2.0 support, compatibility with .NET Framework NuGet packages and projects, and more. And there is major new platform support: Debian Stretch, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP2, and macOS High Sierra are all supported in production, and Linux and Windows ARM32 are available in preview.
Microsoft first announced the open-sourcing of its .NET Compiler Platform back in 2014, setting the stage for a broader set of open source .NET technologies. Today, the firm has what it describes as a fully open-sourced workflow, and all of the contributions from Microsoft’s own engineers takes place in the open on GitHub.
In addition to .NET Core 2.0, Microsoft this week also released Visual Studio 2017 version 15.3, ASP.NET Core 2.0, and the .NET Standard 2.0. Visual Studio 2017 15.3 adds support for side-by-side SDKs, the Visual Basic programming language in .NET Core apps, live unit testing, and various other improvements. ASP.NET Core 2.0, which is built on .NET Core 2.0, provides major performance improvements, updated templates, various development efficiencies, and new C# 7.1 features.