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Microsoft releases its .NET Core 1 and ASP.NET Core open source code

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June 28, 2016

Earlier today, Microsoft has announced the release of its .NET Core 1.0 and ASP.NET Core 1.0, the open source cross-platform fork of its .NET Framework for Linux and Red Hat application developers.

"This makes Red Hat the only commercial Linux distribution to feature full, enterprise-grade support for .NET," said Red Hat's blog post on the subject.

Red Hat has even went to the trouble of registering the domain redhatloves.net, which redirects to a website with developer resources for .NET on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

"New .NET Core workloads can now be easily moved from a Windows Server environment to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, even if development was primarily done via Windows," Red Hat asserts.

The company has its eye on Windows developers who now have a familiar route to deploying on Linux rather than Windows Server 20xx.

In Microsoft's view of things, the company is betting that any loss in Windows Server licences will be made up by the increased use of its cloud services.

Overall, Linux can be deployed on MS' Azure cloud, and there is .NET support for both Office 365 and Azure.

Another factor is the forthcoming SQL Server for Linux, which will integrate nicely with .NET Core.

Microsoft can even profit from SQL Server licence sales even if you are not using Windows Server.

Additionally, Samsung is joining the .NET Foundation's Technical Steering Group. The .NET Foundation is the entity set up to oversee .NET Core and other related open source efforts.

According to Samsung vice president Hong-Seok Kim, its interest in .NET is "especially in the area of ARM support." Samsung may be hoping for convergence between .NET Core, used primarily for web applications, and Xamarin, which compiles .NET applications for Android and iOS.

The Eclipse Che team, whose project is a browser-based IDE, announced support for the Visual Studio Code language server protocol, which means Eclipse Che can share code to enable rich editing features.

Although Microsoft's Visual Studio Code is a desktop application, it is based on the Chromium browser engine and therefore also uses web technologies.

This is a big moment for Microsoft's .NET platform and its associated C# language. The company's Rich Lander describes it as "the biggest transformation of .NET since its inception, and will define .NET for the next 8 to 10 years."

But as it's always the case in these things, it's not always that simple. Only a subset of the .NET Framework is included, essentially for console or web applications.

The tooling both for Visual Studio and the command line is still in preview mode, with full release expected with version 1.1 of the .NET Core towards the end of this year.

For its part, Visual Basic isn't supported for ASP.NET Core, and the SignalR real-time communication framework is not yet done, we are told.

"If you have a ten year-old application that your company relies on, we don't recommend attempting to port it to ASP.NET Core," says Microsoft's Jeffrey Fritz, despite showing impressive performance statistics for .NET Core and its built-in web server, code-named Kestrel.

The issue is the amount of porting work needed to work around missing APIs and Windows dependencies. Note that the ASP.NET Web framework is not implemented, but only the more recent ASP.NET MVC and Web API is.

Even if your application is already ASP.NET MVC-ready, porting will be more "a rewrite instead of a migration," Fritz says.

In some scenarios though, you can only use .NET Core. This includes the forthcoming Windows Server 2016 Nano Server, a cut-down server designed for cloud deployments and microservices.

Source: Microsoft.

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