Getting Up to Speed with Everything .NET

The .NET bandwagon is rolling and this may be the time to jump onboard and get up to speed on all things .NET.

There's so much to learn about .NET Standard, .NET Core, .NET Framework, Mono, and Xamarin. Plus you need to look to the future of C# and Roslyn, so you know how everything will come together with Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code.

As an article in Visual Studio Magazine noted recently .Net Core, the open source, cross-platform alternative to .NET Framework, is increasingly becoming the runtime of choice for C# coders, according to a survey of developers. Released two years ago, usage has increased since the advent of .NET Core. 2.0 one year ago.

"Microsoft advises that .NET Core be used for certain specific projects -- including highly scalable Web apps, Web apps on Linux or self-contained deployments -- while .NET Framework remains the best option for Windows-only projects," writes David Ramel, editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

For C# programmers using Visual Studio, Microsoft provides a simple tutorial, Build a C# Hello World application with .NET Core in Visual Studio 2017. Following the online instructions and screenshots, it looks like a pretty straightforward way to get started even though "Hello World" is not the equivalent of a mobile banking app.

For .NET overall, the developer community is growing by leaps and bounds since it was open sourced in 2015.

.NET Everywhere for Everyone

Another Visual Studio Magazine article, James Montemagno on .NET 'Everywhere for Everyone' backed up what seems at first to be an extravagant claim.

Montemagno, who serves as Principal Program Manager in Microsoft's Mobile Developer Tools group, gave a keynote speech at the Boston edition of the Visual Studio Live! Conference this past month where he called .NET "a vast, open, constantly growing, and ever-evolving ecosystem." He noted that millions of developers are leveraging .NET to build applications for virtually any platform.

"This is the best time to be a .NET developer," he told the audience.

The .NET ecosystems needs new developers, Montemagno told Visual Studio Magazine, and Microsoft wants to nurture a growing community with easily accessible educational resources.

"It has never been easier to get started with .NET and C# or any of the other languages," Montemagno said.

He suggested going to Microsoft's .NET Web site where "interactive online learning experiences" are available for free to anyone interested. "Those are the types of experiences that are going to enable the next generation of developers," he said, "right there in the browser, ready to go."

While C# is getting all the coverage, .NET developers can work in almost any known programming language. On a Microsoft Channel 9 YouTube video, The Future of .NET, a panel of .NET aficionados noted that Fortran and COBAL code is being ported to .NET as banks and other businesses seek to move from mainframes to more modern metal.

ASP.NET Core Security

Security being top of mind these days, security expert Brock Allen will present a session titled "Modern Security Architecture for ASP.NET Core," at the September 17-20 Visual Studio Live! conference in Chicago. It’s designed to help developers get up to speed on the main components in ASP.NET Core for securing Web applications and Web APIs when using the open-source and cross-platform framework for building cloud based internet connected applications. In Top Tips for Securing ASP.NET Core, an interview this month in Visual Studio Magazine, Allen gives a preview of his upcoming session explaining the security architecture that is important for those working with the framework.

Visual Studio Live! Chicago will feature tracks with topics including:

  • What's new in C#
  • Sharing code between full .NET, .NET Core, and Mono with .NET Standard
  • Roslyn

Additional .NET related tools

Roslyn is a code name for the .NET Compiler Platform, and according to a Wikipedia article, may be the namesake of Roslyn, WA, or Roslyn, the Alaska town where the Northern Exposure TV series was set. Whatever the inspiration for the code name, it is "a set of open-source compilers and code analysis APIs for C# and Visual Basic .NET languages." It is designed to end the frustration developers have faced with “black box” compilers by exposing the APIs.

Xamarin tools share the C# codebase and are used "to write native Android, iOS, and Windows apps with native user interfaces and share code across multiple platforms, including Windows and macOS," according to a Wikipedia article.

Mono is an open-source project piloted by Xamarin, a subsidiary of Microsoft, and the .NET Foundation. It is designed for running .NET applications cross-platform including "Android, most Linux distributions, BSD, macOS, Windows, Solaris, and even some game consoles such as PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360," according to Wikipedia.

Posted by Richard Seeley on 07/13/2018

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