ASP.NET Core 1.0 – A Good Replacement for ASP.NET 4.6?

For fourteen long years, ASP.NET has been giving developers a good time. The framework experienced a lot of changes over these years, leading to its most recent successor – ASP.NET Core 1.0.

Originally announced as ASP.NET vNext, it was later referred to as ASP.NET 5. But because the core concept was new and due to a couple of other reasons, ASP.NET 5 was renamed ASP.NET Core 1.0. One reason for renaming was that the Core 1.0 framework wasn’t designed as a replacement or a continuation of ASP.NET 4.6.

It’s an all new modular and comparatively smaller framework that works well with everything else we know about ASP.NET Development.

What does it bring to the table?

ASP.NET Core 1.0 is a full re-write. It’s an open source, cross-platform framework with an alternative to Mono – CoreCLR, allowing developers to build and run applications on both CoreCLR and Mono regardless of the computer’s operating system. Node.js has been heavily integrated into the framework to run pre and post build events.

Microsoft took a big leap by introducing a new IDE in the form of the Visual Studio Code editor – open source as well. Apparently, Microsoft went to great lengths and invested heavily on ASP.NET Core 1.0 to make it cross platform portable.

But why?

Running applications in not just Windows but Mac and Linux too? Yes, it seems. But why would Microsoft invest so much to attract developers who don’t use Windows? They are already keen on using effective technologies they are familiar with and it’s unlikely they will use MS SQL server in their projects.

Visual Studio Code is free as well. Though it doesn’t matter, there is no clear answer to these questions apart from a few speculations. The .NET community is shrinking. It could be the reason why Microsoft decided to go completely cross-platform to attract .NET developers from every nook and corner.

Without .NET developers, demand for Microsoft Azure and MS SQL will dwindle. Think about it. Windows desktop application development is taking its last breath. The mobile app market still belongs to Android and iOS. This leaves web applications development where ASP.NET still reigns (sort of) despite heavy competition.

Now non-windows users will also be able to develop web applications with ASP.NET Core 1.0. The lack of portability issue has been addressed as well. Things are finally starting to look good for Microsoft.

The Replacement

The ASP.NET 4.6 was a disappointment for many developers as they didn’t get to try out big innovations. The innovations were not readily made available in the Windows platform. The developers couldn’t keep up with the vastly changing technology and knew little to nothing about new innovations that other open source frameworks provided.

Add to that the lack of cross platform compatibility, and it will make more sense why ASP.NET community became smaller.

This is why ASP.NET Core 1.0 is considered to be a game changer.

  • Open source
  • Cross platform compatible
  • Fast, modular and extensible
  • Can be developed with languages like C#, F# etc.

ASP.NET 4.6 is living on borrowed time and will eventually go down in history as the new classic ASP.NET. But for now, it won’t completely vanish. ASP.NET Core 1.0 offers some exciting prospects with compelling features. The future of web development looks bright at this point.