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What’s new in ASP.NET Core and C# 6.0

Wow, what a year Microsoft have had already. They are now shipping Xamarin with all editions of Visual Studio, shipping hardware for HoloLens and have announced the next major update for Windows 10 (which has already enjoyed widespread adoption with over 270 million active devices using it). But the one thing which really caught my eye at DevWeek was the new .NET Core and ASP.NET Core framework (formerly known as .NET 5 and ASP.NET 5). In a nutshell, .NET Core is a subset of the standard .NET framework; it is designed to be lightweight, portable, open source, multi-platform and modular. So let’s explore the reasons behind this in a bit more detail.

Features of new ASP.NET Core

Features of C# 6.0 release

To complement this new edition of the .NET framework, Microsoft has released a new version of the C# programming language – C# 6.0 (already available with .NET 4.6). This version of the language boasts a whole host of features which will make our lives as developers easier and allow us to deliver solutions more efficiently. Some of the more noteworthy features include:

In addition to Roslyn (the C# compiler we already know and love) developers can now use .NET Native to precompile their applications, this new technology uses the same back end as the C++ compiler and as such provides the following benefits – fast execution times (up to 60% faster), consistently speedy application start-up and optimised application memory usage. .NET Native also includes a refactored runtime whereby the specific libraries required by your App are embedded into your App so you don’t have to worry about whether the client machine has the correct version of the .NET framework installed or not. Furthermore Roslyn has had a bit of a facelift with GC (Garbage Collection) improvements being added, this is in addition to a new feature which allows developers to instruct the GC to wait before executing (this is especially useful if you have a segment of code which is resource intensive and you would like it to run without being interrupted by the GC).

Visual Studio 15 available for preview

Finally Visual Studio 15 (not to be confused with Visual Studio 2015) is on the way with the preview now available. Apart from breaking the convention of versions based on years (2010, 2015 etc), there are a number of new features including –

While the Visual Studio team are keeping the RTM date close to their chest we should see this sometime in 2016 Q3/Q4.

So all in the all the changes are positive, Microsoft has listened to the developers, consumers, businesses (both large and small) as well as the wider population and is adapting to changing landscape of software, hardware, business needs and attitudes towards technology.

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