February 2022 marked the 20th anniversary of the .NET platform. Since it was released to the world, the technology has been loved by developers building applications. Today, the pioneering software framework has an incredibly loyal fanbase, with over 34% of developers worldwide choosing it as their framework of choice. It’s not just used, however, it’s loved by many. The Stack Overflow’s developer survey 2021 crowned it the most loved framework by developers for the third year in a row. The fact is that, from the outset, .NET technology has changed the way that developers have built applications.
What is .NET?
.NET is a open-source developer platform that enables developers to build web, mobile, desktop and IoT applications. With .NET, you can use any editor, multiple languages, and libraries to build for web, mobile, desktop, games, and IoT. Together, these three technologies provide a modern programming experience that simplifies the development process.
.NET development services are extremely popular for building complex applications and work with over 40 programming languages, making the framework extremely versatile. This explains why so many organisations have leveraged the advantages of .NET for creating highly secure applications for all types of business needs.
Key Milestones in .NET development
Over the past 20 years, .NET has undergone a lot of change, with multiple version releases, developing from a tool to build web-based applications into the next-generation development framework we know and love today. Some of the key milestones include:
- 2002 – the .NET framework was released to developers, enabling them to build Windows Forms and Web applications on C# and Visual Basic.
- 2005 – F#, the first functional-based .NET programming language, was developed for building web, cloud and data science applications.
- 2014 – .NET became open-source, laying the foundation for cross-platform and building a stronger ecosystem.
- 2016 – .NET acquired mobile app development platform provider Xamarin. Combining the service with Visual Studio and Azure led to a complete mobile app development offering.
- 2020 Microsoft released .NET 5.0, which replaced .NET Framework. The “Core” branding was removed and version 4.0 was skipped to avoid conflation with .NET Framework. It addresses the patent concerns related to the .NET Framework.This is when .NET became a unified platform to build any type of application.
- In November 2021, Microsoft released .NET 6.0.
Each version of the .NET framework contains the common language runtime, the base class libraries and other managed libraries. However, while these and other key features are always retained, new features are added with each increment. The latest version, .NET 6, is the fastest yet. At XAM we help many companies upgrade .NET Framework to .NET Core and .NET 6+, we are happ you help you also.
The Advantages of the .NET to Application Developers
.NET is backed by Microsoft, which makes it a leading choice for application development, especially in a world of security concerns eg trust in the software supply chain. .NET helps you develop high quality applications faster. The framework and all of its services will continue to have strong support from Microsoft and the wider community as it continues to evolve, which makes it a strong contender for any technology stack. In addition, the .NET framework offers several advantages to web developers, including:
- A continually evolving modern language. Modern language constructs like generics, Language Integrated Query (LINQ), and asynchronous programming make developers productive. Combined with the extensive class libraries, common APIs, multi-language support, and the powerful tooling provided by the Visual Studio family, .NET is the most productive platform for developers.
- Simplified framework – .NET provides a framework that makes it easier to design and develop scalable, robust applications.
- Any app, any platform! With .NET you can target any application type running on any platform. Developers can reuse skills and code across all of them in a familiar environment. That means developers can build apps faster, with less cost. From mobile applications running on iOS, Android, and Windows, to Enterprise server applications running on Windows Server and Linux, or high-scale microservices running in the cloud, .NET provides a solution for you.
- Strong security – developers can establish security rules for different .NET features to limit malicious programs from causing problems.
- Existing standards – the framework is built upon new and existing standards to enhance data interchange and interaction with other platforms and systems.
- Cross-Platform Development – one of the biggest advantages is that it enables cross-platform development. This saves a lot of time and creates more versatility for enterprises that want to create applications to be used on diverse operating systems.
- Visual Studio Support – Visual Studio’s integrated development environment helps developers create applications more simply, adding and modifying features without writing code from scratch, thanks to diverse libraries and leveraging third-party integrations.
- .NET Microservices – .NET has good support for Microservices and Micro APIs, this is a continually evolving area for .NET
The Top Use Cases For .NET Development
.NET provides a wide range of use cases from enterprise applications to software solutions. Combining .NET, .NET Core and ASP.NET, the framework is frequently used for the following:
- Enterprise Applications – whether for supply chain management or inventory ordering, every business needs to streamline their operations. .NET is a formidable framework for complex applications for all kinds of businesses.
- Mobile Applications – while originally created to build web-based applications, with the help of Xamarin, businesses can now easily build diverse and feature-rich mobile applications and dynamic web apps.
- Gaming Applications – the object-oriented nature of ASP.NET enables developers to write code creatively, easily build gaming worlds and handle heavy traffic without any lag.
- Communication Solutions – .NET application development delivers an array of features and techniques that make writing communication applications hassle-free.
What’s Next for .NET Technologies?
Microsoft released .NET 6 in November 2021, offering an even more simplified development experience, high productivity with hot reload and a unified set of base libraries. The company is now powering ahead with building .NET 7. In fact, a preview has already been released. Meanwhile, while .NET Multi-platform App UI (.NET MAUI) didn’t ship with .NET 6 as planned, it looks set to be released soon. .NET MAUI will enable developers to build native apps for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android with a single codebase, delivering even more versatility.
.NET has come a long way in the past 20 years. The original vision was to change developers’ lives and that continues to be the case to the present day. Whatever your business needs, with .NET, you can build any type of app, for any operating system, with incredible performance. Whether you need cloud-scale services or the smallest business app, the community and ecosystem are there to support your business and help it thrive.