.NET Core is a cross-platform, free and open-source managed software framework similar to .NET Framework. .NET Core 1.0 was released a year ago (June 2016), and .NET Core 2.0 Preview was announced at the Microsoft Build 2017 conference (release date TBC: Q3-2017). So, what’s new with .NET Core? Here’s what you need to know…

Massively increased code surface

This is an area of major significance, effectively we’ve now got access to more APIs and a much larger coding surface.

  • Massive API increase (>100%) relative to .NET Core 1.x
  • Support for .NET Standard 2.0
  • Support for referencing .NET Framework libraries and NuGet packages. Approximately 70% of NuGet packages are API compatible
  • Improved Linux support by officially supporting more Linux distros (Fedora, openSUSE) and changes that allow apps to target Linux as a single OS (reducing distro specific dependencies in the long term)

Tooling improvements

Numerous features have been added to Visual Studio 2017 to provide a better tooling experience for both the .NET Core 2.0 and ASP.NET Core 2.0 frameworks. Be sure to download Visual Studio 2017 Preview 15.3 to check out these latest features, such as:

  • Managing .NET Core / ASP.NET Core projects (create, build, run, re-targeting etc.)
  • Side-by-side .NET Core SDK support
  • Live Unit Testing support for .NET Core (a Visual Studio Enterprise edition feature)

Improved reference documentation

.NET Core API Reference has been made available on the new Microsoft docs website. The new site is cleaner and easier to use, and these reference docs are also open sourced and hosted on GitHub… that’s an awesome move for the platform and the community. Check out the .NET API Browser here: http://docs.microsoft.com/dotnet/api/?view=netcore-2.0

With a promising start, and v2.0 out anytime soon, I expect we’ll start to see the platform user base to start growing to new heights. Exciting times ahead!

Bye for now,
Davide de Caires
Developer – immedia