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What is .NET Core? What is it used for?

What is .NET Core? What is it used for?

In this blog post, we explained how to develop effective software on every platform with .NET Core.
9 Minutes

Learning a new development framework is always a challenge. Moreover, as a developer, there are various frameworks you can choose from. It's essential to know which framework is most suitable for the job. Even if you're already developing in .NET, .NET Core is quite different. You will need to study how to use its tools and techniques correctly. Understanding where to start with .NET Core will make your job easier.

What is .NET Core?

.NET Core is the latest general-purpose development platform provided by Microsoft. Starting to work on the .NET framework in the late '90s, Microsoft has since undergone a tremendous transformation. What made the original framework so preferable was the inclusion of a class library that offered developers the option to write applications in any language, including C# and C++.

Programs written in .NET are executed in an ecosystem called the Common Language Runtime (CLR). This is an application virtual machine that offers memory management, security, and exception handling. This ecosystem works with the .NET Framework. However, Microsoft has introduced .NET Core after making numerous changes to the .NET Framework. All the basic concepts mentioned above and found in the .NET Framework are also present in this development platform. However, the most significant innovation with .NET Core is the ability to share code across platforms.

.NET Core provides a library that can be deployed across various platforms. It also allows developers to import the tools necessary for their projects. The .NET Core Runtime helps developers to enhance the platform. The code provides developers with a fully supported, open-source, cross-platform .NET stack for creating server and cloud applications. This includes compilers, CLR, and the core .NET base class libraries, as well as higher-level .NET web, API frameworks, and data.

What are the features of .NET Core?

The most significant feature of .NET Core is that it has been rewritten from scratch to develop the framework into a modular, lightweight, and cross-platform framework. Developers can create Android, iOS, Linux, Windows, and Mac applications with this development platform, all open source. This capability makes it the best for developing projects that can run on every platform. The most important .NET Core features can be listed as follows:

1.  .NET Core Platform is Open Source

The .NET Foundation is a community that includes .NET Core. It was created to promote innovation within the .NET development framework. The .NET Core project, a product of this community, has been made by developers and the .NET team dedicated to supporting innovation with a priority on open-source software principles. There are many advantages to using this open-source platform. With .NET Core, you always have control. Given its open-source status, unlike proprietary software defined and then abandoned by developers, .NET Core will remain accessible to everyone. The open-source features of the platform are as follows:

  • It uses the MIT and Apache 2 licenses.
  • .NET Core, a project of the .NET Foundation, is available on GitHub.
  • It encourages a transparent development process and a participatory community.

2. Flexible Deployment

MS products typically have a complex installation process involving registry entries, COM components, GAC, and specific folders. All of these are designed to take advantage of only Windows' features. The .NET Framework relies on these structures and thus does not work compatibly with other operating systems. Therefore, when deploying an application based on the .NET Framework, installers must anticipate whether the wrong version is installed and provide a way for the user to obtain the correct version.

Most modern versions of Windows comprise the .NET Framework. Hence, while the installation of specific applications may be straightforward, issues may arise if the application uses default features like ASP.NET integration with WCF or IIS components. In contrast, .NET Core is defined by flexible deployment. You can use the platform both as a separate installation and as part of the application. In short, the flexible deployment and cross-platform features of .NET Core are as follows:

  • With .NET Core, you can run each application and reuse your coding, regardless of the platform target.
  • In .NET Core, you can perform framework-dependent deployment and self-contained deployment.
  • With framework-dependent deployment, your application depends on a system-wide version of .NET Core that has third-party dependencies installed.
  • Self-contained deployment allows the version of .NET Core used to build your application to coexist with other versions.

3. Cross-Platform Design

The .NET Core platform is designed to be cross-platform. Its cross-platform capability, being one of the highest priorities during its development, allows it to run on macOS, Linux, and Windows. The ability for a project in .NET Core to be worked on by all developers, not just its own, makes this platform a good choice. This platform also offers the advantage of receiving feedback on the .NET framework and being utilized by a much wider set of applications. In addition, feedback provides the chance to create a product that works much better for all users. All these features put .NET Core a step ahead for "software-defined" applications instead of "platform-defined" ones.

4. Expanding the Library's Scope of Access

The .NET Standard Library, once used in .NET Core, can be shared across many platforms. The same library can work in back-end services, in the cloud, or in client applications running on tablets, mobile, and desktop. Instead of creating separate applications for Android, Windows, and iOS, you can write a single application with .NET Core that works across all platforms.

The .NET Standard Library creates a common standard for .NET Core. Previously, when a new operating system version was released, it was the developer's responsibility to update and distribute the application or library for this new platform. With .NET Core, rebuilding and redistribution are not necessary. If the new platform supports all dependent libraries, it can also run with this library.

What is .NET Core used for?

As a general-purpose software development framework, .NET Core is useful for a wide range of software development, including web, desktop, cloud, gaming, and IoT. Applications developed using this framework are supported by Linux, macOS, and Windows. Below are examples of what you can do with .NET Core.

  • Mobile Applications: Xamarin is a set of tools and libraries for creating cross-platform mobile applications using C#. You can create mobile applications with a shared .NET codebase utilizing Xamarin with .NET Core.
  • Web Applications: ASP.NET Core is a fundamental component of the .NET Core ecosystem. ASP.NET Core is a framework for creating web pages. This framework is based on MVC architecture and provides common libraries for web development. Razor is another framework that works for creating dynamic web pages using C# and TypeScript. You can develop web applications with .NET Core using these frameworks.
  • Desktop Applications: .NET Core provides various frameworks and tools for creating desktop applications. Windows Forms, WPF, UWP, and Xamarin are the four main frameworks offered by this platform. .NET Core also supports the interoperability of these frameworks.
  • Internet of Things: .NET Core supports IoT development through the UWP framework for IoT devices running IoT Core. UWP can be used to create applications that operate over IoT and are supported by Raspberry Pi, MinnowBoard MAX, DragonBoard 410c, and others.
  • Cloud Applications: The popularity of cloud applications is increasing. Azure supports all cloud applications. .NET Core and C# applications can be deployed on Azure through Visual Studio.
  • Games: Unity is one of the most popular game development frameworks that you can use with .NET Core. It is used for developing mobile, desktop, console, TV, VR, AR, and web games using C# and UWP.

What are the advantages of .NET Core?

The biggest advantage of .NET Core is its truly open-source nature and cross-platform support. This platform is viewed as Microsoft's first real cross-platform service. Therefore, the ability for code written in .NET Core to run on Linux or macOS as well as Windows saves developers time and offers convenience. At the same time, this feature facilitates deployment and scalability. In addition, this development platform provides the following advantages:

  • The performance of .NET Core is quite high. It offers a much faster usage compared to the Framework. Many tests say this development platform is up to 8 times faster than others.
  • Moving away from older frameworks, .NET Core is designed to meet the modern needs of today. Unlike previous frameworks, it offers convenience with mobile compatibility, the ability to be created once and run on all platforms, and scalability.
  • It has been continuously improved with the contributions of communities. This has made it a platform that fully meets the needs of developers. So much so that more than 10,000 developers have contributed to different Microsoft repositories on GitHub, interestingly only 105 of them are Microsoft employees.
  • Both .NET Framework and .NET Core support the development of microservices.
  • Portability is also a feature that can be counted among the advantages of .NET Core. The developed API or application continues to work smoothly even when transferred to another container or several platforms. This allows developers to continue working on their projects independently of location.

If you want to learn this open-source language that contains the most up-to-date technologies, you can follow the bootcamp trainings on is an ecosystem aiming to gather everyone interested in computing, and meet digital skills with experts. You can join the's Discord community right now by clicking the invitation link, and stay informed about the latest announcements in information technology.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I use .NET Core or .NET Framework?

.NET Core is the latest version of the NET Framework that is free, open-source, and cross-platform (can be run on Windows, Linux, and macOS) and is used for developing modern applications. The .NET Framework, on the other hand, is a platform used exclusively for developing ASP.NET applications that run on Windows. Both platforms offer various advantages. Especially if you need to work on the CLI or require microservices in software development, you might prefer .NET Core. However, if your project was developed previously and runs on Windows, you could use the .NET Framework.

Is learning .NET Core difficult?

Learning .NET Core is not very difficult since it is developed to allow programmers to easily use the most up-to-date technologies. Even beginners to the framework can comfortably learn this language. The platform has a set of tools and libraries that simplify the development process, making it easier for developers to write and maintain code. Therefore, learning .NET Core takes about 3-4 months.

Are bootcamp trainings paid?

All bootcamp trainings listed on the Bootcamp page are organized for free. In the trainings, you get the opportunity to work with experts in the field and develop real-time projects. Upon successfully completing the bootcamp, a certificate is issued in your name.

What are the requirements to participate in hackathon competitions?

The requirements for participating in hackathon competitions vary. You can visit the Hackathon page to see the events awaiting your application. You can review the event details to find the one that suits you.

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