What is ASP.NET Core and Why Should I Use It?

30th January 2021

ASP.NET Core is a free and open-source web-application framework from Microsoft.

It's a modern web-application framework that allows you to create websites and API's.

This can be done using a wide-range of web frameworks, such as ASP.NET Core Web API, ASP.NET Core MVC, and Microsoft's newest web framework, Blazor.

But, with so many web-application frameworks out there, it's hard to know if it's worth the time and effort to learn ASP.NET Core.

We will have a more detailed look at ASP.NET Core and why it should be used.

How ASP.NET Core Was Formed

First, we need to have a look at the roots of ASP.NET Core.

Way before ASP.NET Core, Microsoft created it's predecessor, ASP.NET.

Created back in 2002, ASP.NET is part of the .NET Framework, which runs primarily on Windows.

But, as time went on, the support for cross-platform was apparent. So, .NET Core was born, and it's web-application framework ASP.NET Core also emerged.

ASP.NET Core is a complete rewrite, and combines the popular ASP.NET MVC and Web API into a single programming model.

It also has cross-platform support, meaning that you can use ASP.NET Core on Linux or Mac.

Up to versions 3.1, it was part of .NET Core platform.

However, from version 5, the 'Core' word was removed from .NET Core. That means that from version 5 and beyond, ASP.NET Core is now part of the .NET platform.

Lots In Common

Despite the rewrite, there is a lot in common between ASP.NET and ASP.NET Core.

They can use the C# programming language on both, meaning if you are familiar with ASP.NET, you should find it easy to transition to ASP.NET Core.

Of course, C# has had it's updates over the years. You can see some of the new features that came with C# 9, which was shipped with .NET 5.

But the syntax has stayed the same. So, if you are used to writing ASP.NET applications in C#, it should be easy to transition to ASP.NET Core.

.NET Framework and .NET Core libraries can also share common functionality with each other. This is possible through .NET Standard.

.NET Standard has some common base libraries that are part of any .NET application. So, as long as your application contains these base libraries, it can be formed as a .NET Standard application, and be shared with a .NET Framework and .NET Core application.

This has slightly changed in .NET 5, where .NET Standard and .NET Core were merged into one to form one .NET.

Why Should I Use ASP.NET Core Over ASP.NET?

There are many reasons to start using ASP.NET Core over ASP.NET.

ASP.NET's software framework .NET Framework is now only being updated for critical fixes, in-terms of bugs and security.

With this in mind, it is expected that current ASP.NET applications will slowly migrate over to ASP.NET Core.

And, if you want to take advantage of the latest web technology, such as the use of WebAssembly in Blazor, ASP.NET Core is the way to go.

But, what about the future of ASP.NET Core? Will it be around in the years to come?

When Microsoft announced .NET 5, they announced a roadmap of when future .NET versions will be released.

According to this Microsoft article, there will be a major release of .NET alongside ASP.NET Core, every November. They have marked it out as far as 2023.

So there is a bright future for ASP.NET Core!

What Are The Career Prospects For ASP.NET Core?

Naturally, career prospects are going to vary from region to region.

Some areas will have a higher number of ASP.NET Core jobs available than others.

It's worth doing some research on job sites to see the number of jobs that are currently available.

However, if there is any good for the recent global events that have happened, it's the fact there is a lot more remote working.

No more need for a long commute to get to work. You can now work for companies that are located hundreds, even thousands of miles away.

That will increase your prospects in getting a career in ASP.NET Core, as you can look for careers that are solely remote working.

The Next Steps

So you've decided you want to learn ASP.NET Core, or pursue a career in ASP.NET Core. What are the next steps?

At this stage, it's worth checking some our ASP.NET Core coding tutorials on our YouTube channel to see how you can implement particular examples.

In-addition, you can try out some of our free ASP.NET Core samples to get some practical use.

From there, it's best to start showcasing your knowledge to the world. There are many articles on web hosting on how you can do that. That means you are 'showing' your skills rather than 'telling' about your skills.

And that's got to help when you are in a job interview.

From there, you can start walking up the career ladder and enjoy the financial benefits that come with that.

About the author

David Grace

David Grace

Senior .NET web developer | ASP.NET Core | C# | Software developer

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