In 2016, Microsoft released .NET Core 1.0 as an open source, cross-platform, and modular platform for developing a variety of modern software applications.  It has been updating .NET Core regularly to meet the emerging trends in software development. The company recently made two beta preview versions of .NET Core 2.0 for Windows, Linux, and MacOS available to developers for testing and evaluation. Based on the first and second preview of .NET Core 2.0, we can identify the important new features and changes.

Important .NET Core 2.0 Changes and Enhancements

Optimized Code Reuse

.NET Core 2.0 aims to make programmers more productive and enable them to use code more efficiently. The new APIs provided by the platform will make it easier for programmers to reuse their existing .NET Framework code. At the same time, .NET Core 2.0 also allows developers to refer to .NET Framework libraries and NuGet packages through .NET Standard.

Uniform Naming Scheme

.NET Core 2.0 supports three major platforms – Windows, Linux, and MacOS. It even provides a uniform naming scheme for packages and installers across these platforms. The developers now have option to name filenames for various runtimes by adding the prefix dotnet-runtime. Likewise, they can add the prefix dotnet-sdk while creating SDKs for various platforms.

New Programming Language Support

.NET Core 1.0 supports two programming languages – C# and F#. The upcoming version of the platform will support Visual Basic in addition to C# and F#. Hence, the developers will have option to write applications and libraries for .NET Core 2.0 in C#, F#, or VB.

WCF Support

Many .NET programmers use Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) to build various service-oriented applications. The developers now have option to use WCF for .NET Core 2.0. The upgraded version of WCF is designed based on .NET Standard 2.0. It further comes with several new features and APIs, while supporting SOAP header. The developers can even use the upcoming version of ECF to implement Windows authentication on Linux and MacOS through Http transport.

.NET Core Tools

While developing applications with .NET Core 2.0, programmers can take advantage of .NET Core Tools. These tools make it easier for developers to use .NET Core 2.0 on command-line. Also, they can avail these tools as built-in components of Visual Studio 2017. These tools will help programmers to create custom software applications rapidly with .NET Core 2.0.

Cloud Support

.NET Core 2.0 will make it easier for developers to build, test, and deploy software applications in the cloud. It now supports Azure App Services extensively. Microsoft has already rolled out .NET Core 2.0 to Azure App Services. The developers can avail Azure App Services to troubleshoot various cloud-based development and deployment issues.

Faster Runtime

Microsoft has simplified algorithm and rewritten many operators to make .NET Core 2.0 the fastest application runtime. Hence, the developers can use the upcoming version of .NET Core to speed up applications without implementing various performance optimization techniques. The faster runtime will further contribute towards making .NET Core more popular.

.NET Standard 2.0

.NET Core 2.0 enables programmers to share code, binaries, and skills across a number of platforms through .NET Standard 2.0. The developers can use .NET Standard 2.0 to share resources across .NET Framework, .NET Core, Xamarin, and Universal Windows Platform (UWP). .NET Standard 2.0 further comes with over 20000 new APIs and NuGet packages, while allowing programmers to refer to .NET framework libraries.

Visual Studio 2017

The programmers can use Visual Studio 2017 to build and run .NET Core 2.0 applications efficiently. Hence, they can use Visual Studio 2017 to build and run both .NET Core 1.0 and 2.0 applications. Also, the robust IDE helps programmers to retarget their existing .NET Core 1.0 application to .NET Core 2.0 by following some simple steps.

Microsoft is expected to release .NET Core 2.0 officially in Q4 2017. The dot net developers must remember that .NET Core 2.0 is not a stable release. They must not install the beta preview editions of NET Core 2.0 on a production machine. But they can still evaluate the latest preview version and provide their feedback to enhance .NET Core 2.0.  Also, the programmers can use Visual Studio 2017 Preview version 15.3 to evaluate the apps developed with the beta preview versions of .NET Core 2.0.

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