Hello everyone and welcome back to the Cognixia podcast! Can you believe that one month of the year 2023 is already over? The way time flies! One life, so much to do, not enough time, isn’t it? Well, such and such is life. Like every week, we are back with yet another happening episode of the Cognixia podcast, talking about the latest news and occurrences in the world of emerging digital technologies.
This week we talk about the latest version of .Net. We will talk about what is .Net, what it does, what is the new version all about, what value it brings to the table, and what it means for enterprise applications. So, without further ado, let’s begin.
The first thing we will address is what is .Net. We hear people talking about .Net time and again, chances are some of you may even have used it at some point or continue to use it in your everyday life today. But to level the ground for everybody and bring everyone on the same page, let us take a minute to answer the very simple question – what is .Net?
According to Microsoft, .Net is a free, cross-platform, open-source developer platform for building many different types of applications. With .Net, one can use multiple language editors & libraries to build for web, mobile, desktop, games, IoT, and a lot more. To put it in a nutshell .Net is an open-source developer platform created by Microsoft for building many different types of applications.
Over the years, .Net has evolved considerably. The platform has expanded beyond the original .Net Core which has brought to the fore many important changes made to the .Net platform. .Net is now open-source and cross-platform. It is also no longer tied to the Windows’ release cycles. Earlier, there would be many, many years of gap between even consecutive releases for .Net, however, this has improved significantly in recent times. Nowadays, there is a new .Net release every year.
In line with these developments, the latest version of .Net – the .Net 7 arrived at the end of 2022 and has been gradually making waves among users – both individuals and enterprises. The new version quite expectedly carried a host of new features and brought along some valuable ways to bring the older .Net framework code to the new platform. The .Net 7 has prioritized the improvement of performance. It has also focused on enabling users to go straight from the development tools to the cloud-native containers that can be used in Kubernetes. There is also better support now available for the ARM processors while also offering a deeper understanding of how the ARM processors operate which proves to fuel a major performance boost for the native code.
Until this version came along, .Net was only able to support Intel and AMD processors. But a whole new generation of ARM processors has been staring right back at us for a while now, so building in support for these processors was becoming critical, which has now been addressed in .Net 7. Power and space budgets are getting tighter. In such times, ARM-powered servers can help pack a lot more compute in much lesser space, thus maximizing the utilization of n-premise data centers by bringing into play the higher density possibilities. .Net 7 now offers support for x64 processors, for ARM processors, as well as IBM’s power processors. With this development, just about every .Net enterprise application can be brought on to the existing Power Estate, including the IBM iSeries hardware which can then be run along with the existing line-of-business applications as well as databases.
Additionally, the .Net 7 is built with better code. This is one of the major improvements we are seeing in this new release – a continuous improvement in the base class libraries that are used to build the code. With this, the developers’ skills become significantly transferable – so you can learn .Net once and then use those skills to build everything – from desktop applications to the web, from mobile applications to server code, and everything in between. APIs are available for providing user interfaces web servers distributed applications, etc.
There have also been improvements to the underlying platform of .Net which adds new language features to the new release which in turn is immensely helpful to users n building and developing applications.
.Net 7 also keeps up with the latest development in the industry and now offers support for DevOps practices. It offers support for many tools which support the now increasingly popular OpenTelemetry standards. This also gels well with the multiple cloud-native features offered by .Net 7.
We mentioned before that .Net 7 is now cross-platform. One of the most features in this space in the new release is the MAUI. MAUI, as many of you might already know, stands for multi-platform app UI. MAUI is considered to be the successor to Xamarin which has a proven record of providing a reliable way to deliver applications that can be run on Windows iOS, Android, as well as macOS Catalyst. MAUI offers mobile and desktop user interface tools along with support for their own as well as native controls. The existence of OS-specific features makes it highly recommended to access the MAUI directly to avoid locking your own code down to the LCD or the lowest common denominator. The cross-platform update to .Net 7 also helps deliver its cloud-native tooling as well as deliver code in the Linux containers that are ready for use in Kubernetes on most cloud platforms.
.Net 7 now comes with an upgrade assistant which would help enterprises bring their older applications to the newest platforms. Support for community alternatives will help bring the old legacy applications to the new platform as well as deploy the latest Microsoft APIs. One major highlight here is the support for core WCF which is a cutting-edge new implementation tool of the original Windows Communication Framework which is used to link the desktop apps to the line-of-business services.
While we found a lot of amazing new upgrades in .Net 7, we would also like to mention that this is an odd-numbered release, so it will only be a standard-term support release. This means this release gets the standard 18-month support and when the .Net 8 release comes out later this year, you will need to upgrade all your applications to the new .Net release. There would be the usual six months offered for the migration to be completed. But, we would highly recommend that you keep checking your codebases at regular intervals to ensure that you are not reliant on the preview releases, so if there are any major breaking changes, you are fully prepared to jump into action and resolve things.
In the new .Net 7, some key libraries have also been updated which enables one to improve app performance and add new features to the application. The .NET command-line interface has also been revamped and you can even build Docker containers for your code from the new CLI. There is also support for tab completion which would help users quickly set up the structure and dependencies for everything from web apps and winform apps to the essential tests. The new features are also very useful in improving developer productivity by enabling them to build code without any distractions using any tools they prefer or feel comfortable working with.
To conclude, we can say that .Net 7 is a truly modern release. The new release sheds the baggage of two decades of the legacy framework that .Net has built and instead gives users a whole new platform is an amazing thing here. This is effectively the third release for the new .Net and we see major improvements happening with each version. The new .Net is a new, improved, and effectively future-proof version of the platform packing some very amazing features. It gives developers exactly what they need to be highly productive and deliver the latest mobile and cloud applications. If you are in the midst of migration or planning to begin a migration, .Net 7 would be the perfect place for you to start. So, what are you waiting for?
With that, we come to the end of this week’s episode of the Cognixia podcast. We hope you enjoyed listening to us. The year has just begun, and the appraisal season will be here soon. This is the perfect time to get that certification that you have been eyeing in DevOps, you already know how helpful it will be for your career, and we are even giving special discounts to all our listeners this month. So, talk to us today to sign up for our live online instructor-led DevOps Plus training and certification course.
Until next week then! Happy Learning!