Use A Powerful .Net Platform For The Development Of Cross-Platform Applications
.Net is a free open-source platform for creating different types of programming applications developed by Microsoft. .Net is cross-platform, which allows you to run programs developed on it in various operating systems. The most popular of them are Windows, Linux, macOS, and others.
.Net platform consists of two main parts: Common Language Runtime (CLR) and Class Library. CLR provides an environment for executing and managing programs. It also contains mechanisms that manage memory which greatly simplifies the development process, and allows programmers not to worry about clearing up unused resources, as is the case in many other platforms. The class library provides many ready-made tools to simplify and speed up the process of creating programs. It is common for all programming languages that are supported by .Net and allows to reuse of ready-made code.
How does .Net work
Each programming language supported by .Net has its own compiler. The source code written in a high-level language is compiled into intermediate byte-code CIL (Common Intermediate Language) and stored on the disk in an executable file called an assembly. This assembly contains information about code type, version, and security requirements. Then intermediate byte-code is loaded to CLR and compiled there into native machine code instructions. After that, the machine instructions are ready for execution.
The main advantages of developing using .Net:
- Supporting many programming languages. .Net supports more than 60 programming languages. The most popular of them are C#, F#, Visual Basic, Python, C++. Due to the fact that programs are written in different languages are compiled into a common intermediate byte-code, they can be used together to develop different parts of the same application.
- Cross-platform. .Net is a cross-platform framework and it can be used on the most modern operation systems, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, IOS, and others.
- Powerful class library. .Net provides a huge class library that implements many low-level functions which can significantly speed up and simplify the process of developing programs. The class library is common for all programming languages that are supported by .Net.
- High performance. According to many tests, web-applications run on the .Net are much faster than web-applications that run on other platforms.
- Versions compatibility. Programming applications that are developed on older versions of the platform usually work without problems on newer versions.
- Many development technologies. .Net platform includes tools for developing web, desktop, mobile applications, working with databases, creating services, and many others.
- Memory management. CLR performs automatic release of unused resources without programmer involvement.
Applications that can be developed with .Net
.Net platform provides many extensions and tools for developing web, desktop, mobile applications, as well as for creating services, internet of things, games, and many others. Let’s take a look at the main types of applications that can be created using the .Net platform.
- Web applications. .Net allows you to develop modern and scalable web applications. It provides tools for both front-end and back-end development. For backend development, you need to use NET, ASP.NET MVC, ASP.NET Core. .Net platform is easily integrated with different platforms for frontend development.
- Desktop applications. You can use WinForms or WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) technologies for developing desktop applications only for Windows. They have simple and convenient UI editors.
With Xamarin you can create cross-platform desktop applications.
UWP (Universal Windows Platform) contains many tools for developing programs for any device with Windows 10 operating system.
- Mobile applications. If you want to develop mobile applications using the .Net platform, you need to learn Xamarin. It is a .Net extension that contains tools and libraries specifically for developing applications for Android, IOS, Windows, and other mobile operation systems.
Implementations of .Net platform
There are different implementations of .Net. Let’s look at them.
- .Net Framework is released in 2002. Since that time it has been constantly updated and improved. Its last version 4.8 was released in 2019. No new versions of this platform are planned, but version 4.8 will be supported for a long time. .Net framework supports programming applications only on Windows.
- .Net Core is released in 2016. Unlike .Net Framework, it is cross-platform and modular. It supports programs on Linux, Windows, macOS. The latest version is 3.1 released in 2019.
- Xamarin is a cross-platform modern and powerful platform that allows the development of mobile applications. It supports the most popular operation systems, such as Android, IOS, Windows, and others.
What’s new in .Net 5.0
.Net 5.0 is an improved version of the .Net Core. It was released in November 2020. Since that time the .Net Framework is deprecated and is no longer recommended for new software development. In the future, there will only be one .Net, an open-source framework that can be used in different areas of development for different platforms. .Net is cross-platform as well as .Net Core. In addition to the main operating systems, the new version adds support for Windows ARM64 and WebAssembly.
The main improvements in .Net 5.0
- Performance improvement. This is the main benefit of the new .Net. The performance of all types of applications has increased significantly. Most web applications run 20% faster, and some are several times faster.
- Improvement and simplification of the syntax of the C# and F# programming languages.
- Single-file applications have appeared. Now all program dependencies are placed in one executable file.
- Significant improvements when working with individual tools, especially in technologies for developing desktop applications WinForms and WPF. A convenient visual designer has been added for the desktop, and performance has improved. The disadvantage of developing desktop applications using these technologies is that they still work only for Windows.
- .Net is built into applications, so you do not need to install it separately for the applications to work.
More information on all the new features in .net can be found on the official website https://devblogs.microsoft.com/dotnet/announcing-net-5-0/.
Who can be considered a .Net Developer
.Net Developer is a specialist who develops programs using the .Net platform. Since the platform can be applied in various areas of development, the .Net Developer profession is very popular and highly paid now. Let’s list the main skills that a developer should have.
- Programming languages. The most popular are C#, F#, C++, Visual Basic.
- Technologies for web development: ASP.NET, ASP.NET MVC (Model-View-Controller), ASP.NET Core, Azure.
- Technologies for desktop development: WinForms, WPF, UWP.
- Technologies for working with databases: Entity Framework, Entity Framework Core, ADO.NET.
- Unit testing frameworks: nUnit, SpecFlow, MSTestm xUnit.
- Framework for mobile development: Xamarin.
There are different ways to learn how to program on .Net:
- Your own. To do this you need to read many books and articles.
- At the university. You need to study a lot for several years.
- In the specialized courses. You receive the most important knowledge for several months.