What is the difference between .net framework and .net core

Here’s a comparison of the two:

  1. Cross-platform compatibility:
  • .NET Framework: It is primarily designed for Windows and runs only on the Windows operating system.
  • .NET (formerly .NET Core): It is designed to be cross-platform and can run on Windows, macOS, and various Linux distributions. This makes it more versatile for developing applications that can run on different platforms.
  1. Open-source:
  • .NET Framework: It was not open-source, and its development was mainly controlled by Microsoft.
  • .NET (formerly .NET Core): It is entirely open-source, and the development process is now more community-driven. This has allowed greater transparency, community involvement, and faster updates.
  1. Development Model:
  • .NET Framework: It uses the full .NET Framework, which provides access to a broad set of APIs and libraries. This makes it suitable for building complex Windows applications, including desktop applications with Windows Forms or WPF.
  • .NET (formerly .NET Core): It is based on a modular design and includes a subset of the full .NET Framework libraries. This reduces its footprint and makes it more suitable for building lightweight, cloud-native, and cross-platform applications.
  1. Versioning:
  • .NET Framework: It had a monolithic versioning system where updates were tied to new releases of the Windows operating system.
  • .NET (formerly .NET Core): It introduced a new versioning scheme, with updates and improvements being released more frequently as part of the .NET 5, .NET 6, etc., series.
  1. Performance:
  • .NET Framework: It was optimized for Windows and had some performance limitations on other platforms.
  • .NET (formerly .NET Core): It was designed with performance as a key focus, resulting in better performance on various platforms, including Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  1. Tooling and Ecosystem:
  • .NET Framework: It had its own set of development tools and ecosystem that were primarily Windows-centric.
  • .NET (formerly .NET Core): It embraced a more modern tooling approach, making it easier to use with various editors, IDEs, and platforms.
  1. Long-term support (LTS):
  • .NET Framework: It had LTS versions, but the support was tied to the lifecycle of the Windows operating system.
  • .NET (formerly .NET Core): It introduced a more predictable LTS schedule, where certain versions were designated as LTS releases with extended support.

With the unification of .NET Core and .NET Framework into .NET 5 and later, Microsoft aimed to provide a single platform for building all kinds of applications while taking advantage of the best features from both worlds. So, when considering .NET development today, you should focus on the latest .NET versions rather than distinguishing between .NET Framework and .NET Core.

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