Net Core vs. Net Framework: What Are the Differences?

Are you looking to learn more about the .NET universe but aren’t sure where to get started? If you’ve just started learning about .NET, it can feel like you’re navigating a very confusing maze.

While you may think you’re headed in the right direction, you may very well find that you’ve hit a dead end. Learning the difference between NET core vs. NET framework is like getting a map to the maze.

Read this guide to learn everything you need to know about the two.

What is .NET?

Before we talk about NET core vs. NET framework, we first need to have an understanding of .NET. .NET is an open-source development platform that primarily runs on Microsoft Windows.

.NET comes with editors, languages, and libraries for building web apps, mobile apps, desktop apps, games, and the Internet of Things. You can write .NET apps in three different languages:

  • C#: This is a simple, modern, and object-oriented language that is type-safe.
  • F#: This programming language allows you to write succinct, performant, and robust code.
  • Visual Basic: This is an approachable programming language that comes with a simple syntax for building object-oriented apps and typeface.

When you’re working in any of these languages, your code will run natively on any compatible operating system. There are different .NET implementations that will handle the heavy lifting for you.

NET Core vs. NET Framework

So, how do NET core and NET framework fit into all of this? NET core is used for developing cloud applications, so it operates on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. This makes it a cross-platform framework.

NET framework allows you to develop desktop applications, web services, and web applications. However, it only works on the Windows operating system. While NET Core and NET framework are often confused because of their similar names, they also have other things in common.

For example, both are open source and developed by Microsoft. Both also use the .NET standard, and they both use the framework class library to run applications. The framework class library (FLC) is a network of value and datatypes, compiler libraries, runtime libraries, reusable classes, and interfaces.

.NET Framework Origin

The .NET framework first came into being in 2002. Initially, Microsoft wanted one framework to rule all of the programming languages. While programmers could use over 60 languages on .NET, it only ran on Microsoft.

However, portability issues soon arose when trying to expand the compatibility of .NET to other platforms. This lead to the development of the .NET core.

.NET Core Origin

.NET core came into existence in 2016, and it was specifically designed to support cross-platform runtimes. .NET has a modular design, and it comes with lighter versions of its core components. As a result, developers have the option to add modules.

You can check out the .NET core PDF library to learn more.

NET Core vs. NET Framework: Which is Right for You?

Now that you know the difference between NET Core and NET framework, it’s time to decide which model is right for you. If you’re looking for all of the components for developing for Windows, then you should stick with NET framework.

If you’re only looking for the basic development components, go with .NET core. And, check back in with our guide to learn more about the .NET world!