AH push .NET!...Push .NET real good!

Finally breaking the mold and out onto the scene, .NET framework comes to center stage once again, and this time it’s singing a tune that’s contextually relevant to the growing needs of modern organizations. Time to push .NET into the future.

Microsoft is pushing .NET to be the type of platform where it can be coded and executed just about anywhere; which is contrary to its historic rigid stance. By opening the .NET framework, Microsoft aims at bringing more freedom to companies in developing innovative ideas while harnessing the power of an industry proven framework.

About the frameworks and libraries

Today it seems like .NET is all over the place and the projected road just got a bit cloudier with the introduction of .NET CORE and the addition of Xamarin into the mix. It’s raising a lot of questions across the .NET community, however MS is easing those worrisome queries. This may be quite exciting, however many developers are still quite uncertain about the new platform.

Current state of .NET

Creating code with the current structure across multiple Microsoft platforms translates into working with PCL’s (Portable Class Libraries). The PCL is limited when compared to .NET framework but it does have some shared functionalities and comprehending how it’s supported across various platforms can be a challenge. When it comes to working with the entire .NET Ecosystem it means working with three disparate libraries such as:

  • BCL (Base Class Library a.k.a NET Framework)
  • NET Core
  • Mono Class (XAMARIN)

Taking all this into consideration, developers have to deal with which APIs are available for different scenarios and it becomes quite cumbersome. This is a major turn off and it could mean added costs to a software development project.

.NET and beyond

Microsoft did not ignore its development network and heard the needs of the community members for quite some time. Their response was to push a new strategy and vision for the future of its popular framework. The new strategy encompasses on slowly pushing aside PCL’s and establishing proprietary API support contact called NET Standard Library. A rather obvious move in order to remove some of the fatigue off of developer's shoulders, and not to mention added developer hours to a software engineering project. This is a step into the right direction by taking away innovation obstacles from its users. Now, this new NET Standard Library comes with a set of reference assemblies called NuGet and they are going to be supported across all platforms. This new support system is called the .NET Platform Standard

Decoupling for freedom

By separating NET Standard Libraries from base libraries + tooling, it narrows the developer learning curve across all platforms while gaining the ability to reuse code with greater ease. Another value-add to NET Standard Library is that it can be updated without facing that jaw-dropping and horrific moments of panic when the app decides to have a tantrum and ruin everyone’s after office drinks and/or that great weekend you’ve been planning for weeks.

Aligning to the future

As the .NET Standard Library API landscape improves with new versions this will push some platforms to the legacy stage or even to the retirement home with some support. To those starting a platform from scratch, this new framework enables greater adaptability to emerging connectivity and contextual interactions that will be needed to stay ahead of the curve.