.NET is a popular software framework developed by Microsoft that allows developers to build a wide range of applications, including web, mobile, desktop, and gaming. One of the unique aspects of .NET is that it is traditionally only available on Windows operating systems.
However, in recent years, Microsoft has made significant strides in expanding the reach of .NET to other platforms, including Linux and macOS. In this blog post, we will delve into the various options available for running .NET on non-Windows platforms and discuss the benefits and challenges of doing so.
.NET Core Framework
.NET Core is a new free version of .NET Framework, which is an open-source development platform released and maintained by Microsoft. This is a cross-platform framework that runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems. It can be used to create different types of applications such as mobile, desktop, web, cloud, IoT, machine learning, microservices, game, etc.
- An open-source platform for building both web UI and web API.
- The inbuilt MVC pattern and Dependency Injection allow to build applications that are easier to test and maintain.
- Razor Pages makes coding page-focused scenarios easier and it is more productive.
- The application can be developed with running support on Windows, macOS, and Linux.
- Includes client-side frameworks.
- Supports RPC services and Cloud-based development and deployment.
- Some .NET framework features are not implemented in .Net Core like WPF, WCF and some third-party libraries’ support is not available.
- Many .Net Framework features are removed from .NET Core by Microsoft since .NET Core is developed for hosting .NET applications in cross platforms.
.NET Core is a powerful and flexible option for building cross-platform .NET applications. It is well-suited for modern, cloud-based applications and offers a wide range of development tools and resources. However, it is important to consider the potential limitations when determining if it is the right choice for your specific needs.
Mono is an open-source framework and it is a .NET implementation. The Mono project started in 2001 and the first release 1.0 was issued in 2004. The work was initiated by Ximiana and further development is completed by Novell.
Cross-platform .NET applications can be developed by using the MONO platform without any substantial source code modifications. It Supports a subset of the .NET Framework app models and the .NET Framework APIs, using the same assembly names and factoring. Nowadays very commonly the Mono framework is used for developing mobile applications.
Mono framework’s code execution is also same as the .NET framework :
- We can write the code in C#.
- C# code compiles using the inbuilt C# compiler and generates intermediate language.
- Using the bundledMono runtime environment, Build runs on target devices.
- The mono runtime handles the garbage collection, security, exception handling, etc.
- The mono runtime contains the code execution engine that converts the IL into native code
- The cross-platform feature of Mono is one of the key solutions.
- They allow people to easily develop applications without starting completely from scratch.
- Developers are able to create Dot net applications faster, more easily, and as such can push changes and improvements much quicker.
- Certain .NET framework features are not implemented in Mono like WPF
- Sometimes, Incompatibility with the MS.NET framework, So that developers need to spend more time when dealing with incompatible features between multiple operating systems.
Mono is a useful option for building cross-platform .NET applications, particularly on platforms that are not officially supported by .NET. However, it is important to consider the potential compatibility issues when determining if it is the right choice for your specific needs.
The .Net Framework is a software framework developed by Microsoft that allows the building of a wide range of applications, including web applications, windows applications, and mobile apps. It is primarily designed for windows and is bundled with the windows operating system. it can also be run on non-windows platforms using tools such as wine (for Linux) and Mono (for macOS). However, this is not fully supported for all the .NET applications.
- Better UI Controls: The .Net platform offers a rich user interface and it has a set of in-built UI controls that also supports third-party controls.
- Security: it’s a highly secure environment and it has built-in windows authentication which can be used to make secure applications. It also has a cryptography class to secure data with encryption/decryption.
- Integration with other Microsoft Applications: The .NET integrates easily with other Microsoft products, making it easy to connect with exchange servers, emails, messages, and office applications and access the data.
- Stability & Scalability: The .NET framework offers more stability and scalability than its programming counterparts. This also offers you all the details you want to change the objects without affecting the other codes. It makes it easy to change the code with newer technology and faster algorithms.
- Consistency: The.NET Framework is capable of monitoring and managing all the processes.
- Cross-platform support:.Net, a cross-platform framework can be created that is compatible with all types of platforms.
- The .NET Framework is not fully compatible with non-Windows platforms.
- While it is possible to run the .NET Framework on Linux and macOS using tools such as Wine and Mono, this is not a fully supported configuration and may not work with all .NET applications.
- Additionally, the .NET Framework is not available on platforms other than Windows, limiting its cross-platform capabilities.
The .NET Framework is a powerful and feature-rich option for building applications on Windows. However, its compatibility with non-Windows platforms is limited, and it may not be the best choice for developers looking to build cross-platform applications.
.NET in the browser
WebAssembly lets .Net be run in the browser. Usually, all the .Net assemblies are run through a WebAssembly-based runtime. WebAssembly is supported by all major browsers and lets compiled code run at native speeds.
Blazor Web Assembly:
Setting up Blazor:
All you should to use Blazor is .NET Core 2.1.300 SDK.
Command line to install templates:
When creating the Blazor app you should go to the address indicated (usually localhost:5000 or localhost:5001 with TLS) to ensure that everything is functioning properly.
The built-in template comes with the example project with basic examples of a counter, routing by navigation bar, and a page that fetches the data from the API endpoint using HttpClient.
Familiar Razor syntax is used to create Components that are represented by *. cshtml files. These are an amalgamation of C# & HTML code. In this way, Blazor is very similar to Angular and React. It feels very straightforward and easy to learn. e.g., Counter. cshtml carries C# code (everything with @ ) intermingled with plain-old HTML.
- .NET in the browser is not suitable for all types of applications.
- Applications that require access to low-level system resources or that need to perform computationally intensive tasks may not be suitable for running in the browser.
Additionally, some third-party libraries and frameworks might not be compatible with .NET in the browser.
Conclusion on .Net with Cross Platform:
The best option for .NET on cross-platforms will depend on our specific needs and requirements. It is important to carefully consider the benefits and limitations of each option and choose the one that best meets your needs.