.NET 5 vs .NET Core: Key Difference

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.NET is a popular technology, and enterprises often seek high-profile specialists who have deep expertise in the field. However, which target technology is better for your endeavor: .NET Core or .NET 5? Many people find it difficult to choose the best variant of .NET implementation for their projects. If you want to explore the differences between .NET Core and .NET 5, continue reading our article.

In our blog post, we will make a comparison between the concepts of .NET Core and .NET 5 and the major peculiarities that make them stand out among other options. First of all, let’s find out more about the inner workings of these tools.

Overview

In this article, we will examine the peculiar characteristics of .NET Core and .NET 5, study their concepts, and compare their features. In addition, we will consider the areas of usage for both technologies and try to define the most prominent differences between them.

What Is .NET Core?

.NET is a free and open sourсe developer platform that can be utilized by software professionals for creating various types of apps, including web apps, cloud, microservices, apps for the Internet of Things, gaming industry applications, as well as desktop and mobile development apps. The .NET Core platform can function on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

.NET Core is a brand new Microsoft initiative, aimed at creating a framework that is high-speed, modular, lightweight, and features multiplatform characteristics. The .NET Core framework possesses the fundamental features necessary for running a plain .NET Core-based application.

For more advanced features, users of .NET Core can utilize NuGet packages, which can be added to the apps as-needed. Therefore, the .NET Core app can make the functioning of the app quicker, decreasing its memory footprint, and increasing the app’s serviceability and maintainability.

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In the eventuality that you decide to assemble an app, and should you choose either .NET framework or .NET Core, the latter would be the better choice. This is due to certain characteristics of .NET Core, such as more qualification for multiplatform requirements and the more effective building of microservices. Also, it is possible to implement Blazor for the creation of client user interfaces with the help of .NET.

It is important to note that beginning from version 5, there is no .NET Core anymore, as the .NET name serves as its substitute since that time.

There is also an interesting tool named Universal Windows Platform that is of great help to the engineers that work in this field. It is a robust instrument used to build client apps on Windows. With its help, engineers can create feature-rich UIs, enhanced with great asynchronicity – perfect for devices connected to the internet. The tool is based on .NET Standards, a common set of APIs that replace portable class libraries. However, the new release of MAUI is far more popular at the moment.

The .NET framework has some restrictions. For example, it can only work for Windows-based platforms and software engineers need to utilize various APIs for different devices or gadgets. Moreover, any kind of adjustments made to this platform can influence all of the apps that are dependent on it.

Therefore, .NET Core often seems to be a better solution. For modern heavy-load projects, it is necessary to have an app that can run across various devices. This being said, .NET Core proves to be a great tool for desktop development, as well as web and mobile-oriented apps that are convenient to use both for developers and users.

The main aim of .NET Core was to add new features of open source, multiplatform frameworks that can be used for multiple purposes in diverse scenarios, varying from huge data centers to compact portable tablets.

What Is .NET 5?

.NET 5 is a platform-agnostic open source framework that is suitable for the creation of numerous types of apps. In its naming, there is no “Core,” which implies that the very concept of .NET 5 represents the future of all previous releases of .NET Core. According to many specialists, .NET 5 will eventually take the place of Xamarin and .NET Core, being the one united platform which possesses up-to-date .NET coding and API. As a matter of fact, .NET is essentially the amalgamation of the two platforms — .NET Framework and .NET Core.

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Let’s consider the peculiar features of .NET 5. Having .NET Core and .NET Framework as its predecessors, .NET 5 has the aim to offer a platform-agnostic approach to development and truly revolutionary opportunities with the microservices architectural view. It is a great choice when you aspire to create a performant multiplatform solution that can be subsequently scaled.

First of all, .NET 5 gives the chance of using unified platform for .NET. It means that .NET 5 offers a number of APIs that can align various runtime usages. Thanks to this peculiarity, the app can run on any runtime implementation that supports .NET 5.

Nevertheless, there is still an opportunity to create a .NET 5-based app for specific platforms. This level of unification in .NET 5 was achieved with the help of thorough architectural restructuring. Although several features were eliminated, the platform experienced tremendous enhancement as a result.

Then, let’s consider what’s new with C# in .NET 5. The most notable innovations led to enhanced performance and speed due to numerous valuable adjustments, including:

  • top-level statements
  • record types
  • Init setters.

Another significant enhancement of .NET 5 is its innovative way to create platform-agnostic UIs within one project. What is more, MVVM pattern offers effective management of updating and app state control in .NET 5. Also, .NET 5 supports apps that engineers publish and deploy in the form of single files.

These types of apps enjoy innovative internal structures and can be executed without performance slowdowns. Such opportunity was present before as well, but in .NET 5 it underwent significant improvement which resulted in better performance.

Since the objective of .NET 5 was to realize the idea of a truly multiplatform framework, a number of old features had to be eliminated. For example, there are no web forms anymore in .NET 5. However, there is another way to create user interfaces in .NET 5 using such tools as Blazor framework or Razor Pages web application programming model.

.NET 5 gives the opportunity to create a variety of applications with multiplatform characteristics. The most widespread use cases of implementing .NET 5 are:

  • cloud services;
  • websites;
  • platform-agnostic apps;
  • microservice architectural approach;
  • Docker containers;
  • high-performant scalable applications;
  • mobile apps;
  • Windows-based desktop apps;
  • multiplatform console apps;
  • UWF;
  • WPF;
  • Data Science;
  • AI, ML.

.NET Core is suitable for creating apps on a variety of platforms and cloud apps. This instrument is great when the .NET team aspires to refactor huge enterprise-level apps with the help of the microservice architecture of .NET Core. Visual Studio is compatible with Windows and has a limited version for macOS.

.NET Core lets developers utilize a mixture of functionalities and create solutions that can be easily scaled afterward. Thanks to its modularity and scalability, .NET Core can work perfectly with Docker containers. .NET 5 has the same features as well.

With efficient characteristics of .NET Core, it is possible to deliver high-performant and scalable systems enhanced with rich UX at a beneficial price, while .NET Core is often considered to be the more frugal solution in comparison with other options. Specialists often suggest using .NET Core with ASP.NET Core to achieve performant and scalable solutions.

Nevertheless, if the apps are based on ASP.NET web forms, engineers can’t resort to .NET Core. In the case that engineers have to run several .NET versions simultaneously, it would be a great choice as well. Besides, .NET Core offers the specialists the freedom to use CLI for various platforms and a chance to turn to IDE if they want to.

Key Changes in .NET 5 as Part of .NET Core Family in Comparison with .NET Framework

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When we compare .NET 5 as part of .NET Core family with .NET Framework, we notice numerous differences, as .NET 5 has witnessed significant enhancements in comparison with .NET Core. So, we see that a lot has changed since .NET Framework, which led to perceptible upgrades in functioning. Let’s consider the most important differences in technical capabilities of these options.

  1. Cross-platform characteristics. The chance to utilize a real platform-agnostic approach in .NET 5 provided an opportunity to enhance cloud and microservices industry. What is more, it can help enhance local infrastructure and optimize expenses.
  2. Adjustments in C#..NET 5 Specialists can use the most recent versions and functionalities of C#.
  3. Source generators. With this feature, the running code can check the program and make extra files that can undergo compilation with the remaining code.
  4. Command-line interface. Text-oriented UIs simplify the file management in .NET 5 and interaction with computers.
  5. F# usage. Engineers can use F# functional-first, general purpose language features.
  6. Visual Basic. No salient innovations in functionalities here, but its support is conspicuously enriched.
  7. Better functionalities. Moreover, there are notable improvements in performance and speed characteristics, such as garbage collection, optimized sizing of containers, etc.

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NET Core vs .NET 5

Let’s compare some notable features of .NET Core and .NET 5 regarding their availability in the tools:

Feature.NET Core.NET 5
Cross-platformAvailableAvailable
WCFNot AvailableAvailable
WPFNot AvailableAvailable
F#AvailableAvailable
Docker containersAvailableAvailable
MicroservicesAvailableAvailable
Cloud applicationsAvailableAvailable

Summary

So which variant is better —.NET Core or .NET 5? This article provided insight on peculiarities of .NET Core and .NET 5 and now you can make choice for yourself. Although .NET Core can provide some benefits, .NET 5 is often deemed to be more functional.

It’s up to you to decide which option will be the best for your projects, but .NET 5 is better in view of the fact that many developers consider it to be a more efficient and functional product. It has high performance and is a more modern and productive solution which offers a rich set of functionalities to enhance workflows during the development process and streamline cooperative work on projects.

Nevertheless, don’t forget that .NET 5 is not the latest variant available to you. Obviously, .NET framework versions are constantly being refined and upgraded. Last year, .NET 6 emerged, which may be considered even more efficient and forward-looking platform.

 

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About the author

Maryia Shapel
Maryia Shapel

As a content writer, Maryia strives to create enlightening blog posts and technical articles based on the latest technology trends and established best practices. Her aim is to tell more about SaM Solutions and promote the company’s expertise.

7 Comments

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  • Thanks. I really appreciate your thorough explanation of peculiarities of these frameworks. Now I see the differences clearer and can make a better judgement of them.

  • .NET Core is suitable for creating apps on a variety of platforms and cloud apps. This instrument is great when engineers aspire to refactor huge enterprise-level apps with the help of microservice architecture. .NET Core lets developers utilize a mixture of functionalities and create solutions that can be easily scaled afterward. Thanks to its modularity and scalability, .NET Core can work perfectly with Docker containers.

  • I worked with .NET 5 and it was great. It was a single platform that offers a great environment and instruments to create all types of apps on all platforms. Me and my teams worked on various projects with .NET 5 and delivered web, mobile, cloud and Internet-of-Things projects.

  • I had experience working with both technologies, as well as with .NET 6. I can say that .NET Core was really great when it came to building a cloud-based app or an app for various platforms.

  • I enjoyed .NET Core because it is a portable option that is compatible with Docker and is based on .NET. That means I didn’t have to use JS, which I hate.

  • I like that in .NET 5 there is full support of F#. In .NET Core, there is only partial support. I am a loyal adherent of F#, so I really adore that this feature is fully present in .NET 5.

  • Thank you for the comprehensive description of both technologies. I have used both .NET Core and .NET 5 in the past. Now I use .NET 6, the latest version.

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