What’s new in Microsoft .Net Core

.Net Core 2.1 promises better build performance and several other improvements for developers

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Microsoft’s .Net Core, a cross-platform implementation of the company’s .Net development platform, is being readied for its 2.1 release, featuring improvements to build time performance and tools deployment.

When to expect .Net Core 2.1

The open source .Net Core 2.1 is due in beta form this month, with a production release expected by summer 2018.

Improved features in. .Net Core 2.1

Application-building performance will be much better than it was with the 2.0 and 1.0 versions of .Net Core, Microsoft promises. This is particularly true for incremental builds.

Improvements apply to dotnetbuild on the command line and Visual Studio builds. As part of its build enhancements, Microsoft has improved CLI and MSBuild tools for faster performance.

Other improvements envisioned for .Net Core 2.1 include:

  • A new deployment and extensibility mechanism for tools, referred to as .Net Core global tools. It replaces .Net CLI Tools. The experience will be similar to Node global tools, reusing the same syntax. Microsoft anticipates a new ecosystem arising for .Net tools.
  • A smaller runtime install.
  • The availability of the SignalR library for real-time web functionality, in ASP.Net Core 2.1. A companion to .Net Core, ASP.Net Core is a framework for building internet-connected applications. HTTPS is also on by default in ASP.Net Core 2.1.
  • To handle outgoing network requests, a rewritten HttpClient handler promising two to ten times the performance.
  • A set of types, including the Span <T> type (pronounced “span of tee”), providing a uniform representation of memory from multiple sources, including stack allocation and native code. These types are expected initially to help with performance-critical situations and then become a replacement for arrays as a mechanism for handling large blocks of data. One type, Tensor <T>, is specific to machine learning.
  • For compatibility with .Net Framework, the Windows Compatibility Pack. It offers access to an additional 20,000 APIs compared to what has been available in .Net Core. Released in a beta version in November, the pack offers APIs such as System.Drawing, EventLog, and Windows Services.
  • The API Analyzer tool, to ensure developers do not only depend on Windows APIs.
  • Support for applications on later runtime versions in the same major version range. For example, a .Net Core 2.0 application could run on .Net Core 2.1.
  • Crypto improvements, including support for signing NuGet packages.