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Perfection in Protection, Licensing, and Security

The .NET Development Landscape

March 2019
 The .NET Development Landscape

One of the most frequent questions I see asked in developer communities, like StackOverflow and Github, is when to use .NET framework and when to use .NET Core, as there seems to be confusion with the name and different flavors available. It is not uncommon for developers to ask:

Should I develop .NET desktop applications using the entire .NET Framework?
Or should I use ASP.NET Core web apps or Universal Windows Platform (UWP) with .NET Core?
Or, perhaps I should embrace Mono, the cross-platform, open-source .NET framework alternative from Xamarin/Microsoft?

Knowledgeable .NET developers seem to be very helpful in providing advice to other developers based on their personal experience with the platforms. For the newbies, however, it would be helpful to research some very basic information about the platforms before weighing in with questions on the forums.

Microsoft provides straightforward definitions of the various .NET platforms with a multitude of technical support documents. For the basics, they say:

  • .NET Core is a cross-platform .NET implementation for websites, servers, and console apps on Windows, Linux, and macOS
  • .NET Framework supports websites, services, desktop apps, and more on Windows
  • Xamarin/Mono is a .NET implementation for running apps on all the major mobile operating systems.

There are also many other sources that can help sort it out, one being a recent explanation of the differences between .NET Framework and .NET Core on C-sharpcorner.

Confusion with the name and different flavors of .NET developer tools can also affect companies like Wibu-Systems, who provide software products and services to .NET developers. As the developer of the CodeMeter software protection, licensing and security solution, it is critical for our customers that we support all flavors and versions of the .NET programming platforms.

Perhaps, unlike others in the .NET support community, we’ve adopted a unique approach to .NET compatibility by making our AxProtector encryption tool universally compatible with all variants of the .NET platforms. This approach eases the burden for our .NET customers (one less thing to worry about) as well as removes the potential for confusion from our own customer support team.

If you are curious as to how we make universal .NET support possible, watch our on-demand webinar recording, Protecting .NET Standard 2.0 Applications. Our security experts take a deep dive into our AxProtector encryption platform and demonstrate how it is configured to support applications developed on all .NET Framework and .NET Core versions.

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