10 Difference Between .NET Core And .NET Framework (With Comparison Chart)

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What Is .NET Core?

.NET Core is a free and open source, managed computer software framework for building modern cloud-based web applications on Windows, Linux and MacOS operating systems. It is a cross-platform successor to .NET Framework. The project is primarily developed by Microsoft and released under MIT License. .NET Core is usually a better choice if you:

  • Love open source
  • Your new or just learning .NET
  • Want your apps to run on Windows, Linux and Mac operating system.

What You Need To Know About .NET Core

  1. .NET Core is a platform on top of which there are frameworks such as ASP.NET Core and Universal Windows platform that leverage and extend the features of .NET Core.
  2. .NET Core enables developers to build cross platform applications for operating systems such as Windows, OS X, MacOS and Linux.
  3. Its open-source and Microsoft accepts third part contribution to .NET Core.
  4. .NET Core focuses more on Web, Windows mobile and windows store applications. It currently does not support development of Desktop applications.
  5. The .NET Core is cross-platform an d needs to be packaged and installed independent of the underlying operating system. The developers are required to compile Nuget packages included in .NET Core.
  6. .NET Core supports a very light CLI for all platforms. There is often an option to switch to an IDE as well.
  7. .NET Core is delivered as a set of NUGET packages. It has been factored, modularized and shipped as several NUGET packages. Although the common runtime libraries are still a part of the bundle, the developer has the freedom to selectively include other libraries as per need. This makes .NET Core very lightweight. No extra baggage.
  8. In cases where application requires support for microservices , .NET Core is the best in this regard. It allows you to work with all microservices built with various languages such as Java, Ruby, .NET framework and others.
  9. .NET Core has no support for WCF services. You would always need to create a REST API.
  10. .NET Core is the best choice to work with docker containers.
  11. .NET Core doesn’t support the in-app deployment model.

What Is .NET Framework?

.NET Framework is a software development platform by Microsoft. The framework was meant to create applications which would run on the windows platform. .NET framework can be used to create both Form-based and Web-based applications. Web services can also be developed using the .NET Framework.  .NET Framework is usually a better choice if:

  • Building windows client applications client application using windows forms or WPF.
  • Want to avoid cases of continuous changes and upgrades.
  • Are in need of extending the functionality of an existing app.
  • you have an existing team of experts with extensive knowledge in .NET

What You Need To Know About .NET Framework

  1. .NET Framework is a self-contained development framework. The framework provides all the basic requirements for the development of applications-UI, DB connectivity, Services, APIs etc.
  2. .NET Framework enables developers to build applications for a single platform that is Windows.
  3. Its source code is public but Microsoft doesn’t allow third party contribution for it.
  4. .NET Framework is used to build both Desktop and Web applications. Windows forms and WPF applications are very well supported.
  5. The .NET Framework needs to be installed as a single package and runtime environment for windows.
  6. .NET Framework is too heavy for Command Line Interface. Some developers prefer working on CLI rather than IDE.
  7. .NET Framework is packaged as a whole. All the libraries are bundled together and shipped together. Even if you do not require any library for your application, it still comes as a part of the package.
  8. .NET Framework does not support the creation and deployment of microservices in different languages.
  9. .NET Framework is a better choice when WFC services are involved. It also supports REST services.
  10. Although .NET Framework can be used with a docker container, its image size is large and can only be deployed on Windows containers.
  11. .NET Framework does support in-app deployment model.

Also Read: Difference Between ADO And ADO.NET

Difference Between .NET Core And .NET Framework In Tabular Form

BASIS OF COMPARISION .NET CORE .NET FRAMEWORK
Description .NET Core is a platform on top of which there are frameworks such as ASP.NET Core and Universal Windows platform that leverage and extend the features of .NET Core.   .NET Framework is a self-contained development framework. The framework provides all the basic requirements for the development of applications-UI, DB connectivity, Services, APIs etc.  
Application Building .NET Core enables developers to build cross platform applications for operating systems such as Windows, OS X, MacOS and Linux.   .NET Framework enables developers to build applications for a single platform that is Windows.  
Third Party Contribution Its open-source and Microsoft accepts third part contribution to .NET Core.   Its source code is public but Microsoft doesn’t allow third party contribution for it.  
Focus   .NET Core focuses more on Web, Windows mobile and windows store applications. It currently does not support development of Desktop applications.   .NET Framework is used to build both Desktop and Web applications. Windows forms and WPF applications are very well supported.  
Installation The .NET Core is cross-platform an d needs to be packaged and installed independent of the underlying operating system. The developers are required to compile Nuget packages included in .NET Core.   The .NET Framework needs to be installed as a single package and runtime environment for windows.  
Command Line Interface (CLI) .NET Core supports a very light CLI for all platforms. There is often an option to switch to an IDE as well.   .NET Framework is too heavy for Command Line Interface. Some developers prefer working on CLI rather than IDE.  
Packaging .NET Core is delivered as a set of NUGET packages. It has been factored, modularized and shipped as several NUGET packages. Although the common runtime libraries are still a part of the bundle, the developer has the freedom to selectively include other libraries as per need. This makes .NET Core very lightweight. No extra baggage.   .NET Framework is packaged as a whole. All the libraries are bundled together and shipped together. Even if you do not require any library for your application, it still comes as a part of the package.  
Microservices In cases where application requires support for microservices , .NET Core is the best in this regard. It allows you to work with all microservices built with various languages such as Java, Ruby, .NET framework and others.   .NET Framework does not support the creation and deployment of microservices in different languages.  
REST Service .NET Core has no support for WCF services. You would always need to create a REST API.   .NET Framework is a better choice when WFC services are involved. It also supports REST services.  
Docker Container .NET Core is the best choice to work with docker containers.   Although .NET Framework can be used with a docker container, its image size is large and can only be deployed on Windows containers.  
Support For In-App Deployment Model. .NET Core doesn’t support the in-app deployment model.   .NET Framework does support in-app deployment model.  

Similarities Between .NET Core And .NET Framework

  • .NET architecture comes loaded with Visual studio to help independent applications, websites with interactive elements, dynamic web application and various web services.
  • .NET offers Common Language Specification (CLS) that helps to define the implementation of the objects that can run everywhere. CLS is basically a subset of Common Type System (CTS), which is nothing but common way to describe all types.
  • All .NET architectures have a Framework Class Library (FCL), which is basically a standard library capable of collecting the reusable interface classes and different value types.
  • All .NET architecture have a virtual machine referred to as Common Language Runtime (CLR). CLR is used for running the framework and taking care of the execution of all .NET programs.