Overview of .NET core

Overview of .NET core
Written by Sagar RabidasDecember 13, 2021
11 min read
.NET core
Sagar Rabidas

Software Developer

Today in this blog, we will discuss the .NET core overview.

.NET Core Overview

.NET Core is a new version of the .NET Framework, which is a free, open-source, general-purpose development platform maintained by Microsoft. It is a cross-platform framework that runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems.

.NET Core Framework can be used to build different types of applications such as mobile, desktop, web, cloud, IoT, machine learning, microservices, game, etc.

.NET Core is written from scratch to make it a modular, lightweight, fast, and cross-platform Framework. It includes the core features that are required to run a basic .NET Core app. Other features are provided as NuGet packages, which you can add to your application as needed. In this way, the .NET Core application speed up the performance, reduce the memory footprint, and becomes easy to maintain.

Key Terminologies in the Architecture of .NET Core

The key terminology in the architecture of .net core is as follows:

Let us see the key terminologies in the architecture of the .Net Core.

  • Core CLR: Core CLR is the Common Language Runtime optimized for multiplatform and cloud-based deployments. This, along with .Net Native Runtime, forms the foundation of all. Net-based platforms.
  • .Net Native Runtime: Also referred to as Managed Runtime, .Net Native Runtime contains the native windows based libraries. This also contains Ahead Of Time (AOT) compilation instead of the erstwhile Just In Time (JIT) compilation. This improves the performance of the applications. The .Net Native Runtime and the Core CLR are the layers that contain implementations of primitive types as well as generic collections in .Net. These layers hardly change and are constant throughout the various .Net stacks. The various .Net stack APIs, thus, share the same implementations.
  • Unified BCL: The Unified Base Class Library, also referred to as CoreFX, consists of the basic classed that form the core of the .Net Core platform.
  • App Models: On top of the BCL, sit the various App Models that developers leverage to develop platform-specific applications. Currently, .Net Core has the ASP .Net Model for web development and Windows Store Model for windows application development.

Why .NET Core?

There are some limitations with the .NET Framework. For example, it only runs on the Windows platform. Also, you need to use different .NET APIs for different Windows devices such as Windows Desktop, Windows Store, Windows Phone, and Web applications. In addition to this, the .NET Framework is a machine-wide framework. Any changes made to it affect all applications taking a dependency on it. Learn more about the motivation behind .NET Core here.

Today, it's common to have an application that runs across devices; a backend on the web server, admin front-end on windows desktop, web, and mobile apps for consumers. So, there is a need for a single framework that works everywhere. So, considering this, Microsoft created .NET Core. The main objective of .NET Core is to make .NET Framework open-source, cross-platform compatible that can be used in a wide variety of verticals, from the data center to touch-based devices.

How .NET Core Makes Working Easy?

.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.

Let us look at the features of .Net Core that make life easy for developers.

  • Cross-Platform and Architecture: .Net Core follows the principle of build-once-run-anywhere. Thus, it is cross-platform. It supports Windows, macOS, and Linux platforms. You can build your application on any platform and run it on another. Also, an application built in .Net Core is consistent in its behavior across any architecture such as x64, x86, or ARM.
  • Command Line Tools: .Net Core comes with easy-to-use command-line tools for those who like to code black and white. These tools are handy for local development as well as for continuous integration of code in repositories.
  • Flexible CI/CD: .Net Core supports Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment. Thus, you only need to worry about code logic. Rest is all handled by the .Net Core platform.
  • Languages and IDEs: .Net Core applications and libraries and can be coded in C#, F#, and Visual Basic. This is further supported by integration with your favorite IDEs such as Visual Studio, VS Code, Sublime, Vim, etc.
  • Compatibility and Support: Compatible with .Net Framework, .Net Standard, Mono APIs, and Xamarin. Being open-source, it has great support from the community as well as from Microsoft.
  • APIs: .Net Core exposes APIs for many general-purpose as well as high-performance scenarios. On one hand, there are APIs for primitive data types (bool, int, etc.) and Collections (Lists, Dictionaries, etc). On the other hand, there are APIs for high-performance types such as Vector and Pipelines.

How .Net Core helps in Career Growth

.Net Core is truly cross-platform. This is Microsoft’s future platform for integrated development environments for the devices of the future. .Net Core focuses on Web, Windows Store, and touch-based devices.

.Net Core will greatly help you in making applications that cater to the future needs of devices and platforms. The design principles of .Net Core ensure that you follow the best practices of development. There is a rapidly growing need for a more robust and interactive application experience, be it web-based or mobile-based. This, in turn, drives the need for an improved, simpler, and developer-friendly platform. Gone are those days when an application developed in one platform would not work on another platform. Today demands to develop applications that are built once and run everywhere. .Net Core is built upon this ideology and learning it would help you create better applications for modern devices.


The .NET Core platform is not like its predecessor .Net Framework. It is a new .NET stack that is optimized for open-source development and agile delivery through NuGet. While the .NET Framework was designed to be cross-platform, it was largely a Windows-only platform. .NET Core is truly cross-platform. Microsoft is looking to be future-ready and .Net Core is a very fruitful step towards that. It is recommended for interested readers to deep dive more into .Net Core by reading Microsoft Developers blogs. For those who are keen to start building apps in .Net Core, the best way is to start with a shell project in .Net Core in Visual Studio.

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