In our introduction post, we set the stage for the modern .NET developer. The .NET ecosystem and community have changed drastically over the last 5 years and now places a heavy emphasis on open source software, true portability, and community.

In this post, we are going to explore .NET OSS frameworks and options. Anyone who has researched open source .NET has seen and likely tinkered with the Mono framework. It is an ambitious project creating an open source implementation of the .NET framework, when the framework was still closed source. It has evolved over the years and grown into a mature and robust framework. Mono filled a gap in the .NET ecosystem, that recently Microsoft is working to close. Microsoft announced at the end of last year, .NET Core – a reimagined .NET framework with a focus on high quality performance and portability. Additionally, at the beginning of this year, Microsoft announced that CoreCLR, the runtime execution engine for .NET Core, would now be available on Github.

What does this mean for Mono then? At this point, not much. .NET Core is focused on building the .NET framework across multiple platforms just like Mono, but it is not the full implementation of the .NET framework. Mono currently supports the majority of the desktop and server specification. Microsoft and Mono have collaborated frequently in the past and maintain a healthy organization relationship. Its likely they will continue to support each others efforts.

.NET Core and the CoreCLR are the future for the .NET framework. They power the new open source ASP.NET 5 (or the artist previously known as vNext) and there is currently support across OSX, Windows, and some distributions of Linux. They are even accepting contributions in many different ways, including a bug bounty. Though these core frameworks were not the first Microsoft open source projects, they will drive a lot more. Microsoft is focused, and for the first time, truly, on what developers want. Though, Microsoft has not explicitly stated it, long term this type of open source effort and portability could lead to expanding their profitable product suites into other platforms (think Microsoft SQL running on all those Linux servers).

What does all this progress mean for the modern .NET developer and the organizations they work for? It means that now all the tooling, processes, and patterns we love from other edgier development environments start to enhance our ecosystem.Your businesses and organizations will benefit greatly from these modern practices. It means faster iterations, faster deployments, higher performance code, and more high quality components available for free. It also means more, younger developers will have access to .NET, helping with recruiting efforts. The Microsoft and .NET ecosystem have changed dramatically over the last 5 years. Most of the core frameworks are now available on Github, the community can contribute, and already the toolchains are changing towards more modern development practices. In our next post we will cover these new tools and processes that are available to the modern .NET developer.

The Levvel team can help you:

  • Modernize your legacy software
  • Train your development staff on modern development practices
  • Free your company with Open Source