Software development is an ever-changing field where technologies come and go. While some fade into the past, others continue to thrive and shape the industry.
.NET frameworks fall into the second category. It has been a preferred choice for software developers since its inception in 2002. Last year, it was the most widely used framework in the world, according to Statista.
We’ll examine the future in this article. Find out what you can expect from .NET in 2023 as we discuss upcoming trends and the framework’s current (and expected) state.
The .NET Framework – what is it?
Microsoft’s .NET framework is a software development platform. Almost every enterprise software development company uses it. It is useful for creating applications for the Windows platform. Programming languages such as C# and Visual Basic are very well supported by the framework, giving .net development services the freedom to choose the language and develop the application.
As a result of Microsoft’s great efforts, the .NET platform has become more accessible to everyone. Windows, MacOS, Linux, and all IoT devices can run the framework easily. Mobile applications for Android and iOS have been developed by the company.
According to the 2020 Developer Survey by Stack Overflow, .NET Core is the most trusted framework by professionals with 71.5% trust votes. For all application development services, it’s the Man of Steel.
- Full-Stack Platform – .NET has three layers: the front end, middleware, and the back end. With .NET, you can build complete applications from the front-end to the back-end.
- Modern – .NET uses modern browsers, cloud computing, and other devices to build modern software applications.
- Fast – .NET is one of the fastest frameworks for software development in recent years. .NET 6.0 is described as the fastest version yet. Additionally, it is more efficient and secure.
- Worldwide Community – The .NET community has a large community, with over a million developers across different companies contributing around the globe.
- Open Source – With the release of .NET 6.0, .NET projects are now open source and managed by Microsoft and the open-source community. In the future, young dot net developers will be more likely to adapt the framework due to the relatively low entry barriers.
In 2023, will .NET Development still be relevant?
DotNet technology has been around for over two decades. There is a lot of speculation and prediction about what the future holds after such a strong legacy. Several experts believe it will become a major player in enterprise software development, while others believe it will die in the near future due to its lack of updates.
The numbers, however, don’t lie. According to a report by w3techs, 7.9% of websites whose server-side programming languages are known still use ASP.NET. As per a Developer Survey in 2020 focusing solely on web frameworks, both ASP.NET and.NET Core were ranked among the top 10 frameworks.
Beyond .NET 6
.NET’s future was uncertain a few years ago. In November 2021, Microsoft released .NET 6, setting the stage for that same future. The version restored our faith in the framework with long-term support.
A number of highlights were announced at .NET Conf 2022. The rapid adoption of .NET 6 was one of them. With close to 6 million active users, the tech stack has grown 1.8 times faster than its predecessor. This isn’t surprising given its improved performance, increased productivity, and enhanced security features.
It comes with short-term support, which lasts about 18 months after release, for the newer version, .NET 7. However, it also came with an even more significant upgrade. The .NET release offers a number of performance improvements, including reduced resource consumption and better optimization opportunities.
On February 21st, Microsoft announced the first .NET 8 downloadable preview. Unlike its predecessor, it will be supported for three years after its release, unlike its predecessor. While it’s too early to know the full details of the framework’s latest version, it seems to include a variety of improvements, including cloud computing and cross-platform development.
It is likely that the .NET 2023 landscape will revolve around newer versions. You can even migrate legacy .NET applications using Microsoft’s open-source tool.
Among developers and non-developers alike, machine learning is a hot topic. It’s clear that the technology is here to stay with models such as ChatGPT, Midjourney, and Dall-E on the rise.
The ML.NET framework is an open-source, cross-platform machine learning framework for .NET developers. Its main goal is to make machine learning more accessible to developers without a background in data science or machine learning. By abstracting away many lower-level details of data processing and model training, it provides a simplified API.
It still requires a certain level of understanding, however. Even though it simplifies some of the more complex aspects, it does not eliminate the need for expertise.
Microsoft announced ML.NET 2.0 at the end of last year, bringing an array of improvements to the framework. It’s clear that we’ll be seeing more of ML.NET in the coming year since they’re continuously improving the platform.
The latest iteration of Microsoft’s signature programming language is C# 11. As part of .NET 7, it was released in November 2022.
C# 11 includes some quality-of-life improvements in addition to the performance enhancements in .NET 7. Even though Required Members don’t add any new functionality, they make existing ones more convenient.
Raw and UTF-8 string literals are also noteworthy features. It might not be game-changing, but not having to worry about backslashes and special characters is a nice QoL improvement.
C# 11 introduces more than just minor conveniences. By allowing for much more flexible, reusable code, Generic Attributes are an example of a long-awaited feature that significantly streamlines the development process.
From new functionalities to pure convenience, Microsoft’s latest language version has a lot to offer. In the near future, it’s likely to see increased adoption since it’s part of .NET Core 6 and above.
Microsoft recently released .NET Multi-platform App UI (MAUI), a successor to Xamarin. With the framework, you can write a single UI that can be deployed on Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS.
MAUI’s launch was somewhat underwhelming. The initial users had difficulty navigating it, encountered bugs and lacked features. However, the software does have significant potential, despite some initial problems that are typical for new software releases. MAUI’s performance, for instance, renders pages 51% faster.
In addition, the popularity of the new framework is steadily increasing. As of this writing, dotnet/maui has almost as many GitHub stars as dotnet/core!
Last but not least, MAUI rises as Xamarin sets. .NET MAUI will ship with every .NET going forward, but Xamarin SDK support will end in May 2024.
All of that suggests that MAUI.NET will be an important part of .NET in 2023 and beyond.
The future of .NET in 2023 seems bright, full of promise, new releases, and improved functionality. .NET has proven to be a reliable, powerful, and versatile framework over the last 20 years. There’s no sign of that changing anytime soon.
The .NET Framework is powerful yet a standard software development platform that provides a lot of beneficial features and functionalities for building and maintaining reliable applications on the web, desktop, and mobile devices. ClinkIT Solutions is a 6x Gold Microsoft Partner with proven eligibility and expertise on many competencies including Cloud Platform and Application Development. For any further details, feel free to get in touch with us!