Introduction to ASP.NET Core Framework

Introduction to ASP.NET Core Framework

In this article, I am going to give you a brief introduction to ASP.NET Core FrameworkNowadays, when it comes to software development, everyone is talking about open source and cross-platform development. As we all know Microsoft is well known for its Windows-based products. Now we are in the new age of software development. For this, a new revolutionary product came into the market by Microsoft and it is ASP.NET Core. As part of this article, I am going to discuss the following pointers in detail.

ASP.NET Core Framework

History of ASP.NET

As we know, ASP.NET is the framework that has been used to develop data-driven web applications for many years. Since then, the ASP.NET Framework went through a steady evolutionary change and finally, the most decent evolution is ASP.NET Core.

  1. The ASP.NET Core is not a continuous part of ASP.NET 4.6. Instead, it is completely a new framework.
  2. This Framework is an actual re-write of the current ASP.NET 4.6 Framework, but with much smaller and a lot more modular.
  3. Some people think that many things remain the same, but that is not completely true. The ASP.NET Core is actually a big fundamental change to the ASP.NET Framework.
What is ASP.NET Core?

The ASP.NET Core is a brand new cross-platform, high-performance, light-weight, open-source Framework which is used for developing modern, Internet-connected, cloud-based Web Applications, IoT, and Web APIs which can be developed and run on Windows, Linux, or Mac operating systems.

ASP.NET Core Framework is completely rewritten of existing ASP.NET 4.x, with architectural changes which make it more modular, scalable, open-source, high-performance, light-weight, and a cross-platform web framework. 

ASP.NET Core benefits and features:

Nowadays, the ASP.NET Core framework becomes more and more popular among the developers for several reasons. Let us discuss the benefits and features provided by this framework in detail.

Open Source:

The ASP.NET Core framework is Open Source. The Source Code of this Framework is available at https://github.com/aspnet and you are free to download the source code and even if you want then modify and compile your own version of it.

Cross-Platform: 

The ASP.NET Core Framework is designed from scratch to keep in mind to be Cross-Platform for both development and deployment. Let us discuss what Cross-Platform is from ASP.NET Core point of view by comparing it with the earlier versions of the ASP.NET Framework.

The earlier versions of ASP.NET Framework applications can only run on windows platforms whereas the ASP.NET Core applications can develop and run on different platforms such as Windows, Mac, or Linux operating systems. We can host the earlier ASP.NET Framework 4.x applications only on IIS whereas we can host the ASP.NET Core applications on IIS, Nginx, Docker, Apache, or even self-host deployment.

To develop ASP.NET Core applications, you have multiple options like you can use either Visual Studio or Visual Studio Code. If you want then you can also use any third-party editors as per your choice.

Full Control over HTML and HTTP Requests:

In ASP.NET Core MVC Framework, you will get full control over HTML. That means you will be able to create simple to complex type HTML pages styled with CSS and display them on the browser.

Similarly, you will also get full control over HTTP requests passed between the browser and the server. It is very easy to create an AJAX request.

In ASP.NET Core MVC, You can easily plugin and use the client-side libraries like jQuery, Bootstrap, React and Angular.

Unified MVC and Web API Framework: 

The ASP.NET Core provides a unified programming model for developing both Web apps and Web APIs. That means a single controller class can be used to handle both. The Controller we create in ASP.NET Core (either Web APPs or Web APIs) application is going to inherit from the Controller base class and returns the IActionResult interface. The IActionResult interface provides several implementations. The built-in result types such as the JsonResult and the ViewResult and (like this there are so many result types available that we will discuss later) implement the IActionResult interface.

In the ASP.NET Core Web API application, the controller action method is going to return JsonResult. At the same time if it is ASP.NET Core Web application, then the return type of the controller action method is going to be ViewResult. 

Extensible Framework:

The ASP.NET Core MVC Framework is designed to be highly extensible. That means you can create an application today, that can be extended to any levels in the future. Some of the key features provided by this framework that give it the extensible power are as follows.

  1. View Components
  2. Tag Helpers
  3. Routing

In our upcoming articles, we will discuss each of these features in detail.

Dependency Injection: 

One of the most important used design patterns in the real-time application is Dependency Injection Design Pattern. And more importantly, the ASP.NET Core framework provides the inbuilt support for dependency injection design pattern. In our upcoming articles, we will discuss the Dependency Injection Design Pattern in detail.

Testing made Maintainability:

You can easily test and maintain the applications developed using the ASP.NET Core MVC framework. This is possible because it allows you to separate different parts of your application into independent pieces and it also allows you to test them independently. The Testing frameworks such as xUnit and MOQ can be easily integrated into ASP.NET Core MVC application for simulating any scenario.

Handling Request and Response Pipeline: 

We can handle the request and response in the ASP.NET Core application by using the new Middleware Components. In earlier ASP.NET 4.x we generally use Handlers and Modules to handle the Request and Response pipeline. The ASP.NET Core Framework provides a lot of built-in Middleware Components and we can use those Middleware Components to handle the request and response pipeline. If you want then also you can create your own middleware components and use it in the request-response pipeline. In a later article, we will discuss the Middleware Components in detail. We will also discuss how to create custom Middleware Components and how to use them in ASP.NET Core applications.

What the ASP.NET Core doesn’t have?

If you are coming from ASP.NET 4.x, then you will not find the following things in ASP.NET Core 

  1. The Global.asax file
  2. Web.Config file
  3. HTTP Handlers and HTTP Modules
  4. ASP.NET Page Life-Cycle model

In the next article, I am going to discuss the ASP.NET Core Environment Setup required for developing ASP.NET Core application using Visual Studio. Here, in this article, I try to give a brief overview of ASP.NET Core Framework. I hope this Overview of ASP.NET Core Framework article will help you with your need. 

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