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Microsoft Releases .NET Core 3.0

Microsoft marked an important new direction for .NET developers on Monday with the general availability (GA) of .NET Core 3.0.

.NET Core 3.0 is an important milestone in Microsoft's transition from the traditional, proprietary, Windows-only .NET Framework to a new open source, cross-platform offering. The product adds crucial new capabilities, such as desktop development, that weren't available in prior versions.

"It includes many improvements, including adding Windows Forms and WPF, adding new JSON APIs, support for ARM64 and improving performance across the board," said .NET Program Manager Richard Lander in a blog post published during the virtual reveal event, .NET Conf.

"C# 8 is also part of this release, which includes nullable, async streams, and more patterns. F# 4.7 is included, and focused on relaxing syntax and targeting .NET Standard 2.0," Lander said. "You can start updating existing projects to target .NET Core 3.0 today. The release is compatible with previous versions, making updating easy."

.NET components ASP.NET Core 3.0 (which includes Blazor) and EF Core 3.0 (the new direction of the traditional Entity Framework), as well as the holdover Entity Framework 6.3 have also gone GA.

Blazor is the red-hot ASP.NET Core project that uses WebAssembly to allow .NET-centric developers to do browser development projects -- such as interactive Web UIs -- in C#, instead of relying on the traditional, nearly ubiquitous JavaScript. However, the client-side effort (Blazor WebAssembly) still needs some work.

"There is also a Blazor WebAssembly preview update available with this release," Microsoft said in the separate ASP.NET Core 3.0 announcement post. "This update to Blazor WebAssembly still has a Preview 9 version, but carries an updated build number. Blazor WebAssembly is still in preview and is not part of the .NET Core 3.0 release."

The new desktop development capabilities are a highlight of the release, allowing the migration of countless numbers of Windows apps to the new platform.

"You can build WPF and Windows Forms apps with .NET Core 3, on Windows," Lander said. "We've had a strong compatibility goal from the start of the project, to make it easy to migrate desktop applications from .NET Framework to .NET Core. We've heard feedback from many developers that have already successfully ported their app to .NET Core 3.0 that the process is straightforward. To a large degree, we took WPF and Windows Forms as-is, and got them working on .NET Core. The engineering project was very different than that, but that's a good way to think about the project."

".NET Core 3.0 is a major new release of .NET Core, and includes a vast set of improvements," Lander concluded. "We recommend that you start adopting .NET Core 3.0 as soon as you can. It greatly improves .NET Core in many ways, like the massive reduction in size of the SDK, and by greatly improving support for key scenarios like containers and Windows desktop applications. There are also many small improvements that were not included in this post, that you are sure to benefit from over time."

More information is provided in the .NET Core 3.0 release notes.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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