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Home » Articles » NET core vs NET framework: Which is the best for your project?

NET core vs NET framework: Which is the best for your project?

NET core vs NET framework Which is the best for your project

There has been a lot of confusion in the IT community since the NET implementations, and standards came into the tech world. Today, individuals and other entities are becoming more curious to learn about these Microsoft inventions. 

In this article, we will discuss the differences between NET core and NET framework, including when to use these two inventions. Get to know which is more beneficial for your type of users.  

NET core vs NET framework: A quick overview 

NET core is a free open-source, and general-purpose operating development platform for creating cloud-based software applications. 

It is the latest Microsoft framework that offers cross-platform implementations that work with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux operating systems. 

In the past few years, there have been increasing software development trends in the market that led tech companies to develop software and services for different platforms. 

As such, Microsoft developed a framework that carries out the software development needs. NET core is an ideal choice if you are building a new application since NET has been revamped to make it faster, more advanced, and scalable. 

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This Microsoft invention provides flexibility as it may be used for a variety of applications such as mobile, desktop, cloud, microservices, games, and IoT (Internet of Things). 

In 2002, Microsoft developed an initial version of the framework, which was 1.0. Basically, this framework was designed for developing desktop applications, web-based applications, and web services. It only runs primarily on Windows devices. 

There are different programming languages on the NET platform, examples are – C#, C++, JScript, Visual Basic, and COBOL. 

Today, Microsoft’s latest version is NET framework 4.8. It provides all the requirements needed for application development like user interface (UI), application programming interface (API), and database connection.

Overall, NET framework offers several services to applications, these including – type memory & safety, memory management, networking, safety, application deployment, and data structures.

NET core vs NET framework A quick overview 
NET core vs NET framework A quick overview

What are the differences between NET core and NET framework?

Let’s take a quick look and understand the key differences between NET Core and NET framework:

Open source

NET core is an open-source software framework, while NET framework has specific components that are open source. 

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NET core was created using one principle, “build once, run anywhere.” Since it is cross-platform, it is compatible with different operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems. 

NET framework can only be used with Windows operating systems.


In terms of installation, NET framework serves as a single package that consists of all components needed to create a Windows application. Since it combines all the components for Windows development, the developer has no choice in whatever they receive. 

NET Core is installed independently, underlying OS with the modules needed with the chosen platform. It can be installed using a single Microsoft Installer file which is easy to run. 

Application models 

NET CORE does not work on desktop application, instead, it is more suited for web, windows store, and windows mobile. 

Meanwhile, NET framework supports ASP.NET, WPF applications, and Windows Forms. NET Developers often use this to create web as well as desktop applications. 

Microservices & REST services support

NET Core aids developers in building micro-services, and users also has to create a REST API for its implementation purposes. This is widely used for programmers in building more personalized microservices consisting of various programming languages and technologies. 

Similar to NET Core, NET framework supports REST API services but does not support the development and implementation of microservices. 

Android development 

When it comes to android development, NET Core is more favorable as it is compatible with open-source mobile application platforms via NET Standard Library. One example of these mobile app platforms is Xamarin. 

Thus, Xamarin’s tools help configure a mobile application for specific devices, including iOS, Android, and Windows. On the other hand, the NET framework does not support any mobile application development. 

CLI Tools 

NET Core offers lightweight editors and common-line tools for all platforms. Meanwhile, NET framework is quite heavy for command line interface (CLI). For some developers, working with the lightweight CLI is better than integrated development environment (IDE).

What are the differences between NET core and NET framework?

When to use NET core

There are few factors to consider when choosing NET core for server application. NET core should be used if the project requires:

  • Cross-platform compatibility
  • Use of docker containers
  • NET versions per application should be side by side 
  • High performance & scalability systems

When to use NET framework

Same with NET core, NET framework is to be used when:

  • The application to be developed will only run on Windows 
  • If the application required technological tools like workflow or webforms
  • It the application is for Windows desktop and large-scale enterprise applications

NET core vs. NET framework: Which is better?

Generally, choosing which server application to use will depend on the project itself. Both NET core and NET framework have pros and cons. 

NET core is the most updated versions of Microsoft’s NET framework, and is a more ideal choice when developing new applications. It works well with Mac OS X, Linus, and Windows. 

Thus, it is used to create different applications like desktop, mobile, cloud, IoT, games, and machine learning. 

Net framework is a good choice for developing web applications and desktop as it consists of programming language, libraries, and developer tools. 

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