I recently started to get back into ASP.NET after a long absence and was suprised by the ‘reboot’ of ASP.NET Core (formally known as ASP.NET 5). It is wrong to think of it as the next big version after ASP.NET 4 since it is a completely different beast. It is smaller and (for now) far less featured than ASP.NET 4. It is highly portable across Windows, Azure, Mac, Linux etc.
If I was architecting a new project then I might be tempted to stay with the saftey of the ASP.NET 4 platform since it is a mature product with great tooling as well as still being activally developed.
Luckially this was just for fun, and I wanted to try some things out with Azure services. I shunned Visual Studio 2015 for the simplicity of Visual Studio Code on the Mac. The two products are not comparable for the most part, but since I was relearning ASP.NET doing so in a new simple way was very compelling.
Microsoft have a tutorial for this.
The main issue was installation. Installing the .NET Core SDK on the Mac required installing an additional few layers of separate dependancies (Yeoman, Homebrew, etc) which didn’t seem to work. After some Google of error messages I got everything working after about 20 minutes.
Building the scaffolding of a simple ASP.NET page was trivial, and running it on my local Mac was extreemly easy.
I wasn’t looking forward to deploying it to Azure. I guess my history with ASP.NET made me expect that deploying to a new site would be painful. In fact once you set up GIT in Azure and locally, the push is really easy and worked as expected first time!
So basically I could build an ASP.NET application on my MacBook, try it out, and then publish it to Azure with no Mirosoft Windows or Visual Studio required in the process at all.
I’m definately a convert to this new way of working now. If you are considering learning .NET Core then I’d really recommend ditching Visual Studio, even if you have a Windows environment. You might miss out on some graphical familiarity, but it is easy to start from the basics.