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ASP.NET Core, the cross-platform and open-source framework is developed by Microsoft for building modern, cloud-based, and internet-connected applications. Designed to enable runtime components, APIs, compilers, and languages to evolve quickly, it runs on macOS, Linux, and Windows on the .NET Core or .NET Framework.

To know more about the development cycle of ASP.NET Core and to gain knowledge of its future design directions, we interviewed Kenneth Y. Fukizi, the author of the book ‘Learn ASP.NET Core 3.0, Second edition’, published by Packt Publishing. He has more than 14 years of professional experience and is working as a software engineering contractor/consultant for client organizations based in South Africa, Australia, U.S.A, and Canada.

Kenneth believes that the current performance of ASP.NET Core is a lot more superior than its predecessors and its competitor frameworks. He prefers to use ASP.Net Core to build enterprise web applications due to the flexibility that comes with it. He is also excited that .Net 5 will have more interoperability with other programming languages. When asked about his thoughts on Microsoft supporting the open source platform Pulumi, Kenneth says it will definitely help developers in building modern cloud applications.

If you are an ASP.NET Core user, you should definitely read part 1 of our interview with Kenneth Fukizi on the new Blazor framework, gRPC support, and other exciting features in ASP.NET Core 3.0. In this interview, he shares his impressions on all the new exciting features in the ASP.NET Core 3.0 release and explains why all ASP.Net Core users should be looking forward to the high performance and scalability that comes with gRPC in this new release.


Here is the full interview with Kenneth on ASP.Net Core.

On why ASP.NET Core is the best option for web application development

What makes .NET Core, one of the best general-purpose development platforms? How does ASP.NET Core enhance the performance of web applications? What do you think are the key benefits of Asp.net Core for enterprise web application development?

With .Net Core as a platform, you can develop Web applications, Desktop Applications, Cloud-native applications, mobile applications, gaming applications, Internet of Things (IoT) applications, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications, and you probably can’t ask for more from a development platform.

ASP.Net Core has gone a long way in making sure that web application performance is enhanced compared to its predecessors or indeed some of its competitor frameworks, for example, by making full use of asynchronous programming models, in which ASP.Net Core has pretty much eliminated the need to have computer processing unit (cycles) that need to be waiting for database queries, web service calls, and IO Operations, and thereby wasting precious resources. 

ASP.Net Core was designed from the ground up, unifying both the MVC and WebAPI frameworks. It has removed the dependency on IIS, removed several other excess baggage, including a preload of third party libraries, and as a result, it is much more lightweight and fast, gaining performance along the way.

We can say a lot of things on performance including its improved capability with output caching, and other features, but the truth of the matter is the fact that it is getting more performant by the day. There is actually a tool you can use to track its performance metrics through TechEmpower benchmarks publicly available through the web.

ASP.Net Core is my choice to build enterprise web applications on, mainly because of its flexibility that comes from it being cross-platform. It starts all the way from the tooling available to be able to develop ASP.Net Core applications using Visual Studio, or Visual Studio Code on either Windows or Mac operating systems, even on Linux. 

Within an enterprise, you will have people with different roles working on an enterprise application, and the wide tooling available just makes it convenient to cater to a diverse group of project members. 

ASP.Net Core has such a vibrant community that it is always allowed to give their input. The fact that it is open source actually paves way for faster improvements and applicability across industries. Apart from the development environment, when ASP.Net Core applications are ready to be deployed into production, you can do so internally in your organization, or just about any other worthwhile cloud hosting service provider including Azure and AWS. (Read chapter 3 of my book for more details on creating a continuous integration pipeline with Azure DevOps).

It’s easy from ASP.Net Core to interact with other applications developed with other external tech stacks, and typically an enterprise application will need to talk to several other applications and I’m personally excited with the fact that a future version of the .Net Core runtime that ASP.Net Core runs on, that will be called .Net 5, is slated to have more interoperability with other languages like Java, Objective C, and Swift.

There are many more advantages of using ASP.Net Core that comes to mind, and we can take the whole day discussing them, but to cut a long story short, ASP.Net Core will not disappoint you, and it’s moving fast in terms of improvements on where it is lacking.

Recently, Microsoft announced that .NET Core will support the open source platform Pulumi for building modern cloud applications. This aims to help developers to declare cloud infrastructure including all of Azure such as Kubernetes and CosmosDB using any  .NET languages like C#, VB.NET, and F#. To what extent and how do you think Pulumi with .NET will help developers? 

There are those that are not so familiar or not so comfortable navigating the cloud infrastructure, or just can’t be bothered to learn something new, and instead of getting out of their comfort zone that is within the code base, they can declare everything through code, for example, resource groups and everything else that makes up the cloud infrastructure.

Pulumi just makes everything a bit easier, abstracts away everything and replaces the need to use different tools to create our cloud infrastructure. For example, to come up with JSON, YAML files or coming up with a cloud Domain Specific Language (DSL). Instead of all that we can just declare it using the language that we are already known as developers. It will definitely be handy. 

On ASP.NET Core’s longevity and future design directions  

At the NDC conference held recently, Ryan Nowak, a Microsoft developer and architect on ASP.NET Core shared the details of many future projects like BedRock, Houdini and SMALL FAST.NET Server. The common goal of these projects is to simplify cross-platform compatibility among different environments. How do you think these projects will help in shaping the future design directions of .NET 5 and ensure the longevity of ASP.NET Core? 

.Net 5 is already in the process of being put together, with the full knowledge of what is happening around project Bedrock, project Houdini and SMALL FAST.NET server. What I can personally see from project Bedrock is the fact that starting at the lowest layer there is going to be more prominence of .Net Sockets in dealing with Network I/O at the expense of Libuv borrowed from NodeJS for its cross-platform capabilities. Obviously .Net Sockets will learn a thing or two from how Libuv has been operating and implement the lessons learned so that it works seamlessly with .Net technologies, and .Net 5 will stand to benefit a lot from the improvements. 

I personally see .Net 5 being influenced to cater for more protocols like MQTT, AMQP, HTTP3, and QUIC, and I wouldn’t be surprised to even see a bit more interoperability with other programming languages on .Net 5. ASP.Net Core is there to stay as it is designed to work exclusively on the .Net Core runtime, which is transitioning into .Net 5 soon.

I can see a lot of improvements on ASP.Net Core 3.0 especially from the point of view of taking a bit more responsibility off the MVC framework onto ASP.Net Core as a platform. This will allow reuse of functionality across different frameworks like SignalR, gRPC services, Blazor, Controllers, and Pages. This is already happening as is evident in the use of endpoint routing, which is catering for all of what I call the big 5 frameworks on project Houdini, mentioned above.

Taking away responsibility from MVC to a lower layer actually makes it more lightweight and developer-friendly, and does not actually kill MVC as you can see it is pretty much still alive, and all this restructuring, in general, makes it more flexible to deal with change in the future, that is characteristic of different platforms, and actually makes it more ready in becoming truly cross-platform.

About the Book 

Get your hands on the book ‘Learn ASP.NET Core 3.0, Second edition’ by Packt Publishing to become highly efficient in developing and maintaining powerful web applications. It will also guide you on how to deploy and monitor your applications using Microsoft Azure, AWS, and Docker.

This book will take you through realistically practical ASP.Net Core MVC application helping to give you a feel of how they would work in a real-life scenario.

About the Author

Kenneth Y. Fukizi is a solutions architect, consultant, software developer and engineer with more than 14 years of professional experience. He is a Microsoft Certified Trainer®, Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer®, Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate®, Microsoft Certified Professional®, among other professional and technical certifications. 

Kenneth also lectures and mentors computer science degree students in programming. He has spent most of his professional life working as a software engineering contractor/consultant on various projects for client organizations based in South Africa, Australia, U.S.A, and Canada.

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