The choice of web frameworks differs from one enterprise to another. Some businesses prefer selecting the right web framework according to specific needs of the project, whereas others opt for open source frameworks to curtail project overheads. But according to the latest framework usage statistics posted on BuiltWith.com, ASP.NET is more popular than several commonly used web frameworks like J2EE, Ruby on Rails, Adobe ColdFusion, and Classic ASP. However, it is still less popular than PHP which is a web programming language. Microsoft recently made several changes to ASP.NET to make it different from, and better than other web frameworks. In addition to being open source and cross-platform, ASP.NET 5 also comes with a number of new features to facilitate development of modern web applications.
Features that Make ASP.NET 5 Different from Other Web Frameworks
Three Different Runtimes
While using ASP.NET 5, developers have option to choose from three different runtimes, i.e., Core CLR, full.NET CLR, and Cross Platform CLR. Core CLR enables programmers to run the old and new versions of the code together. At the same time, Cross Platform CLR makes it easier for them to run the ASP.NET applications run on popular platforms like Windows, OS X and Linux. As the default runtime, .NET CLR allows programmers to create applications that run on existing .NET frameworks. Thus, the developers now have option to choose the runtime according to the application’s nature needs and compatibility.
Cloud Ready Configuration
Many enterprises nowadays use cloud platforms to facilitate development and deployment of modern web applications. But developers have to put additional time and effort to deploy projects in cloud. ASP.NET 5 makes it easier for developers to deploy or publish web applications in cloud without worrying about many configurations. The cloud ready configuration provided by the web framework simplifies the process of migrating and deploying projects in the cloud. The developers can further save time by converting the legacy project into an azure cloud project, and publish the converted project directly.
A Unified Programming Model
The complex nature of modern websites makes developers use multiple frameworks and programming models together. Most web frameworks require programmers to switch from one programming model to another while developing modern web applications and services. But ASP.NET 5 comes with a unified programming model called MVC 6. MVC 6 includes several frameworks including MVC, Web API, Web Pages, SignalR and Identity. The unified programming model makes it easier for programmers to create a variety of Web APIs and Web Pages without making any changes to the code. At the same time, the developers can further take advantage of a number of new features like improved routing, built-in dependency injection support, and option to create controllers from any class.
A Modular HTTP Pipeline
The latest version is designed with a new and modular HTTP pipeline. The modular pipeline makes it easier for users to host their web applications on various web servers including IIS and other Open Web Interface for .NET (OWIN)-based servers. They also have option to pick only the middleware that needs to run the pipeline for the application. They can further create custom middleware for the application, along with availing security, diagnostics, request routing and similar features provided by the new HTTP pipeline. The pipeline further simplifies the process of migrating the web application from web server to another.
Nowadays programmers have to make changes to the code at frequent intervals to enhance the application’s functionality and performance. So they look for quick and efficient ways to check the see the impact of changes made to the code. Some web frameworks require programmers to rebuild the project to check the effect of changes made to the code. But ASP.NET 5 is designed with Roslyn compiler. The compiler enables developers to check the effect of changes made to the code without rebuilding the entire project. They can now save time by compiling the code dynamically and instantaneously.
Improved Package Manager
The newer version comes with a redesigned package manager that helps developers to install, manage and update dependencies in an easier and more efficient way. The programmers now have option to represent dependencies as packages. They can even use Nuget packages as the point of reference. The simple JSON object provided by ASP.NET helps users to manage the Nuget packages more efficiently. Also, they can avail integrated support while creating and using these Nuget packages.
Support of a Modern Programming Language
Often the popularity of a programming language and a web framework is interlinked. While using ASP.NET 5, programmers are required to write code in C#. But Microsoft has updated C# to make it compete with other modern and mature programming languages. The Roslyn compiler further helps developers to take advantage of the new language features included in C# 6.0. They now have option to take advantage of several new features included in C# like auto-property initializers, primary constructor, calling await keyword inside the catch and finally blocks, exception filters, and string interpolation. The most recent version of C# also makes ASP.NET 5 score over other frameworks.
Updated Visual Studio
Modern ASP.NET 5 development professionals have the option to use an advanced and robust IDE like Visual Studio 2015. Microsoft has updated Visual Studio with several new features to meet the requirements of modern web applications and services. The tools and editors provided by Visual Studio further help programmers to reduce the development time drastically. The latest version of Visual Studio makes helps programmers to create client-side using popular frameworks like Gulp, Grunt, Bower, Bootstrap, AngularJS and Knockout.js. They can now use the IDE to create responsive websites that deliver quality user experience across a wide variety of devices. Likewise, it becomes easier for users to bundle, minify and manage the frontend resources more effectively.
On the whole, Microsoft has completely redesigned ASP.NET 5 to make it score over other frameworks. As an open source web framework, this can be used by enterprises without incurring any additional expenses. At the same time, the businesses can take advantage of its new features to deliver quality and modern web applications within a shorter amount of time.