Introduction to ASP.NET Core
ASP.NET Core is a cross-platform, high-performance, open-source framework for building modern, cloud-based, Internet-connected applications. With ASP.NET Core, you can:
- Build web apps and services, IoT apps, and mobile backends.
- Use your favorite development tools on Windows, macOS, and Linux.
- Deploy to the cloud or on-premises.
- Run on .NET Core or .NET Framework.
Why use ASP.NET Core?
Millions of developers have used (and continue to use) ASP.NET 4.x to create web apps. ASP.NET Core is a redesign of ASP.NET 4.x, with architectural changes that result in a leaner, more modular framework.
ASP.NET Core provides the following benefits:
- A unified story for building web UI and web APIs.
- Architected for testability.
- Razor Pages makes coding page-focused scenarios easier and more productive.
- Ability to develop and run on Windows, macOS, and Linux.
- Open-source and community-focused.
- Integration of modern, client-side frameworks and development workflows.
- A cloud-ready, environment-based configuration system.
- Built-in dependency injection.
- A lightweight, high-performance, and modular HTTP request pipeline.
- Ability to host on IIS, Nginx, Apache, Docker, or self-host in your own process.
- Side-by-side app versioning when targeting .NET Core.
- Tooling that simplifies modern web development.
Build web APIs and web UI using ASP.NET Core MVC
- The Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern helps make your web APIs and web apps testable.
- Razor Pages is a page-based programming model that makes building web UI easier and more productive.
- Razor markup provides a productive syntax for Razor Pages and MVC views.
- Tag Helpers enable server-side code to participate in creating and rendering HTML elements in Razor files.
- Built-in support for multiple data formats and content negotiation lets your web APIs reach a broad range of clients, including browsers and mobile devices.
- Model binding automatically maps data from HTTP requests to action method parameters.
- Model validation automatically performs client-side and server-side validation.
ASP.NET Core integrates seamlessly with popular client-side frameworks and libraries, including Razor Components, Angular, React, and Bootstrap. For more information, see Razor Components and related topics under Client-side development.
ASP.NET Core targeting .NET Framework
ASP.NET Core 2.x can target .NET Core or .NET Framework. ASP.NET Core apps targeting .NET Framework aren't cross-platform—they run on Windows only. Generally, ASP.NET Core 2.x is made up of .NET Standard libraries. Apps written with .NET Standard 2.0 run anywhere that .NET Standard 2.0 is supported.
ASP.NET Core 2.x is supported on .NET Framework versions compatible with .NET Standard 2.0:
- .NET Framework 4.7.1 and later is strongly recommended.
- .NET Framework 4.6.1 and later.
ASP.NET Core 3.0 and later will only run on .NET Core. For more details regarding this change, see A first look at changes coming in ASP.NET Core 3.0.
There are several advantages to targeting .NET Core, and these advantages increase with each release. Some advantages of .NET Core over .NET Framework include:
- Cross-platform. Runs on macOS, Linux, and Windows.
- Improved performance
- Side-by-side versioning
- New APIs
- Open source
We're working hard to close the API gap from .NET Framework to .NET Core. The Windows Compatibility Pack made thousands of Windows-only APIs available in .NET Core. These APIs weren't available in .NET Core 1.x.
Recommended learning path
We recommend the following sequence of tutorials and articles for an introduction to developing ASP.NET Core apps:
Follow a tutorial for the type of app you want to develop or maintain:
App type Scenario Tutorial Web app For new development Get started with Razor Pages Web app For maintaining an MVC app Get started with MVC Web API Create a web API* Real-time app Get started with SignalR
Follow a tutorial that shows how to do basic data access:
Scenario Tutorial For new development Razor Pages with Entity Framework Core For maintaining an MVC app MVC with Entity Framework Core
Read an overview of ASP.NET Core features that apply to all app types:
Browse the Table of Contents for other topics of interest.
* There is a new web API tutorial that you follow entirely in the browser, no local IDE installation required. The code runs in an Azure Cloud Shell, and curl is used for testing.
How to download a sample
Many of the articles and tutorials include links to sample code.
- Download the ASP.NET repository zip file.
- Unzip the Docs-master.zip file.
- Use the URL in the sample link to help you navigate to the sample directory.
Preprocessor directives in sample code
To demonstrate multiple scenarios, sample apps use the
#if-#else/#elif-#endif C# statements to selectively compile and run different sections of sample code. For those samples that make use of this approach, set the
#define statement at the top of the C# files to the symbol associated with the scenario that you want to run. Some samples require setting the symbol at the top of multiple files in order to run a scenario.
For example, the following
#define symbol list indicates that four scenarios are available (one scenario per symbol). The current sample configuration runs the
#define TemplateCode // or LogFromMain or ExpandDefault or FilterInCode
To change the sample to run the
ExpandDefault scenario, define the
ExpandDefault symbol and leave the remaining symbols commented-out:
#define ExpandDefault // TemplateCode or LogFromMain or FilterInCode
Regions in sample code
Region names usually contain the word "snippet." The following example shows a region named
#region snippet_FilterInCode WebHost.CreateDefaultBuilder(args) .UseStartup<Startup>() .ConfigureLogging(logging => logging.AddFilter("System", LogLevel.Debug) .AddFilter<DebugLoggerProvider>("Microsoft", LogLevel.Trace)) .Build(); #endregion
The preceding C# code snippet is referenced in the topic's markdown file with the following line:
You may safely ignore (or remove) the
#endregion statements that surround the code. Don't alter the code within these statements if you plan to run the sample scenarios described in the topic. Feel free to alter the code when experimenting with other scenarios.
For more information, see Contribute to the ASP.NET documentation: Code snippets.
For more information, see the following resources:
- Get started with ASP.NET Core
- Publish an ASP.NET Core app to Azure with Visual Studio
- ASP.NET Core fundamentals
- The weekly ASP.NET community standup covers the team's progress and plans. It features new blogs and third-party software.
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Our feedback system is built on GitHub Issues. Read more on our blog.