.NET 5 Feature Complete Preview
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Tuesday, 08 September 2020

A feature complete preview of .NET 5 has been released by Microsoft ahead of the planned November launch. This will be followed by two release candidates. New versions of ASP.NET Core and Entity Framework (EF) Core were released at the same time as the .NET 5 preview.

The development team says nearly all features are now in the form they will appear in the final version, and from now on only bug fixes will change what's there. .NET is intended to be the single replacment for the legacy .NET Framework and, the soon to be legacy, .NET Core. Microsoft's plan when .NET 5 was announced was that developers would be able to create a single native .NET 5 project to target Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, Android, tvOS, watchOS and WebAssembly.



This won't be fully achieved in NET 5, with some targets moved to .NET 6. Richard Lander, Program Manager in the .NET team, said that the vision of a unified .NET platform, with one set of libraries and tools for all .NET app types was partially realized with WebAssembly now using the .NET libraries. He said the team expects to deliver the rest of the vision, largely focused on Xamarin (iOS and Android), with .NET 6.0.

The work done will mean that NET 5 will include one set of libraries and tools for all .NET app types, and support for native and web applications across the rest of the target operating systems.

The list of what has made it into .NET 5 includes single file applications and smaller container images, along with support for Windows ARM64 and better support generally for ARM64.

The single file applications is the main headline improvement. It means .NET-Core apps will be able to be published and distributed as a single executable, and the apps will contain IL assemblies, ready-to-run assemblies, composite assemblies, native binaries, configuration files, etc. packaged into one executable. The managed components of the app will be runnable directly from the bundle, without need for extraction to disk, and will be usable with debuggers and tools. 

Other improvements include new features for the JsonSerializer, as well as improved performance and reliability, and the ability to use the serializer on more platforms.

C# 9 and F# 5 are part of the .NET 5.0 release and are included in the .NET 5.0 SDK. Visual Basic is also included in the 5.0 SDK. The team says C# 9 is a significant release of the language, with improvements focused on program simplicity, data immutability and more patterns.

The improvements to F# are largely those included in the F# 5 preview released earlier this year, with just two new features, Interpolated Strings and Open Type Declarations.





More Information

.NET 5.0 download

.NET 5 Preview Release Notes

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 09 September 2020 )