Unifying .NET with .NET Standard 2.0

The goal of .NET Standard is for "one library to rule them all," or more simply, one library of APIs that can be used across a number of platforms without much afterthought. The .NET team lets us in on their plans in the near future.

The .NET convergence is getting nearer to a reality, as Microsoft's .NET team publishes its plans for upcoming versions of .NET Standard, a master library of APIs.

".NET Standard solves the code sharing problem for .NET developers across all platforms by bringing all the APIs that you expect and love across the environments that you need: desktop applications, mobile apps & games, and cloud services," writes Microsoft's Immo Landwerth, in a blog post.

Currently, developers targeting one of the .NET variants had to understand how APIs being used in an app would interact with the base class library for the targeted .NET. With .NET Standard, developers won't have to give API compatibility much thought other than which API to use. At least that's the goal. Developers who have developed for Windows Phone 8.0 platforms have already gotten a taste of .NET Standard 1.0, and other versions already exist for differing versions of .NET platforms (.NET Core 1.6, all versions of .NET Framework 4.5 and newer, and Universal Windows Platform 10.0).

Version 2.0 of .NET Standard will be made available when the next versions of .NET Core, .NET Framework, Xamarin.iOS, Xamarin.Android, and UWP are shipped. Landwerth notes that even with 2.0 coming, compatibility issues are still a concern. .NET Standard 2.0 will be compatible with Portable Class Libraries, but he said the team will make a compatibility shim available so .NET Standard-based libraries can be referenced in .NET Framework binaries.

Landwerth suggests that developers start to use .NET Standard rather than PCLs: "The tooling for targeting .NET Standard 2.0 will ship in the same timeframe as the upcoming release of Visual Studio, code-named "Dev 15". You'll reference .NET Standard as a NuGet package. It will have first class support from Visual Studio, VS Code as well as Xamarin Studio."

About the Author

Michael Domingo is a long-time software publishing veteran, having started up and managed several developer publications for the Clipper compiler, Microsoft Access, and Visual Basic. He's also managed IT pubs for 1105 Media, including Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine and Virtualization Review before landing his current gig as Visual Studio Magazine Editor in Chief. Besides his publishing life, he's a professional photographer, whose work can be found by Googling domingophoto.

comments powered by Disqus


  • .NET Core Ranks High Among Frameworks in New Dev Survey

    .NET Core placed high in a web-dominated ranking of development frameworks published by CodinGame, which provides a tech hiring platform.

  • Here's a One-Stop Shop for .NET 5 Improvements

    Culled from reams of Microsoft documentation, here's a high-level summary of what's new for performance, networking, diagnostics and more, along with links to the nitty-gritty details for those wanting to dig in more.

  • Azure SQL Database Ranked Among Top 3 Databases of 2020

    Microsoft touted the inclusion of Azure SQL Database among the top three databases of 2020 in a popularity ranking by DB-Engines, which collects and manages information about database management systems, updating its lists monthly.

  • Time Tracker Says VS Code Is No. 1 Editor for Devs, Some Working 15+ Hours Per Day

    WakaTime, which does time tracking for programmers, released data for 2020 showing that Visual Studio Code is by far the top editor/IDE used by its coders, some of whom are hacking away for more than 15 hours per day.

Upcoming Events