As more and more businesses move online, every tech stack is improving and adding enhancements to remain competitive. Whether it is about a CMS or a framework, we are seeing new updates regularly. It not only enhances the developer's efficiency but also improves the performance of the product. It can improve the build experience and reduce the time.
Microsoft will release .NET 8 at the .NET conference 2023 which is scheduled to be held from November 14 to November 16. It will come with a long-term support (LTS) version. As far as the LTS release for .NET is concerned, it arrives every two years and offers support for the next three years.
The LTS version release from Microsoft ensures that there will be bug fixes and updates for the next three years. Developers can leverage .NET as soon as it is released to get a stable and secure development environment.
This upgrade will improve the .NET Multi-platform App UI (MAUI) which is a cross-platform framework. MAUI can be used to build native applications on Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS. Using these previews, the .NET team will get feedback from the audience and conduct testing to ensure the new version has the best performance possible before it's released. With this release, .NET is releasing many advanced functionality to improve the productivity of developers.
Here are some of the features from the preview of Microsoft’s .NET 8 (these features and advancements are taken from official preview notes for .NET 8):
.NET 8 will have a new feature for the dotnet publish command and dotnet pack command. It will help in producing quality code. With this new feature, there will not be any hassles because using these commands makes it possible to produce Debug assets by default.
System.Text.Json is a built-in library in dotnet that will enable the functionality of serialization and deserialization. With this feature, dot net developers will be able to convert any JSON data to a .NET object or vice versa. It will also improve the source generator with ASP.NET Core in Native Ahead-of-Time (AOT) apps, resulting in a faster and more reliable tool.
It is a new feature that allows users to select a specific number of items randomly from a set of elements. This feature can be used in game development and in applications where the need is to have random outcomes. It will also come with System.Security.Cryptography.RandomNumberGenerator and System.Random.
If you want a random order of elements, Shuffle<T>() will be a great feature in .NET 8. Using Random.Shared, users can shuffle the elements of the array after loading some training data into YourType objects.
In.NET 8, new performance-improving features will be available. This new feature will allow developers to perform better and faster. The System.Collections.Frozen namespace will have two collection types named FrozenDictionary<TKey,TValue> and FrozenSet<T>. These two will not allow any changes to values once a user creates a collection. The other addition is the System.Text.CompositeFormat. It will be used to optimize format strings that are not there at compilation.
.NET also improved the native ahead-of-time (AOT) compilation feature. When users publish an app with the native AOT feature, everything is included in one file. It helps in generating a new version that requires no runtime. Apps built with this will take up less space on the device. Moreover, .NET also has support for Arm64 and the x64 architectures on macOS.
.NET 8 improved JIT compilation and code generation to enhance the efficiency of the code. For faster generation of code, it will improve Arm64 (64-bit extension) architecture performance and come with enhanced JIT throughput. With cloud-native improvements, the performance will be enhanced in containerised environments. Utilization of a cloud environment will help development teams optimise performance and cut costs with proper resource allocation.
This feature can never be null as it will be used to mark a parameter or property. It is needed to ensure the value of the property without leaving it default. With an additional layer of security, it can catch bugs easily. With this update in.NET, the DisallowAllDefaultValues property will be added to the RequiredAttribute.
With this feature, users will be able to specify bounds in the range validation with the help of RangeAttribute. It will be easy for developers to define ranges and set boundaries for validation. If you want to define probable values or ranges of values, this feature will be extremely helpful. For precise validation of data, it is a great advancement from Microsoft in .NET.
The new version of dotnet will come with support for function pointer metadata via Reflection. With this, developers will be able to get parameter types, return types, etc. In older .NET versions, the IntPtr type was used for function pointers. It was complex to get function pointer metadata.
If you want to validate parameters or properties against a list of denied or allowed values, .NET 8 has two new attributes for this: AllowedValuesAttributes specifies a list of allowed values while DeniedValuesAttribute gives a list of denied values. When there is a need to restrict the values of a property, these attributes are a great plus.
.NET also updated the LengthAttribute to set the upper and lower bounds for collection. It will improve the validation process for developers and bring flexibility to development. You need to specify maximum and minimum lengths as arguments to the LengthAttribute to use this upgrade.
To improve the output path structure, .NET 8 will come with added new options. It will help in compiling the output in various categories like NuGet packages, binaries, etc. The new upgrade of dotnet will have new tools to handle build output to enhance the productivity of developers.
Sometimes there are workload packages after updating the .NET SDK or VS code. To help with these issues, .NET 8 will have a new command to clean up the code mess. It will have two options: dotnet workload clean and dotnet workload clean all. This feature will help in removing any leftover packages that are not helping in the app's performance.
The new dotnet upgrade will have a ValidateOptionsResultBuilder, which will be used to create ValidateOptionsResult objects. With this, implementing IValidateOptions.Validate(String, TOptions) will be easy. Moreover, you will be able to check issues when a constructor adds several constructors.
If we talk about ASP.NET Core, it only uses configuration providers to read data like key-value pairs. It uses data from sources like appsettings.json, Azure Key Vault, and environment variables. With this update, .NET 8 will have capabilities to generate source code. Users will also be able to configure, Bind, and get calls from this feature.
If you have ever faced issues with MSBuild output, .NET will be very helpful for you. With modernized MSBuild output logging, you can organize every error and display builds in a user-friendly manner. It offers a complete overview of output and you can stay updated with the build progress. This feature will make it easy to spot errors and improve overall functionality.
If you want signed packages on Linux by default, .NET offers quality solutions. It has also boosted the overall security with the help of NuGet.org Packages. Moreover, the dotnet restore option will help generate a report with a detailed view of security vulnerabilities. Users will be able to see the impact of the vulnerability and how it is affecting the application built using .NET.
The new version of dotnet will have a consecutive register allocation in the register allocator of RyuJIT. For this, .NET has changed the basic algorithm. Users can make codegen for Arm64 efficient and better with this.
If you are a developer using Visual Studio with Mac devices, the new dotnet upgrade can improve your debugging experience. With faster stepping and a precise stack, you can boost performance and handle multi-threaded debugging conveniently.
.NET 8 will have Dependency Injection Friendly Metrics APIs. With this, developers can create new Meter objects with the help of IMeterFactory. It is also possible to create Meters and Instruments using attached pair tags of key-value.
The .NET 8 will have some quality SDKs so users get a smooth experience. In this, the Source Link will be connected to .NET SDK. It will come with new .NET library analysers and code fixers. It will also enable framework-dependent deployment.
If you have struggled to find the settings for Dynamic PGO in dotnet 8, the new update has made it easy for you. Now, it will be enabled by default. It can improve the performance of developers by a huge margin and many big names like Akka.Net, Microsoft Graph, and Azure Active Directory Gateway are already using this technology.
With .NET 8, it is introducing a new feature and there will be an Arm64 optimisation option. You can use peephole optimisation to improve the development process. The str pair is replaced with stp in this upgrade.
This feature-rich update will improve the System.Text.Json source generator. It will introduce caching support for the incremental generator so the performance of the IDE can be improved no matter what the number of projects are. This efficiency booster also updated the formatting of the code that is source-generated. Moreover, there will also be diagnostic warnings so developers can code with precision. It will improve the JSON files ecosystem.
With the new update, .NET 8 just made archiving and extracting more efficient than ever. With stream-based overloads for ZipFile.ExtractToDirectory and ZipFile.CreateFromDirectory method, extracting is made very easy. It eliminates the need for any temporary disk storage requirements. These tools can optimize resources where the disc space or storage is an issue.
It is a better and faster version of InstrumentRecorder in dotnet. You can improve testing scenarios with this metric. With the timestamping feature, testing will become more flexible and improve testing metrics.
With this upgrade, the source generator will be improved in the dotnet environment. With the COM interface, there will be new-age interop support, with LibraryImportAttribute. With the help of this source generator, you will be able to scribble down C# code callbacks to the unmanaged code.
With the .NET 8 upgrade, developers will get SHA-3 hashing primitive support. It will improve the security of the code. SHA-3 (Secure Hash Algorithm 3) is a standard which keeps data secure and can be used for digital signatures, key derivation functions, pseudo-random functions, and message authentication codes. With the new upgrade, Microsoft is not replacing SHA-2 but it is an alternative. This addition to the developer toolkit is a great help for securing applications.
If you want to reduce the size of a mobile app, the new dotnet upgrade has a feature for you. The new globalization mode uses a 34% smaller size of ICU bundle and supports all the locales that are being supported by mobiles. While reducing the size, it maintains globalization functionality to the finest. It can be set with the HybridGlobalization MsBuild property. Thus, it will be beneficial for mobile app development as well.
With this upgrade, hosting services will have more execution options during the application development lifecycle. Microsoft has an IHostedLifeCycleService that comes with StartAsync and StopAsync options.
.NET is one of the best frameworks used for the development of cutting-edge solutions. It is undeniably one of the best tech stacks and it keeps getting better with new updates. .NET will come with many features to improve the productivity of developers so they can build faster and more efficiently.
It will also improve the security of the app and help the code become more clean for the developer community.
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If you still have any questions about the .NET 8 release, here are some FAQs
You should use .NET 8 as it comes with many performance enhancements. It can improve efficiency and boost the overall application performance. Using this version offers many features that can save time and streamline the development process. Moreover, it will come with new features and innovations in Blazor and .NET MAUI.
Microsoft will release .NET 8 at the .NET conference 2023 which will be held from November 14 to November 16.
Yes, .NET 8 has been announced as a Long Term Support (LTS) release. It will receive updates and offer support for at least the next three years from its release date.
On the official .NET website, download the installer for .NET for your preferred operating system. After that, you need to follow the installation instructions to get this on your system. On supported platforms, the SDK installation process can also be done using the command-line interface (CLI).
To migrate a .NET application to the latest .NET 8, you need to wait for the official release. After that, you need to prepare the files and migrate to the latest version to fix code and build if there is any need. Once it is done, you need to test and run the code to find the final result. You can upgrade your .NET projects in Visual Studio by right-clicking on the project and choosing Upgrade. Moreover, .NET Framework 4.5 and later versions are backwards-compatible.