Microsoft releases .NET Core 2.0 and Visual Studio 2017 version 15.3

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Microsoft gave us the first preview of .NET core 2.0 about three months ago. The preview showcased numerous features such as Linux binary archives, runtime package store, no need of OpenSSL on OSX, and standalone executables, among others. On Monday, Microsoft has made the final release of .NET core 2.0.

Rich Lander, a member of the Common Language Runtime team, calls the latest version of .NET Core “easier to use and much more capable as a platform.” Lander says that .NET developers can start developing with Core 2.0 at the command line, in their favorite text editor, in Visual Studio Code, in Visual Studio for Mac, or in Visual Studio 2017 15.3 (the latter two were also just released). Lander further adds this about the platform:

“It is ready for production workloads, on your own hardware or your favorite cloud, like Microsoft Azure.”

Here are some of the important features of .NET core 2.0:

  1. Linux Binaries : The latest version of .NET core contains binary archives that are compatible with Linux distros supported by .NET Core, enabling the developer to experiment with distros that are not on the supported list but are nevertheless compatible.
  2. No  Need of OpenSSL on OSX : With .NET core 2.0, Microsoft has made changes to the crypto libraries so as to take full advantage of services that are natively available in mac OS, effectively eliminating the need for OpenSSL on OSX.
  3. Runtime Package Store : .NET core 2.0 features a Runtime Package store, which allows for creating a precompiled cache of common libraries, which can then be centrally provisioned instead of being deployed to every application, dramatically reducing the deployment size and time.
  4. Standalone Executables : With the latest version of .NET core, portable and standalone applications will now be using separate host executables. This will allow the developer of the application to sign the host executable using their digital signature.
  5. Other Features : Other features worth noting include portable binary archives for all platforms, Windows Arm32 and Arm64 builds, and support for Linux Arm builds.

Microsoft also released Visual Studio 2017 version 15.3 and Visual Studio for Mac version 7.1 on Monday. The latest version of Visual Studio 2017 improves accessibility, by adapting Visual Studio with most popular screen readers. The latest version of Visual Studio for Mac adds support for .NET Core 2.0 targeting for its web apps, web services and console apps, as well as enabling the developer to create .NET standard 2.0 in library projects, allowing them to share more code across projects.