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ASP.NET Zero vs ASP.NET Core: What are the differences?

Developers describe ASP.NET Zero as "Base solution for web applications". It is a starting point for new web applications with modern UI and SOLID architecture. It saves time by providing common application requirements as a pre-built Visual Studio solution (with full source code). On the other hand, ASP.NET Core is detailed as "A cross-platform .NET framework for building modern cloud-based web applications on Windows, Mac, or Linux". A free and open-source web framework, and higher performance than ASP.NET, developed by Microsoft and the community. It is a modular framework that runs on both the full .NET Framework, on Windows, and the cross-platform .NET Core.

ASP.NET Zero and ASP.NET Core can be categorized as "Frameworks (Full Stack)" tools.

ASP.NET Core is an open source tool with 16.2K GitHub stars and 4.29K GitHub forks. Here's a link to ASP.NET Core's open source repository on GitHub.

Advice on ASP.NET Core and ASP.NET Zero
Taimoor Mirza
Associate Software Engineer at Intech Process Automation · | 5 upvotes · 279.4K views
Needs advice
on
Spring Boot
and
ASP.NET Core

For context, I currently use JavaScript (React) and Python (Flask) in my daily routine.

I need your help in choosing either Spring Boot or ASP.NET Core. Both frameworks seem to have mature ecosystems. I would like to hear your thoughts on the following points:

  • Difficulty level of both frameworks
  • Level of community support
  • Career prospects i.e do Spring based jobs pay more or vice versa
  • which one will be helpful if I decide to transition towards a more specialized field like data engineering.

I am asking this because it is something that I am also exploring in parallel. I know that Python and #SQL play a huge role in big data.

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Replies (4)
Keegan Witt
Recommends
Spring Boot

I'll preface this by saying I haven't ever done work on the Microsoft stack, so take this with a grain of salt.

Community support: Java tends to have a more active community (and much more diverse universe of new open source projects) than .Net (related to below).

Difficulty level: I'd say the Java/Spring stack is more difficult because Java developers tend to use more community projects and have to know which ones to choose in which circumstances (e.g. what logging framework to use? What database connection pooling library to use? What testing framework to use). That being said, most decisions you have to make have choices that are vastly more popular than others. My impression is that .NET guys use stuff from the standard library almost exclusively. If it's not provided there, it's a problem they never thought to solve or maybe write their own (usually the former).

Career prospects: I'll get hate for this probably, but Java/Spring has more jobs than .Net. .NET Core even more so because it's new. Most .NET jobs out there are going to be not Core, and not on anything other than Windows. LinkedIn search for jobs in United States shows 97,103 for Java and 36,448 for C#. That's not to say some individual city might not have more .NET than Java, but by and large Java is bigger. Also, .NET is not dying at the same pace as say Ruby on Rails (sorry Rails fans). I'd say it's ticking very slowly lower, maybe even holding steady. I wouldn't say you're screwed career-wise if you choose .NET. C# is also pretty similar to Java from what I've seen, and I know professionals that have transitioned to Java (though interestingly, I don't know any that did the reverse). Several companies have basically no .NET footprint, for example, Amazon, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter all have Java, but basically no C#.

Specialized fields: Neither Spring or .Net are going to be a thing in a field like data science. That's exclusively Python (some R) for the most part. The only exception being that there is some Java in Hadoop, and Scala in Spark (which runs on the JVM). But I think those are generally more for data products being created, and not data science work. I'm also under the impression this is increasingly less the case than historically. Some other specialties might make Java useful, for example Android development.

In short, Java is the COBOL of the modern enterprise (which is both a good and bad thing). I recommend it to anyone over .NET, but not for technical reasons. It's for reasons related to the questions you asked. There are actually reasons I think CLR and C# are actually better from a technical perspective than Java (unsurprisingly, since they had the benefit of hindsight). But that's not what you were asking about...

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Recommends
Spring Boot

Spring boot helps you creating microservices in hours, not days and there is a very active community around it with amazing integrations. Check one of the tutorials maybe. At least here in Germany, the job market will be better for Spring Boot as well, there are a lot more companies using Java then C#.

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Alexandru Muntean
Java Application Architect at IBM · | 4 upvotes · 185.5K views
Recommends
Spring Boot

ASP.NET Core is pretty new while spring boot is very old but with a different name. Spring boot is just a pack of spring packages which make your life easier. I also believe that java community is way stronger than c# community... You can do your job in both frameworks and it's up to you what you choose after-all you're going to work on the project/lead it ... but whatever you choose.. after a few days of investment stick with your decision because in both frameworks you'll encounter challenges :)

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Klaus Nji
Staff Software Engineer at SailPoint Technologies · | 3 upvotes · 173.1K views

I’ll echo what others have said here with a few twists.

I have experience with both platforms including Micronaut, a relatively new kid on the block. It all depends on your near term goal. If it is to make money, sure Java jobs pay more generally because there is more hassles when dealing with the entire ecosystem. Like someone said earlier, you have to make a decision at almost every stage of the development cycle from the IDE, dependency resolution framework, logging, serialization, microservice framework etc. There is just too much choice which some may argue is an advantage while others may argue is a distraction and productivity killer. At the end of the day you can build solid systems with both frameworks.

Coming to ASP Core, yes I also agree that options are more streamlined. You’ll be using Visual Studio or Visual Studio code. For dependency management, you’ll be using Nuget. But I disagree with one of the comments above about the lack of choice. In some aspects .NET actually has more choice believe it or not for example choice of ORM. There is entity framework, nhibernate, dapper etc. For J2ee, hibernate reigns supreme although you have JPA. For dependency injection you have many IoC containers like unity, castle Windsor in .NET while you have Guice and maybe a Spring based implementation.

Also C# is technically a better language that Java. That’s not questionable as has also been stated above. Many things are done right obviously by avoiding some of the mistakes made in the underlying architecture surrounding the Java programming language. That’s why Microsoft created c# to begin with. The language is a lot cleaner and allows you to focus on learning core principles and nail down fundamental OO with emphasis on good design. I find too many distractions in the Java ecosystem which takes me away from understanding the core problem I am trying to solve.

So as you can this is not an easy decision and as someone has stated there’s work to do regardless of what technology choice you make.

If your sole purpose is to make a higher base salary, sure pick Spring Boot. If you want to quickly deliver something and iterate, pick ASP Core. I personally use c# for all private projects and proving concepts even though my employer is a Java shop. It allows me to stay focused on solving the problem and not constantly wrestle with issues such as Gradle dependency resolution glitches in IntelliJ.

Given that you can transfer skills from .NET to J2ee I recommend guys to pick up ASP get a couple of services to get a feel web development as you can still get jobs in Java even with that experience. Companies don’t care these days. In fact a lot of companies are going to Go so there’s that too.

Depends on your immediate term goal.

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Needs advice
on
Django
and
ASP.NET Core

As a medium level .Net programmer trying to implementing a website, I decided to go through the Asp.Net Core. I found some tutorials on the web and started learning; however, I faced a problem. Even though I have been working with .Net and C# (mostly with unity game engine, which led to a quite amazing mobile game, published on a Persian app store) for two years or even more, by start learning Asp.Net Core, I found out that I do not know .Net as much as I expected. There were some things I should have learned before.

I searched for other frameworks, and Django was a popular one. Besides, I have planned to learn Python for machine learning. The website I want to make (with a small team) is nearly similar to Khan Academy. (We are going to use React for front-end)

So, What should I do? Continue working on .Net core with its amazing new features, or start getting into the Python and Django?

Your advice accompanied by reasons will be greatly appreciated!

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Replies (6)
Recommends
Django

Having worked with many J2EE database applications in the past, I now turn to Django if I can and the project allows it as it is so quick to get up and running. It has a logical workflow and organized structure and it comes with a high level of security (if you import the appropriate backends). If you are wanting to incorporate python-based data processing (or cython), it is relatively easy to write a backend plugin. I have found it more stable with updates than other frameworks (particularly compared to the NPM world such as React which so often descends into dependency hell when a version of something is updated). One hassle worth mentioning is the database migrations support which can sometimes mess up during development but there are workarounds. With a React frontend, you would be using the Django REST Framework (https://www.django-rest-framework.org/) so you may find that you have to overwrite a lot of the methods here as the defaults are fairly basic CRUD operations which don't really support nested relationships very well. I don't have any experience with .Net so I can't give a comparison except of course, the obvious one, portability, as Python is platform-independent. PS, I would recommend Vue over React also for a well organized front-end.

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Recommends
Django

I find myself in the opposite boat, I have made commercial websites with Django and now find myself learning ASP.NET. My recommendation comes with the following caveats... regardless of direction the learning will happen. Django is a very battery included framework, so the initial process will be painless, I found that documentation and support for more advanced use cases to be fairly easy to get support.

I personally found Django pretty nice to work with.

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Recommends
ASP.NET Core

You can get done what you want with just about any modern framework and language.

Django is fast and easy to learn but as your website grows you will need more and more community apps whose release cycles do not keep up with Django. Unless you are willing to work on the community apps, Django may not be for you.

Compare the active community sizes of Django apps to Ruby on Rails apps and you'll see very active communities with Ruby on Rails and small Django communities. Don't switch to Ruby on Rails though--it is a small, dying community of enthusiasts.

ASP.NET Core is a great backend framework, the community is large and you can always find answers; however, according to the StackOverflow developer survey, it is not desirable for the majority of programmers. I still use it though because my background evolved from C to C++ and then to C#. I also like the Microsoft world.

I've programmed a lot using Angular and some React but am switching to Vue.js which is much easier to learn and faster to code in. Be sure to use TypeScript with Vue.js. Just watch the video on the Vue home page to see how fast he can code using Vue.

But do you really want to code a website from scratch? If not, try WordPress Elementor. It may save you tons of time.

For mobile, use Google Flutter. In my 35 years of professional programming I've never seen anything more elegant, easy to learn, well documented and beautiful than Flutter. From one a single base you can target both Android and IOS and soon Web. You can also develop in Android Studio which means your screen real estate requirements are small so you don't need two monitors.

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Recommends
Firebase

I recommend you use a framework such as Firebase instead of implementing your own backend server for the website.

I found that Firebase enables me to build websites more quickly since it takes care of the backend for me so most of my development time is building the front-end (using React in your case).

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Recommends
ASP.NET Core

Go with the ASP.NET Core. It is a very mature technology now and there are tons of documentation, tutorials and support you can find online. Also ASP.NET Core Web API plays quite well with the React. It is easy to implement the entire back-end in .NET Core (APIs, authentication, database access layer...) and if you need any third party package, I'm pretty sure you will find and implement in a form of a NuGet package. Who knows, maybe one day you'll need to create a mobile app and with a fully functional Web API, it would be more-less easy task to build a mobile app on top of it.

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Ilya Lebedev
Recommends
Django

If you're going to learn Python anyway, Django project will boost your learning process. Since you're going to use React , you only neet to create REST API. Basic API can be created with Django rather easy.

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Needs advice
on
ASP.NET Core
and
Django

I have a mission to make a web application for my organization (engineering consultant). With the following bullet points that the new web app has to cover, what is the right tool?

  1. It should be able to display employee data and project data. For example, when searching the name of Mr. Peter Parker, I should be able to click on the name to see his personal profile and also a list of construction projects he is or was a part of. Also, if I click on a project name, say Project ABC building, it should show me the detail of this project (who is the client, who works on this project, where, start-finish dates, etc.)

  2. It should be able to sync with the database from Microsoft Access.

(optional) 3. The user of this web app should be able to propose a rotation of role (Ex. Boss might want Mr. Peter Paker to work in another project next month, he can just drag Peter into XYZ Building.)

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Replies (4)
Mohammad Hossein Amri
Chief Technology Officer at Axceligent Solutions · | 8 upvotes · 61.2K views
Recommends
ASP.NET Core

you can achieve what you want with both. but for me, the obvious choice is Aspnet core. the main reason is being the easiness of writing code in a multi-threading manner & ORM. the Django ORM is ugly as hell that I don't even want to look into its code. I did a couple of projects with Django and I wish I never did it. the amount of nuances was so much that after we delivered the projects I rejected any new Django project. I know people still using that and getting projects done but it's not a clever choice when there are easier choices out there.

moreover, after the latest upgrade, the Aspnet core 3 is the fastest and best of framework in 2020.

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George Krachtopoulos
Recommends
Django

I always use Django on my projects. It is really easy and friendly fro the developer. It also comes with an inbuilt admin panel where you can manage all your models (tables), Django has a great authentication and authorization system, and it provides a great and powerful URL dispatcher, suitable for your needs. Furthermore, you can use a called django-pyodbc that is coded specifically for Microsoft SQL Server, and the SQL dialects for SQL Server ("T-SQL") and Access ("Access SQL"). However, I would not recommend using an Access DataBase with any web application's backend. Of course, it depends if you explicitly have Microsoft as your main tech stack.

Hope I helped you, and good luck with your project!

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Paresh Kadam
Software Developer at Tavisca · | 4 upvotes · 60.8K views
Recommends
ASP.NET Core

Would recommend Asp.net core with angular, It would integrate fine. I have experienced Django its good for fast, short span projects. But when it comes to speed, maintainability Asp .net is a winner. Though you can use angular/react in both frameworks. Your application consists of crud operations so you can have a choice based upon availability of resource, maintenance and time

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Recommends
ASP.NET Core

Short answer, ASP.NET because of #2. I think the Microsoft stack, now and in the future will be easier to sync with Microsoft Access. I haven't done extensive research but usually Microsoft office apps work well with the MSFT stack. BUT I personally prefer Django.

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Decisions about ASP.NET Core and ASP.NET Zero
Alexander Krylkov
Sofrware Architect at Air Astana · | 2 upvotes · 82.4K views

Comparing to ASP.NET Core MVC or ASP.NET Core Web API Simplify.Web allows you to easily build your web-site or REST API without any additional/complicated setup, covering cases like localization by default. It's projects structure very lightweight, just a minimum amount of what you need to setup ASP.NET Core request pipeline.

It is build on top of Simplify.DI IOC container abstraction, no dependency on Microsoft.Extensions.DependencyInjection and it's syntax. You can easily switch between DryIoc, SimpleInjector, CastleWindsor etc.

Any internal module of Simplify.Web can be easily replaced on extended by your custom module, covering your custom cases.

For HTML pages generation Simplify.Templates can be used allowing you to use just regular plain HTML without additional setup.

Can be easily integrated with Simplify.WindowsServices converting your web application not just to web-application, but a standalone windows service which can also do some background jobs via Simplify.WindowsServices.

And it is open source, of course :)

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There has been a lot of buzz around having PostgreSQL for ASP.NET Core 3.1 web apps. But Configuring Identity Server 4 with PostgreSQL is a real challenge. I've made a simple video to configure the ASP.NET Core 3.1 based Web application that uses AngualrJS as front end with Single Page App capabilities with Identity Server 4 talking to the PostgreSQL database. Check out this Video tutorial on how to do that in detail http://bit.ly/2EkotL5 You can access the entire code here on github http://bit.ly/35okpFj

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Pros of ASP.NET Core
Pros of ASP.NET Zero
  • 41
    C#
  • 28
    Visual Studio
  • 25
    NuGet
  • 24
    Performance
  • 17
    Open source
  • 14
    Productive
  • 13
    Easy to learn and use
  • 9
    Fast Performance With Microservices
  • 8
    Easily Expose API
  • 7
    Fast
  • 7
    Rapid Development
  • 7
    Visual Studio Code
  • 6
    JetBrains Rider
  • 6
    Web Apps
  • 5
    Razor Pages
  • 5
    MVC
  • 5
    One stop shop
  • 5
    Azure Integration
  • 4
    Cross Platform
  • 3
    Scalable
  • 3
    Easy to learn
  • 3
    Professionally Developed Packages
  • 3
    MVVM
  • 3
    Great MVC and templating engine with Razor
  • 4
    Rapid development
  • 4
    Starting point for web applications
  • 4
    Clean & SOLID architecture
  • 3
    Premium forum support
  • 3
    Automates repeated tasks
  • 3
    Open source AspNet Boilerplate framework behind
  • 3
    Pre-built functionalities
  • 3
    Core features covering most business needs
  • 2
    Multi Tenancy
  • 2
    Full source code included
  • 2
    Fast and quality product support
  • 2
    Well-documented
  • 2
    Easy to customize
  • 2
    Open-source mature framework
  • 1
    Metronic premium UI theme
  • 1
    Easy to integrate

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Cons of ASP.NET Core
Cons of ASP.NET Zero
  • 5
    Great Doc
  • 3
    Fast
  • 2
    Clean
  • 2
    Professionally written Nuget Packages, vs IMPORT junk
  • 1
    Long polling is difficult to implement
    Be the first to leave a con

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    - No public GitHub repository available -

    What is ASP.NET Core?

    A free and open-source web framework, and higher performance than ASP.NET, developed by Microsoft and the community. It is a modular framework that runs on both the full .NET Framework, on Windows, and the cross-platform .NET Core.

    What is ASP.NET Zero?

    ASP.NET Zero is a starting point for new web applications with modern UI and SOLID architecture. It saves time by providing common application requirements with pre-built modules/pages as a Visual Studio solution (with full source code).

    Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

    What companies use ASP.NET Core?
    What companies use ASP.NET Zero?
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    What tools integrate with ASP.NET Core?
    What tools integrate with ASP.NET Zero?

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    What are some alternatives to ASP.NET Core and ASP.NET Zero?
    ASP.NET
    .NET is a developer platform made up of tools, programming languages, and libraries for building many different types of applications.
    Django
    Django is a high-level Python Web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design.
    Spring Boot
    Spring Boot makes it easy to create stand-alone, production-grade Spring based Applications that you can "just run". We take an opinionated view of the Spring platform and third-party libraries so you can get started with minimum fuss. Most Spring Boot applications need very little Spring configuration.
    React
    Lots of people use React as the V in MVC. Since React makes no assumptions about the rest of your technology stack, it's easy to try it out on a small feature in an existing project.
    Blazor
    Blazor is a .NET web framework that runs in any browser. You author Blazor apps using C#/Razor and HTML.
    See all alternatives