.NET vs Next.js: What are the differences?
What is .NET? A free, cross-platform, open source developer platform for building many different types of applications. .NET is a general purpose development platform. With .NET, you can use multiple languages, editors, and libraries to build native applications for web, mobile, desktop, gaming, and IoT for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and more.
.NET and Next.js can be primarily classified as "Frameworks (Full Stack)" tools.
Some of the features offered by .NET are:
- Multiple languages: You can write .NET apps in C#, F#, or Visual Basic.
- Cross Platform: Whether you're working in C#, F#, or Visual Basic, your code will run natively on any compatible OS.
- Consistent API & Libraries: To extend functionality, Microsoft and others maintain a healthy package ecosystem built on .NET Standard.
On the other hand, Next.js provides the following key features:
- Zero setup. Use the filesystem as an API
- Automatic server rendering and code splitting
"Tight integration with visual studio" is the primary reason why developers consider .NET over the competitors, whereas "Automatic server rendering and code splitting" was stated as the key factor in picking Next.js.
.NET and Next.js are both open source tools. It seems that Next.js with 38.7K GitHub stars and 4.69K forks on GitHub has more adoption than .NET with 11.1K GitHub stars and 2.4K GitHub forks.
According to the StackShare community, .NET has a broader approval, being mentioned in 1566 company stacks & 239 developers stacks; compared to Next.js, which is listed in 82 company stacks and 69 developer stacks.
What is .NET?
What is Next.js?
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I use .NET because now that it is cross platform it is a perfect choice for creating small containerised web api apps that can be used in a micro-services architecture.
C# in particular is a very mature and feature rich general purpose language. Great to be able to pivot to a predominantly Linux platform and reuse our skills and investment in .NET
Visual Studio Code worked really well for us as well, it worked well with all our polyglot services and the .Net core integration had great cross-platform developer experience (to be fair, F# was a bit trickier) - actually, each of our team members used a different OS (Ubuntu, macos, windows). Our production deployment ran for a time on Docker Swarm until we've decided to adopt Kubernetes with almost seamless migration process.
After our positive experience of running .Net core workloads in containers and developing Tweek's .Net services on non-windows machines, C# had gained back some of its popularity (originally lost to Node.js), and other teams have been using it for developing microservices, k8s sidecars (like https://github.com/Soluto/airbag), cli tools, serverless functions and other projects...
My first introduction to .NET was in the early alpha days, back in the early 2000s. In nearly the two decades that have passed since, it has matured into a very powerful platform. .NET as a platform has always had a great deal of polish that I haven't been able to find anywhere else. The ease of use and general technical excellence of the platform meant that I was delivering value at a consistent rate and with relatively little trouble.
That didn't make anything perfect, of course. The closed nature and the single platform that .NET was traditionally limited to took their toll. In particular, a bug fix that you found and reported might be fixed in the next release (18 months away) or not, with very little input or ability to understand what was going on.
And then the CoreCLR came along. In 2015, we made the decision to move the all of our applications and code into the CoreCLR.
That has been an amazing experience. The fact that I can dive into the source directly has made things so much simpler, and the fact that you can submit patches and interact directly with the core team has been an absolute joy. Our company has contributed several times (some code and mostly some interesting bug reproductions and perf issues) and has been continuously at awe at the level of commitment and (I have no other word) grace that we get from the team.
The fact that we can now run .NET code (and our product) on Windows, Linux, Raspberry PI(!) and Mac has been a great boon to us. We recently deployed our software to a whole lot of industrial robots running custom ARM boards. That is something that would have just been unimaginable every as much as five years ago.
In pretty much respects, the overall community, the core team, the engineering quality and the fact that it brings the polish that I've gotten so used to in environments where you are generally left cobbling things all by yourself means that it is my platform of choice for projects big and small.
I chose .NET Core because it finally let me work natively on my macOS and Linux machines but collaborate with coworkers using Windows. Devs use the devices that they feel most capable with.
Having services that can run without changes on Linux let us migrate to containerized deployments on Kubernetes without much effort. The performance we've gotten from small ASP.NET Core services running on Alpine images has been great.
While the versioning of SDK and libraries/meta packages/etc has been kind of nuts.. We also keep getting new features that are really valuable and easy to package into our services.
Just rolling out v3 of the WebJobs SDK which brought simpler DI, filters and more to our Async backend workers. Also preparing to run v2 of Functions in our Azure Kubernetes cluster with virtual-kubelet.
In the last year, the community has finally started heavily moving towards NETStandard 2.0 which has eliminated some of our last points of frustration -- not finding compatible clients/libraries/tools that we could use from .NET Core apps (and, funny enough our older .NET Framework apps too!).
We're all in on .NET Core now.