Microsoft makes .NET 8 official! Performance, Cloud-Native and AI on the horizon


Quentin Destrade

IBM i News

The release of .NET 8 marks a turning point in the world of software development. With its significant performance enhancements, cloud-native focus and integration of artificial intelligence, .NET 8 is positioned as a must-have solution for developers and enterprises today. This article explores the main new features of the eighth edition of Microsoft's open source framework, unveiled on October 10.

Enhancements and performance.

The latest iteration of the .NET framework, version 8, arrives with a series of significant enhancements, taking application performance and security to the next level. Available in Release Candidate 2 (RC 2) for Windows, Linux and Mac, .NET 8 promises to deliver long-awaited changes for developers and enterprises alike, and stands out from .NET 7 on several key points.

Firstly, serialization and deserialization of JSON data have been significantly improved. With extended support for a wider range of types and the introduction of new API methods for JsonNode, developers can now manipulate JSON data with greater efficiency and precision.

The Garbage Collector (GC) in .NET 8 has been optimized to dynamically adjust the memory limit. This is particularly relevant in cloud environments, where resource demand can vary frequently, enabling more efficient and reactive resource management.

article 2

The framework also introduces System.Text.CompositeFormat, a new type designed to optimize the performance of format strings that are not known at compile time. This innovation improves string management and overall application performance.

At the same time, improved reflection is available thanks to the new System.Type object, which facilitates access to function pointer metadata. This enhancement, implemented in CoreCLR and MetadataLoadContext, represents a step forward in the manipulation and use of metadata.

Finally, .NET 8 extends SIMD (Single Instruction, Multiple Data) support with the introduction of Vector512 and support for Intel's AVX-512 instructions. This extension significantly increases parallel computing capabilities, enabling .NET 8 to handle complex, intensive operations with efficiency.

Towards Cloud-Native with .NET Aspire.

article 2

With the release of .NET 8, the introduction of .NET Aspire marks an important milestone, offering a technology stack designed specifically for the easy development of cloud-native applications. This innovation integrates advanced telemetry tools for real-time performance monitoring, facilitating proactive maintenance and application optimization.

It also focuses on resilience, with enhanced capabilities for building robust applications, featuring disaster recovery mechanisms and intelligent error management. One notable aspect is the integration of health checks, enabling constant monitoring and rapid reaction to anomalies to guarantee high availability.

.NET Aspire also focuses on optimizing for containers and supporting microservices architectures, making it easier to deploy, scale and manage applications in a cloud environment. In terms of security, it offers robust features such as advanced encryption and secure identity management.

Finally, .NET Aspire supports agile and CI/CD development practices, enabling rapid application updates, automated testing and efficient application lifecycle management.

Artificial Intelligence integration

article 2

The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in .NET 8 represents a significant step forward, opening the door to smarter, more responsive applications. This version of the framework focuses on enhancing the System.Numerics library, vital for the complex numerical calculations often used in AI. With the optimization and extension of this library, .NET 8 offers a solid foundation for the efficient handling of the heavy mathematical operations typical of AI algorithms.

One of the most exciting aspects is the ease with which developers can now integrate generative AI models into their applications. Generative models, which can create new content or data based on learning from large existing datasets, open up a wide range of practical applications. These range from the automatic generation of text to the creation of images or music, to more advanced applications such as predictive modeling and real-time personalization.

This integration of AI into .NET 8 enables developers to build smarter, more dynamic applications, capable of delivering enriched, personalized user experiences. Whether analyzing complex data, providing personalized recommendations or automating tasks, .NET 8's AI capabilities offer fertile ground for innovation and the creation of revolutionary applications.

Blazor: Full Stack Web Reinvented

article 2

With the arrival of .NET 8, Blazor stands out as a key element, reinventing itself as a full-stack framework capable of handling both client-side and server-side rendering.

Indeed, by integrating server-side rendering capabilities, Blazor enables developers to leverage server resources to generate dynamic content, delivering a more fluid and responsive user experience. This approach also reduces the load on the client, particularly beneficial for resource-constrained devices. Server-side rendering also makes it easier to manage SEO (Search Engine Optimization) concerns, as generated content is more easily indexed by search engines.

On the client side, Blazor continues to leverage WebAssembly to execute .NET code directly in the browser. This technology makes it possible to create complex, interactive interfaces, while benefiting from the performance and security of compiled code. With Blazor WebAssembly, developers can build web applications that work with the responsiveness of a desktop application, while remaining entirely web-based.

One of the most significant advantages of Blazor as a full-stack framework is its ability to provide a unified development experience. Developers can use the same language (C#), tools and libraries on both client and server sides, simplifying the development process and reducing the need to juggle between different languages and frameworks. This leads not only to greater consistency in the code, but also to increased developer productivity.

.NET MAUI and Cross-Platform Development

article 2

.NET MAUI redefines cross-platform development. This new approach makes it possible to create applications for Android, iOS, macOS and Windows from a single code base, simplifying the development process while ensuring consistency and quality across platforms.

Developers can leverage the power of .NET to build user interfaces that automatically adapt to different screen sizes and resolutions, guaranteeing an optimal user experience on all devices. This uniformity in development saves considerable time and resources, as it eliminates the need to maintain multiple code bases for each platform.

In addition to development simplicity, .NET MAUI brings significant improvements in terms of application performance and fluidity. Thanks to the use of native controls, .NET MAUI applications offer a user experience that matches the expectations of users on each platform, while giving developers access to all the specific features of each operating system.

Tight integration with .NET tools and services, such as Visual Studio, further facilitates the development, testing and deployment of cross-platform applications. The result is a complete integrated development environment, with advanced debugging tools, simplified dependency management and full CI/CD support.

Advanced C# 12 and F# 8

With .NET 8, the C# and F# programming languages also undergo significant evolution. C# 12 and F# 8** bring a series of new features and enhancements, aimed at simplifying syntax, increasing developer productivity, and boosting performance and diagnostic capabilities.

C# 12, or C sharp, the latest version of the popular programming language, focuses on simplifying syntax. These changes aim to make code more readable and easier to write, while reducing the potential for errors. New features include improved exception handling, string manipulation and enhanced asynchronous programming models. These additions make application development easier and enable more agile and efficient code writing.

F# 8, on the other hand, focuses on improving performance and introducing advanced diagnostic functions. These improvements are particularly important for applications handling large amounts of data or requiring intensive calculations. The language continues to evolve to better support functional programming paradigms, while remaining interoperable with the rest of the .NET ecosystem. The advanced diagnostic tools integrated into F# 8 help developers to identify and resolve performance problems more quickly, making the debugging process more efficient.

// Create a list:
List<int> a = new List<int> {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8};

// Create a span
Span<char> b = stackalloc char[] {'a', 'b', 'c', 'd', 'e', 'f', 'h', 'i'};

// Use the spread operator to concatenate
int[] array1 = {1, 2, 3};
int[] array2 = {4, 5, 6};
int[] array3 = {7, 8, 9};
int[] fullArray = array1.Concat(array2).Concat(array3).ToArray(); // contents is [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]


The release of .NET 8 is of considerable strategic importance for Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and enterprises, particularly those developing Windows-based business applications or looking for cross-platform solutions. This new version of the .NET framework represents a major opportunity for companies wishing to modernize their development practices, adopt more flexible architectures and take full advantage of the cloud.

For companies relying on Windows applications, .NET 8 offers significant improvements in terms of performance, security and integration with the latest technologies. Existing applications can benefit from an upgrade to .NET 8 for greater efficiency and responsiveness, while retaining the familiarity and reliability of the .NET Framework.

The cross-platform aspect of .NET 8 is particularly relevant for companies looking to extend their presence across different devices and operating systems. With tools like .NET MAUI, it becomes easy to develop applications that work seamlessly on Android, iOS, macOS and Windows, from a single code base. This not only reduces development and maintenance costs, but also ensures a consistent user experience across all platforms.

The integration of cloud-native with .NET Aspire and the enhancement of Blazor's full-stack web development capabilities now make it possible to exploit the cloud on a larger scale, with better performance and greater agility. These features enable the development of robust, scalable applications, adapted to the changing needs of the market and the demands of the modern business environment.

In addition, the focus on the integration of artificial intelligence and the improvements made to the C# and F# languages open up new avenues for the development of advanced applications, endowed with analytical and predictive capabilities. These tools enable companies to innovate and remain competitive in an ever-changing technological landscape.

.NET 8 marks the culmination of several years of effort dedicated to transforming .NET into a modern framework, capable of unifying Cloud developments and cross-platform business applications. This version, unlike its predecessors, is labeled "LTS" (Long Term Support), promising at least three years of support. This represents a relevant choice for companies that have traditionally based their development on .NET, particularly those that were previously limited to its Windows version.

The integration of the NTi solution offered today by AUMERIAL is therefore the essential complement for unlimited connectivity to IBM i resources. Designed to align perfectly with .NET 8, NTi today offers specific functionalities and seamless integration that maximize the potential of this powerful eco-system. Full compatibility with DOCKER is a perfect illustration of this alliance, paving the way for agile deployment and optimized management, regardless of the underlying infrastructure. Whether in on-premise or cloud environments, this combination guarantees greater application portability and scalability, while delivering significant benefits in terms of cost reduction and improved operational efficiency..

Quentin Destrade

Crédit image : Microsoft.