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ASPNET Intersections 2018 Developers Share their Platform Choice_870x220

Developers have an increasingly wide range of technologies from which to choose when building an ASP.NET application. These choices vary on the server-side (i.e. ASP.NET Web Forms versus ASP.NET MVC). These choices also vary on the client-side (i.e. Angular versus React). And with the advent of ASP.NET Core they now have more opportunities to use these technologies in both Windows and Linux.

Recently, we conducted a survey that asked a series of questions relating to development with ASP.NET. We learned that, while Blazor awareness is still relatively low (understandable, considering how new it is) that ASP.NET Core is quickly becoming mainstream, that ASP.NET Web Forms is still a popular framework, but Angular and WebAPI is a suitable alternative, and more.

Read on to learn more about which frameworks your colleagues around the world are using and/or targeting in the next 12 months. And, if you're curious, check out what the state of affairs was in 2017.

Survey Highlights

  • Blazor awareness is behind the adoption curve of ASP.NET Core after 6 months with 81% of respondents saying they know nothing about Blazor compared to 36% for ASP.NET Core.
  • The familiarity of ASP.NET Core has increased significantly with more respondents who know the benefits of the technology, have tried it out, or are using the technology increasing by a total of 15%.
  • There has been a substantial increase in the intention for future use of ASP.NET Core since our previous survey (November 2017)
  • ASP.NET MVC will continue to be the leading .NET Web technology with 57% of respondents who will develop .NET applications choosing that as either their primary or secondary technology.
  • ASP.NET WebForms will continue to reduce in use with only 26% of respondents who will develop .NET applications choosing that technology as their primary or secondary development choice.
  • ASP.NET Core adoption will increase at the expense of all of the other technologies with 49% of respondents who will develop .NET applications choosing that as their primary or secondary technology for the next 12 months.
  • ReactJS is now more popular than AngularJS, while Angular adoption remains stable with only a 1% reduction from our survey last year. Other JavaScript frameworks adoption will also decrease among our respondents in the next 12 months.

Survey Analysis

Future Development with ASP.NET

ASP.NET Core familiarity has increased and now less than 50% of respondents are unfamiliar with ASP.NET Core and its benefits (n=1,365). Furthermore, we see an increase in the number of respondents who are currently using ASP.NET Core, tried the technology but had technical issues, and those who understand the technology but chose not to use it. We conducted a similar survey in November 2017 (n=1,143) that asked the same question. Here is the comparison of those results:

Blazor was announced in February 2018 but seems to be having a slower uptake in understanding than ASP.NET Core did at the same time after its initial launch. This could be because it’s still in an experimental phase of course. The following table shows the survey results from June 2016.

September 2016 (ASP.NET Core)

June 2018 (Blazor)

ASP.NET technologies being targeted (as a whole) over the next 12 months, excluding respondents who won’t develop any .NET web projects in the next 12 months:

As you can see, while ASP.NET MVC still leads the way as the technology of choice among respondents (57%) planned over the next 12 months, ASP.NET Core has had a surge of adoption (+10%) at the cost to all other ASP.NET technologies. ASP.NET Core is clearly a point of focus for the ASP.NET development community.

If you are using ASP.NET MVC or ASP.NET Core and prefer not to spend time writing UI from scratch, take a look at Telerik UI for ASP.NET Core (the only toolset on the market with a complete set of Tag Helpers) and Telerik UI for ASP.NET MVC.

The combination of Angular and WebAPI provides a suitable alternative to technologies like ASP.NET Web Forms and ASP.NET MVC. It is able to achieve many of the same goals as these technologies by relying more heavily on the client-side. This eliminates much of the need for the server-side “plumbing”. That stated, there is still a role to be played by ASP.NET in a solution that employs Angular. For an overview of what this looks like, check out Ed Charbeneau’s appearance on Visual Studio Toolbox, where he discusses how to use Angular with ASP.NET Core. If you choose ASP.NET Web API + Angular, you can save time developing the UI using Kendo UI for AngularJS or Kendo UI for Angular.

ASP.NET Web Forms continues to be used by a significant portion of respondents. In fact, it’s one of Microsoft’s most mature and popular development environments. ASP.NET Web Forms remains a part of the .NET Framework and still be worked on with new features being added in each release. Because of the maturity of the framework, there are feature-filled and rich component libraries available. For example, Telerik UI for ASP.NET AJAX contains more than 100 components from PivotGrid with OLAP support to rich DataViz to the versatile controls such as Grid, Charts and Scheduler.

When it comes to ASP.NET, the best, long-term bet is target ASP.NET Core. This is where most of the innovation is occurring in terms of features and overall performance.

Future Development with JavaScript Frameworks

It’s not surprising to see Angular and React near the top of the results from the survey. They are two of the popular frameworks in the developer community and will likely remain popular for the next 2–3 years. For more information about the framework ecosystem surrounding JavaScript, check out the whitepaper, The Future of JavaScript: 2018 and Beyond.

Examining the details of the survey a little further, the JavaScript frameworks being targeted (as a whole) over the next 12 months can also be determined:

These results reflect the opinions of developers surveyed for the Stack Overflow Developer Survey for 2018, which revealed Angular and React to be the most popular JavaScript frameworks. However, the Stack Overflow survey puts React significantly higher in the Loved and Wanted categories at 69.5% wanted over Angular (54.6%).  Paradoxically, in the same survey, Angular is the 4th most dreaded framework among respondents. 

About the Survey

This survey was conducted online through a pop-up poll on The survey comprised of 6 questions; 4 with a single choice and 2 with multiple choice. It was conducted on June 26-27, 2018. The varying number of answers was due to respondents dropping the poll. The maximum statistical error for this survey is determined to be in the range ±2.7% to ±3.5%. No incentive was provided to respondents to complete the survey.

About the Author

John Bristowe

John Bristowe is a member of the Developer Relations team at Progress. He specialises in web and mobile app development.

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