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.
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.
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.
This survey was conducted online through a pop-up poll on telerik.com. 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.
John Bristowe is a member of the Developer Relations team at Progress. He specialises in web and mobile app development.