As the year comes to a close, it’s a good time to reflect on the progress and advancements that have been made in the .NET ecosystem over the past year. From new versions of the framework and tools to exciting developments in the community, there has been no shortage of news and events to keep .NET developers engaged and informed.
We queried Microsoft MVP community on what they liked the most in .NET in 2022 – see the below 5 highlights!
Dev Tunnels in Visual Studio
We developers love to code and run our apps on powerful computers with large epic high-DPI screens. However, we also then need to test in real-life scenarios on actual devices. While developing web apps in Visual Studio, testing on external devices was always a hassle, due to the fact that the apps are just running on localhost, so they are not accessible from the outside. But now, Dev Tunnels are here to help us! Tunnels set up port forwarding and a public URL, so you can then easily browse and test your app on any device. And it of course works with Uno Platform WebAssembly apps as well! Check out the documentation here. For Uno-specific guide, see my blog.
Container support, .NET MAUI and IoT
There’s some awesomeness added recently to the Microsoft and .NET world at the moment. Some highlights for me include the built in container support for http://asp.net Core Apps, along with .NET MAUI coming of age in .NET 7. For the IoT Devs around, the ability to add Cosmos DB as an IoT Hub Custom Endpoint is a cool feature. The pace of development in this ecosystem is striking and it’s great to see how much momentum Microsoft is gaining in other operating systems like Linux too.
Last year, lots of improvements came to the .NET world! Performance was one of the great improvements.
With the power of source generators, .NET 7 has implemented few generators to take performance to the next level, these include the regex generator and LibraryImport generator.
In addition, Roslyn has implemented a very important API for incremental source generators, namely ForAttributeWithMetadataName. With this API, you can easily write very efficient attribute-based source generators.
On the C# language side, there are lots of new features in C# 11, my most loved ones are list pattern and raw string literals!
Windows App SDK, ARM, Project Voltera
In the last year a lot of exciting things happened in the Windows and .NET space. Most notably of course, .NET 7 hit the road including .NET 7 support for Windows App SDK (WASDK). ARM has gotten a lot more traction and support. Project Volterra has been released and allows developers to test their projects more easily on Windows on ARM. With Visual Studio also being available for ARM64, ARM has truly shown how important it is.
WinUI 3 has also gotten a lot of changes. A few API gaps such as Mica or the MediePlayerElement. But not only existing UWP APIs have been added but completely new APIs have landed. One of them is the new AppNotificationBuilder that allows developers to write their notifications without the XML specifications. One of the things I am most excited about though is the new third-party widgets API that allows developers to finally write their own third-party widgets.
Lastly, while it is still in review (and is something to be excited for in the next year), the Community Toolkit labs are something that also made this year exciting for .NET developers. With their new infrastructure, they can write code and UI components that will be available on UWP/WinUI 2, WinUI 3 and most importantly Uno Platform!
What I’ve been enjoying a lot with .NET 7 are the performance improvements and overall support on the Arm64 side. I can see a clear difference between .NET 6 and .NET 7, and it’s been very exciting. I feel like I’m FINALLY able to switch between my Windows Dev Kit 2023, Surface Pro X, and M1 Mac Mini for development.
As for Uno Platform in 2022 – we summarized it in yesterday’s blog post. We look forward to 2023 and having you in our community.
Uno Platform Team