C#

One Year of .NET 6: My Top Favorite Features

Goldy Mariz Lunesa ◇ November 04, 2022

As we approach the first anniversary of the .NET 6 general launch (originally released last November 8, 2021), I thought I would share my favorite additions to the latest and greatest ;) version of .NET 6. Let's review the goals of .NET 6. If we take a look at Microsoft's initiatives available in this site, the .NET 6 release aimed to accomplish the following:

  • Appeal to net-new developers, students and new technologists
  • Provide a great client app development experience
  • Get recognized as compelling framework for building cloud native apps
  • Improve startup and throughput using runtime execution information
  • Grow the .NET ecosystem through increased Quality, Confidence and Support
  • Meet Developer Expectations

C# 10

Alongside .NET 6, Microsoft also launched the newest version of C#, which is C# 10. It introduces new language features, such as global usings (which I wrote about here), file-scoped namespaces, extended property patterns, null argument checks, lambda improvements to name a few. The Microsoft blog goes in much more detail about the brand new additions.

Minimal APIs

The ASP.NET team rolled out the Minimal APIs, which are a straightforward way to create HTTP APIs with minimal dependencies. Minimal APIs hook into ASP.NET Core’s hosting and routing capabilities and allow developers to create fully functioning APIs with just a few lines of code. Hence, they are recommended for everyone who wants to build microservices and apps but only want to include a minimum number of files and dependencies in ASP.NET Core.

With Minimal APIs, we can build an API with just 3 lines of code.

var app = WebApplication.Create(args);

app.MapGet("/", () => "Hello World!");

app.Run();

This structure is very reminiscent of the Express app model. This is also a great way for newbies or devs from JS background to get into .NET in general.

Hot Reload

Developers from other spaces, particularly in the front-end ecosystem, are already familiar with the concept of Hot Reload— save a file and see the changes almost instantaneously. Admittedly, establishing hot reload with a statically typed language is exponentially more complex compared to a traditionally interpreted language like JavaScript, so this feature had a long time coming along.

Finally, with .NET 6, developers can modify the apps managed source code while the application is running, eliminating the need to manually pause, hit a breakpoint or restart as a whole. Personally it still has some bugs here and there but overall it has improved my productivity when developing .NET apps or in other terms, my developer inner-loop performance!

Simplified HTTP logging

.NET 6 introduced the HTTP Logging middleware for ASP.NET Core applications that logs information about incoming HTTP requests and HTTP responses, like:

  • HTTP request information
  • Common properties
  • Headers
  • Body
  • HTTP response information

To enabled the said middleware, just add the following code:

var builder = WebApplication.CreateBuilder(args);

var app = builder.Build();

// Add this code
app.UseHttpLogging();

This feature is really useful and replaces the custom middleware, libraries, or solutions we had to use to log simple HTTP requests before. However, HTTP Logging can reduce the performance of an app. The following needs to be considered to factor in performance impact:

  • Filter which parts of the request and/or response to log.
  • Filter which headers to log.
  • Filter which information about incoming requests and/or responses to log.
  • Avoid logging sensitive data such as personally identifiable information (PII).
  • Test the performance impact of selected logging properties.

Remarks

The new LTS version of .NET looks promising, both in the newly introduced features and benchmarks. I've had a great experience with it so far, I haven't encountered any major bug or issue. The Microsoft documentation is also very reliable which makes things definitely easier.

Microsoft is rolling out a new .NET version, .NET 7 (STS) on the 8th of November 2022! Details are available at .NET Conf website.

Goldy Mariz Lunesa

Software engineer who loves exploring new technologies and writing about it.

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