The Top 10 Exciting New Features in .NET 7: A Comprehensive Guide for Developers

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Manish Kumawat

Last Updated on: 02 February 2024

The.NET platform, a free and open-source framework for creating and running applications on various operating systems like Windows, Linux, and macOS, has a new version called.NET 7, which is the most recent version. It is a complete and modular framework that offers a range of tools and libraries for creating and running various application types, such as web, desktop, mobile, cloud, gaming, and IoT applications.

.NET 7 comes with a number of new features and modifications, including new language features (such as records, source generators, and improved pattern matching), performance improvements, new APIs (such as cryptography APIs), and improvements to already existing tools and libraries. Additionally, it gives programmers a range of options for setting up and running their applications, including the use of containers, cloud deployment, and self-contained single-file programmes.

.NET 7 is part of the.NET unification effort, which aims to combine various.NET implementations, such as.NET Framework ,.NET Core, and Xamarin, into a single platform. It is now simpler to develop and maintain applications thanks to this unification effort, which enables programmers to use a standardised set of tools, libraries, and APIs across various platforms and use cases.

Overall,.NET 7 is made to offer programmers a cutting-edge and effective platform for creating and running scalable, secure, and interoperable applications. It is a flexible platform that works with a variety of development tools, including Visual Studio, Visual Studio Code, and JetBrains Rider, and supports multiple programming languages, including C#, F#, and Visual Basic.

Top 10 Exciting New Features in .NET 7

Here are the top 10 exciting new features in .NET 7 along with code examples:

  • Records Records are a new language feature in C# 9 that allows developers to define classes with less boilerplate code, particularly useful for data-centric classes. Records are similar to classes in that they encapsulate data and behaviour, but they are immutable by default and provide built-in support for value-based equality.
  • Example:

     C# source code
  • Source Generators Source generators enable developers to generate C# source code at build time based on user-defined attributes. This can be used to generate code that would be challenging to manually write otherwise or to remove boilerplate code.
  • Example:

    new feature in .NET 7
  • Native Sized Integers Native Sized Integers are a new feature in .NET 7 that provide new integer types (‘nint’and‘nuint’) that have the same size as a native pointer on the platform where the code is running. This makes it easier for developers to write platform-independent code that can handle pointer-sized values, particularly useful for low-level programs such as memory management and interop scenarios.
  • Here's an example of using the ‘nint’and‘nuint’types:

    Async streams
  • Async Streams Async streams are a new language feature in C# 8 that allows developers to easily consume data from asynchronous sources such as network streams or databases. Async streams enable developers to write code that can consume data as soon as it becomes available, without blocking the main thread or waiting for the entire data set to be loaded.
  • Here's an example of an async stream that reads a sequence of integers from a database:

    Improved Pattern Matching
  • Improved Pattern Matching Pattern matching is a powerful feature that allows developers to extract and manipulate data from complex data structures. In .NET 7, pattern matching has been improved with several new features, such as relational patterns, logical patterns, and positional patterns.
  • Let's take a look at an example of using positional patterns to match tuples:

    example of .NET 7

    In this example, we have a simple tuple with two values: an integer and a string. We can use positional patterns to match the tuple and extract its values. The "is" operator is used to check if the "myTuple" object matches the pattern (int number, string message). If the object matches the pattern, its values will be extracted into the "number" and "message" variables. We can then use these variables to print out the values of the tuple.

    Overall, these new pattern-matching features in .NET 7 make it easier for developers to work with complex data structures and extract the data they need more efficiently.

  • Lambda Discard Parameters The Lambda Discard pattern allows developers to use an underscore (_) as a placeholder for unused parameters in lambda expressions. This can be particularly useful when developers need to define a lambda expression that takes a certain number of parameters but only uses some of them.
  • Here's an example of using the Lambda Discard pattern in a lambda expression:

    Interpolated strings
  • Interpolated String Improvements Interpolated strings have been improved in C# 10 to allow for more expressive syntax. This can be used to simplify code that builds strings dynamically
  • Here's an example of using conditional expressions and format strings in an interpolated string:

    New APIs for Cryptography
  • New APIs for Cryptography .NET 7 introduces new APIs for cryptography, which provide more secure and flexible cryptographic operations. These new APIs include:
  • New cryptographic algorithms:.NET 7 includes support for additional cryptographic algorithms, such as XChaCha20Poly1305, which is a stream cypher and authenticated encryption algorithm that provides better security and performance than some existing algorithms.

    Hardware acceleration:.NET 7 leverages hardware acceleration for certain cryptographic operations, such as AES encryption and decryption, which can significantly improve performance and security.

    Improved key management:.NET 7 includes new APIs for key management, such as the Key Management Service (KMS) provider, which allows developers to securely manage and store cryptographic keys.

    Code example:

    Single-File Applications
  • Single-File Applications
  • .NET 7 introduces support for Single-File Applications, which allows developers to package their application and all its dependencies into a single executable file. This can make it easier to distribute and deploy the application, as well as reduce the overhead of managing multiple files.

    Code example:

    Nullable Reference Types
  • Nullable Reference TypesIn .NET 7, developers can now use Nullable Reference Types to improve the safety and correctness of their code. Nullable Reference Types allow you to mark reference types as either "nullable" or "not nullable" using a‘?’symbol. This can help catch null reference exceptions at compile time, rather than at runtime.
  • Code example:

    .NET 7 new features

Conclusion

In conclusion, .NET 7 brings a wealth of exciting new features and improvements that are sure to delight developers. From performance enhancements and productivity improvements to new language features and framework enhancements, there's something for everyone in this release.

In this comprehensive guide, we have covered the top 10 exciting new features in .NET 7, including records, pattern-matching enhancements, source generators, and more. Each feature has been explained in detail, with code examples provided to illustrate their usage.

Whether you are a seasoned .NET developer or just getting started with the platform, the new features in .NET 7 are sure to make your life easier and your code more efficient. So don't hesitate to dive in and start exploring all that .NET 7 has to offer!

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Manish Kumawat

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Expert in Software & Web App Engineering

Manish Kumawat is the co-founder at Fulminous Software. He is an expert at writing about technical stuff in the IT world. Imagine making the most complicated tech things easy to understand - that's what he do. But that's not all. He has developed and honed the company’s vision, corporate structure & initiatives, and its goals, and brought the company into the current era of success.

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