.NET 7 vs .NET 8: Key Differences & Insights

Tapesh Mehta Tapesh Mehta | Published on: Mar 03, 2024 | Est. reading time: 12 minutes
.net 7 vs .net 8 know the differences

In this post, we’re diving into the world of .NET, specifically focusing on .NET 7 vs .NET 8: the key differences, updates, and what they mean for developers. Microsoft’s .NET Framework is still at the forefront of software development, providing developers with an efficient and flexible platform to build a broad range of applications because of their rapid evolution. Significant milestones in this ongoing process have been achieved with the .NET 7 and .NET 8 releases, each bringing its own set of improvements and new capabilities to the table.

The framework’s commitment to performance, cross platform development and containerization, ensuring developers have the tools they need to build efficient, scalable applications, was reinforced by the unveiling of .NET 7 on November 14, 2022. .NET 7 was designed to simplify development processes, improve productivity and support the latest trends in cloud computing and microservices with improvements across all fronts, including ASP.NET, C#, F#, or Entity Framework Core.

Just a year later, .NET 8 was launched on November 14, 2023, continuing the trajectory of innovation and improvement. With a focus on areas such as advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning integration, more comprehensive cloud native support, and even better performance optimizations, this version further expands the capabilities of .NET.

.NET 8 developers have the ability to develop interactive web applications with Blazor, build high performance microservices and all sorts of different things between them when it comes to modern application development challenges. Let’s understand the Key Differences & Insights between .NET 8 and .NET 7.

Table of Contents

.NET 7 vs .NET 8: Performance Improvements

The improvements in performance from .NET 7 to .NET 8 are significant and focus on enhancing the overall effectiveness and speed of applications developed using these frameworks. Based on the most recent updates, here are a few highlights:

JIT Compiler Enhancements

.NET 8 has made significant strides in Just-In-Time (JIT) compilation, which is crucial for the dynamic compilation of .NET code. The improvements in the JIT compiler aim to boost the code execution speed, thereby enhancing application performance across the board. .NET 8 is around 24% faster than .NET 7.

chart showing .net 8 is 24 percent faster than .net 7

Dynamic Profile-Guided Optimization (PGO)

The introduction of a Dynamic PGO, which optimizes the runtime performance through analysis of program execution and adaptation to improve efficiency, is an interesting feature in .NET 8. This feature is based on the idea of “tiering,” which ensures that frequently used paths are optimized for speed, by optimizing the compilation process according to the method’s usage frequency and execution path.

Garbage Collection (GC) Improvements

Both .NET 7 and .NET 8 have focused on improving garbage collection, which is essential for memory management. .NET 8 continues to enhance this area, aiming to reduce application pauses and improve memory utilization, leading to smoother and more responsive applications.

ASP.NET Core Enhancements

ASP.NET Core has seen specific performance improvements, particularly in HTTP context handling and Native AOT (Ahead-Of-Time) compilation. For instance, improvements in the handling of HTTP request headers in ASP.NET Core 8 have led to allocation-free access to certain properties, thus reducing overhead and boosting web application performance.

Application Trimming and Native AOT

Support for native AOT and Application Trimming has been enhanced in .NET 8 which can significantly reduce the size of an application and its start times. For cloud-native applications and microservices, where resource efficiency and rapid start times are critical, these features are particularly useful.

New Features and Enhancements

A wealth of new features and improvements are introduced in .Net 8 that greatly enhance developers’ productivity, application performance as well as compatibility with other platforms. Some of the most striking improvements are briefly described below:

.NET Runtime and SDK Enhancements

.NET 8 improves overall performance, consolidates the collection of garbage and enhances core and extensions libraries. For mobile applications and new source generators for COM interop and configuration binding, a new globalization mode is introduced. In addition, the .NET SDK is now supported by native AOT, sophisticated code analysis and diagnostics.

C# 12 Integration

Shipped with the .NET 8 SDK, C# 12 brings simplified syntax and new features aimed at improving developer productivity. This includes primary constructors, collection expressions, and enhanced lambda expressions.

ASP.NET Core Innovations

Significant improvements include streamlined identity management for single page applications (SPA) and Blazor, enhanced minimal APIs, and advancements in tooling with features like route syntax highlighting and auto-completion.

.NET MAUI – Elevated Developer Experience

.NET MAUI extends its reach by supporting the latest versions of iOS and Android, alongside performance, controls, UI elements, and platform-specific behavior enhancements

Entity Framework Core, NuGet, and WPF Updates

From new complex types and support for hierarchical data in EF Core to security vulnerability audits in NuGet and hardware acceleration in WPF, .NET 8 elevates the ecosystem’s capabilities​

Blazor Developments

.NET 8 brings considerable advancements to Blazor, such as the introduction of the SectionOutlet and SectionContent components for more dynamic content placement, improved error page support, and the now official QuickGrid component for high-performance data display. In addition, the Blazor WebAssembly has received improvements for AOT compilation, debugging and packing.

Release Lifecycle of .Net 7 and .Net 8

As a “Current” release, .NET 7 typically has a shorter support lifecycle, usually supported until the release of the next version plus an additional few months to allow for transition.

.NET 8, on the other hand, marked its arrival on November 14, 2023, and is designated as a Long-Term Support (LTS) release. LTS versions of .NET are supported for three years from their release date, offering stability and extended support for enterprises and developers who need a longer timeframe for maintenance, updates, and security patches for their applications. This extended support period makes .NET 8 an ideal choice for projects requiring long-term stability and predictability in their .NET framework versioning. Below, we have highlighted the release life-cycle of .NET 7 vs .NET 8 in a table form.

VersionOriginal release dateLatest patch versionPatch release dateRelease typeSupport phaseEnd of support
.NET 8November 14, 20238.0.2February 13, 2024LTSActiveNovember 10, 2026
.NET 7November 8, 20227.0.16February 13, 2024STSMaintenanceMay 14, 2024
.NET 6November 8, 20216.0.27February 13, 2024LTSActiveNovember 12, 2024
.NET and .NET Core release lifecycle

.NET 7 vs .NET 8: Deprecated Features and Breaking Changes

.NET 8 introduces several breaking changes and deprecated features across different technology areas, including ASP.NET Core, Containers, Core .NET libraries, Cryptography, Deployment, Entity Framework Core, Extensions, Globalization, Interop, Networking, Reflection, SDK, Serialization, and Windows Forms.

These changes are categorized as binary incompatible, source incompatible, or behavioral changes, affecting how existing binaries run or compile against the new runtime or requiring updates to existing code due to altered behaviors. Key areas affected include middleware obsolescence, serialization converters, container image updates, ASP.NET Core’s minimal APIs, and changes in default settings for SDK projects. For detailed information on all breaking changes and deprecated features in .NET 8, visit the official Microsoft documentation​ of breaking changes in .NET 8.

Cross-Platform Development

  • .NET MAUI has been enhanced to support the latest versions of iOS and Android, ensuring developers can target the most recent platforms​
  • Blazor’s enhancements in .NET 8 focus on optimizing page load times and scalability while introducing new components and improving authentication, authorization, and identity management features

Cloud and Container Support

.NET 8 has greatly improved support for cloud services and containers, focusing on simplification of containerization, increased security features as well as simplified application deployment. It simplifies the process of packaging applications into containers by introducing more straightforward commands and defaults that consider the project’s properties, such as targeting .NET 8 for an ASP.NET application.

This simplification extends to running applications in containers using tools like Podman or Docker, making it accessible even for developers new to containerization

Security in containerized applications has also seen advancements, with .NET 8 promoting the use of non-root user configurations by default, reducing image sizes for faster deployment, and providing optional Chiseled Ubuntu images for increased security. In order to ensure that applications are both secure and efficient, these measures not only enhance the security of applications, but also improve their performance by reducing the size of containers and supporting the flexibility of the architecture.

Tooling and Productivity Enhancements

Visual Studio 17.8 introduces the ability to automatically sort and clean up #include directives, to mark unused directives, and to provide quick cleanup actions that can significantly improve the quality of the codebase. In addition, this release brings improvements to the responsiveness of solutions using Razor and Blazor, a decrease in memory allocations as well as significant speed improvement for F5’s native projects

These tooling improvements for .NET 8 and Visual Studio 17.8 are intended to meet the needs of a broad range of developers, including web development with Blazor or across platforms such as mobile and desktop app development using .NET MAUI support even Native Linux testing tools. The introduction of C# 12 with .NET 8 further enriches the developer experience with new language features that simplify coding and improve code quality

Security Enhancements

The new .NET 8 introduces major improvements in security, especially when it comes to authentication, authorization and identity management within the ASP.NET Core Framework. These updates offer new APIs for more flexible authentication and authorization processes, aimed at simplifying user login and identity management experience.

The purpose of this version is to streamline the integration of security practices into single page applications (SPAs) and other web applications, with an emphasis on ease of use that does not compromise safety standards. One notable aspect is the effort to provide more scenario-based documentation to assist developers in securing their applications effectively, addressing common scenarios like securing API endpoints with end-to-end guidance.

Additionally, .NET 8 enhances container security by introducing default non-root user configurations and offering reduced image sizes for faster deployment. These measures are part of the overall .NET 8 initiatives to increase application security, especially for cloud-native applications that use containers as deployment components.

Should You Upgrade From .NET 7 to .NET 8?

Upgrading from .NET 7 to .NET 8 is generally a good move for developers who want to take advantage of the latest features, performance improvements, and security enhancements that .NET 8 offers. Each new version of .NET brings optimizations that can make your applications run faster and more efficiently, and .NET 8 is no exception. It includes enhancements in areas like cloud, AI, and desktop and web development, making it easier to develop high-performance, modern applications.

Moreover, staying up-to-date with the latest .NET version ensures better support from Microsoft, including security patches and technical support, which is crucial for maintaining the security and reliability of your applications. .NET 8, being a Long-Term Support (LTS) version, provides extended support, making it an attractive upgrade for projects requiring stability over a longer period.

While upgrading, it’s important to test your applications thoroughly to identify any breaking changes or compatibility issues, but the effort can be well worth the benefits of being on the latest platform version.

.NET 7 vs .NET 8: Upgrade Path and Recommendations

A number of steps are required to upgrade your application to .NET 8 so that it can take advantage of recent features, improvements in performance and security enhancements for the .NET platform. In order to facilitate the transition smoothly, here is an overall overview and a few recommendations:

Use the .NET Upgrade Assistant

The .NET Upgrade Assistant is a tool that helps streamline the process of upgrading. It allows you to configure it according to your development environment and preferences, both as an extension of Visual Studio and a command line tool. This tool allows for a variety of project types, such as ASP.NET, Azure Functions, Windows Forms, WPF and Xamarin Forms to .NET MAUI and it provides various upgrade paths like .NET Framework to .NET, .NET Core to .NET, and Xamarin Forms to .NET UI.

Adapt to ASP.NET Core Changes

If you’re upgrading an ASP.NET Core application, there are specific changes you might need to make. These could include modifications to project files, updating namespaces, and adjusting code to align with new or deprecated features

Follow Blazor and WebAssembly App Guidelines

For Blazor Server and Blazor WebAssembly applications, certain adjustments will be necessary. This might include updating the target framework, modifying Razor component handling, and adapting to new Blazor rendering modes​

Backup Your Projects

Before initiating the upgrade process, it’s crucial to backup your projects. This precaution ensures that you have a recovery point in case of issues during the transition.

Test Thoroughly Post-Upgrade

After upgrading, thoroughly test your applications to identify any issues stemming from the transition. This testing phase is critical to ensuring that your applications function correctly under the new .NET version.

Leverage Community and Microsoft Resources

Utilize resources such as documentation, community forums, and Microsoft support to navigate challenges during the upgrade process. Engaging with the community can provide insights and solutions to common upgrade hurdles. By following these steps and recommendations, you can ensure a more efficient and less problematic transition to .NET 8. Remember, the specific details and complexities of your upgrade path can vary based on the project types and features you’re using, so referring to detailed documentation and using the .NET Upgrade Assistant’s guidance will be key to a successful upgrade.

FAQ: Upgrading from .NET 7 to .NET 8

Q: What are the main differences between .NET 7 vs .NET 8?

A: .NET 8 introduces a 24% performance improvement in request handling over .NET 7, along with new features and enhancements in security, cloud integration, and development tools.

Q: Is it worth upgrading from .NET 7 to .NET 8?

A: Yes, upgrading to .NET 8 is beneficial for taking advantage of the significant performance improvements, enhanced security features, and the latest development tools and capabilities.

Q: Will my existing .NET 7 applications work on .NET 8 without changes?

A: While many applications will work without modification, some may require adjustments due to breaking changes or deprecated features. Testing and validation are recommended post-upgrade.

Q: How do I upgrade my .NET 7 application to .NET 8?

A: You can use the .NET Upgrade Assistant, available as a Visual Studio extension or a command-line tool, which guides you through the upgrade process.

Q: Are there any tools to help with the upgrade process?

A: Yes, the .NET Upgrade Assistant tool is designed to assist developers in upgrading their applications to .NET 8, providing step-by-step guidance throughout the process.

Q: Can I expect any performance improvements by upgrading to .NET 8?

A: Yes, .NET 8 offers a 24% increase in request handling performance, making it a compelling upgrade for applications requiring high throughput.

Q: How does .NET 8 improve security compared to .NET 7?

A: .NET 8 introduces enhanced security features and improvements, focusing on cloud and container support, which are vital for modern, secure application development.

Q: Where can I find more information or assistance with upgrading to .NET 8?

A: WireFuture, an expert ASP.NET development company, offers insights and services to help you seamlessly transition to .NET 8, leveraging the full potential of the latest .NET version. Visit https://wirefuture.com for more information.

Wrapping Up

For developers who want to leverage advanced features, performance improvements and security updates, keeping up with the latest version of .NET is important in order to be able to update your application as soon as possible after you have upgraded from .NET 7 to .NET 8. It’s not only helping to optimize application performance, but it also provides Microsoft extended support so that your applications remain secure and up to date. With tools like the .NET Upgrade Assistant, the process becomes more straightforward, allowing you to upgrade with confidence.

If your project could benefit from the latest .NET advancements and you’re looking for expert assistance, consider WireFuture. As a leading ASP.NET development company, WireFuture specializes in bringing modern, efficient, and secure applications to life. WireFuture has the expertise to help you leverage .NET 8’s fullest potential, whether you are upgrading your current solution or launching a new project.

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About Author
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Tapesh Mehta

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Tapesh Mehta is a seasoned tech worker who has been making apps for the web, mobile devices, and desktop for over 13+ years. Tapesh knows a lot of different computer languages and frameworks. For robust web solutions, he is an expert in Asp.Net, PHP, and Python. He is also very good at making hybrid mobile apps, which use Ionic, Xamarin, and Flutter to make cross-platform user experiences that work well together. In addition, Tapesh has a lot of experience making complex desktop apps with WPF, which shows how flexible and creative he is when it comes to making software. His work is marked by a constant desire to learn and change.

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