Learning ASP.NET Core, how to start?

campinam
campinam used Ask the Experts™
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I am a C# programmer. I'd like to start learning ASP.NET, but before that I'd have a couple of questions:

1. Should I learn ASP,NET Core or ASP.NET MVC? (What I need is to dynamically reformat pages on an existing web, at request, and also to provide user feedback forms that should access a database.)

2. I have on location an old Windows Server 2003 and another 2008, which I thought of using for testing samples. Can the framework required by ASP.NET Core be installed on such older servers? Would older IIS handle the job?

3. This book "ASP.NET Core in Action" is recent but some readers complain it's too verbose. Would you recommend another book/tutorial?
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Chinmay PatelChief Technology Ninja
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Hi Campinam,

1. Asp.Net Core MVC is the right solution. As such ASP.Net Core has support for other technologies as well.

2. I would strongly recommend you use a modern OS even Windows 10 would do.

3. Let people complain. The book is good. I can vouch for it. I am still not through as I don't need to refer to the book much but I have read couple of 100 pages and I found it good enough.

And I will recommend you also check out https://microsoft.com/learn as it should be easily a starting point for any one who wants to learn anything Microsoft (Modern Stack only)

And yes,... All the Best 🙂


Regards,
Chinmay.

Author

Commented:
Hi Chinmay, thanks, Yes I am using Windows 10 for development, I was just referring to a server I could use for testing before deploying to production.  I was hoping I could use such an old Windows Server (2003, 2008) since ASP.NET Core is platform independent. Can i?
Chinmay PatelChief Technology Ninja
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Hi Campinam,

Platform independent does not mean support for super old platforms. With that said, https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dotnet/core/windows-prerequisites?tabs=netcore2x Windows Server 2008 R2 is supported. I will still strongly recommend using that O/S as a testing ground.

There are many reasons to go for a modern O/S. I am not sure what are your reasons behind going after 2003 and 2008 but there are VMs available which you can get for free (Azure one month trial using a Credit Card) and deploy your solution on to.

PS: Even for MacOS and Linux there are certain requirements which must be met to run .Net core successfully.

Regards,
Chinmay.
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Chinmay PatelChief Technology Ninja
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
I am so sorry, I meant to say


Platform independent does not mean support for super old platforms. With that said, https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dotnet/core/windows-prerequisites?tabs=netcore2x Windows Server 2008 R2 is supported. I will still strongly recommend "against" using that O/S as a testing ground.
Senior Full Stack Developer
Distinguished Expert 2017
Commented:
Hello campinam

Here are some of my thoughts regarding your questions.

1. Should I learn ASP,NET Core or ASP.NET MVC? (What I need is to dynamically reformat pages on an existing web, at request, and also to provide user feedback forms that should access a database.)

I would learn ASP.NET Core MVC. I know that it might be slightly pricey at $29/month, but Pluralsight is really a stellar site for learning new stuff. See it as an investment in your career. What makes Pluralsight so good is that they have learning paths that you can follow. You can also try it out with a 10-day trial. Search for ASP.NET Core MVC and see which video courses come up. Also, have a look for anything by Scott Allen. He is absolutely brilliant at explaining new concepts and his Pluralsight courses are second to none.

2. I have on location an old Windows Server 2003 and another 2008, which I thought of using for testing samples. Can the framework required by ASP.NET Core be installed on such older servers? Would older IIS handle the job?

ASP.NET Core runs standalone. It isn't hosted in IIS and therefore does not require IIS to run. Have a look at Rick Strahl's excellent article on the topic. Furthermore, .NET Core is supported on the following versions of:
  • Windows 7 SP1
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 10 Anniversary Update (version 1607) or later versions
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 (Full Server or Server Core)
  • Windows Server 2012 SP1 (Full Server or Server Core)
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 (Full Server or Server Core)
  • Windows Server 2016 or later versions (Full Server, Server Core, or Nano Server)

Have a look at the prerequisites page for .NET Core.

3. This book "ASP.NET Core in Action" is recent but some readers complain it's too verbose. Would you recommend another book/tutorial?

I have a few books that I can suggest, but I would definitely start out at using Pluralsight to ramp your skills up fast. Microsoft Learn is also an option, but unless I am really bad at finding the right content, it would seem like there is only a single module called Create a web API with ASP.NET Core that deals with .NET Core. Lastly, I would suggest the excellent Microsoft Docs as a resource for learning .NET Core. Have a read through the .NET Core Guide and you will find that it is very complete.

Good luck with your journey into .NET Core. It's truly a thing of beauty.

Author

Commented:
Dirk, thanks a lot: useful info

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