From the blazing beaches of MAUI, version 7 of .NET turns everything up to 11. How's that for an opening line?

It seems to me only yesterday that we wrapped up the .NET 6 FOCUS issue of CODE Magazine and yet here we are, already spreading the news about .NET 7. And great news it is!

For those of us who've been using Visual Studio and the .NET Framework for many years, it's never been better. The change to the Core platform has yielded results that many of us may still find surprising. Let's take a look at the wonderful gifts that .NET 7 gives us.

First, let talk about C#11. Each and every version of this language has presented developers with numerous productivity enhancements. One feature that I'm personally fond of is the addition of raw string literals. Channeling former CEO Steve Balmer, developers in the year 2022 might chant: strings, strings, strings! JSON, YAML, XML, CSV strings are ever-present in today's development ecosystem and each version of C# makes this story that much better. You can now embed long strings into your code without resorting to loose text files on disk or embedded resources compiled into your application. This is just ONE of the features. Read the full article from Bill Wagner to find out about more wonderful additions to C#.

Developers in the year 2022 might chant, “strings, strings, strings!”

Once you've whetted your whistle, set sail for the oasis of cross-platform development using the new MAUI features in .NET 7. MAUI was originally slated for shipment in .NET 6 but took more time to refine and improve than anticipated. The delay was worth the wait. The MAUI development platform helps .NET developers build applications capable of supporting macOS, Android, and Windows, all from a single code base. Check out David Ortinau's article on MAUI for details on building applications with this great tool.

.NET 7 continues “blazing” the trail of web assembly-compiled applications with updates to the Blazor framework. One great story is the capability of using components from other frameworks, like Angular, Vue, or React. Microsoft has adopted a philosophy of meeting developers where they are and your investment in these various tools is secure in the Blazor environment. You also get a better development experience with Hot Reload, better debugging, and improved interop. Blaze your own trail by looking at what Daniel Roth has written up for you!

Microsoft has the philosophy of meeting developers where they are, to enhance their investments and ensure that their hard work is secure.

Performance, performance, performance… It seems that every version of .NET has radical performance improvements and .NET 7 continues this trend. In the software, every millisecond adds up and .NET 7 fights to remove every wasted cycle. Steven Toub presents the details on performance improvements and how they were achieved.

Data, data, data… The Entity Framework is 15 years old at this point and the EF team hasn't run out of cool features to surprise us with. Our resident EF expert Julie Lerman takes you through the numerous improvements to EF, including better performance, reduced rounds to the database server, enhancements to stored proc integration, changes to bulk updates, and many others. Building data-centric applications has never been better.

These are just a few highlights presented in this CODE FOCUS issue. Other topics include tools to help WCF developers as well as tips and tricks for converting your existing applications. Check them out - you won't be disappointed.

You may think that I'm being a bit over enthusiastic about this version of .NET. I don't think so. I've been a.NET developer since its first beta, and this version has done nothing but confirm my decision some 20 years back. Let me tell you the major reason why: .NET has a great backward-compatibility story along with a forward-thinking trajectory, ensuring that your sweat investment is preserved with minimal rework. This version is no different.

I hope you enjoy what we've created for you!