Build 2024: .NET announces updates for AI, web, cloud-first, cross-platform, and more

.NET Stack

Today at Build 2024, Microsoft announced the release of .NET 9 Preview 4 and a broad set of updates and improvements across the stack. Not surprisingly, many of the improvements involve AI.

“.NET gives you tools to build powerful applications with AI,” writes .NET in its comprehensive Build 2024 post. “You can use the semantic core to orchestrate AI plugins, allowing you to seamlessly integrate AI functionality into your applications. You can use cutting-edge libraries like OpenAI, Qdrant, and Milvus to enhance the functionality of your applications. “You can also deploy your applications in the cloud with .NET Aspire, ensuring optimal performance and scalability.”

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On that note, Microsoft separately announced that its .NET Aspire cloud-native stack is now generally available to those building new cloud applications, adding cloud-native capabilities to existing applications, or deploying .NET applications in the cloud. . If you want to learn more, you can check out the team’s short video series and the .NET Aspire learning path on Microsoft Learn.

Separately, Microsoft has partnered with OpenAI to deliver an OpenAI SDK for .NET that supports the latest OpenAI features and models, including GPT4o and Assistants v2, and provides a unified experience across OpenAI and Azure OpenAI. The SDK will ship later this month.

And .NET 9 will include a new Tensor data type to address the fundamental data structure used by AI, a kind of multidimensional array that represents data such as tokens (text sequences), images, video and audio. This makes it easy to write code that interoperates with AI libraries such as ML.NET, TorchSharp, and ONNX Runtime, and provides efficient math, indexing, and splitting operations.

.NET developers looking to get started quickly with AI can check out the team’s AI samples on GitHub, with quickstarts on the semantic kernel, the Azure OpenAI SDK, vector databases, LLM basics, local models, and further.

Beyond AI, Microsoft is building on its work to bring .NET to Linux by adding a new server garbage collector mode in .NET 9 that dramatically reduces memory usage and many low-level optimizations and improvements that speed up .NET in all fields. The C# language is being updated to version 13 with new features for the params keyword that allow you to work with any of the types currently supported by collection expressions (rather than just arrays), new extension types with methods, properties, and other members. and other improvements.

For web developers, .NET provides ASP.NET Core for creating modern browser-based web applications and backend services, and Blazor for creating web user interfaces for ASP.NET Core applications. With .NET 9, ASP.NET Core will add a HybridCache API for distributed caching. And Blazor now supports constructor injection, WebSocket compression, and new rendering capabilities.

.NET MAUI helps developers create cross-platform apps that run on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, and with .NET 9, Microsoft is updating its .NET MAUI extension for Visual Studio Code (in preview) with support for XAML Intellisense. Xcode Sync and other improvements based on feedback. There are also new features like multiple iOS library targeting, Android asset bundles, and experimental native AOT support for Catalyst iOS and Mac apps. Finally, Microsoft will make it easier to write hybrid .NET MAUI apps with a new template. solution to create a UI to be shared between Blazor web and hybrid apps, and a new HybridWebView control to enable JavaScript frameworks.

Basically, there’s a lot going on. You can learn more about .NET 9 on GitHub. And you can download .NET 9 Preview 4 from the .NET website.