I think this is the third .NET Focus issue we've shipped, and I can say without a doubt that these .NET issues are very fun to put together. Well, it's not all fun. LOL. Sometimes the deadlines are a bit crazy, but overall, the experience is quite rewarding. This issue is no exception. The part I find most rewarding is the privilege of working with the teams building these features, creating in-depth content that our readers will be able to take advantage of almost immediately. Another rewarding aspect is getting a personal tour of what's most important in the version of .NET we're creating content for from the people responsible for making those changes. As you're about to see, there's a lot to this tour.

At a high level, this version of .NET is a unification version. Rich Lander does a good job of conveying the overarching vision of .NET 6 in his aptly named article “The Unified .NET 6.” This article is not just “fluff.” There are a lot of details to this unification, including performance improvements. Check it out - you won't be disappointed.

There are a TON of exciting new features in this version of .NET and I believe my favorite one is the concept of Minimal APIs. Daniel Roth does a great job in his article “What's New in ASP.NET Core in .NET 6,” demonstrating how to build a reasonably complex Web API with a single file. I love this new ability as we'll no longer need to build completely scaffolded Web projects to just “try something.” In my humble opinion, this is one of the most important aspects of this release. And this is just one of the cool features being shipped in ASP.NET Core.

My next favorite feature is just a simple little thing. In C# 10, we can now create global Using statements. No more redundant Includes at the top of every program you create. You just put the common Using statements in a common file and cut down on the “cruft” in your programs. This's just one cool feature in C# 10. Check out Mark Michaelis' article, “Essential C# 10.0: Making It Simple” for more details.

This next one is a HUGE set of changes that every .NET developer will love. Visual Studio 2022 is now - drum roll please - 64-bit. Yes! You read that correctly. In Mika Dumont's article, “Visual Studio 2022 Productivity,” you'll learn that a major benefit of this release is SPEED, SPEED, and more SPEED. The shift to 64 bits will make VS compile faster, search faster, and make your everyday development work...well...faster! <g> As if this isn't enough already, there are a ton of other features for developers. No spoilers here: Check this article out for yourself. There's lots of great information here.

Another area of focus that you'll find fascinating are the various user interface frameworks that are in heavy development now. We have content on the .NET Multi-platform App UI (.NET MAUI), Blazor, and Power Apps. The work that the .NET team has been doing over the years is paying huge dividends in the .NET 6 release. There are now many ways to build applications for any platform you want. Want C# code in your Web applications? Blazor can help. Want to build mobile applications? Take a trip to .NET MAUI to make that interface painless for you and the users. Want to build Office 365 applications? It's Power Apps to the rescue.

I'm looking forward to seeing how these various platforms play out over the coming years.

Along with these features and tools, there are also some great articles on tools you can use to migrate your applications to the current version, as well as deep dives into performance updates in the overall .NET framework, .NET 6. And the beauty of this performance work is that it's essentially “free.” There are no major changes to your code and yet there are huge performance gains.

And last but not least. The Entity Framework is making huge strides for us “gear heads” who love data. Audit tables, performance improvements, improvements to migrations and, finally, more work on the CosmoDB provider. For EF Core users, there's definitely a lot to love.

Like all releases, .NET 6.0 has something for everyone and we're just scratching the surface in this issue. I hope you like what we have curated for you.