Are .Net Languages Changing?

Microsoft gave developers a real treat recently when a series of blogs described upcoming changes to .Net language development. Those who work with C# and F# are certainly happy, but the way the changes will impact Visual Basic isn’t as exciting – and it may even impact the future of that language.

The Importance of Visual Basic

Visual Basic is the programming language that thrust Microsoft into the limelight, and it remains the most popular programming language in the world to this day. While it started out as a tool for the development of client-server applications, it was later integrated into Microsoft’s renowned .Net framework to provide even more flexibility. It allows developers to create applications quickly thanks to its ease of use, incredible functionality, and huge library of components that developers can use as they see fit.

The Migration to .Net

When Visual Basic was integrated into the .Net framework, things started to change. The code wasn’t easy to switch from the old to the new, but developers promised to keep the new Visual Basic and C# synced together. Essentially, the goal involved making C# a part of Visual Basic so that both could be developed at the same time. This seemed like the right thing to do because they both used the same tools. However, with Microsoft’s recent announcement, things are changing again.

The Big Change

When Microsoft released its series of blog posts in late January and early February, it became apparent that Visual Basic as part of the .Net framework was no longer on Microsoft’s priority list. With the upcoming release of Visual Basic 15, VB.Net and C# will no longer follow the same development track. Although this may come as a surprise, the truth is that C# is growing ever popular and Visual Basic is slowly but surely sliding down the list. What’s more, Visual Basic is focused more on its original use for client-server applications, whereas C# is becoming a go-to tool for web-based applications, such as those that rely on cloud infrastructure.

What the Changes Mean for Developers

Right now, developers don’t need to do much in the way of planning for the upcoming changes to .Net language. However, in the future, it’s anticipated that developers will need to make a choice. They can adopt languages like C#, which provides flexibility in terms of devices and frameworks, or they can revitalize their Visual Basic code through .Net standard. What’s more, developers who are interested in mobile and cloud technology will do well to make the switch to C# and .Net Core, which is the open-source iteration. This change will provide more flexibility and functionality for developers who want to move applications to the cloud or support a variety of mobile devices.

Developers running Visual Basic don’t need to jump into overdrive to make changes just yet, but it’s a good idea to start strategizing, especially for those who want to make the switch to cloud-based and mobile application development. Visual Basic .Net APIs are going to become less important, but C# and F# will gain solid ground.