.NET 8 and the Future of .NET in GeneXus

The GeneXus Generator for .NET 8, the latest version released by Microsoft, is now available. In line with our commitment to remaining at the forefront of emerging technologies, we also announce that GeneXus will focus all updates on the .NET Generator, declaring the .NET Framework Generator as Legacy.

Each year, Microsoft releases a new edition of .NET. GeneXus, backing this technology since 2001 with its generators, now offers a Generator compatible with .NET 8, released in November 2023.


With significant improvements in performance, security, and advanced features, .NET 8 represents the culmination of Microsoft's efforts to deliver the best version of .NET, setting new standards in software development.


The .NET 8 Generator in GeneXus 18 Upgrade 7, launched in December 2023, is the fastest way to build Enterprise AI Applications—mission-critical solutions powered by Artificial Intelligence.


"This generator receives all of GeneXus's efforts for evolution and innovation in .NET. By leveraging the advantages of .NET 8, solutions generated with this platform become more scalable, faster, and robust," highlights Armin Bachmann, Product Manager at GeneXus.


To explore all the new features of .NET 8 and GeneXus, we invite you to watch the "State of the Art: .NET" presentation from the GeneXus Meeting - GX30.


We also invite you to explore the innovations of GeneXus 18 Upgrade 7, which generates for .NET 8 as well as the latest versions of Java and Spring Boot, Angular, iOS, and Android.


Legacy Declaration for .NET Framework Generator


The robust evolution of the .NET platform, now in its version 8, contrasts with the lack of progress in .NET Framework, also from Microsoft, which remained stagnant at version 4.8.


"In GeneXus, we have decided to align with Microsoft's strategy, focusing our efforts on the evolution and innovation in .NET rather than .NET Framework. Although we have been following this direction for several years, we believe now is the right time to take a more decisive step. Given the proven robustness and completeness of the technology and the .NET Generator, and considering the types of systems required today, we recognize the .NET Framework generator as a Legacy System. Consequently, it will no longer receive new features or updates, except for those related to security," explains Bachmann.


Transitioning from .NET Framework to .NET 8 is essential for GeneXus developers looking to work in a flexible and future-proof development environment, creating modern solutions.


Now is the time to look forward and take advantage of all the benefits offered by .NET 8, which, as announced by Microsoft, is a version with 'Long Term Support' (LTS) that will be supported until November 2026.


To start the migration process, we recommend reading this document on our wiki.


.NET and GeneXus: A Brief History


At the TechEd event in 2001, Bill Gates announced the release of .NET Framework as a new foundational platform for building systems. During the same event, Bill Gates also introduced the GeneXus C# generator.


At that time, there was already a solution created with GeneXus for Visual FoxPro—GXvision, a leading ERP in Latin America for cable operators. This application, regenerated for C#, consisted of 2 million lines of code and was created by 2 developers in 2 months, capturing the attention of the Redmond giant.


Over time, .NET Framework and our Generator grew and evolved.


Our relationship with Microsoft also progressed, leading us to become partners in supporting the thousands of applications that would be created on .NET Framework and the GeneXus Generator.


However, a challenge arose for .NET Framework over time: its limitation to Windows environments, while servers and clouds diversified beyond this platform.


In response to this challenge, in 2014, Microsoft initiated a crucial transformation, launching the first version of .NET Core (now known as .NET), a Cross-Platform platform that represented the evolution of .NET Framework.


GeneXus accompanied this strategic shift by introducing a Generator for .NET Core in GeneXus 16, allowing customers to choose between building for .NET Framework or .NET Core.


Microsoft continued to invest significantly in .NET Core, advancing rapidly.


In 2019, Scott Hunter, Microsoft's VP of Product, posted an article on the company's blog titled '.NET Core is the Future of .NET,' stating that with the release of .NET Core 3.0, they believed all new applications in .NET should be based on .NET Core. "New applications should be built on .NET Core, as that is where future investments will be made."


This endorsement of the new platform continued with the renaming of .NET Core to simply .NET in the next version, .NET 5.


Since then, Microsoft has released a new version of .NET every year, with versions 6 and 8 being Long Term Support (LTS) versions, meaning they have a longer lifecycle.


GeneXus has kept pace with these advancements by updating the .NET Generator and providing support for version 6 (since February 2022) and .NET 8 (since December 2023).


We call this approach "Future Proof" because the technological investments made by our clients endure longer thanks to the constant evolution in our generators. This is one of the features most valued by the GeneXus Community.