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ASP.NET vNext - Deploying your own version of .NET Framework

In this post we will talk about a new feature of .NET, that will allow us to deploy the .NET CLR with the application itself. No more .NET installation and versioning problems… or not
The new version promises us that we will be able to include in the application package all .NET dependencies that we are using. This mean that we can run our application on machines where we don’t have .NET installed. When we create our build, the package will contains also all the .NET resources needed.
For example the client will not need any more to install the .NET framework. This is great, because there were cases when we had to install .NET 4.0 and also .NET 4.5 on different machines because of the dependencies.
In the same time, the client will have locally only .NET components that he is using. For example we don’t need WCF or WF components installed on his machine if the application don’t use it. The deployment and setup step will be simpler and we will not use need any more to consume client storage space with the full stack of .NET framework.
Another nice thing is related to versioning. We don’t need to care anymore what version of .NET the client have on the machine. We can directly include .NET component directly in it. In this way the CLR versioning is becoming simpler, clean and in self-hosting.
In this beautiful story people could see a problem. Let’s assume that you are developing a 5 different applications for an enterprise client. He will need to install all of them on his machine. Because each application will come with his own .NET dependencies you could have theoretically the same .NET components duplicated (with the same version). On the other hand, the storage is pretty cheap, the size of .NET framework is not very big and on top of this, you include only the .NET components that you are using. Because of this you will not have a 1.6 GB of .NET stuff there, you can have only 200 MB or less.
I would say that you have a lot of advantages using this way of deployment. The cost of storage is pretty low and the .NET footprint is extremely low. Keep in mind that you have all the dependencies in your own project and you can update them independently.
Our application folder will have all the CLR and .NET framework similar with a NuGet packages. You can even specify for each sub package of   .NET framework what version you want. For example we could have Microsoft.Asp.Net.MVC version and Microsoft.AspNet.Hosting
In conclusion we could say that we will have more flexibility than we had until now, our life will be easier. I expect on real application, especially in the one that are big to have problems with versioning, updating and things like this. But, no blockers and in the end we gain a lot from this feature.


  1. Nice, but I'm wondering when a bug or security exploit is discovered in one .NET Framework version, how will the admin (or Windows Update) patch all these self-contained versions of .NET quickly.. :) (if they are scattered on various folders and not side-by-side in GAC)

    1. In the same way you make an update for a NuGet package (EF for example).
      They are only in the alpha version. I can bet that they will come with a solution for this problem.

    2. Can a domain admin push an update to an assembly (DLL) to 100 client workstations using NuGet only?

      If each application will have it's own 'private' copy of a certain .NET Framework version (not in GAC), the application vendor will be responsible to update it, unless somehow the admin will have a built-in way to discover all applications that have a certain .NET version..


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