Key Difference between ASP.NET Core and ASP.NET MVC

 ASP.NET is one of the most widely used programming frameworks since its initial launch in 2002 by Microsoft. Thereafter, ASP.NET was divided into separate sub-frameworks like ASP.NET web pages, ASP.NET web APIs, and the most commonly adopted framework; ASP.NET MVC.


To launch the ASP.NET Core, Microsoft halted all the developments of ASP.NET MVC for a while. This made many programmers make a shift from ASP.NET MVC to ASP.NET Core. The new framework combines all the older sub-frameworks into one development framework. However, many .NET developers still find ASP.NET MVC a useful tool so they prefer to work with it.

Meanwhile, some developers are getting confused with ASP.NET Core vs ASP.NET MVC. They can't decide which framework is more helpful for their project. Freshers are also confused about .net framework vs .net core which framework they should learn from these two options.

Therefore, in this blog, we will discuss both of these NET frameworks separately to give you an idea about their functions and architecture and then we will see under what circumstances you should choose to use these frameworks.

What is ASP.NET MVC?

To help developers build dynamic websites and web apps, Microsoft created a pattern-based framework called ASP.NET. It is testable, versatile and provides a wide range of powerful tools and features. Additionally, deploying ASP.NET MVC apps on Windows-based devices is now easy as the framework provides a wide range of view engine support. There are three layers of this framework’s architecture; Model, View, and Controller.


The Model is independent from the user interface but it is still a central component of the framework. It is a dynamic data structure that can manage the rules, data, and the app’s logic directly.


Any kind of representation of data is included in the View section. If you are talking about a web app then the visual component of the UI will be included in View. you can change it through user input and Model data.


The user input is accepted by the Controller. If the inputs are validated, it is used to modify the Model and View

Previously, developers were dependent on web forms to create web apps. But with the advent of ASP.NET MVC, they got a more reliable and robust option. If you have even a little experience or working knowledge of .NET frameworks then you can make wonders using this framework. Even after using ASP.NET MVC, you will get a good grip on coding web apps with the Microsoft software development technology stack.

You can say that the web application revolution we all are enjoying today is possible only because of ASP.NET MVC. Its launch brought Microsoft’s entire tech stack in line and started a trend towards server-side apps which resulted in this global revolution.

Although the development of this framework was halted by Microsoft because of their other projects, they soon realized how much it is costing the .NET developers and web development community and resumed working with ASP.NET MVC. Remember, it was the developers’ popular demand to bring back this framework. That's how important and helpful this framework is to the community.

What is ASP.NET Core?

ASP.NET is a learn-and-compose framework that was specifically designed to unify all the important ASP.NET components. Before unifying, all the ASP.NET components were used to be released under different licenses but after unification, the entire ASP.NET Core framework was open-sourced.

ASP.NET Core was created right from scratch to be platform agnostic and to do that, it had to let go of all the exclusive .NET framework libraries that relied heavily on the Windows platform. But now, you can deploy ASP.NET Core applications on Linux and MacOS-based devices and servers too.

Just like its predecessor, ASP.NET MVC, the purpose of designing ASP.NET Core is to realign Microsoft's web development technology stack with the emerging trends. This framework can scale up similarly to the technology. Timely adjustments were made to help ASP.NET Core successfully overcome the limitations of its predecessor like being closed-source and OS-specific.

This does not mean that the ASP.NET MVC is no longer helpful nowadays. Having extensive documentation and an active community of developers, the MVC framework is still preferred by the developers whose projects are Windows-exclusive. It is also a mature framework whereas ASP.NET Core is relatively still a new framework and hasn't matured enough.

ASP.NET Core is built upon .NET Core which is a scalable and powerful framework. .NET Core has indeed grown its capabilities over time so there is no doubt that ASP.NET Core wouldn't be able to do so. The framework is open source so it is flexible enough to expand its functionalities. .NET Core is platform agnostic and so is ASP.NET Core. Hence, there won't be any trouble in deploying ASP.NET Core apps on servers and devices of various operating systems.

When to choose ASP.NET MVC

  • When you already have a developed application but want to expand its functionalities
  • When you or your team have experience working with ASP.NET MVC
  • When you have to develop and deploy applications exclusively for Windows-based devices and servers.
  • When you want to work with a thoroughly documented and mature framework.

When to choose ASP.NET Core

  • When you want to work with an open-source framework
  • When you want to deploy your app on all operating systems
  • When you need a framework with a long development roadmap
  • When you like working with cutting-edge tools and technologies.

Final words

In the end, the decision to pick a development framework depends on your requirement. And as we discussed the reasons above, it should be quite clear now about which option to pick under different scenarios.

Regardless of what kind of .NET framework you choose to create your application, the future of these frameworks is bright because they are supported by a strong community.