When NMI launched ChipDNA POS Framework for Windows and Linux in 2013 we made the decision to target .NET Framework 2.0 for both compile and runtime of ChipDNA Client and Server on the Windows and Linux platforms. This judgment was based upon research at the time as to what supported operating systems and .NET Framework versions were available to our customers.
Over the course of seven years, a lot has changed in the world of .NET. We’ve seen the introduction of .NET Core as the cross-platform successor to the .NET Framework, as well as a number of significant operating systems reach end-of-life. On top of this, we’ve seen the announcement of the long term plan to consolidate .NET Core, .NET Framework, and Mono as .NET 5. There are lots of interesting websites that detail the .NET journey, but the fundamentals of the move to .NET 5 can be seen in the announcement from Microsoft here.
In preparation for the move to .NET 5 and above we made a decision in late 2018 to start distributing the ChipDNA Server compiled for .NET Framework 2.0, but targeting the .NET Framework 4.0 runtime (i.e. in .NET Framework 2.0 compatibility mode). The runtime used by the Client continued to be dependent upon the integrated application. The first version configured in this way was 2.09 and was made available in February 2019. We’re pleased to say that this change was well received and for over a year our customers have been able to continue to deploy ChipDNA Server without any issues.
The next step to moving towards .NET 5 is for us now to move ChipDNA POS Framework for Windows and Linux to a more recent version of .NET Framework for both compile and runtime. We’ve looked at the versions of Windows and Linux that our customers are using, as well as the .NET Frameworks that are supported on these. We’ve been able to conclude from the first release in 2021 we can start to use .NET Framework 4.7.2 for ChipDNA Client and Server across the board.
Therefore, in preparation for this change in 2021, we’d like our customers to review this announcement and ensure that their systems will continue to be compatible with ChipDNA Client and Server that targets .NET Framework 4.7.2. If any potential incompatibilities are identified please let us know before August 2020 so that we can evaluate the impact by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The lifecycle of the most recent versions of the .NET Framework follows that of the parent operating system as detailed here, meaning there are a number of supported operating systems options for .NET Framework 4.7.2. Similarly, support for .NET Framework 4.7.2 was added to Mono in version 5.18 in 2018, as detailed here. Customers using Mono should evaluate which versions are available in their favored distributions.
Following the move to .NET Framework 4.7.2 we will be preparing for a longer-term move to the consolidation of .NET Core, .NET Framework, and Mono that is already underway for .NET 5. The first version of ChipDNA Server to use this will most likely be with .NET 6.0 LTS (Long Term Support) sometime in 2022 or later. We’ll circulate more information as our plans are finalized and the details around .NET 6.0 are published.