Many times, developers need to know if a technology or feature is supported by a specific .NET version. For example, how to verify that .NET Core has Linux support or not. Well, you can always Bing that but wouldn’t it be better if this need is supported by “one stop search” and results are authentic.

Accessing .NET API Browser

.NET API Browser can be accessed by https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dotnet/api/

.NET API Browser allows you to search a wide range of features across following:

  • .NET Framework
  • .NET Standard
  • .NET Core
  • Xamarin
  • Azure

Let’s Search in .NET Framework

Open the API Browser and filter it to .NET Framework and choose a version from the middle dropdown. .NET Framework allows to search only for .NET 4.5 – 4.7 I.e. you can’t search features prior to .NET 4.5 in the .NET API Browser.

With the release of .NET 4.6 a new overload was introduced for System.GC.Collect(). When Searched in .NET 4.5 you will see as shown below:

But when switched the Framework Version to 4.6; then new overload can be observed as shown in the image below.

Let’s Search in .NET Standard

.NET Standard is a “specification” of .NET API which are available across all the .NET Runtimes. .NET Standards provides and supports uniformity within entire .NET ecosystem. You can refer to the list of .NET Standard libraries here https://www.nuget.org/packages/NETStandard.Library

As name explains by it-self;  this become evident that all core APIs like System, System.Collections, System.Diagnostics and System.IO etc. are natural candidates for .NET Standard as shown in the image below

Let’s Search in .NET Core

.NET Core is brand new and well accepted framework in Microsoft and non-Microsoft world. To Learn more about .NET read my blog post or C-Sharpcorner Article or watch my Channel9 Video.

A well-known fact about .NET Core is that .NET Core has support for Linux as shown in the image below.


.NET API Browser is a great feature and can become very handy to identify supported features by various platforms as shown some related to .NET in the article above. You may want to use .NET API Browser to search and learn about other APIs related to Xamarin and Azure as well, remember it’s one stop .NET API Browser.


Watch YouTube Video here


.NET Client Profile is supported by .NET Versions 3.5 and 4.0. It is designed for client applications like Console Applications, Windows Forms, WPF Applications and so on. As we all know there are many types of applications and hence what is required by one application may not be necessarily required by another type of application. For example, System.Web is only used by ASP.NET / Web apps, this is of no use for Windows Forms app. The Client Profile version of .NET Framework is a lightweight subset of the Framework. This enables quicker deployment and small installation packages.

Let’s see how Microsoft made the .NET Client Profile

Microsoft removed some of the features from the .NET Framework to make the footprints smaller and optimized. Microsoft chose to remove ASP.NET, MSBuild, Advanced WCF features and support for Oracle databases to reduce the framework into a smaller and optimized footprint. Web Applications don’t support the Client Profile version of the framework. Web applications are server-side and so full .NET Framework installation is recommended, unlike client applications. Microsoft has removed the Client Profile from the latest version of .NET Framework 4.5 and hence with .NET 4.5 there is no Client Profile as shown in the image below.

Why .NET 4.5 doesn’t have a Client Profile

Now if you think from a deployment’s point of view, you would want your installer to be as optimized and small as possible, so it takes the minimum required on the client machine and this can be done by the Client Profile flavor of.NET 3.5 and 4.0. .NET 4.5 is already optimized and tuned for quicker deployment and takes a small amount of disk space for all type of applications. Hence, no more .NET 4.5 Client Profile.