Monday, October 30, 2023

Debate: Should I use only .NET LTS for production?

.NET is a popular and versatile framework for developing applications across multiple platforms. It offers two types of releases: Long Term Support (LTS) and Current. LTS releases are supported for at least three years and receive only critical fixes and security updates. Current releases are supported for three months after the next release and receive new features and improvements.

Many developers wonder whether they should use only .NET LTS for production environments, or whether they can benefit from using the non-LTS version. In this post, I will present some arguments for and against each option, and share my personal opinion on the matter.

Why use only .NET LTS for production?

The main reason to use only .NET LTS for production is stability. LTS releases are more tested and reliable than Current releases, and have fewer bugs and compatibility issues. They also have a longer support cycle, which means you don't have to worry about upgrading your applications frequently or losing security patches. Using only .NET LTS for production can reduce the risk of downtime, errors, and vulnerabilities in your applications.

Another reason to use only .NET LTS for production is simplicity. By sticking to one release, you can avoid the hassle of managing multiple versions of .NET on your servers and machines. You can also reduce the complexity of your code base, as you don't have to deal with breaking changes or deprecated features that may occur in Current releases. Using only .NET LTS for production can make your development and deployment process easier and more consistent.

Why use non-LTS .NET for production?

The main reason to use non-LTS .NET for production is innovation. Current releases offer new features and improvements that can enhance the functionality and performance of your applications. They also keep up with the latest trends and standards in the industry, such as cloud-native development, microservices, and machine learning. Using non-LTS .NET for production can give you access to cutting-edge technologies and capabilities that can make your applications more competitive and attractive.

Another reason to use non-LTS .NET for production is flexibility. By using the latest release, you can take advantage of the latest bug fixes and optimizations that may not be available in LTS releases. You can also experiment with new features and APIs that may not be stable or mature enough for LTS releases. Using non-LTS .NET for production can give you more freedom and control over your development choices and outcomes.

My opinion

In my opinion, there is no definitive answer to whether you should use only .NET LTS for production or not. It depends on your project requirements, preferences, and resources. Some factors that may influence your decision are:

  • The size and complexity of your application
  • The frequency and urgency of your updates
  • The availability and cost of your resources
  • The expectations and needs of your users
  • The level of risk and uncertainty you are willing to accept

Personally, I prefer to use a hybrid approach, where I use both .NET LTS and non-LTS for production, depending on the situation. For example, I may use .NET LTS for mission-critical applications that require high stability and security, and non-LTS for experimental or non-essential applications that require high innovation and flexibility. This way, I can balance the trade-offs between each option and get the best of both worlds.

What do you think?

I hope this post has given you some insights into the debate of whether you should use only .NET LTS for production or not. I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this topic. Please leave a comment below or contact me via email or social media. Thank you for reading!

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