Enterprises are increasingly realizing cost savings, solving deployment problems, and improving DevOps and production operations by using containers. Microsoft has been releasing container innovations for Windows and Linux by creating products like Azure Container Service and Azure Service Fabric, and by partnering with industry leaders like Docker, Mesosphere, and Kubernetes. These products deliver container solutions that help companies build and deploy applications at cloud speed and scale, whatever their choice of platform or tools.

Docker is becoming the de facto standard in the container industry, supported by the most significant vendors in the Windows and Linux ecosystems. (Microsoft is one of the main cloud vendors supporting Docker.) In the future, Docker will probably be ubiquitous in any datacenter in the cloud or on-premises.

In addition, the microservices architecture is emerging as an important approach for distributed mission-critical applications. In a microservice-based architecture, the application is built on a collection of services that can be developed, tested, deployed, and versioned independently.

About this guide

This guide is an introduction to developing microservices-based applications and managing them using containers. It discusses architectural design and implementation approaches using .NET Core and Docker containers. To make it easier to get started with containers and microservices, the guide focuses on a reference containerized and microservice-based application that you can explore. The sample application is available at the eShopOnContainers GitHub repo.

This guide provides foundational development and architectural guidance primarily at a development environment level with a focus on two technologies: Docker and .NET Core. Our intention is that you read this guide when thinking about your application design without focusing on the infrastructure (cloud or on-premises) of your production environment. You will make decisions about your infrastructure later, when you create your production-ready applications. Therefore, this guide is intended to be infrastructure agnostic and more development-environment-centric.

After you have studied this guide, your next step would be to learn about production-ready microservices on Microsoft Azure.

Who should use this guide

We wrote this guide for developers and solution architects who are new to Docker-based application development and to microservices-based architecture. This guide is for you if you want to learn how to architect, design, and implement proof-of-concept applications with Microsoft development technologies (with special focus on .NET Core) and with Docker containers.

You will also find this guide useful if you are a technical decision maker, such as an enterprise architect, who wants an architecture and technology overview before you decide on what approach to select for new and modern distributed applications.

How to use this guide

The first part of this guide introduces Docker containers, discusses how to choose between .NET Core and the .NET Framework as a development framework, and provides an overview of microservices. This content is for architects and technical decision makers who want an overview but who do not need to focus on code implementation details.

The second part of the guide starts with the Development process for Docker based applications section. It focuses on development and microservice patterns for implementing applications using .NET Core and Docker. This section will be of most interest to developers and architects who want to focus on code and on patterns and implementation details.

Cesar de la Torre

I work for Microsoft Corp in Redmond, Seattle, within the DevTools group.

Bill Wagner

Bill Wagner is an American software developer, known as an expert in the C# programming language. Wagner received a B.S. in computer science from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

Mike Rousos

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