Portable Class Library (PCL) now available on all platforms

Portable Class Library (PCL) now available on all platforms

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This post announces a standalone release of the .NET portable class library reference assemblies that can be used on any operating system. It was written by Rich Lander, a Program Manager on the .NET Team.

Update: Read PCL and .NET NuGet Libraries are now enabled for Xamarin for later information on this release.

You can build .NET apps across a wide variety of platforms, and the Portable Class Library (PCL) helps you share your code and libraries across .NET platforms.  Specifically, the PCL provides a set of common reference assemblies that enable .NET libraries and binaries to be used on any .NET based runtime – from phones, to clients, to servers and clouds.

Prior to today’s release, there was a license restriction with the PCL reference assemblies which meant they could only be used on Windows. With today’s release we are announcing a new standalone release of the PCL reference assemblies with a license that allows it to be used on any platform – including non-Microsoft ones.  This enables developers even more flexibility and to do great things with .NET.

Here is a screenshot of the installer.

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If you are using VS 2013 you can compile your apps using the portable reference assemblies that are automatically installed as part of it.  Today’s standalone release of the PCL provides a ZIP file that includes the same portable reference assemblies that are available in the latest Visual Studio 2013 RC – and which you can use on other platforms (or within other tools). The ZIP file is installed to: %ProgramFiles(x86)%\Microsoft .NET Portable Library Reference Assemblies 4.6 RC.

Today’s announcement is just the start of a conversation we’d like to have with developers about the PCL and even more things you can do with .NET.  Please try out the PCL, and tell us what you think and how you’re using these assemblies/PCL, either in the comments to this post or on UserVoice.

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  • Well this is great news! Delighted to see that we will now be able to run PCL libraries on all platforms.

  • @Erik -- This release is for the reference assemblies that we all build PCLs on top of. We are not announcing a change in licensing for our actual PCL NuGet libraries today.

  • Erik,

    Mono has had PCL support for *consuming/running* the result starting with 3.2.2 I believe.   This is about allowing developers to *build* the PCLs on non-Windows platforms.

  • Ok, so this is apparently not what I thought it was.

    It cracks me up that you guys reference UserVoice at the end of this and as of yet have ignored the 4th most voted request on UserVoice (visualstudio.uservoice.com/.../4494577-remove-the-platform-restriction-on-microsoft-nuget).

    @Rich, does "We are not announcing a change in licensing for our actual PCL NuGet libraries today." imply that you will be announcing a change to the licensing of the NuGet libraries in the future?

  • Is there an blog on using this on linux?

  • Thank you, .Net team.

    It may seem like a small thing, but it's important.

  • Would this also cover lovely things Xamarin?

  • The title is incorrect !

    Portable Class Library (PCL) now available on all platforms

    Is NOT on all platforms, but across most of Microsoft platforms, AND no. Windows 8 approach SUX , so we might speak again once when Windows 8 / METRO misunderstanding is over !

  • The title is indeed correct you numpty, so we should soon be able to develop using Mono on Linux and Mac. Xamarin have posted a blog about it here...

    blog.xamarin.com/microsofts-pcl-reference-assemblies

  • @VBatman -- The title is correct. Other tools comapnies can now use the portable library reference assemblies on other OSes.

    @Kevin Farrow -- that's correct. Thanks for that.

    @Ted, @Rune -- Check out the post from Xamarin -- blog.xamarin.com/microsofts-pcl-reference-assemblies.

  • Phil Haack must be happy now.

  • Thanks .net team, it is a firm step in right direction

  • Could the redist package (the ZIP file) be made just as a ZIP fiel downlaod? Making it a native WIn32/64 exe make sit non-cross platform for the developers.

  • @Borgdylan -- Fair request. It is an MSI because the package has a license. That said, this package is for the very small audience of developers that write tools. Xamarin is an example of a company that has expressed the intention to use these: blog.xamarin.com/microsofts-pcl-reference-assemblies.

  • I thought .pcl files were for Electric Pencil.

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