Package Manager Overload – Nuget, npm, Bower

Package Manager Overload

With the release of .NET Core and the related tooling for Visual Studio 2015, there are now three different package managers that can be used: NuGet, npm & Bower. At first going from 1 to 3 package managers may seem like overkill, and also completely unnecessary since before NuGet we didn’t use a single package manager at all and still seemed to get by.


NuGet is an open source package manager for Microsoft technologies(mainly .NET). It comes installed with Visual Studio and is even what Microsoft uses to redistribute it’s .NET CORE assemblies.

In the past for the .NET development community if you need a third party library, you use NuGet. Front-End? Use NUGET! Back-End? Use NUGET!


npm is a package manager for node.js modules and other JavaScript packages. It is THE package manager console for node.js development.


Bower is the prevalent package manager for the web.  It’s for the front-end: JavaScript, CSS, HTML & fonts.

When to use each?

Here are some common uses for the three package managers in the new ecosystem.


  • Json.NET
  • Entity Framework
  • NUnit


  • jQuery
  • Bootstrap
  • moment


  • express
  • gulp
  • grunt

Since I mainly work on ASP.NET projects, I have found I am starting to use Bower for anything strictly web and npm to pull in any JavaScript tooling I need.

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