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.NET Core vs .NET Framework: Migrated Yet? Here’s Why You Should

.Net to .Net Core Migration

Summary: Why should you upgrade from .NET to .NET Core? In this article, we explain why .NET Core is the future, plus how you can start migrating now.


Microsoft created the .NET framework exclusively with the PC in mind. Since 2002, the Windows-based platform has helped developers create countless applications ranging from mobile to desktop applications. But there are quite a few limitations with the .NET framework. Aside from being dependent on Windows, .NET lacks the flexibility needed to develop apps across platforms.

Take a look at this overview of why it’s time for your organization to make the shift from .NET to .NET Core.

The .NET Legacy

Microsoft is moving on. The software giant announced that .NET 4.8 will be the last release in the .NET legacy framework.If you’ve been slow to adopt the need for migration, you’re missing out. This shift isn’t an attempt to bully IT leaders into simply adopting the latest technology.

The replacement of .NET 4.8 with .NET Core is a much needed change that helps to boost your team’s efficiency. .NET Core brings with it more practical, real world usage including restructuring hosting and licensing to be more inclusive of startups.Time management is everything with the .NET Core platform. You won’t have to worry about wasted man hours while your team struggles through .NET 4.8 platform limitations.

.NETCore is all about platform unity as Microsoft pushes to open source more of its code.

Why Switch from .NET to .NETCore?

.NET Core is nothing new. In 2014, version 1.0 was released to introduce open source possibilities to the .NET framework. The hope was more portability as .NET projects moved between platforms.

But .NET Core evolved far beyond just providing open source code. It’s now a wide range of technologies that help teams work with more flexibility.This shift is comparable to the release of Docker containers and Kubernetes. Early supporters saw the benefit of keeping enterprise applications on the cloud way before it became an industry standard.

Technology leaders should expect demands for cross platform capability to increase but with far greater urgency. The answer to faster workflows and higher value technology is .NET Core.The new platform is adaptable keeping your software-centered data up to date with the latest trends. Yes, migration to .NET Core is an investment, but it’s also the future of development across platforms. With proper planning, the migration process can be seamless. Early adopters ran into migration challenges that have been fixed with the release of better tooling and Nuget packages.

What’s the first step in .NET Core migration? Take a look at this overview on how to get started.

How to Switch from .NET to .NET Core

Now that you’ve decided .NET Core is the best choice for your organization, it’s time to start planning for the migration. The first step is setting your project to target .NET Framework 4.7.2.

Why the step backward? The purpose in this step is finding the latest API alternatives recommended by Microsoft. There are going to be cases where the .NET standard won’t support existing APIs. .NET Standard refers to APIs that are supposed to be available across .NET implementation. These APIs are what allow seamless migration into .NET Core.

The next step in migrating from .NET to .NET Core is using the .NET Portability Analyzer to find out which of your apps can be migrated. For the apps that can be migrated, the .NET Portability Analyzer shows you how much work will be involved during the porting process. Use this versatile tool to analyze your codebase across options. You can choose specific options or get into very detailed versions to learn the best migration strategy. The API Analyzer is also helpful for analyzing C# code throughout your projects. This doesn’t directly impact your ability to migrate, but it’s one of the many reasons the .NET Portability Analyzer is good to have on hand.

Begin the Porting Process

The next step in the migration process is to begin porting. The Analyzer tools tell you in detail how much work is involved in preparing all your assets for migration.

Once you’ve addressed any compatibility issues with code or APIs, it’s time to begin porting into .NET Core. Try copying yoru code into a .NET Core project to get started.

You’ll need to choose the version of .NET Standard that you want to target. This selection should include your ApiPort references that document any changes needed before migration can happen.

During migration, these references pull down the required NuGet packages that ensure a seamless transition. You can also start the porting process by modifying it in place.

Last but not least, you need to test the porting to ensure everything is working properly. Test each unit against the migrated codebase using .NET Core: MSTest, xUnit and NUnit.

No Turning Back

The migration from .NET to .NET Core won’t be easy for every organization. But .NET Core is the only path forward.

From July 2019 to November 2023, Microsoft plans to release upgraded versions of .NET Core while phasing out any support for the .NET legacy platform. Organization that delay migration put themselves at risk of future compatibility issues.

The .NET Core 3.0 framework includes more than 50,000 .NET Framework APIs in an effort to close the compatibility gap. In November 2020, .NET 5 will be released including updates to Visual Studio 2019, Visual Studio for Mac and Visual Studio Code.

The .NET Migration

The .NET framework is dead. The path forward includes a well thought out migration plan from .NET to .NET Core.

Start investing in the tools necessary to analyze your existing assets in preparation for portability. Not every app will transition smoothly, but the time spent analyzing each app and API gives you the details you need to make important migration decisions.

Migrating to .NET Core is a necessity. With .NET 5 pending release, it’s time for your organization to get on board with a forward thinking plan for migration.

Interested in learning how number8 can help your organization make the shift from .Net to .Net Core? 

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