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Migrating From ASP .NET To .NET Core: Everything You Need To Know


April 6, 2020


March 19th, 2024


Microsoft continuously invests in its technology stack, enabling developers to build secure and enhanced software products that empower businesses to meet ever-changing customers’ needs.

Microsoft’s flagship cloud services and business intelligence products show no decline in user numbers, while development platforms like .Net keep growing with modern features and enhancements.

The .Net framework was launched in 2001, and even after 19 years, it is the first choice of developers to build scalable, secure, and robust business applications. ASP .Net Core, a widely popular open-source web framework, is a complete rewrite of ASP.NET MVC and ASP.NET Web API with advanced features.

Many versions of the .Net framework are becoming obsolete, and Microsoft will no longer support them. Given this, migration to an upgraded platform seems necessary to leverage modern features in your app.

The .Net platform powers many .NET development services, one reason it will continue. .Net Core is indeed the future. According to the latest news, Microsoft plans to remove Core and release .Net 5, a unified and only .NET framework.

More and more .Net applications are migrating to .Net Core to build ultramodern solutions. This post will discuss every possible reason to migrate to .Net Core, including business benefits, tips for smoother migration, and reasons.

Good Read: .NET Framework vs .NET Core

Migrate ASP.NET to ASP.net Core: Key Reasons Explained

  • Cross-Platform Support

    ASP.NET Core development offers cross-platform support, which was impossible in previous .Net versions. Developers can build apps for Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms, which can be used to build cloud and IoT applications with modern architecture.

  • Better Performance And Scalability

    This framework is enhanced to offer better performance, speed, and efficiency. With modern architectural concepts like containerization and microservices, scalability is not a problem as .Net Core is designed to manage apps built with hundreds of microservices or technology like Docker.

  • Faster Time-To-Market And Secure

    Modular architecture, Razor Pages, powerful UI components, regular updates, more comprehensive community support, secure processes, easy integration of client-side frameworks, lightweight, cloud-ready, and built-in dependency injection makes development faster and allow businesses to leverage continuous development and deployments.

How To Convert from ASP .Net To ASP .Net Core?

Here are some basic steps of .NET Core migration:

  • Retarget all projects you wish to port to target .NET framework 4.7.2 or higher. When .Net Core doesn’t support a specific API, this step ensures that alternative APIs can be used for .Net Framework-specific targets.
  • Use .Net Portability Analyzer. This tool analyzes assemblies and tells if they’re portable to .Net Core.
.Net Portability Analyzer
Credit: Microsoft
  • Install the .NET API analyzer to identify APIs that throw PlatformNotSupportedException on some platforms and identify other potential compatibility issues.
NET API analyzer
Credit: Microsoft
  • Convert all your packages. Config dependencies to the PackageReference format with the conversion tool as packages. Config doesn’t work on .NET Core.
  • .Net Core uses a simplified project file format compared to the .NET framework, so you must create new projects for .NET Core and copy source files or convert your existing files with a tool.
  • It’s advisable to port your test code: Porting is a significant change that can cause damage if things don’t go well. It is highly recommended that you port your test project and run/test the code.

Some Other Significant Things You Need To Take Care of While Migrate to .NET Core:

  • The .csproj file format is now simplified in ASP .Net Core. This file can be edited without unloading it in Visual Studio.
  • .Net Core offers the flexibility of targeting .Net Core, .Net Framework, or both.
  • In ASP .Net Core, the entry point to an app is Startup, and you don’t depend on Global. Sax. The Startup must have a Configure method. You will need to add the necessary middleware to the Configure pipeline.
Image Source: tutorialsteacher.com
  • Dependency Injection (DI) is a valuable concept in software architecture in which one object supplies the dependencies of another project. This is very important when building large, loosely coupled, and scalable applications. DI helps in such scenarios, and now it’s a native component of dot net core architecture.
  • Multi-value cookies are not supported in .Net Core. You can create one cookie per value.
  • There is no application life cycle in ASP .Net Core, and there is no order in which responses are processed by middleware. It is different from the order used by modules. Here is how you can do it:

Migrating HTTP handlers and modules to ASP .NET Core middleware.

Valuable Tips For Smoother .NET To .NET Core Migration

Any framework migration will require pre-planning, continuous monitoring, network readiness, code safety, and provisions to fix issues if they arrive.
For smoother migration,

  • You can try smaller modules/projects instead of moving a whole codebase to the .Net Core.
  • Dotnet try-convert tool helps you convert your project to the .Net Core, but it is not a guaranteed solution and may cause subtle changes in behavior. You can use it as a starting point to automate basic things.
  • Identify the “base” of the library. It could be the data models or classes and methods that are essential. Copy the base into a new .NET Core project. Make any changes needed to compile the code. Copy another layer of code and repeat it.
  • .NET Core developers can also use the open-source code editor of Microsoft called Visual Studio (VS) code, which is supported across all leading OS systems -Windows, Linux, and macOS.

More and more companies are migrating to .Net core for better performance, speed, flexibility, modularity, and easy deployment.

Though, there are several drawbacks of the .Net Core, such as:

  • Windows Forms and WPF applications are not supported in .Net Core.
  • .Net Core does not support WCF.
  • ASP.NET Web Pages and ASP.NET WebForms are not there in .Net Core.
  • Partial support for VB .NET and F#.
  • There are no plans to bring WF/WCF+WF/WCF Data Services to .NET Core.
  • 3rd-party library support and some features are missing in .NET Core.
  • You need to access Windows-specific APIs. If your application needs to work with the Windows Registry, WMI, or other Windows-specific APIs, it won’t work with .NET Core.

The process of migrating comes with a risk, so it should be carried out with the utmost care and attention.

The open-source developers’ community of .Net offers consistent support, ideas/suggestions/tips to achieve higher performance.

Microsoft also makes frequent updates and helps developers stay up-to-date with comprehensive guides and documentation.

As Microsoft is working on .Net 5 to make it a unified platform, we all expect a better outcome, speed, flexibility, and suitability of the .Net framework as a powerful and modern development platform.

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