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Migration your .NET Framework App to .NET Standard


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Making the switch from.NET Framework to.NET Standard for your application opens up more possibilities for future flexibility. The following is a detailed step-by step guide to follow: 

Step 1: Assess Compatibility

Here is the beginning of the process of migrating from .net framework to .net core: 

What to do: 

  • Check if your codebase complies with the.NET Standard.

How to do: 

  • Open the Visual Studio’s integrated Portability Analyzer. 
  • Click the right-arrow on your project.
  • Choose “Analyze,” then “Analyze Project Portability.” 
  • As an alternative, you can use the command-line utility dotNET portability.

Expected Result: 

The analyzer identifies any code segments that aren’t compliant with the.NET Standard. Prior to continuing, take care of these discrepancies.

Step 2: Update Project File

Now, you can move to updating the project file:

What to do:

  • Make changes to your .csproj project file in order to target.NET Standard.

How to do:

  • Navigate to your project file in Visual Studio.
  • Change the element to point to a particular version of the .NET Standard.

Expected Result: 

The project file will indicate your plan to switch to.NET Standard by reflecting the new target framework.

Step 3: Migrate NuGet Packages

Then, proceed to the next step in .NET framework to .NET core migration process:

What to do:

  1. Swap out NuGet packages that target the .NET Standard with suitable equivalents that are unique to the.NET Framework.

How to do:

  1. Look for.NET Standard-compatible libraries using the NuGet Package Manager. 
  2. Use the “.NET Standard” and “.NETPortable” filtering options.

Expected Result:

All the project dependency will use packages that work with the .NET Standard version that you have selected.

Step 4: Address Framework-Specific Code

Continue the migration process with the following stages:

What to do: 

  1. Refactor code sections relying on functionalities exclusive to .NET Framework.

How to do:

  1. Determine what parts need to be rewritten and use the .NET Standard equivalents. 
  2. Consult Microsoft’s documentation for information on available APIs and best practices for code porting.

Expected Result:

The codebase will function entirely within the boundaries of .NET Standard, eliminating reliance on .NET Framework-specific features.

Step 5: Test and Validate

The testing and validation stage is the final step to migrate .NET framework to .NET core:

What to do:

  • Make sure your application runs as expected on the new platform by thoroughly testing it.

How to do:

  • To cover migrating features, make use of the already-existing unit tests and write new ones. Additionally, carry out manual testing.

Expected Result:

With such an approach, your application will operate seamlessly on .NET Standard, replicating the original behavior of the .NET Framework version.

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Why Should I Upgrade to .NET Standard

Moving your.NET Framework application to.NET Standard has a number of advantages. Because of its cross-platform interoperability, your code can operate on Windows, macOS, and Linux among other systems. As a common standard for future .NET evolution, it also guarantees code compatibility with new features and platforms. It makes building them easier and enables libraries to work with more.NET apps.

Through code reuse between projects, maintainability is promoted and effort is reduced. The way that development and testing are done simplifies, which enhances the developer experience. It provides entry to a more extensive API environment as well. Actively supporting.NET Standard, the.NET community offers tools, guidance, and support throughout the .NET framework to .NET core migration process.

Here are some valuable resources from Microsoft that will help you to smoothly convert .NET framework to .NET core:

  1. .NET Portability Analyzer  https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/dotNET/standard/analyzers/portability-analyzerl;
  2. Migrating from .NET framework to .NET core guide https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/business-central/dev-itpro/developer/devenv-migrate-from-dotNET-framework-to-dotNET-standard;
  3. .NET Standard Versions https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/dotNET/standard/NET-standard;
  4. .NET Upgrade Assistant https://dotNET.microsoft.com/en-us/platform/upgrade-assistant.

Check these sources to get valuable advice for your migration process.

 .NET Framework to .NET Standard Migration Checklist

This checklist guides you through the key steps involved in migrating from .net framework to .net core:

  • Preparation. Use the.NET Portability Analyzer to identify code inconsistencies with.NET Standard and address them before proceeding. Create a backup of project files and source code for safety;
  • Project configuration. Modify your project file (.csproj) to target the desired .NET Standard version;
  • NuGet packages. To update your project, review dependencies, find compatible alternatives, and update packages using the NuGet Package Manager;
  • Code migration. Refactor code using.NET Framework’s exclusive functionalities and.NET Standard alternatives. Utilize Microsoft’s documentation for APIs and best practices;
  • Testing. Perform unit tests to verify migrated functionalities, conduct thorough manual testing to verify application behavior on.NET Standard, and consider implementing regression testing to prevent unintended functionality regressions during migration.

A more flexible and future-proof development experience is possible when you use the resources offered and follow this checklist to successfully migrate from NET framework to NET core.

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