Porting an application is changing the programming of software to run efficiently in another operating system. Software is initially designed for specific OS; hence porting from .Net Framework to .Net Core is essential with the technological advancements. Adaption of newer and better performing operating systems becomes compulsory.
Why should you consider porting applications from “.Net Framework to .Net Core ?
- Availability of applications on multiple platforms
- Wishing to get support for cloud-based developments
- Care for CLI (command-line interface) control
- Want to run an application on the newest platform .NET Core that works on Windows, Linux and MacOS
- Draw benefit of a new platform and the latest technology
- Run multiple applications on the same system even though they require different versions of .Net Core
- Better performance of applications on .Net Core with improvements over .Net Framework in Math, stings, files, etc.,
- Model binding system recovers information from fields, inquiry strings, and passes information to razor pages and controllers. It converts string data to .Net Core
- Need high performance and scalable systems
- Ability to host on Docker, and Apache and availability of self-hosting feature
- Application users experience improved response time
- Modern Infrastructure increases production capability and minimizes downtimes
- Open source liberates you from command-and-control development
- APIs that are available only on .Net Core and not .Net standard
- Exploring possibilities and need of customers
- Switch databases and reuse the code of .Net Core
- Optimize data accessibility with reduced round trips to the database
- .Net Core pulls only needed information to speed up activities in an application
- Requires fewer servers and virtual machines to maintain performance and scalability
- Forget the application’s security concerns as .Net Core provides ultimate solution
- Use Data Protection API, Secret manager, and Azure Key vault provider for the security of applications
- Need secured microservices for large and critical applications and independent systems
- .Net Core updates are easy as NuGet package manages them
- Microsoft’s .Net Core is easy to maintain with the easy availability of updates
- Has over 60,000/- .Net open-source platform contributors across the world
This technology demands less coding thus helps developers to create efficient code structure. Less coding saves time and efforts. If your projects have no dependencies on other projects, then consider porting applications from .Net Framework to .Net Core.
Arguments that hold back the decision of porting applications from .Net Framework to .Net Core
- In-depth check on what affects overall portability
- May have to refactor the application code
- Projects that are not portable using API Port will force to look for alternative APIs
- Some applications may not work as desired
- The porting solution can be complex when migrating multiple projects
- Constant professional support is must for ported apps
- No 100% guarantee of successful porting
- .Net Core is powerful technology yet not foolproof
- Some of the codes do not compile on Mac or Linux
Before you think about porting an application from .Net Framework to .Net Core know whether .Net Core is the best technology for your application:
- .Net Core is an opensource
- Cost effective and requires lesser coding
- Supports widely used programming languages
- Adds to flexibility and is a secured platform
- Build apps for windows and non-windows (Mac, Linux)
- Cross-platform support
- Cloud-based application support
- Deployment on-premise or cloud
- Cross architecture consistency
- Optimize data access
- Easy and effortless updates
- Trouble-free Maintenance
- In latest version, dependencies requires no changes in coding
- The .Net Core allows you to test the libraries across platforms
- Its service-oriented architecture works well with Docker and other containers
- .Net Core allows the mix of different technologies to make a lightweight application
- Runs applications consisting of unique processes of a modular business
- Preserve the design of the application
- Highly rated for mobile apps developed using IoT, Blockchain and AI
- Build hybrid, native and interactive apps using .Net Core that works on any platform
- The application types .Net supports includes desktop, web, cloud, mobile, gaming, IoT and AI
- .Net Core is scalable as new microservices get added
Points to ponder while porting applications from .Net Framework to .Net Core:
- Meet Perquisites: Use .NET portability analyzer, migrate the old projects to <packagereference>, review dependency, update NuGet package versions.
- Migration Process: Pick csproj location, create a new project file, and restore NuGet package versions. Make sure that your current projects use .Net Framework 4.7.2 or higher versions and then think of porting applications from .Net Framework to .Net Core. Check if .Net Core supports libraries and are not old. Get your documentation ready and ensure the availability of latest IDEs (integrated development environment) and tools for this technology.
- Migration Plan: Migration has phases by which the simple and complicated applications are processed, requires detailed planning. Note down the software version, its dependencies, errors, and work around of the application that can cause problems in porting.
- Fix Code: You need to fix the API level differences. Check if code has changed in the old project, and if required regenerate code.
- Testing: Check for the changes in configuration, inspect non-supported exceptions, and have a test run of applications. Simple applications may require lesser checks compared to complex applications or those of huge size. Testing can increase the probability of rectification of errors before accessed by users.
- Costs of porting: It involves costs, yet we save on rewriting programs from basic. Lower the costs of porting any software, it’s considered more portable.
- Application performance: Ensure smooth application performance of the applications after porting from .Net Framework to .Net Core. An operational system depends on multiple factors. Even minute missing details affect the porting from .NET Framework to .NET Core.
Tools for porting from .NET Framework to .NET Core:
- Visual Studio 2019: Though it highlights the flaws of the code, it compiles very well.
- .NET Portability Analyzer: The tool .NET Portability Analyzer generates a report on how portable your software’s code is amid .NET Framework and .NET Core.
- .NET API Analyzer: This tool .NET API analyzer uncovers the potential risks of compatibility for APIs on various platforms and detects that censure against portability.
- try-convert: The .NET Core tool converts the solution to .NET, and moves desktop apps to .NET Core. Simple and smaller projects/applications face no challenges, but complexly built projects can be incompatible with .NET Core.
Which apps should you migrate from .Net Framework to .Net Core?
- Frontend and backend apps: In ASP.net, migrating web apps has a systematic process of creating a new .Net Project, convert startup, migrate static content, and bundle configurations. Finally, you need to migrate the views and actions.
- Console apps: Migration of console apps is simple; just consider restrictions of host OS and application interactions.
- Windows apps: Migration is unnecessary for windows apps on universal framework but silverlight based requires basic changes to namespaces. Some tools are available for migrating windows apps.
- WPF and WinForms desktop apps: Understand the NuGet dependencies and upgrade to higher versions. Migrate the project file to SDK style format and fix the API level differences. The migration of these apps is complicated; it requires mono and Xamarin to make them work on other platforms.
Computing environment to execute the software is different and saves the programs from becoming unusable. Plan for unforeseeable of deployment, and interoperability issues among the software and hardware. It’s advisable to refer works of other people who have been successful in porting similar applications from .Net Framework to .Net Core or get some professional help.