How to Easily Transition from .NET Framework to .NET Core

The main features of .NET Core are high cross-platform compatibility, superior performance, and a “n” number of advanced features. This has also led to the rapid growth of its usage. Therefore, a large number of developers who were reliant on obsolete technology were forced to migrate. The .NET Framework is looking forward to replacing old technology with new advanced technology. Developers can use .NET Core for their apps.

Nonetheless, the relocation process can be troublesome if the person is not given the proper support and if the stages are not clear. This write-up depicts a step-by-step guide on an easy transition from the .NET Framework to .NET Core to escape this challenge.

Developers will be able to fully profit from this cutting-edge technology and handle the migration process with ease if they follow the next guidance. If you want to use .NET migration services, then this guide will also be useful for you in following the process.

Approaches to Migration

There are several ways to migrate from .NET Framework to .NET Core. 

  1. Incremental Migration. With this method, you accomplish it step by step by shifting small parts of your application up to the whole codebase running on NET Core. Hence, we need to .NET Core and .NET Framework versions side-by-side during the migration process.
  2. Parallel Redeployment. Or you can decide to establish a parallel. The .NET Core edition of your app will remain the same version. Today, we have the .NET Framework application already in place. In the end, this is the one that gains the status of the official one.
  3. Complete Rewrite. You can choose to completely rewrite the application in the .NET Core platform. This could be more expensive at first, but it is easier to implement for a wide range of complex legacy applications.

Think of your schedule, budget, and app structure while selecting a migration approach.

Migrating Project Files

Once you decide on an approach, begin tackling the project files:

Update Target Framework

The first step is updating the target framework in your .csproj file from an older version of .NET Framework to netcoreapp3.1 (or newer). Visual Studio has tools to help facilitate this.

Remove Extraneous Sections

The new .csproj format for .NET Core is simplified and includes fewer sections. Remove most property groups and item groups that aren’t directly related to your libraries and NuGet references.

Migrate NuGet Packages

Some NuGet packages like Microsoft.NETCore.App replace previous packages like System.Runtime. Update references accordingly.

Add New Sections

Depending on your libraries and deployment environment, you may need additional sections like PropertyGroup with GenerateRuntimeConfigurationFiles set to true.

Adapting Code

After project files are updated, focus on making necessary code changes:

Update Namespace Imports

Replace namespace imports that reference older .NET Framework libraries with the appropriate .NET Core namespaces.

Modify Types

If you used any types that changed significantly between frameworks, update your usage accordingly. For example, System.String is now utf-16 instead of utf-32.

Evaluate IoC/DI Usage

The built-in IoC containers changed between the frameworks. If your app uses a container like Unity or Autofac, ensure it works properly on .NET Core.

Adapt Data Access Code

If your data access code uses ADO.NET directly, switch to Entity Framework Core, which works cross-platform.

Replace Legacy Libraries

There will be times when you’ll need to replace libraries that were not converted to.NET Core. Look for substitutes that offer equivalent functionality.

Testing and Debugging

As you make changes, continuously test and debug your application:

Maintain Existing Tests

Keep all unit, integration, and UI tests passing to avoid functionality regressions during incremental migration.

Debug in .NET Core

You can attach the debugger to .NET Core processes using Visual Studio or leverage logging frameworks like NLog to troubleshoot issues.

Test Infrastructure Interactions

If migrating to an updated infrastructure, test how the application runs in containers, interacts with pipelines for CI/CD, and generally functions in production-like environments.

Deployment Considerations

Finally, factor in deployment differences as you roll out your modernized application:

Leverage Self-Contained Deployments

For portability across environments, use self-contained .NET Core deployments with all required framework DLLs included.

Understand Publishing Changes

The publishing process for .NET Core no longer uses web deployment packages. Learn the simplified folder structure and hosting configuration.

Configure Appropriate Runtime

Ensure application servers and other infrastructure are configured with the expected .NET Core runtime instead of .NET Framework.


According to LinkedIn’s analysis, the worldwide web development market was estimated at USD 60709.6 million in 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.08% to reach USD 96748.41 million in 2028. At the same time, trends are constantly changing and now almost everyone is migrating the .NET Framework to .NET Core.

There is more to this migration task than just planning, targeted code changes, and infrastructure modifications. This modernization project will improve the application’s responsiveness, flexibility, and support, even if it won’t always be quick and easy. To successfully develop your own.NET Core migration, refer to this article. Once you begin to create and implement creative software quicker on a single platform (the.NET platform), the results will eventually become apparent.

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