Five Steps to Prepare for a .NET 6 Migration
by Eric Seng, on Nov 23, 2021 9:45:00 AM
Have you you migrated to .NET 6 yet?
If you’re currently using .NET 5, then moving to .NET 6 is a cinch -- and you probably don't need the advice in this article.
But if you’re currently operating on .NET Framework, you’ll have a bit more work to do. Fortunately .NET Framework won’t be fully deprecated for a while (think 2030), but don’t wait to start planning!
If you spend a little time between now and end-of-life planning and executing, your migration will be nearly pain-free. Don’t worry, we’ve already laid out the steps for what you need to do to get ready for .NET 6.
Step 1: Take an inventory of your existing applications
Start by assessing your applications to see what’s running on what .NET, as well as what version they’re on. Many developers will know this off the top of their head, but it never hurts to have official documentation that others can check and reference.
Step 2: Assess Deprecated Components
Determine which of your applications are using ASP.NET Web Forms, Windows Communication Foundation, or Windows Workflow Foundation. If developers don't know already, a brief survey of the code base should quickly clarify.
All of these deprecated libraries have a work-around, like maintaining legacy applications with CI/CD or using Microservices to breakdown monolith applications. This step is a good opportunity to make plans for the future of your applications and create a training manual on maintenance.
Step 3: Prioritize with Stakeholders
Developers are the ideal group to assess the deprecated components of an organization’s applications and libraries, and then comment on the resources required to upgrade and/or migrate to .NET 6. Stakeholders, however, may not be prepare to invest in rewriting applications to upgrade deprecated technology. Stakeholders may even want to entirely rewrite the application to align with new or adjusted business strategy.
Use this step to discuss with Stakeholders so the migration to .NET 6 aligns with strategy and resources aren’t unintentionally lost.
Step 4: Prepare a migration schedule
Anyone using .NET Core or .NET Framework can wait to upgrade to .NET 6, 7 or 8 since Core and Framework are tied to the operating system. In theory, a developer using .NET Framework 4.8 could wait until 2030 to upgrade to the new .NET.
But, it never hurts to plan ahead. Take the opportunity to create a rough migration schedule before end-of-life of your .NET. Give peace-of mind to team members and prepare stakeholders for possible costs and potential risks.
Step 5: Increase your release velocity
Microsoft will release a new .NET every year going forward. Some, like .NET 6, will have long term report, but others will only have support for 18 months, like .NET 5.
The new .NET series is a good lesson in the importance of updating regularly. Migrations are extremely difficult for those who rarely update. Increasing deployment flexibility will help invest in automation and encourage best practices in your team.
Plan for Migration
.NET 6 is fantastic opportunity to upgrade, whether you’re coming from .NET Core, .NET Framework, or .NET, since it will have three years of support. The wrinkles have been ironed out of .NET 5 and the improvements and new features of .NET 6 are well-received by users.
Although .NET Framework 3.5 and 4.8 are estimated to last another 10 years, it never hurts to start planning for migration. Consider how you’ll move your package libraries; now may be the time to consider a CI/CD method.
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