Gone But Not Forgotten: The Deprecated Technologies of .NET5+


Crista Perlton

Crista Perlton


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Gone But Not Forgotten: The Deprecated Technologies of .NET5+

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The clock is ticking for some essential .NET Framework features that are being transitioned to end-of-life. Microsoft’s .NET 5 was released this past November and brought some major changes that can significantly impact your organization.  

Migration is unavoidable which means you’ll likely experience some growing pains. Fortunately, you’ve got time before .NET Framework and .NET Core will be fully deprecated. But that doesn’t mean you should wait to start planning. Spending a minute now will save you hours of headaches later!  

What’s Happening? 

Microsoft will end long-term support for the most recent release of Core (3.1.7) around December 2022. When it comes to your servers, .NET 5 will run on all supported versions of Windows. This means you won’t have to update Windows Server until your version reaches end-of-life (EOL). Once the server OS reaches EOL (check out this schedule), you’ll have to carefully consider the migration path you’ll take to update based on your applications and their dependencies. 

But before the sand runs out and these technologies go the way of the dinosaurs, will your plan be ready? Let’s review the technologies that are gone but not forgotten by the new .NET to help you plan.  

ASP.NET Web Forms

ImpactsWeb Applications
Replacement✘ No Replacement
Microsoft recommends ASP.NET Core Blazor or Razor Pages. (As of March 2021, there are some updates, now that .NET 6 is in preview.)
Problem⚠️Full Rewrite Required
You’ll have to rewrite your applications from scratch to get away from ASP.NET Web Forms, though this will likely be unnecessary for many years.

Windows Communication Foundation (WCF)

ImpactsNetwork-connected Applications
Any application that uses service-oriented architecture/API to connect to other applications or services over a network where the service endpoint is built using WCF.
Replacement✘ No Official Replacement
Microsoft recommends gRPC as an alternative to WCF. Visual ReCode significantly simplifies this transition.

⚠️Community/ Open-source Alternative
The open-source community has started creating CoreWCF on GitHub, which offers an option to migrate, but is not a full implementation. Its first GA release is ready May 2021.
Problem⚠️Full Rewrite or Community Reliance
You’ll either have to rewrite your APIs from scratch to convert to the ASP.NET Core Web API, or you need to port your code to CoreWCF and risk losing some features you might need.

Windows Workflow Foundation (WF)

ImpactsApplications with Workflows
Any application or service that uses workflow libraries (the tools around building and running workflows). 
Replacement✘ No Official Replacement
Microsoft recommends CoreWF as an alternative.

⚠️Community/ Open-source Alternative
The open-source community is creating CoreWF. It isn’t a full implementation at this time, though their goal is to make it a drop-in replacement. 
Problem⚠️Full Rewrite or Community Reliance
You’ll either have to find, learn, and rewrite code from scratch to a third-party, “off-the-shelf” library, or you’ll need to port your code to CoreWF and risk losing some features you might need.

.NET Standard

.NET Standard essentially serves as a transition between all the .NET implementations prior to .NET 5 (Framework, Core, Mono, etc.). It’s expected to be fully deprecated with .NET 6. For now, .NET Standard can be a good method for migrating your NuGet libraries from .NET Framework to .NET 5+.

So What?

The longer your organization waits to plan its migration the messier and more difficult it will get. Deprecation will sneak up on you sooner than you realize.  

We created a guide to help you plan your .NET 5+ migration, with a whole, detailed chapter dedicated to these technologies. Get your copy today: 

Crista Perlton

Crista Perlton