Official support for Microsoft’s .NET Core 2.1 end from the 21st of August 2021. After this date, .NET Core 2.1 will no longer receive updates, bug fixes or security patches.
.NET Core originally deviated away from the traditional .NET framework to create an open-source, cross-platform framework that would support .NET into the future. There have been three major releases of .NET Core, ending with .NET Core 3.1 which was released in December 2019.
With the 2020 release of .NET 5, the .NET framework now incorporates all of the features and improvements developed in .NET Core back into the standard .NET roadmap. But what does that mean for business applications running .NET Core 2.1?
What does Microsoft recommend?
In a recent blog post by Jamshed Damkewla, Principal Engineering Manager, .NET at Microsoft, the official line is that projects using .NET Core 2.1 should upgrade to .NET Core 3.1 before the 21st of August deadline.
.NET Core 2.1 will be reaching end of support on August 21, 2021 and after this date we will no longer provide updates including security fixes, or technical support for this version. We strongly recommend you migrate your applications to .NET Core 3.1or later before this date.
This advice makes sense as it provides businesses with a short route to extending support for their applications. However, as a .NET software consultancy we would advise companies to plan further ahead.
What do we recommend?
Bearing in mind that .NET 5 was released in 2020 and that .NET 6 is on the horizon with a planned release in November 2021, we would recommend that companies move any .NET Core applications to .NET 5 as soon as possible.
Moving from .NET Core to .NET 5 is a relatively painless experience and the required tools are available in the current version of Visual Studio. There is no guarantee that it will remain as easy to upgrade further down the line (e.g. when everyone is using Visual Studio 2021 or .NET 7).
Think about supporting .NET 2.1 applications using today’s tools and frameworks. It would make sense to avoid those issues for your business in a few year’s time, right?
Perhaps more importantly is the cost implications for businesses. Moving from .NET Core 2.x to .NET Core 3.1 will have a cost attached to it. Moving again from .NET Core 3.1 to .NET 5 will be an additional cost. Why not cut out the middleman and go straight to .NET 5?
Your application will be supported well into the future, upgrading to .NET 6 will be easier and it costs less. What’s not to like?
Need help upgrading?
Microsoft’s roadmap for the future of .NET is clear. There will be more regular updates with new features, functionality and tools being added all the time.
There are some exciting new paths for businesses opening up too – from machine learning, automation and easier integration with internal and external business systems to web-assembly (WASM), .NET mobile development and support for Apple’s Mac Catalyst.
As a .NET software development consultancy, we help businesses to build, maintain and support business .NET applications. Our experience of .NET goes back to 2008 (and even before that within our team) and we’ve worked with every version of .NET ever released.
We understand .NET and we understand the value of your applications to your business. If you need help supporting or upgrading older .NET applications, get in touch with us and we’ll be more than happy to support your business.
We work as digital partners with our clients, working in the best interests of their business. We work with our clients to plan the best route for maintaining, enhancing and upgrading their applications and implement that plan on a timescale that suits their requirements.