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Users can now easily upgrade any .NET application to the latest version of .NET. The upgrade can apply to both .NET Framework and .NET Core web and desktop apps. However, some project types are still under development and will be released in the future.

The updated .NET 6 (Long Term Support version) and .NET 7 (Standard Term Support version) provide improved performance and access to the latest features and capabilities. .NET Core 3.1, a previous version, reached the end of support in December 2022.

In terms of which version to use, Microsoft recommends porting to either .NET 6 or .NET 7. .NET 6 has a longer support time, while .NET 7 is the latest and offers newer features.

Upgrade Assistant

Microsoft releases a new version of .NET every year in November, with 3 years of support for each. This means users can either stay on the latest technology and upgrade annually or switch from LTS to LTS once every 2-3 years. The Upgrade Assistant tool simplifies the upgrading process, which was complicated, particularly from .NET Framework. The new extension provides a unified upgrade experience for every project type within Visual Studio.

The Upgrade Assistant will take care of the mechanics, but users should expect to do some manual post-processing. While the Upgrade Assistant tries to fix breaking changes automatically, it cannot detect and select all of them. Users might need to make additional modifications to get the code to compile, and they must test thoroughly to ensure the code continues to work as expected.

What else is new?

Supported application types include ASP.NET, class libraries, console, WPF, and WinForms. Migration types under development include Xamarin to .NET MAUI migration, UWP to WinUI migration, and WCF to WCF Core migration.

The Upgrade Assistant supports three upgrade types: in-place, side-by-side, and side-by-side incremental. The incremental upgrade is handy for web applications, enabling users to combine upgrades with feature development and move their items to .NET 6/7 one by one without breaking the app.

Microsoft’s Upgrade Assistant provides a convenient tool for upgrading to the latest .NET, and users are encouraged to try it out for themselves.

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