When Microsoft originally released .NET Core on June 27, 2016, it immediately garnered popularity among software developers. Today, it is the technology of choice for 27.9% of professional developers. The .NET Core 3.1 version was released not so long ago in December 2019, and includes a number of new features and improvements.
If you are still using the old .NET Core and you want to take full advantage of the new framework and stay on top of technology developments, then you should seriously consider making the update .NET Core 2.1 to 3.1.
If you’re looking for reasons why you should upgrade your .NET Core to version 3.1, this article contains important information about this new upgrade. You’ll learn the differences between version 2.1 & 3.1, and this information will help you to make an informed decision.
What is the Difference Between .NET Core 2.1 and .NET Core 3.1?
.NET Core 2.1 is an earlier version of the robust framework that allows you to create UI, Web APIs, and other cloud-based applications. It was released on May 30, 2018.
.NET Core 3.1 is the more recent release of Microsoft’s free, cross-platform, open-source development platform for creating a wide range of apps. It was released on December 3, 2019.
So what’s the difference between .NET Core 2.1 and .NET Core 3.1? For starters, .NET Core 3.1 is faster and more efficient than its predecessor and will push your app to new levels of scalability, performance, and security.
It also delivers low-memory support for JSON and tiered compilation that optimises startup time. Windows desktop application development is also supported, as well as considerable speed enhancements across the board.
All in all .NET Core 2.1 to 3.1 upgrade comes with a new set of features and improvements that make it easier to build high-quality applications.
Why Migration from .NET Core 2.1 to 3.1 is Relevant?
Even though Long-term support (LTS) for .NET Core 3.1 is ending in a few weeks, that does not mean you should not upgrade from .NET Core 2.1 to 3.1.
There are tons of reasons to migrate from .NET Core 2.1 to 3.1. Some of the top reasons include:
1. Get the benefits of Performance Improvements
Possibly the most important reason to migrate 2.1 to 3.1 .NET Core is that the 3.1 release brought a lot of performance improvements to the table.
It includes all the latest updates and security fixes that were missing in the previous major version, and you get the benefit of these improvements without having to change any of your code. For example, .NET Core 3.1 has an average response time of 1.6ms. This is a whopping improvement of 12.5% compared to .NET Core 2.1.
.NET Core 3.1 also includes support for the latest Windows 10 releases, as well as support for creating C++/CLI projects.
2. Docker optimizations
Docker containers are a popular way to package and deploy applications. They’re easy to use and offer a consistent ecosystem for development, testing, and production. .NET Core 3.1 has been improved to work better with Docker containers.
The garbage collector and thread pool have been optimized to operate significantly better when a container is set for restricted memory or CPU.
Did you know that Docker Desktop won't be free for commercial users? Find out more. Top Docker Desktop Alternatives: Replacement Guide
The changes make it easier to create containers that are more predictable and efficient. And the new capabilities make it easier to deploy and manage .NET Core applications in containers.
3. Cross-platform diagnostic tools
Diagnostic tools in .NET Core 3.1 have been updated with new .NET runtime capabilities that make it easier to carry out cross-platform diagnostics in order to identify and address performance issues.
This helps you identify why your application fails to start or stops working after a while. You can get information on the health of your application, why it is behaving abnormally, and reasons for crashes. These results will come in handy when troubleshooting problems related to race conditions or deadlocks.
4. Faster & smaller SDK
With .NET Core 3.1, the .NET Core SDK is substantially smaller. This is because the SDK’s construction was altered by shifting reference assemblies, frameworks, and templates to purpose-built “packs”. Previously (including .NET Core 2.2), the SDK was built from NuGet packages, which included many artefacts that were unnecessary and took up a lot of space.
5. Easier to move to .NET 5 and above
.NET 5 was launched in November of 2020, and with it, a whole host of new features and improvements. But if you’re still on .NET Core 2.1, upgrading to .NET Core 3.1 is a great way to get started with the latest versions.
Not only will it make it easier to move to .NET 5, and from there upgrade to .NET 6, 7, and 8 when released, but in the meantime, you’ll also get access to all the new features and performance improvements in .NET Core 3.1.
What Does it Take to Move from .NET Framework to .NET Core?
Check the full project overview.VIEW CASE STUDY
6. Support for Raspberry Pi and Linux ARM64 chips
.NET Core 3.1 supports Raspberry Pi and Linux ARM64 chips. These chips make it possible to develop IoT applications using the remote Visual Studio debugger. Using the new GPIO API, you can listen to sensors, publish apps that read sensor data and display messages or graphics.
Cases When Upgrading .NET Core 2.1 to 3.1 Makes Sense
If you’re using .NET Core in your projects, then you know that it’s constantly evolving. And with each new release, there are always new features and enhancements to take advantage of. So when does it make sense to switch up from .NET Core 2.1 to 3.1?
When you need:
- New features and enhancements – As we mentioned, with each new release of .NET Core, there are always new features and enhancements. Upgrading to the latest version ensures that you’re always taking advantage of the latest and greatest.
- Improved security – Security is always a top priority for .NET Core developers. And with each new release, the security of .NET Core is improved. So upgrading to the latest version helps to keep your apps secure.
- Increased performance – .NET Core 3.1 is faster and more efficient than the older .NET Core, thanks to its modular design and improved garbage collection.
- Cross-platform compatibility – .NET Core 3.1 can be used on Windows, Linux, and macOS, so you can develop for any platform you need.
- Focus on desktop development – If you’re primarily focused on desktop development with .NET Core, then you need to upgrade 2.1 to 3.1 .NET Core. It includes improvements to the Windows Forms and WPF libraries. These improvements make it easier to create rich, interactive user interfaces.
The fullest guide on the desktop to web application migration from ModLogix experts. Guide to Legacy Application Migration: All You Need to Know
Key Problems in Upgrading .NET Core 2.1 to 3.1 Version
If you’re migrating .NET Core 2.1 to 3.1, there are some problems you should be aware of.
One example is Microsoft.Extensions.* libraries received a significant version boost to 3.0.0 in .NET Core 3.x. Additionally, NETstandard 2.0 and NET Core 3.0 are now multi-targeted. Unfortunately, 3.0.0 extension libraries cannot be used in ASP.NET Core 2.x projects. If you do, you will receive an error.
Additionally, according to the NuGet package resolution rules, when you reference your library in an ASP.NET Core 3.0, the 2.x dependencies of your library will be immediately updated to the 3.0.0 versions. Therefore, you should avoid automatic updating because a big version bump usually results in breaking changes. Code built for one major version of a dependency won’t always function properly when used with another major version of the dependency.
Last but not least, in version 3.0.0 of Microsoft.Extensions.Options library, Add, Get, and Remove methods were removed from OptionsWrapper<>. A MethodNotFoundException will be thrown at runtime if you use these methods in your library.
How Can ModLogix Help with Upgrading .NET Core 2.1 to 3.1?
While your legacy software might be working well for your immediate needs, the truth is that you are missing out on a lot of improvements, especially in the areas of speed, performance, and security. In today’s ever-changing digital world, it’s important to make sure your website or app is using the latest technology, and at ModLogix, we are committed to helping our clients make the transition to this new platform.
ModLogix is a legacy software modernization company. Our team of experts is well-versed in .NET Core upgrade from 2.1 to 3.1 and can help you modernize your codebase with ease.
We understand the challenges that come with codebase replacement, whether you want to convert .NET Framework to .NET Core or want to upgrade your .NET Core, having handled a lot of migration projects, and our team has the experience and skill set needed to get the job done right.
We will work closely with you to ensure that your upgrade project from .NET Core 2.1 to 3.1 runs smoothly and efficiently, with minimal disruption to your business.
If you are interested in learning more about our legacy software modernization services, please contact us today.
We would be happy to discuss your specific needs and give you a customized quote.