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Microsoft throws lifeline to .NET orphans in the brave new Core world

It is acronym Monday as WCF and WF get OSS projects

Microsoft has reiterated its position that "if it ain't Core you should code with it no more" by distributing a list of what is in and out of its open-source take on .NET.

The company's Build event last month had seen the gang tell eager attendees that once WinForms, WPC and Entity Framework 6 had made their way into .NET Core 3.0, the door would be slammed on further refugees from the .NET Framework.

So if you're using ASP.NET Forms, Windows Communication Framework (WCF), Windows Workflow and .NET Remoting, then congratulations! You are officially legacy and the Windows giant would really like you to move on to something shiny and .NET Core-related for new stuff.

The team pointed to the likes of ASP.NET Blazor as a bit like ASP.NET Web Forms (but as a single page app rather than a full-on website).

However, if you are wedded to the .NET Framework – just like Microsoft – then the recommendation remains to leave those where they are, and perhaps consider shoving them in containers. Although doing the latter rather than re-engineering could be regarded as applying lipstick to a platform that has become distinctly porcine in recent years.

While it won't be going anywhere any time soon, it is hard to imagine Microsoft putting too much effort other than maintenance for the legacy .NET Framework 4.8 with .NET Core 3 around the corner and the unifying goodness of .NET 5 just over the horizon.

While WCF is not directly heading to Core, Microsoft has spun up a new project, confusingly named WCF Core, and handed it over to the .NET Foundation. Although WCF Core is not 100 per cent compatible with WCF, the port aims to make many WCF contract and service implementations with only a change of namespace.

Initially, it will be for HTTP and TCP SOAP services on-top of Kestrel, which are the most commonly used transports on .NET Framework, according to Microsoft.

And no, it really isn't production code just yet, but does give developers a possible future migration path into the world of Core.

Windows Workflow fans are not being left out and, while not a Microsoft-sponsored project, a port of the Windows Workflow Foundation is also under way. However, the team behind the initiative warned that the project only ports the WF runtime and ETW tracking provider to the .NET Standard and that considerably more work would be needed before the .NET Framework incarnation could be swapped out. ®


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