What is Porting Assistant for .NET? - Porting Assistant for .NET

What is Porting Assistant for .NET?

Porting Assistant for .NET is a tool that helps you to port your existing .NET applications running on Windows Server to .NET Core on Linux. Porting Assistant scans .NET projects in the application portfolio, analyzes source code and package dependencies, and generates an assessment report that highlights incompatible APIs and packages (NuGet and Microsoft Core). Porting Assistant offers replacement suggestions for incompatible packages and APIs, where applicable. It also notifies you if the application is using unsupported components that cannot easily be replaced with .NET Core on Linux. The detailed compatibility assessment makes it possible for you to prioritize applications from your portfolio based on the complexity and effort involved in the porting process. When you select an application, Porting Assistant jumpstarts the porting process by converting the .NET project reference files to their .NET Core equivalent with the updated package information and versioning. Developers can use the updated project files as a starting point to make source code changes. The Porting Assistant suggestion engine for API and package replacements improves over time as it learns more about the usage patterns and frequency of missing packages and APIs.

Features of Porting Assistant for .NET

Porting Assistant for .NET provides the following features:

Compatibility assessment

Porting Assistant scans your .NET framework projects and generates a compatibility assessment report by analyzing source code and packages (NuGet and Microsoft Core). Porting Assistant analyzes all third-party and internal packages and then classifies them into compatible and incompatible buckets. It identifies incompatible APIs and their source, and provides known replacements, if available. This assessment can help you to identify and prioritize appropriate applications for .NET Core porting.

Porting assistance

If the latest version of a package is compatible with .NET Core, Porting Assistant upgrades the package to its latest compatible version and changes relevant project reference files to a .NET Core-compatible format. Porting Assistant doesn’t eliminate the need to make source code changes. However, it reduces the undifferentiated heavy-lifting required to begin refactoring source code.

Continuous improvement

The Porting Assistant API replacement engine, powered by the AWS Cloud, continuously learns and improves as the tool is used. The learning capability of the tool results in increasingly better ways to port applications to .NET Core.

Supported versions

Porting Assistant supports assessment and conversion of C# applications running on Windows Server 2016 and later.

  • Supported .NET Framework source versions: .NET Framework 3.5 and later


    Within the source projects, only .csproj files are supported. MS Build conditional constructs and other conditional or nested clauses in .csproj files are not supported. Only NuGet version strings that conform to SemVer are supported. Version strings that use wildcards or variable names are not supported.

  • Supported .NET Core target platform versions:

    • .NET Core 3.1 on Linux

    • .NET 5.0 on Linux


The following terminology and concepts are central to your understanding and use of Porting Assistant for .NET.

Solution/solution file

A solution or solution file is a collection of projects (csproj) packaged by Visual Studio with the extension .sln. Using a solution file makes it easier to assess large projects with many projects as opposed to analyzing individual binaries and then aggregating information.


Each project is identified by Visual Studio with a .csproj file. All of the project configuration is contained in the .xml file.

Portability score

The portability score indicates how portable an individual project is. It is represented as a fraction of compatible/non-compatible.

Internal NuGet

Some users have an internal NuGet hosting service, similar to nuget.org, that is accessible only within their local network.

How to get started with Porting Assistant for .NET

After you have downloaded and configured Porting Assistant, you can start the compatibility assessment in the Application-level assessment mode. You can select a local source-code folder and associated solution (.sln) file to start an assessment for this particular .NET framework application.

After starting the assessment job, it may take a few minutes to generate the assessment report. When the job is complete, you can select View Details to view the full compatibility report for the application. This compatibility report is the starting point for your .NET refactoring efforts and enables you to estimate the complexity of your application and the effort involved in porting it to .NET Core.

Accessing Porting Assistant for .NET

Porting Assistant is a standalone tool that you download and install on your developer workstation. Specify the solution files for your .NET applications to start an assessment task. You can view and analyze the assessment report using a UI console and can optionally download it for sharing and offline analysis.

Pricing for Porting Assistant for .NET

Porting Assistant is available for use at no cost.