Supporting the community with WF and WCF OSS projects

Scott Hunter [MSFT]

At the Build conference in May 2019, we mentioned that, after we add WinForms, WPF and Entity Framework 6 to .NET Core 3.0, we do not plan to add any more of the technologies from .NET Framework to .NET Core.

This means we will not be adding ASP.NET Web Forms, WCF, Windows Workflow, .NET Remoting and/or the various other smaller APIs to .NET Core. For new applications, there are better technologies that serve a similar purpose and provide more capabilities or better experiences. We think of .NET Core as the framework our customers will build brand new applications or port applications that they are still spending lots of engineering work on.

ASP.NET Blazor – provides a similar component and event-based programming model as ASP.NET Web Forms but generating a SPA (Single Page Application) instead of a traditional web site.

ASP.NET Web API or gRPC – provide APIs and contract-based RPCs that can be used across all devices and platforms.

.NET Core WCF Client – provides the ability for .NET Core projects to call into the existing WCF Servers that run on .NET Framework.

What do you do with your older applications that you are not spending much engineering time on? We recommend leaving these on .NET Framework. If you’re not spending much time on those projects and they meet your business needs, then you should just leave them where they are. You can even modernize those existing applications to Windows containers if you want to run them in containers.

.NET Framework will continue to be supported and will receive minor updates. Even here at Microsoft, many large products will remain on .NET Framework. There are absolutely no changes to support and that will not change in the future. .NET Framework 4.8 is the latest version of .NET Framework and will continue to be distributed with future releases of Windows. If it is installed on a supported version of Windows, .NET Framework 4.8 will continue to be supported too.

If you really want to move one of your older applications to .NET Core and don’t want to migrate it to newer technologies like Web API / gPRC / Cloud based workflow, we are supporting two community efforts that provide ports of Windows Workflow and WCF to .NET Core.

Core WCF

Core WCF is a new community owned project under the .NET Foundation. Microsoft has made an initial contribution of code from a WCF team member to help get the project started. Core WCF is not intending to be a 100% compatible port of WCF to .NET Core, but aims to allow porting of 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.

This project is not yet ready for production but needs people to get involved and help get it there faster. If you are interested in this, or want more details about the project, then we encourage you to go and explore the Core WCF project on GitHub.

This project has joined the .NET Foundation and you can read about it on the .NET Foundation blog.

Core Workflow

Core WF is a port of Workflow for .NET Core sponsored by UIPath. The project was started by a former Workflow team member and the .NET team has been working to make sure that all the source code they need to do the work of porting Workflow is available to them. This project will need more community help to become a replacement for Workflow on .NET Framework and we encourage anyone who wishes to see Workflow on Core to get involved and see if you can help out.


We’re happy to see these projects be part of the .NET OSS community and hope that you’ll join us in supporting them and other .NET OSS. If you want more information about the .NET Foundation or what you can do to get involved then be sure to checkout the .NET Foundation website.