Five Key Benefits from Upgrading to .NET 5 and Why They Matter
Apprising your clients of when to migrate or upgrade their technology stack is one of the most important values you can bring to the table
In the world of software development, a major responsibility of any development team is to know when it’s time for a software upgrade. Keeping our clients happy means ensuring that their technology stack is up to standards and this requires the latest and greatest software updates.
As McAfee Blogs has well stated, upgrading your software includes “critical patches to security holes…. They can also improve the stability of your software, and remove outdated features. All of these updates are aimed at making the user experience better.”
Recently, we had the opportunity to make a recommendation to a major client in the food and beverage manufacturing industry about upgrading to Microsoft’s new .NET 5 Framework. In a nutshell, the .NET 5 Framework continues a software evolution that has run more than 20 years. It now brings together the .Net Framework and .Net Core, and Xamarin into one unified framework called .NET 5 Framework, which was released in November 2020.
In a nutshell, the .NET 5 Framework encompasses a whole framework of solutions and services to ensure compatibility with the era of digital transformation – including the latest IoT and AI innovations.
More than getting into the technicalities of .NET 5, we wanted to use this upgrade recommendation as an opportunity to share some major best practices that we believe lead to better productivity, lower costs, and ultimately, happier clients.
These elements showcase precisely how we provide value to our clients. More specifically, they demonstrate how a major software upgrade, even though very difficult and time-consuming, at the end-of-the-day can help us to demonstrate innovation while avoiding production roadblocks and tons of rework for our teams.
Let’s therefore dig into 6 key benefits to why upgrading to .NET 5 Framework was an important move for our valued client. In the process, we’ll show why these are good all-around best practices to keep in mind no matter what software upgrades you encounter in the future.
1. Recognize that Technical Value = Business Value
An important sign of a good and reliable software vendor and partner is one that has your back and can provide important software recommendations. It’s a company that can look ahead in order to save your company resources, time, and effort. This implies what Jonathan Fries calls the relationship between “technical” and “business” value:
When software developers are focused on good design — focused on taking the time to build a system the right way — they are focused on delivering business value for their customers or stakeholders. They want good design because they know that in the medium and long-term a system with good design is easier to support and extend. This has clear business value — you can do more new stuff (features) for less money and you can fix problems (bugs) for less money. More stuff for less money is good business value. In this way, technical value (good design and elegant coding) is business value.
As technologies grow faster and faster, it’s very easy for everyone to fall behind. How do you know when it’s time to proceed with a software upgrade and which technology do you adopt? Being able to answer these questions for a client is of immeasurable value and goes way beyond just the tactical aspects of the day-to-day coding that is already expected in a client-vendor relationship.
2. Better Scalability & Performance
One of the key reasons for upgrading our client to .NET 5 was scalability and the use of reduced resources. With .NET 5, the client could serve an estimated 100% more concurrent users with the same servers. .NET5 is a heavy migration and professionals suggest taking it slow. But this is still an important tradeoff from having to backtrack in two years. A number of key scalability benefits emerge from migrating to .NET 5:
- .NET 5 memory usage could be decreased by approximately 50%
- The client could double the number of users with the same efficiency but at reduced overall cost
- .NET 5 is a cross-platform framework which means that it can be deployed on Linux servers as well as Microsoft Azure servers
Migrating to .NET 5 introduces significant improvements in user performance along with major security improvements. This makes .NET 5 an optimal solution for serving more concurrent users more efficiently. In fact, organizations can expect to get up to 25 to 30% performance gains from this migration alone.
The following graphs shows the performance improvements that .NET 5 offers for most of the APIs used by our client. In some cases, .NET 5 will decrease the time significantly as shown in the below charts; this leads to better scalability as the load per API is lower.
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3. Long-term Benefits
While migrating to .NET 5 is not known to be “a walk in the park,” the long-term benefits make this path an important and worthwhile one. The most compelling reason is simply that Microsoft will not release updates and enhancements for .NET framework 4.8. That much should be clear at the outset.
But in reality, there are many reasons why adopting and shipping new features with .NET 5 will lead to more efficiency and stability in your workflows, and to longer term happiness for your clients. Some of the most important benefits of migrating to .NET 5 are:
- Easier integration into using the newest technologies (i.e., cloud, microservices, etc.) · Ability to use more robust APIs such as Entity Framework Core, etc.
- .NET 5 is a tested, stable framework
- Migrating future features written in .NET 5 to .NET 6 will be more seamless and less disruptive
4. Upgraded Entity Framework
In addition to improvements in costs, performance, and scalability, upgrading to .NET 5 supports the latest C# version and allows our client to utilize the latest Entity Framework (EF) Core 3 package. EF Core 3’s benefits include:
- Faster reading and writing of data from and to the database
- Ability to use third-party libraries.
- Documentation that displays the main operations performed and the performance improvements per operation.
Curious to know how we helped our clients create their impact in the software industry? Check out our case studies!
5. Reduced Cost
Any time you save your clients money, then that’s a good thing. We simply have not heard of any clients complaining about lower costs. One of the biggest features about .NET 5 that makes it cost efficient is the cross-platform compatibility.
This essentially means that you could switch from Windows Servers to Linux Servers and reduce costs while still servicing more concurrent users. What’s more, cross-platform gives you the ability to manage, orchestrate, and scale container-based applications in the cloud more seamlessly and cost-effectively.
Another approach to this .NET 5 migration question is to consider it from the perspective of opportunity cost. By not migrating now, what do you forfeit – one year, two years, or five years from now – in terms of code refactoring, maintenance, and rework that you’ll need to accomplish down the road?
.NET 5.0 Roadmap to Succes
To make the most of the .NET 5 benefits, we developed a migration plan for our client that involved a go-forward strategy (as opposed to a backward migration which we deemed to be too costly). Our high-level recommendation plan consisted of the following steps.
Preparation/transition to ready the team
- Gain familiarity with .NET 5
- Architecture and design of new API application
- Upgrade all APIs
- Use the API test automation platform to test new APIs
- Group all commonly used APIs under a single mobile application
- Familiarize developers with .NET 5
Building new features with .NET 5
By implementing this migration plan, we are preparing our client with the tools, resources, and technologies they need to be successful. This not only establishes a pattern of trust and goodwill but ensures that our client will gain the best ROI on their investments – both in the short-term and long-term.
How Long Does it Take to Build a Successful Self-Organized Team?
Building a high-quality team that is self-organized, efficient, and high performant does not happen overnight.
Our project management experts suggest that after hiring a new engineer, it takes about six months to really begin to understand their strengths and weaknesses. Bringing on a new person is always a risk because there are obvious unknowns beyond the interview; someone who interviews extremely well may still mask certain red flags in their work ethic or character. A good rule of thumb is to count on at least a year for an engineer to really settle into their new environment and to allow time for adjustments, tweaks, and mentoring to fully prepare that person for success.
At Integrant, we are proud of our hiring track record. Fortunately, we’ve had very high retention rate over the years, which indicates a solid ability to identify outstanding team players that bring together the right blend of experience, mindset, and soft skills.
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Software upgrades are an inevitable part of any vendor-client relationship. However, we have noticed that vendors not infrequently approach them as an “add-on” or aberration from the normal software development lifecycle.
On the contrary, we believe the process of taking a client through a migration plan from start to finish not only demonstrates good business value but also strong technical value. Software upgrades are not easy, and may be easily dismissed as not critical. But at the end of the day, upgrades are an important but often missed opportunity to expand cost savings, achieve better performance, and improve security.
In the present use case, we took our food and beverage client through a migration plan to .NET 5 on the premise that this platform will lead to superior capabilities, products, and features. We provided a strategic and compelling list of reasons for why an upgrade can significantly reduce costs, increase scalability and performance, and enable a company to achieve better business outcomes.
If you’re an organization that’s looking for more than just an application to be built, then you’ve come to the right place. We believe the key to any partnership is one that protects the client and sets them up for success at each step of their journey.
If you’re looking to gain deep traction in your market, then call us today for a demo of our work! Learn how we can partner together on your next project. Subscribe below or contact us to see the strategic impact we can make for you and your business.