Justin Helgerson Justin Helgerson - 1 month ago 21x
C# Question

How do I reference a .NET Framework project in a .NET Core project?

I'd really like to start using .NET Core and slowly migrate applications and libraries to it. However, I can't realistically upgrade my entire code base to use .NET Core and then go through the process of testing and deploying a plethora of applications in production.

As an example, if I create a new .NET Core application and try to reference one of my .NET Framework projects I get the following:

The following projects are not supported as references: -
Foobar.NetFramework has target frameworks that are incompatible with
targets in current project Foobar.NetCore.

Foobar.NetCore: .NETCoreApp,Version=v1.0

Foobar.NetFramework: .NETFramework,Version=v4.5

Is it possible to create a new .NET Core application and reference my existing .NET Framework libraries? If so, what's the process for doing that? I've spent hours going through Microsoft's documentation and searching their issues on GitHub, but I can't find anything official on how to achieve this or what their long-term vision is for this process.


Yes, we are currently attempting the same thing. The trick is to make sure that you are supporting the same .NET frameworks. Inside your project.json file, make sure the framework matches the framework of the project you wish to include. For example:

"frameworks": {
    "net46": {  --This line here <<<<
      "dependencies": {
        "DomainModel": {
          "target": "project"
        "Models": {
          "target": "project"

FYI: You might need to change the framework of your .NET Core or your older projects to achieve this. .NET Core can be changed just by editing the project.json file as seen above. You can so the same in .NET projects by right clicking the project and opening properties. Change the framework level there.

Once you have matched the two project frameworks then you should be able to include them. Good Luck!