Using Entity Framework Core migrations for class library project

.net-core c# entity-framework entity-framework-core visual-studio-2017


This seem to be an issue that have been fixed already, at least for the SQLite databases.

My solution consists of 3 projects:

  1. WPF project (default startup project) (.NET Framework 4.7),
  2. "Core" project holding the view model and non-UI stuff - Class library project (.NET Standard 2.0)
  3. "Relational" project holding all of the Entity Framework data layer - I like to keep those separated (.NET Standard 2.0)

I have installed the following packages into the main WPF project:


Projects 2 and 3 are referenced in my main WPF project. So basically, it should be enough for the EF to resolve the DbContextes.

However, it's not - as running Add-Migration on my WPF project results in:

PM> Add-Migration "Initial"
No DbContext was found in assembly 'TestWPFProject'. Ensure that you're using the correct assembly and that the type is neither abstract nor generic.

Switching to project 3 as default in the Package Manager Console results in:

PM> Add-Migration "Initial"
Unable to create an object of type 'ClientDbContext'. Add an implementation of 'IDesignTimeDbContextFactory<ClientDataStoreDbContext>' to the project, or see for additional patterns supported at design time.

How can I properly use EF Core migrations with my class library project and WPF project?

7/3/2018 2:15:32 AM

Accepted Answer

I reproduced your solution and found... a solution :)

  1. "Core" project - called ClassLibrary1
  2. "Relational" project - called EFClssLibrary
  3. WPF App project - called WpfApp1

Let's get to deepen.

1. Core project

Name: ClassLibrary1.

Type: .NET Standard 2.0 class library.

Dependencies: none.

In my test solution, it contains only one class, a model called Person.


namespace ClassLibrary1
    public class Person
        public int Id { get; set; }
        public string Name { get; set; }
        public string Surname { get; set; }

2. Relational project

Name: EFClassLibrary.

Type: .NET Standard 2.0 class library.


This project, in my test solution, contains only one class: the database context.


using ClassLibrary1;
using Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore;

namespace EFClassLibrary
    public class ClientDbContext : DbContext
        const string connectionString = "Server=(localdb)\\mssqllocaldb;Database=ClientDb;Trusted_Connection=True;";

        public ClientDbContext() : base() { }

        public ClientDbContext(DbContextOptions<ClientDbContext> options) : base(options) { }

        public DbSet<Person> People { get; set; }

        protected override void OnConfiguring(DbContextOptionsBuilder optionsBuilder)

Connection string

In this class a defined an used the connection string to connect to the database (assuming it's LocalDb SQL Server). If you want to put the connection string in a config file, you could add a shared config file in your solution and then reference that file in your App.config file (for more informartion take a look at this page)

Configuring the target framework

In order to be able to add migrations on this project without setting as startup project other projects, you must set the target framework. Right click on the project and click on the Edit EFClassLibrary.csproj entry. Below the <TargetFramework>netstandard2.0</TargetFramework> line, you should add another line which specify which framework you want to target. To target the .NET Framework 4.7 you should add


A list of all allowed values can be found here.

My EFClassLibrary.csproj look like the code below after adding the .NET Framework 4.7 as target.

<Project Sdk="Microsoft.NET.Sdk">


    <PackageReference Include="Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore" Version="2.1.1" />
    <PackageReference Include="Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore.SqlServer" Version="2.1.1" />
    <PackageReference Include="Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore.Tools" Version="2.1.1" />

    <ProjectReference Include="..\ClassLibrary1\ClassLibrary1.csproj" />


Adding migrations

Now you are ready to add your first migration. Open the Package Manager Console and set as default project the EFClassLibrary. Also, set that project as startup project (right-click on the project and click on the Set as startup project entry).


PM> Add-Migration Initial


PM> Update-Database

3. WPF App project

Name: WpfApp1.

Type: WPF Application using .NET Framework 4.7.


In this project I added no files. A just edited the MainWindow.xaml.cs file to check that everything works correctly.


using ClassLibrary1;
using EFClassLibrary;
using System.Windows;

namespace WpfApp1
    public partial class MainWindow : Window
        public MainWindow()

            var db = new ClientDbContext();

            db.People.Add(new Person()
                Name = "Omar"


Hope it helps :)

7/5/2018 7:46:28 AM

Popular Answer

What worked for me is just do your regular stuff on your UI Side Startup.cs

services.AddDbContext<ShentonEvaDbContext>(options =>

Then on your DBContext Configuration just add a constructor

public ShentonEvaDbContext(DbContextOptions<ShentonEvaDbContext> options) : base(options)


After that on your Package Manager Console just run the following

dotnet ef migrations add InitialMigration --project "NameOfDbContextProject" --startup-project "NameOfWebUIProject"

Then Everytihng went added and do the same for the update of database

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