Tutorial: Create an ASP.NET Core app with React in Visual Studio
In this article, you learn how to build an ASP.NET Core project to act as an API backend and a React project to act as the UI.
Currently, Visual Studio includes ASP.NET Core Single Page Application (SPA) templates that support Angular and React. The templates provide a built in Client App folder in your ASP.NET Core projects that contains the base files and folders of each framework.
Starting in Visual Studio 2022 Preview 2, you can use the method described in this article to create ASP.NET Core Single Page Applications that:
- Put the client app in a separate project, outside from the ASP.NET Core project
- Create the client project based on the framework CLI installed on your computer
Currently, the front-end project must be published manually (not currently supported with the Publish tool). For additional information, see https://github.com/MicrosoftDocs/visualstudio-docs/issues/7135.
Make sure to have the following installed:
- Visual Studio 2022 Preview 2 or later with the ASP.NET and web development workload installed. Go to the Visual Studio downloads page to install it for free. If you need to install the workload and already have Visual Studio, go to Tools > Get Tools and Features..., which opens the Visual Studio Installer. Choose the ASP.NET and web development workload, then choose Modify.
- npm (https://www.npmjs.com/)
- npx (https://www.npmjs.com/package/npx)
Create the frontend app
In the New Project Dialog, select Create a new project.
Give your project and solution a name. When you get to the Additional information window, be sure to check the Add integration for Empty ASP.NET Web API Project option. This option adds files to your React template so that it can be hooked up later with the ASP.NET Core project.
Once the project is created, you see some new and modified files:
- App.js (modified)
- App.test.js (modified)
Select an installed browser from the Debug toolbar, such as Chrome or Microsoft Edge.
If the browser you want is not yet installed, install the browser first, and then select it.
Create the backend app
In the solution explorer, right-click the solution name, hover over Add, and then select New Project.
Search and select the ASP.NET Core Web API project.
Give your project and solution a name. When you get to the Additional information window, select .NET 6.0 as your target framework.
Once the project is created, Solution Explorer should look like this:
Set the project properties
Right-click the ASP.NET Core project and choose Properties.
Go to the Debug menu and select Open debug launch profiles UI option. Uncheck the Launch Browser option.
Next, right-click the React project and select the Properties menu and go the Debugging section. Change the Debugger to launch to the launch.json option.
Set the startup project
Right-click the solution and select Set Startup Project. Change the startup project from Single startup project to Multiple startup projects. Select Start for each project’s action.
Next, select the backend project and move it above the frontend, so that it starts up first.
Start the project
Before you start the project, make sure that the port numbers match. Go to the launchSettings.json file in your ASP.NET Core project (in the Properties folder). Get the port number from the
If there are multiple
applicationUrlproperties, look for one using an
httpsendpoint. It should look similar to
Then, go to the setupProxy.js file for your React project (look in the src folder). Update the target property to match the
applicationUrlproperty in launchSettings.json.
To start the project, press F5 or select the Start button at the top of the window. You will see two command prompts appear:
- The ASP.NET Core API project running
- npm running the react-scripts start command
You should see an React app appear, that is populated via the API.
You may see the following error:
[HPM] Error occurred while trying to proxy request /weatherforecast from localhost:4200 to https://localhost:5001 (ECONNREFUSED) (https://nodejs.org/api/errors.html#errors_common_system_errors)
If you see this issue, most likely the frontend started before the backend. Once you see the backend command prompt up and running, just refresh the React App in the browser.