.NET Framework

.NET Framework

The Microsoft .NET Framework is a software component that can be added to or is usually included with the later versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system.  Windows XP SP2, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Vista come with .NET built in.  The .NET Framework is a fundamental Microsoft component and is intended to be used by most new applications created for the Windows pl


Class library

The .NET Framework provides a large body of pre-coded solutions to common program requirements, and manages the execution of programs written specifically for the framework.  It can be seen as a library that other framework-compatible components depend on.

The functions of the class library are used by programmers who combine them with their own code to produce applications.

The pre-coded solutions that form the framework's class library cover a large range of programming needs in areas including:

  • web application development,
  • user interface,
  • database connectivity,
  • data access,
  • cryptography,
  • network communications,
  • and numeric algorithms.

Common Language Runtime (CLR)

Programs written for the .NET Framework execute in a software environment that manages the program's runtime requirements. This runtime environment is known as the Common Language Runtime (CLR) and is also a part of the .NET Framework.

The CLR provides the appearance of an application virtual machine, so that programmers need not consider the capabilities of the specific CPU that will execute the program. The CLR also provides other important services such as memory management, security mechanisms, and exception handling.

The class library and the CLR together compose the .NET Framework.

The framework is intended to make it easier to develop computer applications and to reduce the vulnerability of applications and computers to security threats.

.NET is closely tied to web services and communication.  It is the Microsoft strategy to connect information, people, systems, and devices through software. Integrated across the Microsoft platform, .NET technology provides the ability to quickly build, deploy, manage, and use connected, security-enhanced solutions with Web services.

The Microsoft platform includes everything a business needs to develop and deploy a Web service-connected IT architecture:

  • servers to host Web services,
  • development tools to create them,
  • applications to use them,
  • and a worldwide network of Microsoft certified organizations.

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