.NET Framework

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The .NET Framework is a software development framework created by Microsoft that runs primarily on Microsoft Windows. It includes a large class library named the Framework Class Library (FCL) and provides language interoperability (each language can use code written in other languages) across several programming languages. Programs written for the .NET Framework execute in a software environment named the Common Language Runtime (CLR), an application virtual machine that provides services such as security, memory management, and exception handling. As such, computer code written using the .NET Framework is called "managed code"
Overview of the Common Language Infrastructure.svg

Overview[edit | edit source]

The .NET Framework is designed to provide a consistent object-oriented programming environment whether object code is stored and executed locally, executed locally but Internet-distributed, or executed remotely. It aims to minimize software deployment and versioning conflicts, promote the safe execution of code, and eliminate the performance problems of scripted or interpreted environments. The framework supports various programming languages, including C#, Visual Basic .NET, and F#, through a common set of runtime instructions.

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Components[edit | edit source]

Common Language Runtime (CLR)[edit | edit source]

The CLR is the execution engine of the .NET Framework. It provides memory management, type safety, exception handling, garbage collection, security, and thread management. Programs written for the .NET Framework are compiled into Common Intermediate Language (CIL), which the CLR then compiles into machine code for the platform on which it is running.

Framework Class Library (FCL)[edit | edit source]

The FCL provides the core functionality of the .NET Framework. It includes classes, interfaces, and value types that expedite and optimize the development process and provide access to system functionality. The FCL is divided into namespaces that provide a variety of functionality, including graphical user interface components, data access, database connectivity, cryptography, web application development, and network communications.

Development[edit | edit source]

The .NET Framework was announced by Microsoft in 2000 and the first version was released in 2002. Since then, it has been updated several times, with the introduction of new features and improvements in each version. The introduction of the .NET Framework led to the .NET platform's expansion, including the development of ASP.NET for web applications, ADO.NET for data access, and Windows Forms for desktop applications.

.NET Standard and .NET Core[edit | edit source]

In response to the growing need for cross-platform solutions, Microsoft introduced .NET Standard, a formal specification of .NET APIs that are intended to be available on all .NET implementations. The introduction of .NET Core, a cross-platform, open-source, and modular .NET platform for creating modern web apps, services, and mobile backends, further extended the .NET ecosystem. .NET Core was designed to be flexible, lightweight, and to support platform independence.

Future of .NET Framework[edit | edit source]

While the .NET Framework is still supported by Microsoft, the future of .NET development is moving towards .NET 5 and beyond, which unifies the .NET platform into a single framework that aims to support all types of .NET development, including mobile, desktop, web, cloud, and IoT applications.

See Also[edit | edit source]


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