.NET is a software development framework by Microsoft which is used to build and run applications on Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS and Android operating systems. Both form and web-based applications can be built using Microsoft .NET framework. A number of programming languages including Visual Basic and C# are supported by .NET framework which provides a lot of choices of programming languages for developers.
The very first version of .NET was introduced in the year 2002 which could build applications for Windows only. The current version of .NET is 4.7.1. Here are some of the important facts about Microsoft .NET framework.
The two main components of ASP.NET MVC development are Common Language Runtime and Class Library.
Common Language Runtime handles various aspects of running applications. These include exception handling during execution, garbage collection, thread management, type safety and many more.
Class Library is a set of methods and functions for various tasks. It has APIs for reading and writing files, connecting to database, drawing, etc. Types are present for dates, strings, numbers and more. Pre-written codes are available for both simple and complex data structures.
.NET is compatible with a host of programming languages. There is a compiler for each kind of programming language. The compiler sends the program to the Common Language Interpreter. CLI runs the program developed in any programming language. The most common languages used to write programs in .NET framework are C# and VB.Net.
Types of Applications
There are three categories of applications which can be developed using .NET framework.
- Form based applications which run on the machines of the users. WinForms is used to develop form-based applications.
- Web based applications are developed using ASP.Net. The web-based applications run on browsers such as Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer. The web application is executed on the server by Internet Information Service. IIS is required to run applications developed using ASP.Net. Once the application is run, the result is sent to the web browser.
- Applications which interact with databases such as Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle are developed using ADO.Net.
The functionalities of programs not developed using .NET framework can be used by programs built using .NET framework. Furthermore, back support is also provided by Microsoft for .NET framework applications. This means if you are using a machine having a newer version of .NET framework, you will still be able to run an application developed using an older version of .NET.
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.NET has in-built security mechanisms which impart specific security protocols to the applications developed using it. The security mechanisms are present to control access to the code and running the program.
Visual Studio is an Integrated Development Environment which is used to write .NET programs. IDE has a number of beneficial features such as code editing, debugging, server management, performance analysis and interface design.
.NET framework has tools which package applications for easy installation on machines. The packages automatically install the applications without affecting applications already present on the machine.
Using .NET Applications
In order to run applications built using .NET framework, the machine must have .NET framework installed in it. .NET framework is usually provided in many versions of Windows. Otherwise, the. NET framework can be downloaded and installed easily. Also, you can manage clean architecture templates with .NET Core. Some applications may require specific versions of .NET to run. The application can either install the required version automatically while being installed itself or direct the user to a particular site for downloading and installing the required version of .NET.
.NET framework is available for free. There are no licensing costs or fees. Many global companies such as Dell, TCS, HCL and Accenture use .NET to develop applications.