Last updated: November 10, 2019
What is the .NET Framework?
.NET is a software development and programming framework that was created by the Microsoft Corporation.
This framework allows developers to create applications more easily.
.NET ultimately is designed to provide a controlled programming environment where software can be developed, installed and executed on Windows-based operating systems.
The reason why the .NET Framework exists is that there are numerous applications that go into a development project.
The reality is that various applications due to a lack of resources don’t exactly integrate and patch together well out of the box.
With .NET framework in place, that interaction of applications is much simpler, making for cohesive application functionality and integrity across the board.
As a technology, .NET Framework supports leading-edge building and execution of XML web services and applications.
By providing this powerful platform, the framework’s objectives include providing an environment where code execution can be deployed to minimize software deployment and any conflicts in versioning.
It also provides a consistent object-oriented programming environment whether object code is stored and executed locally, executed locally but Internet-distributed, or executed remotely.
.NET provides an environment that promotes safe code execution, even with code that is provided by unknown and semi-trusted third parties.
Many other scripted or interpreted environments cause performance problems, and .NET is designed to eliminate these types of issues.
.NET framework also aims to make the developer experience consistent across widely varying types of applications, such as Windows-based applications and Web-based applications.
Based on industry standards, .NET is focused on ensuring that any code produced within the framework can integrate with any other industry-standard code.
.NET – Microsoft’s development Linchpin
.NET is the central component of Microsoft’s over-arching development strategy and was first launched as the company’s answer to Java.
.NET features a number of elements that make it quite appealing and are true to the mission of the platform altogether.
- .NET is focused on Interoperability, allowing for .NET-developed programs to access functionalities in programs developed outside .NET.
- .NET utilizes a Common Runtime Engine (CRE). This construct, also known as the common language runtime, allows programs developed in .NET to exhibit common behaviors in memory usage, exception handling, and security.
- .NET has Language Independence features and is designed with the ability to exchange two separate data types between two programs that were developed in different languages and enabled by Common Language Infrastructure (CLI).
- .NET features a library of common function code in a library known as the Base Class Library. By using this library, a programmer can avoid the repetitive rewriting of code.
- .NET is easy to deploy. As with many things Microsoft, ease of deployment is a key feature of the .NET platform. With a hand tip to being installed on Microsoft native operating systems, .NET installs easily and causes a minimum of conflicts out of the box.
- .NET has integrated security. Programs that are developed in .NET are based on a common security model.
Fills a Development Need
Development before .NET on Windows was a scattered affair to say the least.
It wasn’t hard to find situations where a programmer would start their programs with a whiteboard or blank sheet of paper.
A programmer might have in hand a routine or two that they could start with.
Things were about that painful throughout the software development process and took a long time because it required a lot of manual testing.
Things were inefficient and if anyone walked into the middle of a process it required a lot of catching up had to be done.
The need was there to create pre-written and pre-tested constructs into the process that could speed things up.
Function libraries came on the scene, which were followed by class libraries, until finally, Foundation Class frameworks took hold.
The .NET framework is Microsoft’s powerful implementation of this, and it contributes classes, methods, objects, security and more in such a way that it aids development.
With programmers able to focus on their applications much more, the focus is on faster development and the goals of the project from the outset.
Additionally, project contributors can work on and focus the specific elements they are tasked with rather than the entire body of code, development and testing.
There are many hosting options for a .NET development environment so if you’re looking to utilize this platform in a hosting environment, make sure it is the version of .NET you require ahead of time as the platform has evolved significantly over the years.
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