Microsoft .NET is an open-source digital environment for creating and running desktop applications and web services. The .NET framework provides a set of development tools, libraries, and programming languages compatible with various operating systems.
Even though the framework was primarily intended for Windows, now it is supported on Windows, macOS, and Linux. This flexibility is one of the reasons why .NET has quickly become one of the most popular development platforms for creating software. We will now discuss this and other features of the .NET framework.
What is .NET?
The first .NET beta version was introduced in the early 2000s as a closed-source along with C# programming language and its development environment, Visual Studio. Later, after the Build conference in 2014, all these Microsoft products became open-source. Since .NET has become available for every developer, it is now usual for IT specialists to learn about it. It is no surprise that .NET has become widely used because it helps developers to eliminate the amount of coding, provides access to particular tools and libraries, and also because it is secure and reliable development software.
The Architecture of .NET
.NET consists of several components. The main components are Common language runtime and Framework Class Library.
- Common language runtime (CLR) is the core .NET component that provides language interoperability. This is a virtual machine that handles the execution of the applications and system services. This runtime environment converts a code written in any NET language into a native CLR format – MSIL. The other responsibilities of CLR are memory management, garbage collection, code access security, thread support, and debugging.
- Framework Class Library (FCL) is integrated with the CLR. It is a set of libraries that collect re-usable classes, interfaces, controls, etc. The .NET FCL is used as a base for developing desktop/web services and applications and provides access to system functionality.
The Main .NET Features
F# is a functional-first, multi-paradigm programming language. It has a lightweight syntax, and it is excellent to use for web applications.
Visual Basic (VB.NET)
Visual Basic is also a multi-paradigm object-oriented language. It was released by Microsoft as a new version of classical Visual Basic to work with .NET-framework. It has a simple syntax, and it is not case-sensitive like Java or C++, so it is good to learn by beginners.
Object-Oriented Programming (OOP)
OOP allows to break up a project into small pieces so that the developers can work on it separately. It also simplifies the development process by making the code manageable and easier to test.
Once .NET was not intended to be cross-platform, but now it is. The applications designed with .NET can be run on multiple platforms. The cross-platform design also means a larger community of developers who can share their ideas with each other.
The .NET framework provides a possibility to secure a code using permissions and to provide access rights to specific users. As a developer, you have all the rights to your code. That means you can control it, protect it and limit the rights. Moreover, .NET is a product officially supported by Microsoft. The company provides guidelines, technical support, and feedback concerning threats. That makes .NET framework a reliable and secure development.
Considering all these features like code access security, reliability, compatibility, shared code libraries, easy deployment, and maintenance, you can see that .NET is an excellent tool for developers. Today it is obviously the most popular platform for development. Microsoft .NET has a long history, but even 20 years after its start .NET remains a trusted stable platform that is preferred by developers from all over the world.