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What is the .NET Framework?


This chapter is an overview of the purpose and the parts of the .NET Framework. It is provided as a supplement to video lesson 7, “Getting to know the .NET Framework”.

Like many geeks, my favorite movie is the Matrix. As the movie starts, you can't quite understand what this mysterious term means to Neo and the others who are trapped inside of it. Then Morpheous explains what the Matrix is, and while you don't understand it all, your mind just expanded to understand the events that have been happening to Neo. To loosely quote Morpheous, who in turn references Alice in Wonderland: "we're about to fall deeper into the rabbit hole."

What is .NET?

.NET by itself is simply a marketing term that describes many different software products (and services) from Microsoft. The idea is that these products all work seamlessly together and allow businesses to create eCommerce web sites and allow partners to exchange data almost effortlessly. However, this caused a lot of confusion among Microsoft’s customers, so Microsoft is working on renaming their server products (Windows 2003, Biztalk, Commerce Server, etc.) to more clearly define what .NET is. From a software development perspective, the heart of .NET is the .NET Framework, which is a collection of tools to allow developers to create applications.

Tools include:

.NET Runtime - this is the core component. It is also known as the “Common Language Runtime” or just “CLR”. The runtime is a type of software known as a “virtual machine” that acts as a mediator between the Windows operating system and the code the programmers write. It protects end-users from malicious code and protects developers from managing the intricacies of dealing with memory (like we learned the Garbage Collector does in the previous lesson), the file system, and other lower level functionality. Also, a huge benefit is that it doesn’t require that

Supplemental Readings for the Express Edition Videos Copyright © 2005 LearnVisualStudio.NET


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