What is .NET Framework?

The .Net Framework is one of the wonderful creations of Microsoft Corporation. It has change the software development dramatically. It provides lot of features that provides high functionality. This article explains basic overview of .Net Framework, some features of .Net Framework. Summary of the article:

  • What .NET?
  • .Net Framework Version History
  • What is CLR?
  • What is RPC?

What is .NET or .NET Framework?
.NET is a framework. This is not OS or programming language. But it support different programming language. Such: C#, C++, J#, VB, VB.NET. It gives a common platform or class library for all language. If we write our code in any language after compilation .NET convert it into MSIL. It is an intermediate language. Then this MSIL is converted into machine language. Most of we use Visual Studio to write .NET code. But if we write it in note pad and run it, it will work.
It runs on Microsoft Windows OS. .NET provides tools and libraries that allow developers to develop applications and services much easily, faster and secure.

.Net Framework Version History
Currently different versions of .NET frameworks are available. Each Framework has new features & controls. Some core features of different Frameworks are given bellow:

.NET Framework 1.0

  • Introduced with IDE: Visual Studio .NET
  • Introduced CLR 1.0
  • Support for Object-oriented Web application development
  • Use of DLL class libraries

.NET Framework 1.1

  • Introduced with IDE: Visual Studio .NET 2003
  • Features Enhancement to ASP.NET and ADO.NET
  • Built-in support for mobile ASP.NET controls
  • Security Enhancement
  • Built-in support for ODBC and databases
  • Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) support

.NET Framework 2.0

  • Introduced with IDE: Visual Studio .NET 2005
  • Introduced CLR 2.0
  • Generics and generic collections
  • Partial classes
  • Nullable types
  • Anonymous methods
  • Introduced many new controls and features to ASP.NET
  • New control: Masterpage, Gridview ,DataTable,Partial class,ADO.NET

.NET Framework 3.0

  • Introduced with IDE: Visual Studio .NET 2005
  • Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)
  • Windows Communications Foundation (WCF)
  • Windows Workflow Foundation (WF), and CardSpace
  • New control: WPF, WCF, ASP.NET Ajax, LINQ

.NET Framework 3.5

  • Introduced with IDE: Visual Studio .NET 2008
  • Built-In AJAX Support
  • LINQ
  • Dynamic Data
  • Multi-targeting Framework Support
  • New control: WPF, WCF, ASP.NET Ajax, LINQ,ListView, Nested master pages, Javascript debugging

.NET Framework 4.0

  • Introduced with IDE: Visual Studio .NET 2010
  • Introduced CLR 4.0
  • Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF)
  • Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR)
  • Task Parallel Library
  • New control: Silverlight

.NET Framework 4.5

  • Introduced with IDE: Visual Studio .NET 2012
  • Features Enhancements to CLR 4.0
  • Async Support
  • Support for building Windows Store apps
  • Features Enhancement to WPF, WCF, WF, and ASP.NET

.NET Framework 4.5.1

  • Introduced with IDE: Visual Studio .NET 2013
  • Includes performance and debugging improvements
  • Support for automatic binding redirection
  • Expanded support for Windows Store apps

What is CLR?
Common Language Runtime (CLR) is the major component of Microsoft .Net Framework. It is the virtual-machine component of .Net Framework. It is a runtime environment that manages the execution of .NET programs. All .NET Framework versions include CLR. It is also is known as the Virtual Execution System (VES).

After the compilation of any .Net Framework based programs/applications all the source codes are converted into an intermediate language. This is called Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL) or Common Intermediate Language (CIL). During runtime the CLR convert it into the machine language that can be understood by the CPU. This process is called just in time (JIT).

The CLR provides additional services such as: memory management, type safety, exception handling, garbage collection, security and thread management.

What is RPC?
The Remote Procedure Call (RPC) is a protocol that is used to call a program from one computer/system to another computer/system. This technology is sued for creating distributed client/server system/ programs. The client doesn’t need to know the network details. Microsoft .Net Framework introduces a feature named web service to perform this type of operations. CORBA and DCOM provide the same type of capabilities as traditional RPCs.

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