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What is .NET Framework?


Let me start my blogging adventure with a short overview of .NET Framework on top of which C# language works.

Introduction to .NET Framework

.NET Framework was developed by Microsoft and runs primarily on Windows operating systems. There is an open source project as well – it’s called Mono. Mono delivers cross-platform .NET Framework compatible set of tools (like runtime, C# compiler, etc.).

The framework provides language interoperability across several programming languages – each language can use code written in other languages.

.NET Framework contains a great set of libraries – it’s called Framework Class Library. It provides user interface controls, data access layers, network communications, cryptography etc.

How .NET Framework works?

.NET Framework creates a software environment which is an hardware independent abstraction. Here is how it works: .NET applications are compiled to platform independent code called Common Intermediate Language (CIL). Before an application is executed it’s recompiled on the fly (by .NET Framework) to a platform specific code. This way .NET executable can work on various platforms without any change to itself. But there is one catch. The .NET Framework have to be installed on target platform. Additionally, .NET Framework is versioned and every .NET application is complied to work with specific framework version. It means that on target platform have to be installed the same framework version as required by the application.

The history of .NET Framework

First development of .NET Framework started in late 1990s under code name Next Generation Windows Services.The first beta version was released in 2000.

Version Development tool Distributed with desktop OS Distributed with server OS
1.0 Visual Studio .NET
1.1 Visual Studio .NET 2003 2003
2.0 Visual Studio 2005 2003, 2008 SP2, 2008 R2 SP1
3.0 Microsoft Blend Vista 2008 SP2, 2008 R2 SP1
3.5 Visual Studio 2008 7, 8, 8.1 2008 R2 SP1
4.0 Visual Studio 2010
4.5 Visual Studio 2012 8 2012
4.5.1 Visual Studio 2013 8.1 2012 R2
4.5.2 Visual Studio 2013

From personal experience I can confirm that it’s even possible to install some old .NET Framework versions on Windows 98.


That’s it for my fist post. I hope you enjoyed it.


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4 thoughts on “What is .NET Framework?

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