Top 5 Things You Should Know About The .NET Framework


Top 5 Things You Should Know About The .NET Framework

Choosing the right development framework is critical in building a custom software application. Businesses often spend a lot of time contemplating the framework and language to be used for building applications and services. This decides the look, feel, user experience, and overall performance of the software built.

Since its inception in 2002, Microsoft’s .NET has gained immense popularity amongst developers around the world.

The development framework is preferred by businesses belonging to all major industries for developing powerful custom software applications.

With millions of developers in the community, .NET keeps finding applications in several software solutions across the globe.

Before we discuss important things you should know about the .NET framework, let us briefly understand the framework itself.

What Is The .NET Framework?

.NET is a development framework by Microsoft for building web applications and services. The open-source framework comprises different programming languages, development tools, and libraries for building robust software applications across different platforms.

One of the highlight features of the .NET framework is that it can be implemented on several platforms and operating systems.

Over time, developers have been executing the .NET code for building applications on Linux, macOS, Android, Windows, and more.

The .NET framework consists of two major components – the Common Language Runtime (CLR) and the Class Library.

The Common Language Runtime is an execution engine offered by Microsoft to handle the running applications.

It provides .NET developers with services like garbage collection, thread management, type-safety, exception handling, and many more.

On the other hand, the Class Library of .NET provides developers with a set of types and APIs for common functionality.

It offers types for dates, strings, numbers, etc., for developing responsive software applications. .NET’s Class Library contains APIs for writing and reading files, drawing, connecting to databases, and performing other necessary actions.

A .NET development company would help you build applications written in the languages supported by the .NET environment, including C#, F#, and Visual Basic.

While building an application, the framework compiles the code into a language-agnostic Common Intermediate Language (CIL). This compiled code is stored in various assemblies, which are files with a .dll or .exe extension.

When a .NET application runs, the Common Language Runtime takes an assembly and uses a just-in-time (JIT) compiler to turn it into machine code. This code can be executed on the architecture of the device the application runs on.

5 Things You Should Know About The .NET Framework

Now that we are thorough with what the .NET framework is and how it works, let us have a look at five of the most important things you should know about the .NET framework:

  1. .NET Was Not Always Open-source

While .NET is one of the most popular open-source development frameworks in the software development world, it is a lesser-known fact that it wasn’t always open-source.

.NET was first announced by Microsoft in the late 1990s with the name Next Generation Windows Services (NGWS). Until 2014, it was not an open-source development framework.

Being open-source is one of the biggest advantages of .NET as it allows a wide range of developers to use the framework for building software applications.

Once it became open-source, .NET became a collaborative framework that later laid the foundation for cross-platform applications.

Moreover, working on open-source platforms is an Agile development methodology, which reduces the project completion time while building custom applications.

Closed-source platforms do not give complete code access to even vendors and partners. Being an open-source framework, .NET allows complete project access, further enhancing software development.

  • .NET Development Is Not Limited To Windows

People often believe .NET development is a Microsoft offering to be limited to Windows. However, this was true during the initial days.

When it was launched, .NET was used only for building Windows applications. Things changed with the launch of .NET Core.

.NET Core was launched by Microsoft in 2016. Unlike .NET, .NET Core can be used for building applications that run on multiple operating systems.

Along with being cross-platform and open-source, .NET Core is a versatile .NET version. It lets developers build applications for Linux, macOS, and Android. Moreover, .NET Core is used by developers for building IoT and cloud-based applications.

  • .NET Supports Several Programming Languages

.NET facilitates software development using a wide range of programming languages supported by the .NET environment. The environment supports 32 different languages according to the project’s needs.

Some of the major programming languages supported by .NET include F#, C#, and Visual Basic. Other key programming languages supported by .NET include:

  • Cobra
  • Boo
  • A Sharp (.NET)
  • Fantom
  • Oxygene
  • IronPython

.NET supports both front-end and back-end programming languages. For example, while ASP.NET is ideal for back-end development, C# is preferred for front-end development.

  • .NET Is More Secure Than Java

Another important fact to consider regarding .NET development is that it is more secure than Java. While the vulnerability density of Java is 30.0, the density of .NET is 27.2. Vulnerability density is used to quantify the number of defects in a sample code in terms of average defects for every MB of code scanned.

The comparison between the vulnerability densities proves that .NET development makes your applications more secure than Java development. This is one of the many reasons why .NET is preferred by banks and other financial institutions for building secure software applications.

  • .NET Is A Vast Ecosystem

Finally, it is important to understand that .NET is a huge umbrella of different tools, programming languages, and technologies.

With .NET, Microsoft has created a systematic development ecosystem for developing and deploying applications, performing quality assurance, re-engineering systems, and facilitating migration. This ecosystem provides all the necessary tools to developers for building targeted and responsive applications that run on multiple platforms.

The Final Word

These were five of the many things you should know about the .NET framework before you start working on the same.

If utilized well, the development framework helps you build secure, relevant, and unique applications for your business.

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