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CodeNotes for .NET

Edited by Gregory Brill


.NET is Microsofts new strategy for the development and deployment of software. Depending on your interests and development background,you may already have a number of preconceived notions regarding .NET. As we will see throughout this CodeNote:

  • .NET fundamentally changes the way applications execute under the Windows Operating System.
  • With .NET Microsoft is, in effect, abandoning its traditional stance, one which favors compiled components, and is embracing interpreted technology (similar, in many ways, to the Java paradigm).
  • .NET brings about significant changes to both C++ and Visual Basic, and introduces a new language called C# (pronounced C sharp).
  • .NET is built from the ground up with the Internet in mind, embracing open Internet standards such as XML and HTTP. XML is also used throughout the framework as both a messaging instrument and for configuration files.

These are all noteworthy features of .NET, or more accurately the .NET Framework, which consists of the platform and tools needed to develop and deploy .NET applications. The .NET Framework can be distilled into the following three entities:

  1. The Common Language Runtime (CLR), which is the execution environment for all programs in the .NET Framework. The CLR is similar to a Java Virtual Machine (VM) in that it interprets byte code and executes it on the fly, while simultaneously providing services such as garbage collection and exception handling. Unlike a Java VM, which is limited to the Java language, the CLR is accessible from any compiler that produces Microsoft Intermediate Language (IL) code, which is similar to Java byte code. Code that executes inside the CLR is referred to as managed code. Code that executes outside its boundaries is called unmanaged code.

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CodeNotes for .NET

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