.NET Framework is one of the most widely used software development environment in today's programming world. Prior to its introduction, programmers faced a lot of difficulties while integration the code written in different programming languages. This was because each language used a different execution environment to execute the code. For example, code written using Visual Basic 6.0 requires a different environment for execution than that is required by code written using C++. With. NET Framework, Microsoft has provided programmers a single platform for developing applications using different programming languages, such as Visual Basic, Visual C#, and Visual C++. NET Framework reduced the complexities involved in developing large and reliable applications.
To enable developers to use the features and services offered by . NET Framework, Microsoft introduced a development and execution software called Visual Studio. It provides a comprehensive and integrated environment for developing applications that use the features and services provided by. NET Framework. It allows you to develop various types of applications, such as Console applications, Windows Forms applications, Web applications, and Web services, in any of the. NET languages, such as Visual Basic, Visual c#, and Visual C++. Prior to the introduction of . NET Framework and Visual Studio, the task of developing applications was tedious and time-consuming, as it required various text editors compilers, and runtime environments. In addition, it was difficult to develop application that can execute on multiple platforms. However,. NET Framework and Visual Studio has made application development not only easier but has also given a new dimension to application development by incorporating innovative features and tools.
This chapter begins by discussing the key benefits of. NET Framework. Then, you learn about the different versions of . NET Framework. Next, the architecture of .NET Framework is explained. Then, you learn about the new features of . NET Framework After this, you learn how to install and open Visual Studio. Then, Visual Studio Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is discussed. Next, you learn about the key enhancements in Visual Studio IDE. Towards the end, you learn to develop various types of applications including Console applications, Windows Forms applications, and Web sites in Visual Studio.
Let's begin by discussing the key benefits of . NET Framework.
Exploring the Benefits of .NET Framework
.NET Framework provides an environment to develop, execute, and debug applications using different .NET-compliant programming languages, such as Visual Basic, Visual C#, and Visual C++. It also offers many other benefits to application developers. The key benefits provided by. NET Framework are as follows:
⦁ Consistent Programming Model
⦁ Languages Interchangeability
⦁ Automatic Management of Resources
⦁ Ease of Deployment
Let's now discuss about each of them in detail.
Consistent Programming Model
.NET Framework provides a consistent object-oriented programming model across various programming languages. You can use this model to create programs for performing different tasks, such as connecting to and retrieving data from databases, and reading from and writing to files.
Language interchangeability is a feature that enables a piece of code written in one language to be used in another language. This feature facilitates the reuse of code and hence improves the efficiency of the application development process.
Automatic Management of Resources
While developing .NET applications, you may use various resources, such as files, memory, and database connections. With .NET Framework, you do not need to free these resources manually when they are no longer required. In other words, you need not provide code for memory management tasks, such as closing connections for a database, or closing a file. These tasks are handled by the garbage collector that resides in Common Language Runtime (CLR). The garbage collector manages the allocation and release of memory for an application. It checks the referenced variables and objects in the memory. If it finds any object that is no longer being used by the application, it frees up the memory by disposing that unused object.