What is Dot Net? If you’re not already a programmer or development, you might not know.
Dot Net, or, more accurately, .NET, is a software framework primarily for XML web services created and disseminated by Microsoft. In other words, .NET is a software platform through which programmers can develop programs that cause users to interact with one another’s systems rather than the program itself. For example, Windows Live Messenger is a .NET program that allows users to open the application and connect directly to other users. This is as opposed to traditional programs like Microsoft Outlook, which will take input from one user and deliver it to another. Therefore, while most programs act as intermediaries, .NET programs act as direct lines to other users that control only the way users interact rather than the interaction itself.
.NET comes complete with a library of coded solutions to common issues that arise and a virtual machine to execute programs created using the framework. Programmers use the framework’s Base Class Library, which includes a user interface, data access and connectivity, cryptography, web application development, algorithms, and network communications, to make programs. The runtime environment used through the framework is CLR, or Common Language Runtime, which gives programmers the capacity to manage memory usage and exceptions.
.NET is usually released with versions of the Windows operating system. Most recently, .NET 3.0 was released with Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista, while version 3.5 was released with Windows 7. .NET v. 4.0 is the most recent version of the framework and was released on April 12, 2010 exclusive of an operating system. .NET also has a micro framework version for mobile devices.
.NET comes with a variety of features that render it a rather popular framework. These features include:
- Interoperability, or the capacity to interact with programs executed outside of the framework by sharing resources and functionality
- Common Runtime Engine, or the use of the CLR
- Language Independence, or the ability use multiple languages (although not for the same program) as well as the ability of resulting programs to interact with programs written in a different language that is also .NET compliant
- A Base Case Library, or a library of common functions, easing some of the tediousness associated with program development
- Simplified Deployment, or assisted installation of programs developed through .NET
- A common security model for all applications that reduces common application vulnerabilities
- Cross-platform compatibility (although it is currently used exclusively on Windows operating systems)