Overview of the Dot .Net Framework 4.0


The .NET Framework is a new computing platform developed by Microsoft to simplify application development. It's a software development environment.

A runtime engine for manage code, a platform designed for Internet-Distributed software, a consistent object- oriented programming environment, a code-execution environment that minimizes software deployment and version conflicts and eliminates the performance problems of scripted or interpreted environments.

Basics of .NET Framework, Overview of the .NET Framework, Introduction to .NET Framework, Introduction to .NET Framework 3.0
  


Components of .Net

.NET Framework Class Libraries (FCL)
  • Object-oriented collection of reusable types
  • Sits on-top of the Common Language Runtime
Common Language Runtime (CLR)
  • Manages code execution at runtime.
  • Memory management, thread management etc.
  • Code designed for the CLR is referred to as ‘Managed Code’

Architecture


Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) or CLR
The purpose of the Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) is to provide a language-neutral platform for application development and execution, including functions for Exception handling, Garbage Collection, security, and interoperability

By implementing the core aspects of the .NET Framework within the scope of the CL, this functionality will not be tied to a single language but will be available across the many languages supported by the framework. Microsoft's implementation of the CLI is called the Common Language Runtime (CLR).

Basics of .NET Framework, Overview of the .NET Framework, Introduction to .NET Framework, Introduction to .NET Framework 3.0

The CIL code is hosted in CLI assemblies. As mandated by specification, assemblies are stored in the Portable Executable (PE) format, common on the Windows platform for all DLL and EXE files. 

The assembly consists of one or more files, one of which must contain the manifest, which has the metadata for the assembly. The complete name of an assembly (not to be confused with the file-name on disk) contains its simple text name, version number, culture, and public key token. Assemblies are considered equivalent if they share the same complete name, excluding the revision of the version number.

Security
.NET has its own security mechanism with two general features: Code Access Security (CAS), and validation and verification.

Class library- Base Class Library and Framework Class Library
The .NET Framework includes a set of standard class libraries. The class library is organized in a hierarchy of namespaces. Most of the built-in APIs are part of either System.* or Microsoft.* namespaces. These class libraries implement a large number of common functions, such as file reading and writing, graphic rendering, database interaction, and XML document manipulation, among others. The .NET class libraries are available to all CLI compliant languages.

The .NET Framework class library is divided into two parts:
The Base Class Library (BC) includes a small subset of the entire class library and is the core set of classes that serve as the basic API of the Common Language Runtime.

The classes in mscorlib.dll and some of the classes in System.dll and System.core.dll are considered to be a part of the BCL. The BCL classes are available in both .NET Framework as well as its alternative implementations including .NET Compact Framework, Microsoft Silver light and Mono.

Namespaces in the BCL

using System;
using System.Diagnostics;
using System.Globalization;
using System.Resources;
using System.Text;

Where as the Framework Class Library (FCL) is a superset of the BCL classes and refers to the entire class library that ship with .NET Framework. 

It includes an expanded set of libraries, including Windows Forms, ADO.NET, ASP.NET, Language Integrated Query, Windows Presentation Foundation, and Windows Communication Foundation among others. 

The FCL is much larger in scope than standard libraries for languages like C++, and comparable in scope to the standard libraries of Java.
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