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    .NET Framework – check what you need to know about it. Which version to choose?

    4 minutes read

    How do you create your project? Is it generating a lot of expenses for you or constantly encountering bugs and problems? If you are struggling with such a project, it might be the right time to adopt a .NET framework for it!

    What is the .NET framework?

    .Net (English: dotNet) was developed by Microsoft as a programming platform in 2002. It includes various coding languages, libraries, and editors. You can build a wide range of applications within .Net. These include web applications, mobile applications, games, cloud solutions, or Internet of Things, etc.

    It is a development platform through which applications are created for Windows family systems. The framework provides a runtime environment and class libraries that provide a set of tools and features for future programs. The reusable code and object-oriented programming features of the .Net platform significantly reduce operating costs. It is a unique model that is based on actions and data rather than logic. Thus, it saves development time (less logic, less headaches). In addition, the .NET library is secure and provides easy deployment through a controlled code sharing environment and side-by-side versioning (running multiple versions of an application on the same computer).

    .Net has a huge library containing many ready-made code snippets. We can categorize the libraries by different sections such as encryption, security, database access, etc. The ready-made code supports both simple and complex data structures.

    What else should you know about .NET? Let me answer the question what is .NET framework and what advantages .NET has, below.

    .NET is open source

    .Net was announced by Microsoft in the late 1990s under the original name Next Generation Windows Services (NGWS). It was not an open source framework until 2014. Microsoft's decision to make the framework's code available under an open source license led to a surge of interest in the platform. .NET is free - this is the most important advantage of .NET.

    By being open source, .NET has become a collaborative platform that has further laid the foundation for cross-platform applications, which reduces the project development time in .NET. Each user can customize the platform according to their own project needs.

    In closed source, even if you are a project provider and partner, you do not have access to the code. An open source system allows full access to the project.

    Open source projects are available directly to project providers, partners and collaborators. Being a partner of a vendor, you can only download projects. However, project providers can both download and modify projects

    .NET is not limited to Windows

    Being a Microsoft exclusive, .Net was used only for Windows. Microsoft released the first version of .NET Core in 2016. Unlike dot.NET, dot.NET Core runs on multiple computer platforms. Being both open source and cross-platform software is a blessing. Thus, it opens up more possibilities by adding new platforms for your applications. With .NET Core, you can develop applications for Mac OS and Linux.

    Core .NET programming languages

    .NET is a huge software framework that supports 32 programming languages. The most important ones are C#, F#, and Visual Basic. Other programming languages include A Sharp (dot.NET), Boo, Cobra, Phantom, IronPython, Sharp, Oxygene, etc., to name a few.

    .Net includes both frontend and backend languages. For example, ASP.NET is used as a backend, and C# and VB.NET are used for frontend programming.

    .NET more secure than Java

    Security is an important feature of any software framework, and a study shows that .NET is more secure than Java. Java's vulnerability density is 30.0 and .Net's is 27.2. In this case, the term "Vulnerable Code Density" is a way of quantifying the number of defects in code, e.g., the average of defects per MB of code scanned. In short, this study indicates that dot.NET is a more secure platform than Java.

    .Net is thus becoming a popular software framework for developing applications for banks and other financial institutions.

    .NET - a huge range of possibilities

    .Net encompasses many languages, tools and technologies. Being a globally popular service provider, Microsoft has created a software ecosystem for application development, quality assurance, rebuilding existing solutions, and migration.

    By being compatible with a wider network of languages and skills, dot.NET is also interoperable! The term "interoperable" refers to the virtual ability of any hardware or software to work with other hardware/software, including those that have not yet been invented.

    In essence, it is a language-neutral framework. It can work with most standard computer languages and operating environments.

    .NET has three types of interoperability:

    • .COM interoperability (.Net with COM components)
    • .NET interop (COM components with .NET)
    • P/Invoke (.Net with Win32 DLL libraries)

    Here COM stands for Component Object Model, and Microsoft introduced it as a standard for the binary interface between two binary modules, where one is a library and the other is a user-run program. It defines the standard of how these two binary modules meet and interact with each other.  

    When we access (via the .Net runtime) .NET components from the COM library, we call this forward compatibility. The .Net runtime environment also allows us to access old COM code from .Net components and its backward compatibility.  

    Which version of .NET to choose?

    The choice of version depends only on the requirements of the software. For example, an older application requires .NET Framework 1.0 to work properly, while a newer application requires .NET Framework 4.8. Which version we need to install is determined by the developer who created the application based on one of the available .NET platforms. The following editions have been released so far:

    • .NET Framework 1.0 (released 01.2002),
    • .NET Framework 1.1 (released 04.2003),
    • .NET Framework 2.0 (released 11.2005),
    • .NET Framework 3.0 (released 11.2006),
    • .NET Framework 3.5 (released 11.2007),
    • .NET Framework 4.0 (released 04.2010),
    • .NET Framework 4.5 (released 08.2021).
    • .NET Framework 4.6 (released 07.2015).
    • .NET Framework 4.7 (released 04.2017).
    • .NET Framework 4.8 (released 04.2019).

    With information provided by Microsoft developers and staff, each newer version is backwards compatible. This means that if we have an application installed that requires .NET Framework 1.1 and we have .NET Framework 2.0, the said program will function properly. However, in practice it is different. It sometimes happens, that despite having the latest version of the platform, a program requiring an older one will not work properly. Despite, that each next edition of libraries contains everything what previous ones did, there are cases of incompatibility. For this reason, we are forced to have on disk different versions - required by particular software. With help came .NET Framework 4.0, in which all backward compatibility problems have been fixed.

    In addition to the aforementioned versions of .NET, from time to time Microsoft provides updates in the form of service packs through Windows Update. So if we have automatic updates enabled, we are sure to always have the latest version of the Framework libraries.

    Time for a brief summary. As you have learned from the above article, .NET is a development platform that is free, secure, and speeds up development work. If you are really tired of a project that is written from scratch and consumes your budget with every error that occurs, then this will be a good choice as it will save you not only money but also nerves. If you are looking for specialists, you can confidently contact us. Since 2012 we have been developing software based on .NET Framework. We will be happy to help you solve your problems.

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