Minimal introduction to .NET Technology

.NET LogoBefore I Should start writing about .net technology. I want to share my personal experience with .net. When I used to hear  .net in my college days , I had the feeling that may be its something different  that is why it is not in our syllabus .I knew C , C++ ,java  in college and studied these as best I can .

But I was “Zero” when it comes to .net with the supporting language as C#. The story of .net started in my life after joining Infosys and now I find this quite interesting and easy .So I feel so many guys like me who used to give most of their time  peeping sexy gals profile on facebook in college rather  than want to know about  new technology. So this article is going to help those guys .

The first question what is .net? Is it a language?  Is it a technology? Ok If I can find what is .net? Then what is C# .net? what is Vb .net ? what is ? What is ADO.NET ? ohh so much of .NET lets go and sleep .So let’s try to understand all the terms  one by one so that if next time if someone will ask do you know .net then you can fool him or her  for 20-25 minutes :P.

The  .NET Framework (pronounced dot net ) is a software Framework that runs primarily on Micorsoft windows  .It includes a large library and provides language interoperability across several programming  languages  .Now in layman terms it’s the most easiest framework I have encountered to work on .Everything is Drag and drop here and you can create a full – fledged Web application or Windows application in one night .Let’s talk about the various properties of .NET. There are so many new features introduced in .NET but I am going to discuss only those which are interesting and helpful in doing practical’s later .
  1. Interoperability:  Language interoperability is the ability of code to interact with code that is written using different programming language .Language interoperability can help maximize code reuse and, therefore, improve the efficiency of the development process. It is achieved by the use of CTS (common type system) .Inside CTS the mapping is there for different data types .For ex.  Declaring and defining an integer variable in different programming language is different.
  2. CLR (Common Language Routine Engine ) : The CLR is the execution engine of the .NET Framework. All  .NET programs execute under the supervision of the CLR , guaranteeing certain properties and behaviours in the area of memory management, security , and exception handling .
  3. BCL (Base class library ) :The base class library (BCL), part of the framework class library (FCL) , is a library of functionality available to all languages using the .NET framework .The BCL provides classes that encapsulate a number of common functions , including file reading and writing , graphic rendering , database interaction , XML document manipulation and So on .
  4. CA (Code Access Security) : Code Access Security is based on evidence that is associated with a specific assembly   
Current version of .net framework is 4.5 released on 29th feb 2012 . Requirements are Microsoft visual studio 2011 and windows 8 . I am using .net framework 3.5 with Microsoft visual studio 2008 on Windows Xp .The framework 4.0 was introduced on 12th april 2010 compatible with visual studio 2010 and window 7.

Now after knowing that .net framework is basically used to create web application. Then a Java user can question why should I go for .Net when whatever work .Net is doing that can be done in java. So let’s discuss few points that you can give to that Java guy to realise him or her the importance of .Net . So let’s concentrate on few points that when should we go for .NET ?

  1. If the application is window specific then use .NET.
  2. .Net is language independent so if the team has multiple expertise C#,Vb,C++, developers can still work on the same project with different skill sets.
  3. The important thing is IDE , its very simple to use and deployment is very simple .
One of the cons of .net over java is that java is a free source. Also if you are using linux then use Java.

What is C# .Net ?
When the language used to develop the application in .net Framework is C# then we say it as C# .net .The mother of language C# is C++ not C . The equation goes  as mentioned below :
C —————>        C++  ——————>  C# ( the two ++ of C++ is again sandwiched by two ++ and formed #)
And I feel C# is very powerful language. I will show its power in detail in my coming articles .

What is Vb.Net ?
When the language used to develop the application in .net  Framework is Visual basic we say it as vb.Net. is also object oriented but if I have to chose between C# and vb then I will chose C# because of a simple reason that I like the coding style and it is quite familiar otherwise performance wise there is no such difference between these two languages.

What is ASP.NET ?
ASP is abbreviated as Active Server Pages. ASP .Net is a web application framework developed and marketed by Microsoft to allow programmers to build a dynamic  websites , web applications and web services. It was released in January 2002 with Microsoft .net framework  version 1.0  and is the successor of Microsoft active server pages. Here we can use any of the language between C# or Vb based on our comfort level with a particular language.
Features :

1.Pages : ASP.NET Web pages, known officially as Web Forms,[8] are the main building block for application development. Web forms are contained in files with an ".aspx" extension; these files typically contain static (X)HTML markup, as well as markup defining server-side Web Controls and User Controls where the developers place all the required static and dynamic content for the Web page. Additionally, dynamic code which runs on the server can be placed in a page within a block <% — dynamic code — %>, which is similar to other Web development technologies such as PHP, JSP, and ASP. With ASP.NET Framework 2.0, Microsoft introduced a new code-behind model which allows static text to remain on the .aspx page, while dynamic code remains in an .aspx.vb or .aspx.cs or .aspx.fs file (depending on the programming language used)

2. Directives : A directive is special instructions on how ASP.NET should process the page. The most common directive is <%@ Page %> which can specify many attributes used by the ASP.NET page parser and compiler.

What is ADO.Net ?
Ado stands for ActiveX data object. ADO.NET is a set of computer software components that programmers can use to access data and data services. It is a part of the base class library that is included with the Microsoft .NET Framework. It is commonly used by programmers to access and modify data stored in relational database systems, though it can also access data in non-relational sources.
ADO.NET is conceptually divided into consumers and data providers. The consumers are the applications that need access to the data, and the providers are the software components that implement the interface and thereby provides the data to the consumer.

I hope you all are clear with the definitions of all the basic terms related to .Net.

Prashant Prakash
Microsoft Technology Analyst in 3.5 framework

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