Wednesday, 11 July 2012

.NET Framework is

A programming infrastructure created by Microsoft for building, deploying, and running applications and services that use .NET technologies, such as desktop applications and Web services. The .NET Framework contains three major parts:
1.       Common Language Runtime
2.       Framework Class Library
3.       ASP.NET.

CLR (Common Language Runtime)

A runtime environment that manages the execution of .NET program code and provides services such as memory and exception management, debugging and profiling, and security. The CLR is a major component of the .NET framework. CLR also is known as the Virtual Execution System (VES).

FCL (Framework class library)

The collective name for the thousands of classes that compose the .NET Framework. The services provided by the FCL include runtime core functionality (basic types and collections, file and network I/O, accessing system services, etc.), interaction with databases, consuming and producing XML, and support for building Web-based and desktop-based client applications, and SOAP-based XML Web services.


A Microsoft server-side Web technology. ASP.NET takes an object-oriented programming approach to Web page execution. Every element in an ASP.NET page is treated as an object and run on the server. An ASP.NET page gets compiled into an intermediate language by a .NET Common Language Runtime-compliant compiler. Then a JIT compiler turns the intermediate code to native machine code, and that machine code is eventually run on the processor. Because the code is run straight from the processor, pages load much faster than classic ASP pages, where embedded VBScript or JavaScript had to be continuously interpreted and cached.  ASP.NET is used to create Web pages and Web services and is an integral part of Microsoft's .NET vision.

Features Included in the .NET Framework Versions

Each new version of the .NET Framework retains features from the previous versions and adds new features. Although the CLR is the core component of the .NET Framework, the CLR is identified by its own version number apart from the .NET Framework version number. Some versions of the .NET Framework include a new version of the CLR, but others use an earlier version. For example, the .NET Framework version 4 includes CLR version 4, but the .NET Framework 3.5 includes CLR 2.0. (There was no version 3 of the CLR.) The version of the CLR on which an application is running can be determined by retrieving the value of the Environment version property.
You do not have to install previous versions of the .NET Framework or the CLR before you install the latest version; each version provides the necessary components.
The following table provides a brief review of the .NET Framework versions and the associated CLR version. It also shows the Visual Studio version that provided the development environment when that version of the .NET Framework was introduced. However, with the multi-targeting feature of Visual Studio, you are not limited to only that version of the .NET Framework.
.NET Framework version
CLR version
Visual Studio version
Visual Studio .NET
Contained the first version of the CLR and the first version of the base class libraries.
Visual Studio .NET 2003
Included updates to ASP.NET and ADO.NET. This version was subsequently updated twice, with Service Pack 1 (SP1) and SP2. This version also introduced side-by-side execution, which enables applications on a single computer to run against multiple versions of the CLR.
Visual Studio 2005
Introduced a new version of the CLR with additions to the base class libraries, including generics, generic collections, and significant additions to ASP.NET. This version was subsequently updated with SP1 and SP2.
Visual Studio 2005
This version is essentially .NET Framework 2.0 with the addition of Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Windows Communications Foundation (WCF), Windows Workflow Foundation (WF), and CardSpace. It was subsequently updated with SP1 and SP2.
Visual Studio 2008
Added new features such as AJAX-enabled Web sites and LINQ. The SP1 update added the .NET Framework Client Profile, Dynamic Data, and a small set of additional enhancements.
Visual Studio 2010
Includes a new version of the CLR, expanded base class libraries, and new features such as the Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF), dynamic language runtime (DLR), and code contracts.

Windows Installations of the .NET Framework

Some versions of the .NET Framework are installed automatically with the Windows operating system, but other versions must be installed separately. The following table identifies the .NET Framework versions and whether they are integrated into the installation of Windows or must be installed separately.
.NET Framework versions
Windows versions
1.0, 1.1, and 2.0
Not installed as part of the Windows operating system, but can be installed separately on Windows XP and earlier versions of Windows.
3.0 (and 2.0 SP2, which provides support for versions 3.0 and 3.5)
Installed by Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.
3.5 SP1
Installed by Windows 7.
Not installed as part of the Windows operating system, but can be installed separately on Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and later versions of Windows.

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