Chapter 2. The Microsoft .NET Framework

The .NET Framework provides an unprecedented platform for building Windows, web, and mobile applications with one or more languages. It is a definitive guide, encompassing and encapsulating where we have come from as a development community and, of course, where we are going.

.NET has been a success in many respects. Within the .NET Framework, new languages (C# and J#) have been born, and the well-established Visual Basic language has been reborn. The .NET Framework even supports legacy languages such as C++.

The .NET Framework provides the base for all development using Visual Studio 2008. It provides base classes, available to all Visual Studio 2008 languages for such functions as accessing databases, parsing XML, displaying and processing Windows and Web forms, and providing security for your applications. All languages in Visual Studio 2008 share and use the same base classes, making your choice of a programming language in Visual Studio 2008 a matter of personal preference and syntax style.

In this chapter, you will examine the following topics:

  • What the .NET Framework is

  • The .NET vision

  • Why Microsoft dared to spend $2 billion on a single development project

Microsoft's Reliance on Windows

In terms of the great corporations of the world, Microsoft is still a new kid on the block. It is a fabulously rich and successful business. Nonetheless, the company has grown from nothing to a corporate superpower in a very short time.

What is perhaps more ...

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