Chapter 11. Introduction to .NET

At the time I started writing this chapter, .NET had entered its Beta 1 cycle. Even though this product is only in Beta 1 (and if you have read the documentation shipped with the .NET SDK, you will see that there is at least a Beta 2 planned), I know that with the Microsoft marketing muscle, many of you may be feeling in some ways as if you are already behind for not having already converted all your applications to use .NET. The reality is that .NET is a brand new architecture; it is not the next version of COM+. What’s more, all the Microsoft compilers that were written before have to be rewritten to emit code compatible with the new architecture. In many cases, the language constructs themselves have also been rewritten. Visual Basic, for example, has gone through many syntactical changes—so many that some may argue it is not the same language.

In this chapter, you are first going to get an introduction to the .NET architecture, then you are going to get an overview of some of the new features in VB.NET, and after you have an understanding of how to use the features, you will learn about how to mix .NET components with COM+ components. Because I am currently using beta software, the information in this chapter is subject to change. There is no way that I can pretend that this chapter will give all the information necessary to be a .NET developer, but it is my hope that you will learn enough to satisfy your curiosity.

The .NET Architecture

Why are ...

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