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Microsoft Visual Studio 2015 Unleashed, Third Edition by Mike Snell, Lars Powers

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The .NET Framework

The .NET Framework represents, in addition to the managed runtime, the base classes, libraries, and useful functions that make programming in .NET so productive. The classes and functions found in the .NET Framework offer the majority of common features you need as a developer. Thanks to the Common Type System (CTS), each language can take advantage of this single Framework of functionality. Framework features include file I/O, web, workflow, collections, Windows, communication, and much, much more.

Of course, as the .NET languages evolve, so does the Framework. However, to maintain backward compatibility, each version of the Framework remains as a separate entity. There are now many versions of the .NET Framework: 4.6, 4.5.2, ...

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