In This Chapter
Discovering how .NET has evolved
Sneaking a peek at the components of .NET
Looking into the future of .NET
In an attempt to mitigate the increasing complexity of building software, Microsoft released a new set of tools in 2002 (although the first beta was released in July 2000) for building software: the Microsoft .NET Framework.
The .NET Framework provided the plumbing necessary to write complex applications. In the past, I remember getting some really tough assignments with the expectation that they would be done in a few weeks. Although the business logic was fairly easy, the infrastructure was not. Some of the more complicated assignments I encountered included programs that had to communicate over the Internet, create graphically appealing reports, or perform complex database access. At that time, those tasks were difficult. Now, the .NET Framework makes them easy — almost trivial.
.NET is a reflection of the latest thinking about, and best practices for, how software should be developed. Visual Studio is the premiere toolset that Microsoft created for developing software by using the .NET Framework. Although the road to Microsoft .NET and Visual Studio has been misunderstood by some at times, most developers agree that using Visual Studio to develop Microsoft .NET applications is a huge productivity boon.
Microsoft released the first version of .NET in 2002. Because Microsoft tried to append the .NET moniker ...