Components of Microsoft’s .NET Development Platform


Microsoft’s .NET is an open-source platform for building desktop, web, and mobile applications that can run natively on any operating system. This holistic framework provides developers with a variety of useful programming languages, editors, and libraries for implementation.

It is a popular and free platform and has been designed to deliver productivity, performance, security, and reliability. Capable of running programs written in multiple languages, its most distinguishing feature is of using a high-performance runtime which can be used in the production of high-scale apps.

In simple terms the .NET platform has the following two functionalities:

  1. It can provide utilities for efficient software development
  2. It can translate the .NET programming language code into instructions for any computing device

According to some estimates by openPR, the .NET Development Service Market size is set to grow from USD 13.2 billion in 2023 to USD 46.6 billion by 2030. The CAGR ( Compound Annual Growth Rate ) of 28.7% during the same period also shows its growing importance.

Design Features of the .NET Platform

  1. Productivity is full-stack with runtime, libraries, language, and tools supporting the  developing experience
  2. Safe code is the primary compute mode, while unsafe code allows additional manual optimizations
  3. Static and dynamic code are both supported, enabling a broad set of distinct scenarios
  4. Native code is interoperable and hardware intrinsics are low cost and high-quality
  5. Code is portable across all platforms and platform-targeting is available for specialization and optimization
  6. Programming domains (cloud, client, gaming) are cross-adaptable
  7. Industry standards like OpenTelemetry and gRPC are favored over custom suits

Description of the .NET Platform

The .NET platform is the collection of four flavors – .NET Framework, .NET Core, Xamarin and Universal Windows Platform ( UWP ). They contain various frameworks and libraries to build applications.

.NET Framework: This is the first and oldest implementation of the platform and includes three main application models – Windows Presentation Foundation ( WPF ), Windows Forms, ASP.NET Forms and Base Class Library.

  1. Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF): This is a UI framework for creating graphical interfaces for desktop client applications for Windows. 
  2. Windows Forms: This is a GUI class library to develop desktop applications with rich graphics that are easy to update and deploy
  3. ASP.NET: This is used to develop dynamic websites and web applications. It has the Common Language Runtime ( CLR ) at its core, which enables the developers to write code in different languages
  4. Base Class Library ( BCL ): This provides the most common functionality like classes in namespaces and includes ADO.NET, a data access technology used to access databases

.NET Core: The .NET Framework discussed just above supported only Windows-based devices. .NET Core, thus introduced, allows software engineers to use .NET functionalities on Linux machines and macOS machines as well. It includes ASP.NET Core and Universal WIndows Platform ( UWP )

  1. ASP.NET Core: This is a refurbished version of ASP.NET with a more modular setup. It is cross-platform and helps you to build mobile backends, web apps and services
  2. Universal WIndows Platform ( UWP ): It enables the development of universal apps for PC, tablet, Xbox, Surface Hub, HoloLens, or Internet of Things (IoT) devices, by providing a common ‘ type ‘ system, APIs and application model.

Xamarin: This implementation allows you to develop for mobile applications and Mac products. It uses the Mono runtime and a version of the .NET Framework adapted to work with APIs for iOS, Android, and Xamarin.Mac

.NET Standard: This suite combines APIs from .NET Framework, .NET Core, and Xamarin allowing engineers to use a single base-class library. With this, the development ecosystem gets unified and brings greater consistency while reusing components across different platforms.

Final Thoughts

Developers like to use .NET because it has many tools that make their work easier. They can write code faster, collaborate efficiently, and test and fix their code effectively. 

.NET applications have faster response times and require less computing power. They have strong built in security measures and efficiently perform server-side tasks.

Being open source, anyone can get access to use, read, and modify it freely. All these features make .NET an attractive candidate for businesses to embrace this technology and employ it for path-breaking projects.

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