The .NET Framework is a software framework developed by Microsoft that runs primarily on Microsoft Windows. It includes a large library and provides language interoperability (each language can use code written in other languages) across several programming languages. Programs written for the .NET Framework execute in a software environment known as the Common Language Runtime (CLR), an application virtual machine that provides services such as security, memory management, and exception handling. The class library and the CLR together constitute the .NET Framework.
The .NET Framework's Base Class Library provides user interface, data access, database connectivity, cryptography, web application development, numeric algorithms, and network communications.
.NET environment allows developers to develop, run, and deploy the following applications:
•Windows Forms applications
•Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) applications
•Web applications (ASP.NET applications)
•Service-oriented applications using Windows Communication Foundation (WCF)
•Workflow-enabled applications using Windows Workflow Foundation (WF)
.NET Framework also enables a developer to create sharable components to be used in distributed computing architecture. NET Framework supports the object-oriented programming model for multiple languages, such as Visual Basic, Visual C#, and Visual C++.