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The Evolution Of Microsoft: .NET Explained

Sure, you've heard about .NET... maybe you're a Visual Basic programmer for a small company, maybe you write SQL stored procedures for a huge company, or maybe you're just a Microsoft developer wanting to keep on the cutting edge of technology. In this article, James will explain exactly what .NET is, how it works, how we (as developers) can benefit from it, its many new features, and other .NET related information.

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By: James Yang
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December 23, 2001
  1. · The Evolution Of Microsoft: .NET Explained
  2. · What is .NET?
  3. · Understanding .NET
  4. · The .NET framework (contd.)
  5. · The .NET framework(contd.)
  6. · Web Services
  7. · Conclusion

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The Evolution Of Microsoft: .NET Explained - Understanding .NET
(Page 3 of 7 )

.NET is made up of three key parts, which are:
  1. .NET Products
  2. .NET Services
  3. .NET Framework
The three key parts of .NET

.NET Products

.NET Products include any current and future products released by Microsoft that are able to take part in .NET. 3 major products in this key area of .NET are Visual Studio.NET (The “next generation” of Visual Studio), .NET Enterprise Servers, and finally the unreleased version of Microsoft Office (Office.NET, maybe?)

.NET Products were designed to allow developers to create tightly knit applications with ease, and also to give them a wider range of features to use when developing these applications.

Visual Stidio.NET

Visual Studio.NET assists developers in creating .NET applications with ease. The Visual Studio IDE includes easy access to all of the tools currently available to developers.

.NET Enterprise Servers

.NET Enterprise Servers are the “next generation” of the current Back Office Server range. The entire suite of the Microsoft’s server family of products is included. These applications are: Application Centre, BizTalk Server, Commerce Server, Exchange Server, SQL Server, Host Integration Server, Internet Security and Acceleration Server, and Mobile Information Server. All of these products work together and are integrated into the .NET framework, allowing developers to build, deploy, integrate and manage their applications with ease.

Office – Unreleased

Although the latest version of Microsoft’s Office XP isn’t integrated with .NET, it’s predicted by many developers (including myself), that Microsoft will release a version of Office that will integrate with .NET sometime in the near future.

.NET Services

.NET services refer to the services provided by Microsoft that allow developers to utilise several sets of pre-made “functionality” throughout their own applications. Microsoft is currently providing only one service, which is its Passport service. The Microsoft Passport service is an authentication service, and is used on sites such as HotMail, and NineMSN. The Passport service is currently provided to developers for free, although Microsoft plans to make it a chargeable service in the future.

.NET Framework

Because of the way the .NET framework is completely transparent when it is integrated into the Windows operating system and other products (such as .NET Enterprise Servers), it allows developers to create applications that are fast, flexible, scalable and efficient. Not only that, but developers are now able to create applications that can interact with other .NET applications and components which were created in a totally different programming language!

This is a new and exciting concept, and is only possible because of the way that the .NET framework has been developed: Microsoft planned to implement this sort of functionality right from the very start. This means that you can create a component in a .NET compatible language, such as C#, and consume that same component with an application that was written in VB.NET.

The concepts and technologies that have been added to the .NET framework include the Common Language Runtime (CLR), Windows Forms (WinForms), ASP.NET and the .NET framework base classes.

The concepts and technologies that comprise the .Net framework
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