Main components of the .net framework

The .net framework sits between your software applications and the operating system and provides a safe environment for the execution of your applications. When we say safe it means that all needed runtime validations, memory management etc is taken care of by the .net framework. The .net framework can be divided into two main components

  1. .net Class Library
  2. Common Language Runtime

.net Class Library

The .net class library is a set of classes which have been pre-written by Microsoft as a part of the .net framework. These classes provide you with all the required basic functionality using which you can create software applications. With every new version of the .net framework Microsoft adds new classes to this .net class library.
The .net class library contains classes to write all types of software applications like Console applications, Window applications, Web applications, Mobile applications etc. Also the .net class library provides you with all the classes required for writing data access code, web services, windows services etc.

Common Language Runtime

The .net class library helps you in writing code and the Common Language Runtime helps you in executing the code. The Common Language Runtime or the CLR provide a common framework for executing of applications written using the .net class library. When working with .net framework you can choose any programming language of your choice from a list of around 100 plus languages which target the .net framework. This runtime is called Common Language because no matter which programming language you choose to write your applications they are all executed using the same CLR. The CLR provide all runtime support like memory management, thread management etc to all the executing programs.

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