An application software platform from Microsoft, introduced in 2002 and commonly called .NET (“dot net”). The .NET platform is similar in purpose to the Java J2EE platform, and like Java’s JVM runtime engine, .NET’s runtime engine must be installed in the computer in order to run .NET applications. .NET supports SOAP-based Web services as well as Microsoft’s legacy Component Object Model.
.NET Programming Languages
NET is similar to Java because it uses an intermediate bytecode language that can be executed on any hardware platform that has a runtime engine. It is also unlike Java, as it provides support for multiple programming languages. Microsoft languages are C# (C Sharp), J# (J Sharp), Managed C++, JScript.NET and Visual Basic.NET. Other languages have been reengineered in the European version of .NET, called the Common Language Infrastructure. See C# and J# for more info.
.NET Framework 1.0 introduced the Common Language Runtime (CLR) and .NET Framework 2.0 added enhancements. .NET Framework 3.0 included the Windows programming interface (API) originally known as “WinFX,” which is backward compatible with the Win32 API. .NET Framework 3.0 added the following four subsystems and was installed with Windows, starting with Vista. .NET Framework 3.5 added enhancements and introduced a client-only version. .NET Framework 4.0 added parallel processing and language enhancements.