The Platform of .NET
The central part of the .NET platform is the .NET Framework.. It consists of a runtime called CLR and a set of supporting libraries. The runtime controls the installation loading and executing .NET applications. Libraries provide code for common programming tasks so increasing developer productivity. Libraries also provide a layer on top of many OS APIs, providing isolation from OS Dependencies.
Most enterprise applications and web services require internal servers to perform operations such as storing data, e-mail messaging and so on. Microsoft .NET family of servers such as SQL Server, Exchange Server and so on, you can use it to get this functionality. The family also includes several dedicated servers that provide larger level of integration and aggregation of web services. BizTalk Server Application and Commerce Server Ecommerce frameworks fall into this category.
The .NET platform also features a set of developer instruments such as Visual Studio .NET and programming languages such as Visual Basic .NET and C # (pronounced C Sharp). When developing applications, developers can also take advantage of the core services offered by Microsoft or other software providers. In the next section of this chapter, we will look at several important core services.
Finally, the .NET platform is based on the Windows operating system. Operating systems such as Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP do not come with the .NET Framework preinstalled. However, one can set framework separately by downloading it from the Microsoft website. Windows .NET and newer the Windows operating system is expected to ship with elements of the .NET concept.