.NET is a framework that contains a large set of programs to be called from the program you are building. These functions/programs can be as simple as join 2 arrays, or can be as complex as translate voice to text/recognize red object in an image.

.NET is made up of an SDK and a runtime environment

the languages that are used in the framework can all be compiled down to a common language

  • ex. C, VB, IronPython (a .NET implementation of Python)

The computers that run a .NET application need to have the corresponding .NET framework installed prior to being able to run it.

Major components

Common Language Runtime (CLR) – This allows the executions of programs written in the .NET framework using C#, VB, Visual C++

  • also used to provide services such as memory management, security, exception handling, loading and executing of the programs.

Framework Class Library (FCL) – This is integrated with the CLR of the .NET framework and allows writing programs using .NET supporting programming languages such as C#, Visual C++, VB, etc.

User and Program Interfaces – This provides tools to develop desktop and windows applications. Windows forms, web services, Console applications and web forms are some examples of the user and program interfaces.


.NET is a (software) development platform that is used to develop, run and execute the applications

  • unified environment is the key value adder of .NET

ASP.NET is a web framework that is used to build dynamic web applications

  • ASP.NET is part of the .NET framework
    • because of this, developers have access to all of the .NET classes and features
  • applications developed by ASP.NET are largely component-based and built on the top of the common language runtime (CLR) and can be written in any of the .NET languages.
  • ASP stands for Active Server Pages

.NET Framework vs .NET Core

Both are are .NET implementations for building server-side applications.

  • the biggest advantage of .NET Core is that it is cross-platform, unlike the .NET Framework which is tied to Windows.

.NET 5 is the successor to both .NET Core and .NET Framework

Example projects