The Microsoft .NET Framework is a software framework that can be installed on computers running Microsoft Windows operating systems. It includes a large library of coded solutions to common programming problems and a virtual machine that manages the execution of programs written specifically for the framework.

Consistent Programming Model

With .NET, for example, accessing data with a VB .NET and a C# .NET looks very similar apart from slight syntactical differences. Both the programs need to import the System. Data namespace, both the programs establish a connection with the database and both the programs run a query and display the data on a data grid. The functionality that the .NET Class Library provides is available to all .NET languages resulting in a consistent object model regardless of the programming language the developer uses.

Direct Support for Security

With .NET, the Framework enables the developer and the system administrator to specify method level security. It uses industry-standard protocols such as TCP/IP, XML, SOAP and HTTP to facilitate distributed application communications. This makes distributed computing more secure because .NET developers cooperate with network security devices instead of working around their security limitations.

Simplified Development Efforts

ASP.NET and the .NET Framework simplify development by separating the application logic and presentation logic making it easier to maintain the code. You write the design code (presentation logic) and the actual code (application logic) separately eliminating the need to mix HTML code with ASP code. ASP.NET can also handle the details of maintaining the state of the controls, such as contents in a textbox, between calls to the same ASP.NET page.

The .NET Framework simplifies debugging with support for Runtime diagnostics. Runtime diagnostics helps you to track down bugs and also helps you to determine how well an application performs. The .NET Framework provides three types of Runtime diagnostics: Event Logging, Performance Counters and Tracing.

Easy Application Deployment and Maintenance

The .NET Framework makes it easy to deploy applications. In the most common form, to install an application, all you need to do is copy the application along with the components it requires into a directory on the target computer.

The .NET Framework handles the details of locating and loading the components an application needs, even if several versions of the same application exist on the target computer. The .NET Framework ensures that all the components the application depends on are available on the computer before the application begins to execute.