.NET is a software development framework and ecosystem designed and supported by Microsoft to allow for easy desktop and web application engineering. It’s a popular free platform currently used for a lot of different types of applications as it provides the programming environment for most software development phases.
.NET development framework includes a large class library called Framework Class Library (FCL) and provides language interoperability (each language can use code written in other languages) across several programming languages. FCL provides the user interface, data access, database connectivity, cryptography, web application development, numeric algorithms, and network communications.
Programs written for .NET Framework execute in a software environment (in contrast to a hardware environment) named the Common Language Runtime (CLR). The CLR is an application virtual machine that provides services such as security, memory management, and exception handling. As such, computer code written using .NET Framework is called “managed code”. FCL and CLR together constitute the .NET Framework.
Programmers produce software by combining their source code with .NET Framework and other libraries. The framework is intended to be used by most new applications created for the Windows platform. Microsoft also produces an integrated development environment for .NET software called Visual Studio.
With .NET, multiple editors and languages such as C# or Visual Basic can be used to build for web, mobile, desktop, games etc. Whether using C# or Visual Basic, your code will run natively on any compatible OS using .NET Core that is a cross-platform.
.NET best suits businesses that look for a wide range of features like web-based services, desktop software, and cloud infrastructure support.