.NET Framework - Design Features

Design Features

Interoperability
Because computer systems commonly require interaction between newer and older applications, the .NET Framework provides means to access functionality implemented in newer and older programs that execute outside the .NET environment. Access to COM components is provided in the System.Runtime.InteropServices and System.EnterpriseServices namespaces of the framework; access to other functionality is achieved using the P/Invoke feature.
Common Language Runtime engine
The Common Language Runtime (CLR) serves as the execution engine of the .NET Framework. All .NET programs execute under the supervision of the CLR, guaranteeing certain properties and behaviors in the areas of memory management, security, and exception handling.
Language independence
The .NET Framework introduces a Common Type System, or CTS. The CTS specification defines all possible datatypes and programming constructs supported by the CLR and how they may or may not interact with each other conforming to the Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) specification. Because of this feature, the .NET Framework supports the exchange of types and object instances between libraries and applications written using any conforming .NET language.
Base Class Library
The Base Class Library (BCL), part of the Framework Class Library (FCL), is a library of functionality available to all languages using the .NET Framework. The BCL provides classes that encapsulate a number of common functions, including file reading and writing, graphic rendering, database interaction, XML document manipulation, and so on. It consists of classes, interfaces of reusable types that integrates with CLR(Common Language Runtime).
Simplified deployment
The .NET Framework includes design features and tools which help manage the installation of computer software to ensure it does not interfere with previously installed software, and it conforms to security requirements.
Security
The design addresses some of the vulnerabilities, such as buffer overflows, which have been exploited by malicious software. Additionally, .NET provides a common security model for all applications.
Portability
While Microsoft has never implemented the full framework on any system except Microsoft Windows, it has engineered the framework to be platform-agnostic, and cross-platform implementations are available for other operating systems (see Silverlight and the Alternative implementations section below). Microsoft submitted the specifications for the Common Language Infrastructure (which includes the core class libraries, Common Type System, and the Common Intermediate Language), the C# language, and the C++/CLI language to both ECMA and the ISO, making them available as official standards. This makes it possible for third parties to create compatible implementations of the framework and its languages on other platforms.

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