What Is .NET? An Overview Of The Platform

The software development framework you choose can end up making or breaking your project. It is always important for businesses and software developers to use the right tool to build custom software and attain their specific business goals.

Being pre-built structures giving the ultimate look, feel, and appeal to your application, development frameworks lay the foundation for any project. they carry a set of rules, functionalities, and libraries that guide developers every step of the way.

However, choosing the wrong framework can lead to headaches, delays, and in some cases, project failure. That is why it’s essential to choose the right framework for the job.

.NET is one such framework that allows businesses around the world to build powerful and responsive applications. Looking at the ever-increasing need for software development, the need for platforms like .NET is undeniable. Built by Microsoft, the framework is used by organizations around the world to build desktop, mobile, IoT, cloud-based, and gaming applications. 

In this quick overview of .NET, we will explore the essence of the software development framework and understand its utility.

So, what is .NET?

What Is .NET?

.NET is a powerful development framework created by Microsoft to facilitate the seamless, secure, and effective building of custom software applications. It is a versatile, open-source, and cross-platform framework used by some of the biggest tech giants in the world. .NET supports several programming languages and libraries, with the primary programming language being C#.

With C#, .NET also allows developers to work with other popular programming languages like F# and Visual Basic. F# is a functional-oriented programming language that supports both functional and object-oriented programming paradigms. Visual Basic, another major language, is a historic programming language that has become fully object-oriented within the context of .NET. 

.NET Development Services use the Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) to compile the source code with a Common Intermediate Language (CIL), irrespective of the programming language used. This facilitates excellent interoperability between different programming languages in the .NET framework.

The .NET Architecture: What Makes The Framework Special?

The .NET architecture is based on the Common Language Runtime (CLR). It is responsible for executing the code written in any .NET-supported language. This allows .NET developers to perform a host of different tasks, including garbage collection, memory management, exception handling, and more.

The architecture of .NET is inherently designed to facilitate interoperability between different programming languages and platforms, allowing developers to build highly scalable and flexible applications with ease.

The framework is designed using a layered architecture consisting of different layers, including the Common Language Infrastructure (CLI), Base Class Library (BCL), and Application Framework. The CLI helps you compile and execute the code while providing a runtime environment for the execution of your .NET applications.

The BCL is a set of reusable classes, interfaces, and types that provide a comprehensive range of functionality, including input/output operations, security, threading, and networking. The Application Framework is a set of libraries and tools that make it easy for developers to build applications, including different application types like web, desktop, and console applications.

.NET Application Models

Let us now have a look at the different applications models that help .NET developers build robust applications for their clients:


This is arguably the most popular and sought-after .NET application model that facilitates the development of responsive web applications. It can also be used for building robust .NET APIs to facilitate seamless software integrations.

Windows Presentation Foundation

Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) is a graphical sub-system and UI framework that facilitates the development of robust desktop applications on the Windows OS. It is an integral part of the .NET framework and gives developers a way to create visually stunning user interfaces for their clients.

WPF brings in a new programming model for developing user interfaces in Windows-based applications, using XAML (Extensible Application Markup Language) to define and create specific UI elements. With this, developers can create rich, visually appealing, and engaging user interfaces with 2D and 3D graphics.


Xamarin is a cross-platform app development framework that helps developers build mobile applications for iOS, Android, and Windows using C#. It was acquired by Microsoft in 2016 and has since been integrated into the Visual Studio IDE. It is Xamarin that broke the restrictive spell of .NET being limited to the Windows OS.

Xamarin uses a single shared C# codebase to create native user interfaces for each platform. This prevents developers from creating separate codebases every time, saving them enough time and resources. It also gives developers access to native APIs and libraries, making it easier for them to incorporate platform-specific functionality into the app.


Blazor is a popular open-source web framework that allows .NET developers to build powerful web applications using .NET and C# instead of JavaScript. It helps developers create interactive web UIs with a component-based architecture that resembles modern front-end frameworks like React and Angular.

Blazor comes with two key hosting models: client-side and server-side. In the client-side model, your application is completely downloaded to the browser and executed locally. It is ideal for building interactive single-page applications (SPAs) that require real-time communication between the client and server.

With the server-side model, you can execute your application on the server with only the UI updates being sent to the client. This model is ideal for building traditional multi-page applications (MPAs) that do not require real-time communication between the client and server.


ML.NET is an open-source, cross-platform machine learning framework that helps .NET developers such as IntelliSource create custom machine learning models without having high-end expertise in machine learning. It brings with it a library of algorithms and tools that enable developers to add machine learning capabilities to their .NET applications.

The Final Word

This was a quick overview of .NET and its different components every beginner should know. Compared to most development frameworks and technologies, .NET is easier and more straightforward, making it an ideal entry point for aspiring developers. Seamless .NET development allows organizations to build powerful software solutions that streamline their processes and stay in sync with modern tech trends.

Samuel Jim
Samuel Jim
Samuel Jim Nnamdi is the CTO of Foxstate, a platform that powers digital infrastructures for Real estate financing globally. He has over 8 years of Software Engineering and CyberSecurity expertise.

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