.NET is a platform for developing and managing applications. It comes with a variety of coding tools, languages, and libraries that allow you to create complex commands. There are many different implementations of .NET, including Windows, Linux, and iOS. They all originate from .NET framework, which supports services like website maintenance and desktop apps.
What does Microsoft .NET Framework do?
Microsoft .NET Framework is like the engine behind many computer programs. It helps create and run these programs, known as .NET apps. These apps can work on different types of computer systems because .NET is flexible. While it's mainly for Windows, it has different versions for various operating systems.
People who use apps built with .NET Framework need to have it on their computer. Usually, it's already there if you're using Windows, but you can download it if needed. For the people making these apps (developers), they use .NET Framework along with a tool called Visual Studio to create different kinds of programs—like websites, services, and desktop apps. You can see examples of what people make with .NET on the .NET customer showcase.
Microsoft .NET Framework features
Microsoft .NET Framework has plenty of features and you can find some of the most prominent ones below:
For Windows users, .NET framework is a package that comes installed in your device This version, 4.8, comes with Windows 7 SP1. The updates come on a scheduled basis, and it usually installs upon Windows update. As a developer, you always need to have the latest version of .NET. Once upgraded to a later version, previous patches of .NET framework will not install. In order to run applications created by this platform, you would need to use .NET. The versions needed to run certain programs normally are not reliant on a specific patch, but the updates might interfere with the mechanics of your applications.
.NET framework has a lot to offer. Some of the addons will help you much more on specific tasks. Check out the developer pack once you’ve downloaded the latest version - it allows access from Visual Studio. You may need to use installation scripts to get the exact packages you need. Keep in mind that the latest patch will always override the current one. If your applications need certain aspects of the previous .NET composition, be sure to do selective updates.
On top of increased flexibility and impactful debugging components, the latest version of .NET offers a few new features as well. You’ll be looking at Base Classes, Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), and Common Language runtime.
In the new, stable version 4.8, .NET framework addresses critical issues that were common in the previous patches. One of them is the Cryptographic Exception being thrown in production systems. This is due to not many developers running their machines in FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standards) mode. Before, cryptographic providers who have not undergone FIPS configurations would get thrown off. That’s no longer the case in the updated .NET.
The patches come with improvements on the Zlib external compression library under the Base Class Library (BCL). When you’re using X509Certificate2, the occurrence of object finalizations have been reduced. This applies to all related types of codes.
New commands, such as ServiceHealthBehavior are being introduced through the WCF. Health endpoints are used to monitor the health status of certain services. The new WCF behavior allows users to receive service health status in HTTP codes. It can also publish useful information about a service, including current state, throttle counts, and capacity. You would need to learn the code lines for the new commands to execute the behavior.
Other enhancements include accessibility in Windows Forms. Changes have been made so that application data is communicated better for the visually impaired. These are not core adjustments to the systems, so they don’t affect regular users.
Bug fixes touched up on ASP.Net multivalue HTTP headers handling and memory leaks affecting HttpWebRequest and WPF. Hashing algorithms for tasks such as XOML file checksums generator and internal memory calculations have also been modified. This change has been set to default, so if you wish to use the old algorithms, you’d need to revert it manually.
High DPI enhancements
Some features come with Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), such as high DPI (Dots Per Inch) enhancement. This is useful if you want to update an application to handle display changes at a higher scale. It will allow the app to maintain a crisp display on any platform. Applications that use older programming software such as Windows Forms or Win32 cannot adapt to DPI scaling without extra coding. This results in blurry and low quality render. The DPI enhancements eliminate such problems.
Another feature included in WPF is added support for hosted HWND (Handle to a Window) and Windows Form inter-operation in high DPI apps. These have to be run on platforms that support Mix Mode DPI scaling. If you have Windows 10, the updates for this should have already been installed. Apps that run in these platforms and their components are now scaled and sized appropriately
You’ll also notice minor changes in display like the Window Forms labels. These labels will be automatically rendered in high contrast when HC mode is enabled. ComboBox controls theme issues have also been fixed while in high-contrast mode.
Common language runtime
The runtime in .NET framework has been improved in many aspects. Though there were no critical problems with the previous versions, a lot of QoL changes have been delivered. Persistent bugs of the JIT compiler have been fixed. The new JIT (Just in Time) compiler in this .NET framework version is based on that of the .NET Core 2.1. Other components have also been optimized.
NGEN (Native Image Generator) memory management issues have also been improved. Data received from NGEN images are no longer prone to memory modifications. You will also notice additional power in Antimalware scanning. This will now scan for all assemblies. In earlier versions, if you were using Windows Defender, the runtime will scan all files loaded by it. The exception is that if these assemblies were loaded from other sources, they would not get scanned. That could result in undetected spyware. This issue has been addressed in the latest version of .NET.
.NET framework is one of the most versatile and popular platforms in today’s development industry. Coding may not be for everyone, and .NET is definitely not beginner-friendly. But, the platform comes with many solutions for it. You can start by using .NET standard or .NET Core, which is an open-source program. The problem with .NET framework is that the updates generally take a long time to optimize. Plus, if you’re developing an application on one specific version, new releases may interfere with the current progress. It’s also difficult to maintain or install an older version if .NET has already been updated.
What .NET Framework is on my PC?
Understanding the version of .NET Framework on your computer is crucial. Each version comes with new features, runs faster, fixes bugs, and boosts security. Knowing your installed or targeted version ensures your software plays well with other programs.
To find your .NET Framework version:
- Navigate to the Start menu and click on Control Panel.
- Look for “Programs” or “Programs and Features.”
- Scroll down until you find “Microsoft .NET Framework.”
- Check the version number next to each entry.
If you prefer, you can also use Command Prompt or PowerShell to check the .NET Framework version. This simple check keeps you in the loop about your system's capabilities and compatibility with other software.