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What is the .NET software development framework and how does it work?

.NET gives developers tools to develop applications across multiple platforms.

Developer working on computer
Image: Unsplash

App developers nowadays have a lot of tools at their disposal when it comes to developing any type of application. Whether someone is looking to develop a web app or a more localized program, there are software frameworks available, like .NET, that give developers the tools needed to produce a successful application.

There are several different software frameworks out there, and they all offer different benefits. Today, we’ll be taking a look at .NET, a framework developed by Microsoft with implementations available for several different platforms.

First, we’ll start off with an explanation of what a software framework is. Essentially, a software framework is a conglomeration of code and tools that can be used by a developer to more easily create a functioning application. A software framework generally contains a multitude of support programs and application programming interfaces (API) that give developers the tools to create somewhat standardized applications that work well with other software.

What is .NET?

So, what exactly is .NET? .NET is a free, open-source development platform that was developed by Microsoft. The platform was originally known as .NET Framework and was built to support the creation of many different types of applications, both localized and on the web, for the Windows platform.

Since then, the platform has seen many different implementations and integrations that have led to the .NET software development framework that exists today. Now, the platform has been adapted for development of applications across a multitude of platforms, including Windows, Linux, and MacOS. .NET also contains an implementation for app development across all major mobile platforms.

.NET has been developed by Microsoft since the late 1990s, in an effort to somewhat standardize coding language. Since then, the software development platform has evolved into an open-source set of technologies widely used by developers around the world.

What makes this platform different from other software development frameworks?

What really sets a software development framework apart from others is the functionality and integration that a particular framework brings to the table. .NET was developed by Microsoft and has been around since 2002. That kind of longevity, coupled with the Microsoft name, have given .NET the ability to build one of the largest databases of libraries, code language, and editors.

The software development platform lets developers use multiple coding languages, including C#, F#, and Visual Basic. Additionally, the platform consist of one consistent API, known as .NET Standard, which allows libraries to be built and used on any .NET implementation across any device.

The platform has compiled this massive database of third-party tools and integration that gives developers who specialize in .NET development the tools needed to create all different kinds of applications. With the .NET platform, these developers are able to create any type of application, from social networks to complex web-based management systems.

So there’s a basic explanation of the .NET software development framework. Platforms like this have existed for a while and have evolved over time to make the way we use devices today possible. Without frameworks like .NET, the internet and computer world would be filled with convoluted and conflicting code, making future development for applications a nightmare. Thankfully, these types of platforms exist, making developers’ jobs today much easier than they could be.

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Staff writer at KnowTechie. Alex has two years of experience covering all things technology, from video games to electric cars. He's a gamer at heart, with a passion for first-person shooters and expansive RPGs. Shoot him an email at

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