Guide to Reviewing the Microsoft. Net framework

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A Guide to Reviewing the Microsoft .NET Framework:

A Platform for Rapidly Building and Deploying XML Web Services and Applications to Solve Today’s Business Challenges


The Microsoft .NET Framework is a platform for building, deploying, and running XML Web services and applications. It provides a highly productive, standards-based, multiple-language environment for integrating existing investments with next-generation applications and services, as well as the agility to solve the challenges of deployment and operation of Internet-scale applications.

For the latest information on the .NET Framework, visit

This is a preliminary document and may be changed substantially prior to final commercial release of the software described herein.

The information contained in this document represents the current view of Microsoft Corporation on the issues discussed as of the date of publication. Because Microsoft must respond to changing market conditions, it should not be interpreted to be a commitment on the part of Microsoft, and Microsoft cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information presented after the date of publication.


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Review criteria ii

Overview v

.NET FrameWork: Introduction v

Web Development v

Challenges vi

Solution: XML Web Services vi

The .NET Framework Design Goals vii

THE XML Web Services Programming Model viii

Core XML Web Services Technologies viii

The .NET Framework: The Microsoft XML Web Services Engine x

.NET FrAmeWork: Overview x

The .NET Framework: Three Parts x

The Common Language Runtime xi

What the Programmer Sees: The Unified Classes xiii

developer productivity xvii

Use Any Programming Language xvii

Take Advantage of Industry-Leading Tools xviii

Developers Write Less Code xviii

Employ Windows 2000 Applications Services xix

Create XML Web Services Easily xix

agility to solve today’s business problems xxii

Deliver on Software as a Service xxii

Supporting ECMA Standards for C# and CLI xxii

Device Support for Broad Reach xxii

Extend All Existing Software Transparently xxiii

Access Databases Easily with Microsoft ADO.NET xxiii

Benefits of ADO.NET xxv


Evidence-based Security xxvii

Internet-Capable Security xxvii

Simplify Application Deployment xxix

Run More Reliable Applications xxx

Improve Performance xxxi

.NET Framework Feature Summary xxxii

XML Web Services Standards Support xxxii

Developer Productivity xxxii

Agility to Solve Today’s Business Challenges xxxiii

Building Next-Generation Web Applications xxxvii

Summary xxxvii

Loosely Coupled Designs Enable Scalability xxxvii

Leverage Operating System Services xxxvii

Multilanguage Support xxxvii

Standards Based xxxvii

Appendix A


AppEndix b

.NET Framework Tools 44

Appendix c Glossary 48

Review criteria

The Microsoft® .NET Framework and Microsoft Visual Studio® .NET belong, in the broadest sense, in the software development category. The leading edge of the category, according to customers and industry analysts, is the distributed application development segment. The software development category contains all developer tools products, while the distributed application development segment includes only those tools aimed at server- and client-side application development. Microsoft believes the main contenders in this segment include the .NET Framework and Visual Studio .NET, versus the Java-based product offerings of IBM WebSphere and VisualAge, and Sun iPlanet Application Server and Forte.

If you examine the needs of developers and enterprise organizations, you can create a list of criteria for evaluating how the .NET Framework and Visual Studio .NET enable the rapid development, simple integration, and improved operation of the next generation of XML Web services and applications. These include:

Improved Time-to-Market Criteria

  • The ability to use any programming language. Give developers the ability to use any programming language. Allow applications written with different programming languages to integrate deeply with each other. Leverage current development skills to go forward without retraining. Customers have discovered the exorbitant cost of finding developers skilled in some specialized technologies. Prominent industry analysts recommend using existing skills whenever possible, and avoiding the high cost and high failure rate of relying on the technical skills in shortest supply.

  • Access to state-of-the-art development tools. Deliver well-designed development tools, such as integrated debugging and profiling.

  • Improved code design. Provide a component-based, plumbing-free design that enables developers to focus on writing business logic. Eliminate the need to generate IDL or registry code. Provide existing, well-tested controls that encapsulate common programmer tasks.

  • Support for loosely coupled and tightly coupled architectures. To achieve performance, scalability, and reliability in distributed applications, there are some operations in which components can be tightly coupled, that is, interdependent in real time. Most modern systems have this capability. However, successful platforms must also have complete support for loosely coupled, message-oriented communication, in which the chain of events supporting a distributed transaction is not broken or blocked by any real-time dependencies. Both architectures must be supported completely and naturally so developers create scalable solutions by default.

Simple Integration Criteria

  • Software as a service. Build and deliver software as a service. Employ standards and protocols built on XML and the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) family of integration standards. Provide the ability for applications to easily to share and gain access to these services.

  • Approved standards for language and infrastructure. Standards are core to delivering software as a service. Consequently, Microsoft has submitted the specifications for the C# programming language and a subset of the .NET Framework called the common language infrastructure to ECMA, and ECMA is standardizing them.  These specifications represent the participation of six other ECMA partners, including Hewlett-Packard and Intel, and are currently on track to be considered by the ECMA General Assembly later this year for formal approval.

  • Transparent extensions for legacy components and applications. Provide the ability to integrate existing software into a language-independent platform by using proven technology.

  • Ease of data access. Make available a productive interface to any database—one that is designed to support the use of loosely coupled data access by Web applications. Support XML as its native data format.

Improved Operations Criteria

  • Evidence-based security. Provide an evidence-based security model that maintains a fine-grained, method-level control over what applications can and can’t do based on who wrote the code, what the code is trying to do, from where it was installed, and who is trying to run it.

  • Simplified application deployment. Support a simplified application deployment method that makes installing applications as easy as copying them into a directory. Build in the ability of a framework to detect damaged applications and self-heal to solve the problem.

  • Increased reliability for applications. Deliver technologies that make applications more reliable, such as high-performance automated memory management and event-driven monitoring of Web applications with automated granular control of restarts.

  • True performance improvements. At the end of the day, improve the performance of typical XML Web services and applications.

  • A comprehensive solution that provides all of the services needed to produce an enterprise-class solution. These include application services, such as an object request broker, transaction-processing monitor, complete scripting engine, feature rich Web server, world-class messaging support, monitoring, and management infrastructure. All of these services are integrated, so developers can spend their time building applications, not cobbling together application services.

  • A consistent and unified programming model for applications running within, and applications running across, Internet firewalls. Related to loosely coupled architectures, this criterion seeks out the solutions that enable organizations to learn, build, and support a simple programming model for intranet- and Internet-based applications in order to reduce training and support costs.

  • A consistent and unified programming model for broad-reach Web-based clients, as well as rich client interfaces, and emerging smart devices. Customers today are evaluating the full range of client devices, including PCs, browsers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and cellular telephones. To be successful, complex, distributed systems must have a programming model that elegantly supports all of today’s user experiences, and those that will emerge in the future, and that contains a simple model for maintaining consistent business logic across any client architecture.

A platform embracing the above principles will enable customers to lead in their respective industries—to build, deploy, and maintain better applications, and to bring new software and new services to market faster and less expensively than competitors. The .NET Framework satisfies these requirements more completely and effectively than any other product available today, and will do so into the foreseeable future. We invite you to examine these new tools carefully, and to make your own comparison.
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