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Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Visual Studio.NET at a Glance

.NET Framework
The .NET Framework is an environment for building, deploying, and running XML Webservices and other applications. It is the infrastructure for the overall .NETplatform. The .NET Framework consists of three main parts: the common languageruntime, the class libraries, and ASP.NET.

The common language runtime and class libraries, including Windows Forms, ADO.NET,and ASP.NET, combine to provide services and solutions that can be easily integratedwithin and across a variety of systems. The .NET Framework provides a fully managed,protected, and feature-rich application execution environment, simplifieddevelopment and deployment, and seamless integration with a wide variety oflanguages.

XML Web services
An XML Web service is a unit of application logic providing data and services toother applications. Applications access XML Web services via ubiquitous Webprotocols and data formats such as HTTP, XML, and SOAP, with no need to worry abouthow each XML Web service is implemented. XML Web services combine the best aspectsof component-based development and the Web. They are a cornerstone of the Microsoft.NET programming model.

XML Web services can be accessed by any language, using any component model, runningon any operating system. They utilize HTTP as the underlying transport, whichallows function requests to pass through corporate firewalls. XML is used to formatthe input and output parameters of the request, so the request is not tied to anyparticular component technology or object calling convention. The Microsoft .NETFramework makes it easy to write components that communicate using HTTP GET, HTTPPOST, and SOAP.

Language Enhancements
Microsoft Visual Basic .NET
Visual Basic now offers full object-oriented language features, includingimplementation inheritance. It also allows developers to create highly scalablecode with explicit free threading and highly maintainable code with the addition ofmodernized language constructs like structured exception handling.

Microsoft Visual C#
.NETMicrosoft C# .NET is a modern, object-oriented, type-safe language. It enablesprogrammers to quickly build a wide range of applications for the new Microsoft .NETplatform. C#, pronounced "C sharp", is designed to bring rapid development to theC++ programmer without sacrificing the power and control that have been a hallmarkof C and C++.

Microsoft Visual C++
.NETVisual C++ provides deep support for creating XML Web services including ATL Server,a new project type for creating powerful server-based applications. Withattribute-based programming any function can be easily exposed as an XML Webservice. Traditional unmanaged C++ and new managed C++ code can be mixed freelywithin the same application. Existing components can be wrapped as .NET componentsby using the managed extensions. Using managed extensions preserves your investmentin existing code while integrating with the .NET Framework.

Microsoft Visual J#
.NETVisual J# can be used by developers who are familiar with the Java-language syntaxto build applications and services on the .NET Framework using the Visual Studio.NET 2003 IDE. Visual J# also supports most of the functionality found in VisualJ++, including Microsoft extensions.

ASP.NET is more than the next version of Active Server Pages (ASP); it is a unifiedWeb development platform that provides the services necessary for developers tobuild enterprise-class Web applications. While ASP.NET is largely syntax-compatiblewith ASP, it also provides a new programming model and infrastructure that enables apowerful new class of applications. You can migrate your existing ASP applicationsby incrementally adding ASP.NET functionality to them.

ASP.NET is a compiled .NET Framework -based environment. You can authorapplications in any .NET Framework compatible language, including Visual Basic andVisual C#. Additionally, the entire .NET Framework platform is available to anyASP.NET application. Developers can easily access the benefits of the .NETFramework, which include a fully managed, protected, and feature-rich applicationexecution environment, simplified development and deployment, and seamlessintegration with a wide variety of languages.

ADO.NET is a set of classes that expose the data access services of the .NETFramework. ADO.NET is a natural evolution of ADO and is built around N-Tierapplication development. ADO.NET has been created with XML at its core.

The ADO.NET object model is composed of two central components: the connected layer,which consists of the classes that comprise the .NET Data Provider, and thedisconnected layer, which is rooted in the DataSet.

.NET Data Providers includes the following components: the Connection object, theCommand object, the DataReader, and the DataAdapter. The first two should be familiar to existing ADO programmers;they are used to open a connection to a data source and execute a command againstit. The DataReader loosely corresponds to a forward-only, read-only recordset. It isa highly optimized, nonbuffering, firehose-style interface for getting the resultsof a query executed against the data source. The DataAdapter provides the bridgebetween the .NET Data Providers and the DataSet. The DataSet is a local buffer of tables or a collection of disconnected recordsets.


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