Chapter 1:The .NET Foundation
information being sent. You, as a developer, will not have to build a ne w way to interact with
each new device, but instead you can offer a single means for all device s or products to
interact with the XML Web service that you will provide.
As a developer, you can see the benefit of an environment where you do n ot always need to
reinvent the wheel but, instead, can procure the functionality and items that you need as you
develop your applications or Web sites. You may now be wondering how har d it is to build
and consume XML Web services.
Microsoft has realized that, in order for this type of platform to take hold, it has to be simple
and easy to use. Development must be uncomplicated, and deployment needs to be a breeze
and this is exactly what the .NET platform has delivered!
The .NET solution
In anticipation of this future, Microsoft has developed the .NET Framewo rk and the tools
necessary to build in this new environment. Microsoft realized that it h ad many languages and
tools that basically did the same thing. Admittedly, some languages and tools did certain
things better than others, but all of them worked towards the same goal, and there was plenty
Microsoft has taken the best of all these different worlds and has merge d them into a single
environment, as shown in Figure 1-3.
Figure 1-3: A unified model.
This new unified model will allow you, as a developer, to use one develo pment environment
and platform to build every application type that you need.
The .NET Framework
To get around the problem of having multiple development environments, M icrosoft
developed an environment that is a unified development environment. This framework is the
platform for the entire .NET idea. The framework is language-neutral and built to provide you
with the tools and solutions that you need to build rich applications in the stateless
environment of the Internet.
The .NET Framework includes two main components the Common Language Runtime and
the Base Class Libraries. Each of these elements is explained later in t his chapter.