Chapter 1:The .NET Foundation 7   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 of overlap. 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.