Controls run on the server and make themselves known to the client. This allows the application interface to have many of the characteristics of a normal Win32 application. Controls are reusable user interface elements that are used to construct the form. New Programming Languages Visual  Studio  .NET  is  Microsofts  .NET  Framework  development  environ- ment. Unlike earlier releases, this integrated development environment (IDE) is designed to support all programming languages that compile to Microsofts Intermediate Language (MSIL), the managed code that actually is executed by the common language runtime. To meet this requirement, the Visual Studio .NET releases of Visual Basic and C++ underwent significant changes. In addi- tion, Microsoft introduced C#, a new .NET programming language. To fully exploit  the  new  capabilities  of  the  .NET  Framework,  the  changes  to  Visual Basic were particularly significant. While the .NET release is not compatible with  prior  versions  of  Visual  Basic,  Microsoft  has  incorporated  a  migration tool to ease the conversion of existing applications. However, because the architecture of .NET is so different from the previous application development architecture, many applications may not port easily from the older platform to .NET. Consequently, many Visual Basic Version 6 applications will either be around for some time or undergo complete rewrites for the new .NET Framework. The  following  sections  introduce  and  reference  the  most  popular  new features  of  Visual  Basic  .NET,  C#,  and  ASP.NET  and  discuss  a  couple  of considerations for C++. Visual Basic .NET This  release  of  Visual  Basic  represents  the  most  significant  architectural change since the initial release of Visual Basic. Because it now shares its devel- opment  environment  with  other  .NET  languages,  Visual  Basic.  NET  can draw on the functionality of the .NET Framework base classes. Arguably the most  significant  advantage  this  gives  Visual  Basic  developers  is  its  tight integration  with  Web-based  development.  Visual  Basic  has  long  been  the dominant  programming  language  for  Windows-based  applications,  but  it always lacked an elegant approach to developing Internet applications. This release  changes  that  situation.  In  addition  to  integration  with  the  .NET Framework, Visual Basic .NET incorporates several new features, listed below, which  expand  the  scalability  and  robustness  of  Visual  Basic  application development. 12 Chapter 1 04235946 Ch01.F  12/11/02  11:43 AM  Page 12