What .NET Means to Developers Since the .NET Framework is a software development platform, it should be no surprise that .NET will have the biggest impact on developers. Here are some of the more significant benefits and implications awaiting them: nn With all the languages that soon will be compatible with .NET, develop- ers have an unprecedented choice of interoperable languages to select from. That selection is far more than simply a lifestyle choice. .NET lan- guage choices provide the opportunity for a gradual transition from less complex languages to more powerful ones. Additionally, much of what is learned about the .NET base classes in one language carries over to the next language. Not only is the choice of languages unprecedented, so is the ease of the learning curve. Previously, Windows application programming required the developer to interact with components, application programming interfaces, and language-specific runtime libraries. This resulted in application development that was vastly different from one language to another. The new methodology, as described in Figure 1.3, allows all languages to interface directly with the .NET Framework. Figure 1.3 The .NET Framework overcomes previous weaknesses by allowing all languages to interface with the same common language runtime. ADO OCXs Custom COM Components Pre .NET (Unmanaged) .NET Common Language Runtime (Managed Applications) Win32 API Win16 API WinCE RT OS Specific APIs VB Runtime MFC WFC Language Specific Libraries Cross-Language Interoperability .NET Class Framework Application VB WinForm C# WebForm Any .NET Lang Introduction to the .NET Framework 17 04235946 Ch01.F  12/11/02  11:43 AM  Page 17