What is .NET?

You may have come across ‘.NET’ many times when traipsing through your computers or the internet, but what is it?

.NET is a free, open-source developer platform, that is used to build many different types of applications. It is a platform where you can use multiple languages, editors and libraries to build for web, mobile, desktop, gaming and Internet of Things.

The Different Languages of .NET

When it comes to .NET, you can write apps in different languages. When we say languages, we don’t mean French or German, but the programming languages such as:

  • C# – a modern, object-oriented language used for networking and web development
  • F# – a cross-platform, functional programming language that is open-sources. It is often used for handling complex computing problems and improving the maintainability of code.
  • Visual Basic – this is also a type of object-oriented language which is incorporated with a simple syntax for building type-safe apps.



.NET is an application that can be used across an array of different compatible operating systems. No matter the programming language you use, your code will run efficiently as .NET handles all of the heavy duties for you. With .NET you can build many different types of apps; whether it be cross-platform or built specifically for a certain operating system or .NET implementation. The different platforms it can be used with are:

  • Web – for building web apps and services for Windows, macOS and other operating systems and servers.
  • Gaming – for developing 2D and 3D games for most desktops, phones and consoles.
  • Mobile – for using a single codebase to build unique mobile apps for iOS Android or Windows
  • Machine Learning & Al – for adding different vision algorithms, speech processing, predictive models to your apps
  • Desktop – for producing desktop apps for Windows and macOS
  • Internet of things – for making applications for all the other devices or systems that are connected to the internet.

The three different kinds of .NET platforms that we have:

  1. .NET Core – .NET implementation for websites, services and console application on Windows, macOS and other operating systems.
  2. .NET Framework – used to support websites, services, desktop apps, and other programs used on Windows.
  3. Xamarin/Mono – a form of .NET implementation for running apps on all the major mobile operating systems.


A Singular Application Programming Interface

An API is a set of functions that allow different types of applications which access the features or data of an operating system or application to be created. It means that two different software’s can communicate with each other.

A .NET Standard is a base set of APIs that are common to all .NET implementations. Each of the implementations expose the additional APIs that are catered to the OS it runs with.


What is the Importance of .NET?

Essentially, .NET is important for all aspects of computing as it is used within all kinds of operating systems and servers that run the internet. It is found throughout a range of different platforms, such as mobiles and desktops. .NET is important to those who want to access information electronically. The concept of .NET is quite difficult concept for those to understand when not in the computing industry, although it’s use is simple.

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