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What is the .NET Framework: Should You Use It Today?

By gswardman December 7, 2022

The Microsoft .NET development technology stack can be confusing to some, especially those who predominantly work with JavaScript frameworks or PHP. It gets even more confusing when one is told that there are two parallel development technologies, one that is cross-platform and open source and the older .NET framework that is still actively maintained and in use.

This post will discuss the Microsoft .NET Framework in detail, highlighting its core features, strengths and weaknesses, structure, and use. More importantly, we’ll discuss if businesses should still use it today.

Table of Contents

What Is .NET Framework?

As you might have guessed from the name, the .NET framework is a development technology consisting of tools, libraries, languages, and other components needed to build applications. The .NET framework, unlike other modern technologies, is Windows-only and is still, by and large, the property of Microsoft even though some of its source code was made available under the Ms-RSL license.

The .NET Framework was the main application and web application development technology for Windows before the release of.NET Core. .NET Core later became .NET and is today the primary development technology in the Microsoft ecosystem. However, the .NET Framework is still in use and receives regular updates from Microsoft.

.NET is one of the oldest managed code software technologies developed and supported by a significant software development company. According to Microsoft’s documentation, its development started in the late 90s and was initially named the Next Generation Windows Service (NGWS). The first stable version of the Windows-only framework was released in 2002 under Windows NT.

Who Created .NET Framework?

The .NET framework was created by Microsoft, the software company behind the Windows operating system, Azure cloud services, and other popular consumer and enterprise software and hardware products. .NET was created as one of the pioneering managed code software development technologies rivaling the Sun Microsystems’ Java platform.

Who Created .NET Framework?

The Use of the Common Language Runtime (CLR) and Just in Time Compiler (JIT) allowed code execution in a safe, controlled, abstract environment. This and other features, such as language interoperability, automatic memory management, and class libraries, made the .NET framework quite popular in business software development.

One of the main reasons why Microsoft created the .NET framework was to have a software development platform that could work well with all Windows-based platforms. The .NET framework helped them achieve this objective while complying with industry standards such as the ECMA Common Language Specification (CLS) and ECMA Common Language Infrastructure (CLI).

What Is .NET Framework Used For?

The .NET Framework is mainly used to develop applications inside a Windows environment and for Windows desktop, CE, Windows Mobile, and Windows-based server operating systems. Developers use the framework to build applications that use WinForms and WPF- Windows Presentation Foundation UI libraries and database-connected applications using ADO.NET.

The framework also included libraries and tools for developing XML-based ASP .NET web applications and mobile applications for Windows devices. However, modern web developers have moved to .NET Core and NET 6 technologies like Blazor and Razor pages.

Every Windows operating system install comes with a .NET runtime environment needed to run software developed with the framework. However, developers who want to use the framework must download and install the Software development (.NET SDK) using Visual Studio or separately.

Is .NET Framework the same as C#?

No, C# is one of the languages supported or used inside the .NET Framework. Other languages used with the framework include Visual Basic, JavaScript, Visual J++, and Visual C++. The framework supports language interoperability using the CLR.

How to check the .NET Framework Version

You can check the version of the .NET framework a computer runs programmatically using the RuntimeInformation.FrameworkDescription Property. This check is useful if you are developing an application and must test the installed framework before program execution. Insert the following code into your header to do the check:

public static string FrameworkDescription {get;}

The above code will return with the version of the .NET runtime installed on the client system. You can also do a manual version check using the Registry Editor or digging into the specific Windows DLL folder below.

How to check the .NET Framework Version

What Are the Benefits Of the .NET Framework?

Some of the benefits associated with the .NET Framework include the following:

  • Fast code execution using the Common Language Runtime and Just in Time Compiler
  • Security using managed code that does not interact with the Kernel directly
  • Vast class libraries that make development easier and faster
  • Language interoperability
  • Automated memory management, code safety verification, and thread execution
  • Easier and more stable integration with Windows-based systems, etc.

Which .NET Framework should I use?

Microsoft advises developers to use the new NET 6 technology stack to develop new applications. Only use the framework in the specific circumstances described earlier- like maintaining old Windows Forms applications. The new .NET platform is more modern and has unique features consistent with today’s development best practices.

What Are the Main Components of the .NET Framework?

The .NET framework comprises the common language runtime and the framework class library. Understanding how these two components are structured and how they work will help you know the strengths of the frameworks and what features it offers so that you can use them in your projects.

The Common Language Runtime -CLR

The .NET framework has a managed code execution component known as the common language runtime or CLR. In their .NET documentation, Microsoft defines the CLR as an agent that manages how programs written in the framework are executed and managed.

As a software developer or integrator, you can think of the CLR as a safe, controlled execution interface or engine that ensures your code does what it’s meant to do and does it safely and reliably. The common language runtime has the following responsibilities in a .NET Framework code execution environment:

Memory management–   The CLR takes care of memory management during code execution, so programmers don’t have to worry about low-level memory allocation when coding. This is one of the critical advantages .NET has over traditional technologies like c++ and Java.

Thread Management– Thread management is one of the biggest challenges developers face when developing high-perfomance applications for multi-threaded environments. Utilizing the CLR in the .NET Framework, developers can zero in on multi-threaded programming as it takes care of complexities like concurrency, performance, task fairness, lock contention, workload management, synchronization, etc.

Tip: Thread management in multi-threaded application programming is an important feature or selling point for the .NET framework, especially if you are developing complex, high-performance, responsive native applications inside Windows. You can check Microsoft CLR thread management documentation to understand its inner workings.

Remoting– The .NET common language runtime provides a much-improved technology to implement remote communication in distributed applications over the previous DCOM binary protocol. The .NET Remoting feature allows you to implement all kinds of communication between AppDomains and over a variety of protocols, formats, etc.

The CLR has been a part of the .NET Framework since its release and is one of its most distinctive components. Software developers refer to the CLR as the application virtual machine, given that it facilitates running applications.

How the CLR Works- Simplified

Application execution in the .NET Framework mainly happens in two stages under the Common Language Runtime. First, the CLR reads program code in C# or any other supported languages and converts them to an intermediate format called the common intermediate language code (CIL). Within the CLR is a sup-component called the Just in Time Compiler(JIT), which converts intermediate CIL into machine code for low level-processing.

The Framework Class Library

The second essential component that makes up the .NET framework is the Framework Class Library(FCL). As the name suggests, the Framework Class Library contains all the important ready-to-use libraries or what modern developers call dependencies that you can use to develop all kinds of applications.

Essentially, the FCL prevents .NET programmers from having to “re-invent the wheel” or engineer commonly used functionality from scratch. The FCL consists of libraries for user interfaces, communications, cryptography, database connections, and the like designed for Windows platforms and supported architectures.

The following list consists of sub-components or technologies inside the Net framework from a practical software development perspective

Language Integrated Query (LINQ)- A sub-component in the .NET framework that helps developers add complex data querying functionality in their applications

ADO.NET– A .NET framework component or technology used to add database connection functionality to .NET native applications. For example, you can use ADO.NET to programmatically connect to Microsoft Access databases to retrieve, alter, delete, and perform other functions in a .NET forms application.

Windows Forms– A graphical user interface library under the .NET Framework Class Library. You can use WinForms to create Window interfaces with sub-components such as buttons, dialog boxes, command buttons, text boxes, etc.

Windows Presentation Foundations (WPF)– WPF is a native Windows interface design technology inside the .NET Framework that uses DirectX to render Windows system GUI components.

Windows Communication Foundation –  This is a sub-component within .NET that you can use to build applications for distributed service-oriented architectures.

ASP.NET– A .NET Framework for building server-based dynamic web pages and web applications.

Windows Workflow Foundation-(WF)- This is a .NET Framework sub-component for building workflow-based processes in a .NET application.

What are the Features of the .NET Framework?

The .NET Framework has the following unique features:

Multiple Language support

The .NET Framework was designed to support various programming languages. The Frameworks support over 40 other languages apart from the three default ones (C#, Visual Basic, and F#)

Language interoperability

The framework supports language interoperability by default in line with the ECMA Language Specification. This means components written in one language can interact or connect with components written in a different programming language inside a .NET Framework application.

The following is a list of all the technical features in various versions of the .NET Framework:

  • Dynamic Language Runtime
  • Support for covariance and contravariance
  • The Managed Extensibility sub-framework (used to build extensible and scalable applications)
  • Support for parallel computing application development
  • Portable class libraries

How to Download the .NET Framework

The .NET framework runtime comes pre-installed with most Windows OS versions as it is required to run applications in a Windows environment. However, there are instances where you may need to download it either as a user or as a developer:

End users Installation instructions:

End users on Windows systems may need to install the .NET framework if an application they are trying to run gives an error asking them to install a specific version of the framework. This usually happens if they use an old, un-updated Windows OS version like Windows 7 or earlier versions of Windows 10.

How to Download the .NET Framework

The best way to install the correct version of the framework is to click yes on the error box so that Windows can direct you to the correct version needed and install it automatically. Alternatively, you can visit the official Microsoft .NET Framework download page, choose the version you want, download the exe file and install it by double-clicking on it.

Remember that Windows cannot allow you to install older versions of the .NET framework if you already have a newer version installed. For instance, you cannot install .NET Framework version 4.62 if you already have a 4.7.x version on your PC.

Installation for Development Purposes

Developers who want to use the framework to build new applications or maintain older ones can download and install the entire .NET Framework either as an independent package or as part of the official software development Kit. However, the official IDE is the easiest way to install a development version. NET- Visual Studio. Pre-packaged .NET Framework docker downloads are also available on the official portal.

What Part of the .NET Framework Is for The Backend?

Backend development inside the .NET Framework is done using C#, Visual Basic, or other supported languages. Depending on needs, backend components are developed together with any of the numerous backend libraries under the framework class library. For instance, you can use the ADO.NET library to create database connection application logic in the backend.

What are the Advantages of Upgrading to .NET from the framework?

Microsoft encourages developers to use NET 6 or higher to build new solutions because it is where the innovation is going forward. However, developers who are used to the .NET Framework and primarily develop for Windows-based systems can use it in the following ways:

Upgrading/Updating existing software – There is no need to port software developed using the Windows-only .NET Framework, according to Microsoft, as there is excellent compatibility across OS updates. As such, you can continue adding new features and fixing problems for an existing solution using the framework inside Visual Studio.

Developing for legacy hardware– Some businesses and government institutions still use legacy systems that are only compatible with WinForms and WPF interfaces and old class libraries, which Microsoft still maintains.

Building for Windows desktops, mobile, and servers–   Developers targeting Microsoft Windows systems such as Windows 10 going backward, Windows Server, and Mobile still use the.NET Framework. There is also support for independent libraries like Xamarin and Mono for cross-platform mobile development.

.NET Framework Repair Tool

The official .NET Framework repair tool helps fix common issues that occur when running NET applications on a Windows system. For example, some users my get errors that the application they are trying to run is not compatible with the installed .NET framework runtime. You can download and run this tool and it will attempt to fix these problems automatically.

Tip: Make sure you have an internet connection on your device when running the .NET framework repair tool as it will attempt to download extra or missing components while attempting to fix the problem.

What Applications Use .NET Framework?

Before the cross-platform and open source .NET Core, the .NET framework was the only desktop, web, and server software development technology built and maintained by Microsoft. One would argue that Microsoft managed to penetrate and eventually become one of the dominant players in enterprise software development using this proprietary Windows-only framework.

Owing to its dominance in Windows-based platforms like Windows for desktops and windows servers, many of the applications developed in the early to mid-2000s were built with the .NET framework. This includes most of the windows desktop and windows server applications, business solutions, utilities, and services.

A good number of web applications and websites were also built using the ASP.NET web development framework. For instance, Stack Overflow- one of the most popular web portals for software developers today- was built using the ASP.NET MVC and connected to an SQL server in the backend.

The .NET framework is still a great software development framework if you are building applications or services targeting Windows-based platforms like Windows desktop and Window server. It offers better integration with these systems, has an already established, stable, vast class library, and is actively maintained by Microsoft. It’s also favored by organizations using legacy Windows systems like Windows 7 going backward.

.NET in Enterprise Software Development

The .NET framework is heavily used in enterprise environments. Because Microsoft Windows remains the most dominant platform in the enterprise segment, the most popular off-the-shelf and bespoke business applications are either built using .NET Core or the .NET framework.

The .NET framework is a powerful and versatile platform for developing windows-based business applications. It offers a range of features and class libraries that make it an ideal choice for business software development. For example, dot Net’s object-oriented programming model makes it easy to develop enterprise-level applications quickly.

Additionally, the .NET framework comes with integrated development tools that make it easy to build and deploy simple and complex business systems to suit the specific needs of any business. Small to large enterprises prefer it because it offers better integration with systems like ActiveDirectory and other popular Microsoft enterprise systems.

Examples of business applications building using the .NET framework include:

Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERPs) – Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a type of software organizations use to manage day-to-day business activities such as accounting, procurement, project management, risk management, compliance, and supply chain operations. ERP systems integrate data and processes across the organization, enabling businesses to work more efficiently and make better decisions.

Many ERPs developed using .NET are usually built as in-house solutions by internal IT teams or as bespoke solutions by external .NET development companies. This is because ERP systems tend to be designed and optimized for specific organizational processes and needs. Microsoft Dynamics, though built with x++ offers interoperability with the .NET CLR.

Customer Relationship Management Systems- A CRM is a comprehensive system that helps businesses track and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, from lead generation to conversion, retention, and loyalty. CRMs are primarily used to manage and improve customer relationships in organizations.

Similar to ERPs, many organizations opt to use .NET to develop highly customized and closed-source CRMs using internal teams or a trusted .NET software development company. However, popular off-the-shelf CRMs like Dolibarr, Vtigger, Netsuite, Zoho, and Pipedrive have Windows desktop versions developed with .NET or compatible with the .NET framework runtime in Windows.

Project Management Software– Project management software is a type of business software that helps manage the resources, people, and activities of a business project. It typically includes features such as task management, time tracking, resource management, risk management, and file sharing. The software helps ensure that projects stay on track and come in on time and within budget.

Examples of off-the-shelf project management software built with .NET include Zenkit for Windows, Kanban Taskboard, MeisterTask, and many others. Businesses are, however, better off developing custom dotNET-based project management solutions that meet their needs and give them a competitive advantage.

Shift management and scheduling software- Shift management software is software designed to help businesses manage their employee scheduling and shift assignments. The software automates the process of assigning shifts, tracking employee availability, and managing vacation requests, as well as tracking hours worked, and labor costs. It can also be used to manage employee scheduling for multiple locations, allowing for easy coordination and communication between managers and employees.

Shift management and scheduling tools often serve very specific business needs that can be quite different from one organization to another. For this reason, it is better to have one custom-made internally or by an external .NET developer. However, generic off-the-shelf products like Agildge FSM and EzPMS do exist.

Other Examples of Software Using .NET

Aside from business application development, the .NET Framework has also been used to build all manner of things for Windows and the web. Here are some examples:

Websites and Web Applications

Many websites on the internet were built using ASP.NET MVC which is a web development framework within the .NET framework. The best example, perhaps, is Stack Overflow which was built with ASP.NET MVC and uses a Microsoft server in the backend. Other examples of websites built with the .NET framework include the Microsoft.com website, Dell.com, Godaddy.com, Ancestry.com, and many others.

Games and Game Engines

Some Windows-based pc games were built with the .NET framework because it provided the best integration with Windows OS. A good example is OpenRA which was a remake of the classic command-and-conquer game. Game engines like Game Maker Studio 2 and Unity were also originally written with C# inside the .NET Framework.

Windows Utilities and tools

Many of the nondescript Windows utilities and tools you use on a day-to-day basis were developed using the .NET framework because they need tight integration with Windows to work properly. Examples include disk defragmenters, PC cleaners, some antivirus tools, compression tools, backup utilities, etc.

Here is a list of some popular tools and software developed using C# and .NET over the years

Software nameType
Game Maker StudioGame engine
Low Orbit Ion CannonNetwork stress testing and DDOS testing tool
NMathNumerical package
Open RaFree PC game
Microsoft Visual StudioIntegrated development environment (IDE)
BansheeCross-platform media player (open source)
ColecticaOpen-source statistical tools
HandbrakeDigital video transcoder (open source)
LphantPeer-to-peer file sharing

Note: There are probably millions of tools, utilities, and software out there developed using the .NET framework.  For years, the NET framework has been the most preferred framework for developers targeting Microsoft Windows platforms. Most organizations still develop with .NET exclusively as they rely on other Microsoft enterprise solutions like Microsoft Dynamics.

What Are the Features of the .NET Framework?

The main features that make up the .NET Framework include:

  1. NET
  2. .NET Remoting
  3. Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)
  4. NET
  5. Windows Communication Foundation (WCF)
  6. Windows CardSpace (WCS)
  7. Windows Workflow Foundation (WWF)

ASP.NET Framework

ASP.NET is a web application framework that programmers can use to build dynamic websites, web applications, and web services inside Visual Studio. It is part of the .NET framework and allows programmers to write ASP.NET code using any supported .NET language.

The ASP.NET framework provides an environment for developing and running web applications and includes features such as server-side scripting, a security infrastructure, state management, caching, and more. Millions of websites and web applications out there were built using ASP.NET mainly using its implementation of the Model View Pattern (MVC).

.NET Remoting

.NET Remoting is a technology within the .NET Framework that allows objects to communicate across application domains (processes that run in their own memory space). It is the successor to Microsoft’s Component Object Model (COM) and is used to enable software applications to communicate with each other over a network.

In enterprise-level software development environments, .NET Remoting is mainly used for distributed computing and enables software components to communicate with each other over a network. It is also used for distributed application development, where applications running on different computers can communicate with each other and exchange data.

.NET Remoting supports various communication protocols, including TCP, HTTP, and IPC, and it can be used to build distributed applications using various programming languages, such as C#, Visual Basic .NET, and C++.

Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)

Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) is a graphical design component inside .NET Framework used for rendering user interfaces in Windows-based applications. WPF provides developers with a unified programming model for building rich Windows smart client user experiences that incorporate UI, media, and documents.

In terms of features, WPF provides things like data binding, layout, 2D and 3D graphics, animation, styles, and templates. It is built on DirectX and leverages graphics hardware acceleration. WPF applications can be deployed as desktop applications, browser-hosted applications, or mobile applications.

WPF uses XAML (Extensible Application Markup Language) to create and arrange user interface elements, such as buttons, lists, and menus. WPF also includes animation, layout, data binding, and media playback capabilities.

ADO.NET

ADO.NET is a set of software components that you can use to access data and data services from a variety of sources for their applications. It is a part of the .NET framework and is designed to provide access to relational data, XML data, and data services. ADO.NET provides a consistent programming model for data access, regardless of the data source.

ADO includes a managed provider that lets you use a common set of components to access and manipulate a variety of data sources, such as Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle databases. ADO.NET also includes classes for working with XML data, including LINQ to XML for manipulating XML documents in a strongly typed manner.

While developing database-connected applications inside the .NET Core, you will use the ADO component to define a database connection. It also allows you to programmatically access data in a database and manipulate it using embedded SQL statements.

Windows Communication Foundation (WCF)

Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) is a software development platform from Microsoft that enables applications to communicate with each other over a variety of networks and protocols. It is part of the larger .NET Framework and provides a framework for building service-oriented applications.

WCF supports a variety of communication protocols, including HTTP, TCP, Named Pipes, and MSMQ. WCF enables distributed applications to communicate using SOAP-based messages, as well as binary and JSON messages. WCF was designed to be extensible, allowing it to support a variety of other protocols, such as the RESTful Web API. WCF also supports security, transactions, and reliable messaging, making it an ideal platform for building enterprise-level applications.

Windows CardSpace (WCS)

Windows CardSpace (WCS) is an identity management system inside .NET that is designed to simplify the process of securely sharing personal information online. It enables users to create a digital identity that can be used to provide identifying information to websites, applications, and services.

Implemented in a web application, WCS allows your users to securely store, manage, and share information such as name, address, phone number, and more. The system also includes strong security measures to ensure that data is kept private. In addition, WCS provides an easy-to-use interface that makes it simple for users to manage their digital identities.

Windows Workflow Foundation (WWF)

Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) is a programming model, workflow engine, and rehostable designer provided by Microsoft as a part of the .NET Framework for building workflow-enabled applications on Windows. WF enables developers to create applications that model a business process or system. It provides a graphical designer to visually create and edit workflows, as well as an execution engine to execute the workflow.

WF also provides a set of activities to create applications such as data transformation, control flow, and web services interaction. Additionally, WF provides a set of rules and conditions to define the logic of the workflow. WF simplifies the development of distributed applications and services, allowing developers to create reusable components that can be easily modified and extended.

Is .NET Framework Frontend or Backend?

.NET Framework can be described as a full-stack framework as it can be used to develop both frontend and backend components. It is a development framework used to create applications that run on the Windows operating system and web applications using ASP.NET. For example, the WPF component is used to design windows frontends while ADO.NET provides access to backend resources like databases.

How to Remove the .NET Framework Totally

Follow the step below to remove all versions of the .NET Framework installed on your Windows computer. Before you do, remember that removing the framework totally will prevent any .NET applications installed on your computer from running. You will also not be able to test any .NET Framework applications you develop in Visual Studio.

  1. Click the start button and type “control panel” then press enter to open the control panel
  2. Click Programs and Features
  3. Select all Microsoft .NET Framework versions you want to uninstall and click Uninstall/Change.
  4. When prompted to confirm the uninstall, click Yes.
  5. Follow the instructions that appear on the screen.
  6. When the uninstall process is complete, restart your computer.

Note: Only uninstall all versions of the .NET framework if you are experiencing errors and intend to reinstall the correct versions. You need the CLR to run most Windows applications installed on your PC. An alternative and safer method is to use the NET Framework Repair Tool described earlier to fix .NET framework-related issues.

What Is the Difference Between the NET Framework and Visual Studio?

NET Framework is a software development platform created by Microsoft that runs primarily on Microsoft Windows. It includes a large library of coded solutions to common programming problems and a virtual machine that manages the execution of programs written specifically for the framework.

On the other hand, Visual Studio is an integrated development environment (IDE) created by Microsoft that provides a graphical user interface for developing and debugging computer programs. Visual Studio provides a code editor, debugger, and other tools for creating applications that are based on the .NET Framework.

List all versions of the .NET Framework

Here are all the versions of the .NET framework in chronological order.

.NET Framework Version Release dateSupport Status
Version 4.0April 2010Support ended
Version 4.5August 2012Support ended
Version 4.5.1October 2013Support ended
Version 4.5.2May 2014Support ended
Version 4.6July 2015Support ended
Version 4.6.1November 2015Support ended
Version 3.5 SP1November 2008Up to 2029 -special edition
Version 4.6.2August 2016Supported
Version4.7April 2017Supported
Version 4.7.1October 2017Supported
Version 4.7.2April 2018Supported
Version 4.8April 2019Supported
4.8.1August 2022Supported

The most recent recommended version of the .NET framework is version 4.8 released in late 2019. The latest version released in late 2022 is still in beta at the time of publishing this guide to the .NET framework.

How to Fix .NET Framework 4.8 Runtime When Files Are Removed

The best way to fix missing .NET framework file errors or corrupted file errors during runtime is to use the NET Framework Repair Tool provided by Microsoft. The tool scans any installed .NET frameworks for errors and corrects them by repairing corrupted files or downloading fresh ones from the official Microsoft .NET framework repository.

Alternatively, you can try and uninstall all versions of the .NET framework installed on your PC and download a fresh copy for reinstallation as described earlier in this .NET framework guide. Make sure you download your .NET framework copy from the official Microsoft URL at https://dotnet.microsoft.com/en-us/download/dotnet-framework.

Tip: Don’t attempt to download individual missing files from third-party internet websites to fix “file-removed” errors related to your .NET framework install. Doing this will corrupt your system and probably install trojan horses and malware on your computer.

How to Install Net Framework 3.5 Into A Prefix

Here is how to install the special edition .NET framework 3.5 into a prefix using the command prompt:

  1. Download the .NET Framework 3.5 installation package from the Microsoft website – https://dotnet.microsoft.com/en-us/download/dotnet-framework/net35-sp1
  2. Open Command Prompt and switch to the location where you downloaded the .NET Framework 3.5 installation package.
  3. Type the following command to install .NET Framework 3.5 with the prefix:

Dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFx3 /source:<path to the .NET Framework 3.5 installation package> /all /limitaccess /prefix:<prefix>

  1. Press Enter to execute the command.
  2. Restart your computer when the installation is complete to complete the process. Your .NET 3.5 framework is now installed and ready to use.

How to Run .Net Framework 4.5.2 On macOS

The .NET framework was created to run on Windows systems and is, therefore not compatible with the Unix-based Mac OS. To run the framework on a Mac computer, you may need to install Windows on a virtual machine inside MacOS.

As an alternative, you can use .NET Core, which is an open-source, cross-platform version of dotNET. It can be downloaded from the .NET website and used to develop applications for macOS, Linux, and Windows.

How to install .NET Framework 3.5 without using Windows Features

It is possible to install .NET Framework 3.5 without using Windows features. This can be done by downloading the full installation package from Microsoft’s website and running the installer.

The installation package can be found at https://dotnet.microsoft.com/en-us/download/dotnet-framework/net35-sp1

Once the installation package is downloaded, simply double-click the installer to start the installation process. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

How to Make A .Net Framework Trusted Program and Install It

There are several ways to make a trusted and installable .NET program. Here is the easiest procedure from a developer’s perspective:

  1. Create your program using the .NET Framework inside the official Visual Studio IDE
  2. Compile the program into an executable file using Visual Studio
  3. Sign the executable file with a trusted certificate
  4. Create an installation package for the program.
  5. Upload the package and certificate to a secure server
  6. Create a link in the registry to the executable file
  7. Create an association between the executable file and the certificate
  8. Configure the security permissions for the executable file
  9. Publish the installation package
  10. Distribute the installation package to the users.
  11. Let the users download and install the software

As an additional and optional step, make sure the users are aware of the security implications of running a trusted program on their PC. They must have the .NET framework runtime installed to run the trusted program (most Windows OS installs come with it).

How to Run A. Exe That Requires .NET Framework on Steam Deck

Sadly, you cannot run any .exe file that requires a .NET framework on Steam Deck. Steam Deck does not support any type of .exe files or installation packages and it is not capable of running programs that require the .NET framework. Steam deck games must be downloaded from the official store.

How to Convert .Net Framework programs to .Net Core

There is no compelling reason or necessity to convert .NET framework programs into the modern, cross-platform .NET Core platform unless you need to deploy across platforms. Microsoft actively supports the .NET framework as it is still the best option for developing Windows-only applications.

However, you can port older .NET framework programs using the following guidelines:

  1. Start by Identifying the components and libraries used in the .NET Framework program. This will help you determine if they are available in the .NET Core platform.
  2. Evaluate the code to identify any platform-specific features or APIs used in the .NET Framework program that may not be available in .NET Core. Some older libraries and windows-only frontend design features are not available in .NET Core.
  3. If the program uses APIs or features not available in .NET Core, look for alternatives or rewrite the code to use .NET Core-compatible APIs and features.
  4. If the program is dependent on any third-party libraries, ensure that the .NET Core-compatible versions of the libraries are available.
  5. After the code has been updated to use .NET Core compatible APIs and features, test the program to ensure that it functions as expected. Ported .NET programs can be buggy and unresponsive if deployed in modern architectures and non-Windows platforms like Linux
  6. Finally, deploy the updated program to the .NET Core platform of your choice

Example of .NET Framework Program

Here is a simple addition console program written with the .NET framework

<code>

using System;

namespace AddTwoNumbers

{

class Program

{

static void Main(string[] args)

{

int num1, num2, result;

Console.WriteLine(“Enter the First Number: “);

num1 = int.Parse(Console.ReadLine());

Console.WriteLine(“Enter the Second Number: “);

num2 = int.Parse(Console.ReadLine());

result = num1 + num2;

Console.WriteLine(“The sum of the two numbers is {0}”, result);

Console.ReadLine();

}

}

}

<Code/>

The above example runs in the console (command line) and asks the user to input two numbers. It then sums the two numbers and outputs the results in the console.

The .NET Framework has been and continues to be one of the most important technologies in the industry. Also, Microsoft has committed to keeping it alive through regular (annual) updates. However, we advise new development projects to be built using .NET Core or NET 6 and higher.