Monday, April 04, 2005

[itsdifferent] Top Ten Technologies in .Net Development

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Deven Goratela <>
Date: Apr 1, 2005 7:06 PM
Subject: [itsdifferent] Top Ten Technologies in .Net Development

Microsoft's .Net platform is finally happening! From Web Services to small devices Microsoft is offering number of different solutions surrounding the .Net platform. These solutions are based on carefully positioned strategies and technologies. If you are planning to board the .Net ship it is ideal that you master these technologies. If your organization has to provide end-to-end .Net Solutions, then these are the technologies that will make your team complete. 

These technologies, tools or development topics have been chosen with help from Microsoft India. We have not considered Operating Systems such as Windows Server 2003 as well as specific software tools such as Visual You need command over these tools and technologies if you have to developer applications.

  • development
    ASP.NET is a set of technologies in the Microsoft .NET Framework for building Web applications and XML Web services. ASP.NET pages execute on the server and generate markup such as HTML, WML, or XML that is sent to a desktop or mobile browser. ASP.NET pages use a compiled, event-driven programming model that improves performance and enables the separation of application logic and user interface. 
    ASP.NET pages and ASP.NET XML Web services files contain server-side logic (as opposed to client-side logic) written in Visual Basic .NET, C# .NET, or any. NET-compatible language. Web applications and XML Web services take advantage of the features of the common language runtime, such as type safety, inheritance, language interoperability, versioning, and integrated security.
    Why ASP.Net? assumes great significance within Microsoft's grand plans. More and more web applications are written using server side scripts these days. You can understand that since is the only Server Side Scripting Language supporting .Net (if you ignore Python.Net and Perl.Net), learning this technology is quite important. goes beyond Microsoft's erstwhile ASP technology including better Language Support, facility of Event Driven Programming, Programmable Controls, XML Based Components, and User Authentication. You also need to remember that is not exactly compatible with ASP, and goes beyond ASP scripting. Microsoft had introduced a 2 MB lightweight version called Web Matrix, which lets you learn ASP without much investment. Beginners can learn ASP using Web Matrix.
    The .NET Framework technology for interacting with data, Microsoft ADO.NET, is designed for Web-based style of data access. Using ADO.NET, developers have the option of working with a platform-neutral, XML-based cache of the requested data, instead of directly manipulating the database. 
    This approach to data access frees up database connections and results in significantly greater scalability.ADO.NET is designed to build on the strength of the ADO programming model, while providing an evolution of data access technology to meet the changing needs of the developer. It is designed to leverage your existing knowledge of ADO, while giving you much finer control over the components, resources, and behavior of your applications when accessing and working with data.
    The answer is simple. In the Internet age, more and more applications are getting web enabled. provides the best way to access data for web application within the .Net scheme of things.
  • Web Services
    Web services are self-contained business functions that operate over the Internet. They are written to strict specifications to work together and with other similar kinds of components. Some of the more established functions at this stage are messaging, directories of business capabilities, and descriptions of technical services. But other functions are in the works as well. Microsoft is betting on its XML Web Services platform, and it forms a key part of the .Net framework.
    Why XML Web Services? 
    The very idea of the .Net platform has evolved out of the need for creating a platform for tomorrow's Web Services. Microsoft .Net Web Services are built on number of open technologies such as XML, SOAP, HTTP, and UDDI . You can use or the different CLR compliable languages to create XML Web Services.
  • COM Interoperability
    The XML web services can be considered as an extension of Microsoft's legacy technology of COM. Since many of Microsoft's customers has invested millions of dollars in developing COM based technology. How does a .NET application connect to unmanaged code, including COM libraries, ActiveX controls, and native (Win32) DLLs? Microsoft has ensured that .Net framework provides backward compatibility to these legacy applications. But of course some amounts of recoding and tweaking are necessary.
    Why COM Interoperability? 
    COM Interoperability is not a technology, but an opportunity as far as .Net developers go. There are several millions of dollars worth legacy applications, which needs to be updated to the .Net age. A sample example is changing Windows API programs to .Net framework libraries. Yet another example can be a project to call COM components from .Net clients.
  • Winforms
    Windows Forms is a framework for building Windows client applications that utilize the common language runtime. Windows Forms applications can be written in any language that the common language runtime supports including C#, Visual, J# and many more. Windows Forms is a programming model for developing Windows applications that combines the simplicity of the Visual Basic 6.0 programming model with the power and flexibility of the common language runtime. 
    Why Winforms? 
    Windows Forms takes advantage of the versioning and deployment features of the common language runtime to offer reduced deployment costs and higher application robustness over time. This significantly lowers the maintenance costs (TCO) for applications written in Windows Forms. In addition, Windows Forms offers an architecture for controls and control containers that is based on concrete implementation of the control and container classes. This significantly reduces control-container interoperability issues. At the end of the if you are creating Client Side programs the best bet is to Winforms, independent of which language you are coding.
  • Microsoft Mobile Internet Tool Kit (MMITK)
    This freely downloadable tool kit is .Net's best bet to build mobile Web applications. The ASP.NET mobile controls, originally delivered as the Microsoft Mobile Internet Toolkit, contain server-side technology that enables ASP.NET to deliver markup to a wide variety of mobile devices. These devices include WML and cHTML cell phones, HTML pagers, and PDAs like the Pocket PC
    Why MMITK? 
    If Microsoft is lagging behind Java somewhere it has to be in the mobile devices space. Microsoft hopes that developers will soon be shipping applications, using the MMITK and Visual There is a dearth of mobile applications developers on Microsoft platform. So install MMITK today.
  • .NET Framework Class Library
    The .NET Framework, which is an environment for developing, deploying, and running .NET applications, consists of three basic parts: ASP.NET, the Common Language Runtime (CLR), and the .NET Framework classes.
    The .NET Framework classes (or the System classes) provide a huge amount of core functionality that Microsoft has made available and that you can take advantage of when building ASP.NET (and non-ASP.NET) applications. The System classes are available to developers of all .NET languages. Think of the System classes as the Windows API of .NET. Unlike the Windows API, however, the System classes provide high-level COM-like interfaces that are fairly easy to employ.
    Why .Net Framework Classes? 
    The .Net Framework classes are important not just because it is an integral part of the framework, but because it provides you with the best method to develop non-ASP applications on the net. 
  • .Net Remoting
    Microsoft .NET remoting provides a framework that allows objects to interact with one another across application domains. The framework provides a number of services, including activation and lifetime support, as well as communication channels responsible for transporting messages to and from remote applications. Formatters are used for encoding and decoding the messages before the channel transports them. Applications can use binary encoding where performance is critical, or XML encoding where interoperability with other remoting frameworks is essential. All XML encoding uses the SOAP protocol in transporting messages from one application domain to the other. Remoting was designed with security in mind, and a number of hooks are provided that allow channel sinks to gain access to the messages and serialized stream before the stream is transported over the channel. In other words .Net remoting can be described as a technology for a managing RPC between two domains.
    Why .NET remoting? 
    NET Remoting is a useful tool to employ in certain types of distributed solutions. It offers an extensible model in terms of the protocols and message formats it can support and can offer performance advantages in specific scenarios.
  • Smart Devices Extensions
    The .Net Smart Devices Extensions is key to Microsoft's embedded devices road map. Key development is on the Microsoft Compact .Net Framework. Microsoft .NET Compact Framework is the smart device development platform for the Microsoft .NET initiative and a key part of realizing Microsoft's goal to provide customers with great experiences-any time, any place, and on any device. The .NET Compact Framework brings the world of managed code and XML Web services to smart devices, and it enables the execution of secure, downloadable applications on devices such as personal digital assistants (PDAs), mobile phones, and set-top boxes. 
    Because the .NET Compact Framework is a subset of the full desktop .NET Framework, developers can easily reuse existing programming skills and existing code throughout the device, desktop, and server environments. 
    Why Smart Devices Extensions?
    It has been answered in the explanation above. The embedded and smart devices space is expected to be worth 50 USD Billion market in the coming days. And if .Net will have some share of the market, then Smart Devices Extensions programmability is key to reaching there. If you are a developer in Visual environment then writing applications of .Net Compact Framework will not be difficult. The .Net Compact Framework is a subset of .Net Famework.
  • Enterprise Classes
    Classes written using the Microsoft .NET Framework can leverage COM+ services. When used from .NET, COM+ services are referred to as Enterprise Services. COM provides one way to write component based applications. It is well known that the plumbing work required to write COM components is significant and repetitive. COM+ is not so much about a new version of COM, rather, COM+ provides a services infrastructure for components. Components are built and then installed in COM+ applications in order to build scalable server applications that achieve high throughput with ease of deployment. (If a component does not need to use any services, then it should not be placed in a COM+ application). Scalability and throughput is achieved by designing applications from the outset to make use of services such as transactions, object pooling and activity semantics. 
    The .NET Framework provides another way to write component based applications and has the advantages over the COM programming model of better tool support, the common language runtime (CLR) and a much easier coding syntax. The COM+ services infrastructure can accessed from managed and unmanaged code. The System.EnterpriseServices namespace provides the programming model to add services to managed classes. 
    Why Enterprise Services? 
    Like COM interoperability Enterprise Services for .Net is more of an opportunity for developers. However the underlying technologies are worth a detailed study.

This article only touches the tip of an iceberg. If you have to build capabilities in .Net development, these ten topics will help you, to get a start. This does not mean that you need to learn all ten. Even mastering one of these technologies will provide you with an edge over your competition. But of course, you need to break the ice and go in-depth and check it out ofr yourself!



Deven Goratela


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