Application development in .NET
Client Side Application Development
Client applications are applications that run on the client system-or the desktop of the user. They are closest to the traditional windows based applications and they display forms or windows on the desktop enabling the user perform predefined tasks. Word processors and spread sheets are examples of client applications that employ menus, GUI elements and access local resources such as printers and scanners.
A different kind of Client application is the ActiveX component (now deployed as Windows Forms control) that is displayed as an Internet web page. These applications are executed on the local machine, have access to local resources and include graphical elements. They were earlier created with the help of Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC) or with Rapid Application development tools (RAD)(for example Visual Basic) using C/C++ languages.
The .NET framework integrates these aspects of application development into its existing products to present a single, consistent production environment for the developer. The Windows Forms control which has replaced the ActiveX controls has a semi trusted access to the user’s computer. The binary or natively executing code can now access some of the resources on the user’s system without compromising other aspects of the systems.
This access security additionally enables applications not installed on the user’s system to be deployed through the web. The application so deployed can implement all the features of the local application while being accessed over the network.
Server Application Development
Runtime hosts are used for deploying applications in the managed code world. Unmanaged applications host the CLR. This allows the user mange custom code to control the behavior of the server. This provides the application with all the advantages of the CLR and Class Library and the performance and scalability of the host server.
ASP.NET is a hosting side environment that enables developers use the .NET framework to deploy web based applications, as well as for developing web sites and Internet distributed Web services that use IIS and ASP.NET for publishing the applications.
XML Web services are distributed server side application components that have no UI but have software components designed to be consumed by other applications such as client applications, web based applications etc. In this connection, .NET Framework also provides a collection of classes and tools that aid in the development and consumption of XML Web Services applications.
These applications are built on standards such as SOAP, XML (Extensible Markup language) and WSDL (Web services Description language). These standards promote interoperability with non Microsoft solutions.
In this section we have examined the .NET Framework and the components and the type of application support that has been provided by it to client and Server side applications. In the next section of this tutorial we will briefly examine the changes and improvements that have been made to the .NET Framework 2.0 in the BETA version.