In This Chapter:
This book teaches you how to use the .NET Framework and the C# and VB languages to build great applications. Before we dive in and start building, though, we need to lay down the fundamentals so that you'll have a better understanding of what you're doing as you develop applications. If you're new to .NET programming, this overview chapter is important; but if you're familiar with .NET programming, you can skip it.
In this chapter, you'll learn about the .NET architecture, including the common language runtime, the Base Class Libraries (BCL), and assemblies. A general discussion of .NET languages, which will help you understand the C# language better, follows. Most applications in this book are built using ASP.NET, so we'll introduce the basics of ASP.NET. Web Forms and WinForms provide a unified user interface mechanism, so we'll spend a short time discussing the basics of WinForms. WinForms are used to create desktop applications with a standard Windows user interface, while Web Forms are used to create Web applications. And finally, we'll introduce Microsoft's newest database-access technology, ADO.NET, an extremely important .NET technology because so many applications access databases.
In general, most examples will be created and built with Visual Studio .NET. You can, however, create the applications and examples in the book without Visual Studio .NET if you are willing to use a text editor and the .NET command-line utilities such as the CSC (for C#) and VBC (for VB) compilers.