Title: What Is A “Dot Net” And Should I Install It?

Word Count:
641

Summary:
Online home business owners depend on a lot of different software tools to manage both their websites and their office procedures. They would soon become overwhelmed with the work if they did not automate various parts of their workload.

While evaluating new software usually a trial download is offered to ?test drive? it and see exactly how it functions. As part of the download and installation of this software more and more applications are now requiring that the user fir…

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Article Body:
Online home business owners depend on a lot of different software tools to manage both their websites and their office procedures. They would soon become overwhelmed with the work if they did not automate various parts of their workload.

While evaluating new software usually a trial download is offered to ?test drive? it and see exactly how it functions. As part of the download and installation of this software more and more applications are now requiring that the user first install the ?.NET Framework 2.0?. What exactly is this and should you be concerned when asked to install it?

.Net (pronounced ?dot Net?) has been around since 2002. It?s not brand new or beta technology. It is software that is developed and distributed by Microsoft. If you were to search their website for .Net, you would find it defined as: ?? software that connects information, people, systems, and devices.?

Initially Microsoft began naming all of their software with .Net added to it. This marketing plan did not work as expected so they went a different direction; giving the impression that .Net was dead.

In reality .Net is far from dead. More specifically the ?.Net Framework? goes far deeper than the initial definition above. The ?Framework? is a collection of library type programs Microsoft has written which make writing business and other applications for the Windows OS more reliable and robust. It is used primarily by software developers and programmers.

An average person downloading and installing the framework directly from Microsoft?s website would probably not be impressed after installation. From their view point nothing would work differently on their PC and there would be no additional applications to run.

Microsoft defines the ?Framework? as: ?? an integral Windows component for building and running the next generation of software applications and Web services.?

The ?Framework? operates between business applications and the Windows operating system. It provides a vast collection of programming libraries which developers can use to display windows, manipulate text and numbers, send email, talk to other computers, etc. It also provides a consistent method of programming for the desktop environment, the web server environment and many of the new portable electronic devices being released. The framework also takes advantage of the latest programming techniques (object oriented development) which have been in use by other programming languages such as Java.

So what does this all mean for the average home business owner and should they really even care?

– The .Net Framework is reliable and safe to install.

– Business applications are easier to install and keep updated.

– Business applications can be integrated more easily with other applications and other websites. They can also make better use of new hardware devices being continually released.

– Microsoft is making stronger security practices a more integrated part of software development.

– Microsoft is integrating the .Net framework in its own software products which it sells.

– The .Net Framework is becoming a core part of the Windows OS. In the near future it will no longer be a separate download.

The .Net Framework is NOT ?magic software? which allows all new applications to be bug-free and reliable. It is simply a complex framework or environment for programmers to develop with. It also provides a richer, cleaner, and more complete environment than in the past. Good software development and quality control procedures are still very important for the final business application product.

So today, if you see new home business software products which require the ?.NET Framework 2.0?, feel assured that the latest and greatest development environment is being used as part of the software product and that it is safe to install.

For further information and reading check out: http://msdn.microsoft.com/netframework/technologyinfo/overview/

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