.NET is a popularly used software development platform that Microsoft launched to make the life of developers easy. The platform runs on the Operating System of Microsoft Windows. The platform offers libraries and tools with the help of which developers can conveniently create applications rapidly, effortlessly, and more secure.
The web development solutions offered by this platform comprises a base class library that caters to a vast range of programming needs in numerous areas using Interface, network communications, data access, web application development, etc. Hence, a .NET development company can build robust applications with greater ease. The .NET framework has changed a lot since when it was newly introduced.
In the year 1990, the development of the .NET framework started with Next Generation Windows Service. This was the label under which Microsoft started the development of the .NET framework. The beta version of this framework was released in 2001. After the final release of the first .NET version, the framework underwent several changes and a total of nine versions were released after that.
The final and the latest version of the .NET framework is 4.8. Version 5.0 is expected to be released soon.
The .NET framework version 1.0 was the initial version and has everything the developers require to run applications on the .NET framework. This version includes the Class Library, CLR and ASP.NET as well.
- It uses DLL class libraries.
- CLR 1.0 was introduced.
- It supports the development of object-oriented web apps.
Release Date: In Feb 2002
Version 1.1 of the .NET framework was the first major upgrade after its earlier version. The version has mobile controls that support the development of apps for mobile devices. This version includes ADO.NET classes as well, which aids communication using database connectivity and Oracle Databases. This release has helped developers by solving the errors that were there in the previous version.
- As mentioned, this version supports built-in ODBC.
- The internet protocol version is also supported.
- For ASP.NET applications the version 1.1 enables code security.
Release Date: Published in April 2003.
After the success of the 1.1 version, Microsoft released a compact version of .NET that was named .NET Framework 2.0. The primary focus of this version is to enhance the productivity of developers to a great extent. The version was updated with the latest features, including XML data types, asynchronous database operations, and snapshot isolation.
- Tracing data filtering.
- Improvements to ADO.NET and ASP.NET.
- Programmatic caching control.
- Support of access control list.
- Enhancements in EventLog.
Release Date: Released in January 2006.
The new release of.NET was version 3.0 and this release embraced rich GUI capabilities, ensuring that the communication with the users is as friendly as possible. The new version serves as a managed programming model as it includes new sets of the managed code APIs. This version has four core components: windows communication foundation, windows presentation foundation, windows CardSpace, and windows workflow foundations.
- Extension Methods.
- Implicit typed local variable.
- Arrays that are implicitly typed.
- Lambda expressions.
Release Date: In the year 2006.
Version 3.5 was the next incarnation in the Windows programming language. Version 3.5 has some useful additions which ultimately impact numerous areas of version 3.0. For example, the new version has some notable improvements in WF, WCF, and WPF. The base class library has several additions as well that included enhanced encryption support and unordered gathering of all unique elements.
- Threadpool Performance Enhancements.
- Web service Interoperability.
- Enhancements in socket performance.
- Cryptography enhancements.
Release Date: Released in the year 2007.
The new version 4.0, was not just an extension or addition of the features, but the entire .NET architecture was examined and then enhanced accordingly. This version has parallel extensions to make parallel computing support possible, which targets multi-core or distributed systems. This version is also compatible with the applications developed using earlier versions.
- The base class is expanded.
- Complex numbers and BigInteger.
- The runtime of dynamic language.
- Contravariance and Covariance.
Release Date: In 2010
This version of the framework includes significant framework and enhancement of language for C#, Visual basic and F#. It has considerable expansions in other areas, including Windows workflow foundation, managed extensibility framework, ASP.NET, windows identity foundation, etc.
- Enhanced WWF, WCF, WPF.
- .NET Support enhanced.
- Enhanced CLR 4.0
Release Date: 2012
i. .NET Framework 4.5.1
This version was just an update of 4.5 and included additional features.
- The capability of handling return values.
- Provides support for redirection of automatic binding.
- Enhanced reliability and performance.
Release Date: October 2013
ii. .NET Framework 4.5.2
This version was another update with new features.
- Latest workflow features.
- Improvements for scenarios with high DPI.
- Extended controls for resizing windows forms.
Release Date: May 2014
This update in the .NET Framework was extremely compatible with the other versions, such as 4.0, 4.5, and similar other versions. The version supports Windows 8, Windows Server 2012 RC, etc.
- Code page encodings are supported.
- A JIT compiler was introduced, named RYuJIT.
- Enhancement of event tracking.
Release Date: 2015
i. .NET Framework 4.6.1
This update has a list of the latest features.
- Developments of spell checking in WPF.
- The Native Image Generators (NGEN) PDBs.
Release Date: November 2015
ii. .NET Framework 4.6.2
The launch of this update included some additional features.
- Enhancements in cryptography.
- Element initializers.
Release Date: August 2016.
This version is an in-place update of the previous version. Applications built with version 4.6.2 run smoothly even when the framework version is updated to 4.7. In this version, along with ASP.NET object cache extensibility is also added. This version has performance enhancements and next level reliability.
- Extensible Object Cache.
- Enhanced Transport Layer Security (TLS).
- High DPI Support
Release Date: 2017
i. .NET Framework 4.7.1
This version is just an extension of the previous version with added features.
- Portable DBs are supported.
- Enhanced performance in garbage collection.
Release Date: October 2017
ii. .NET Framework 4.7.2
Another extension with additional features.
- Encompasses support of same-site cookies.
- Support of Ephemeral keys.
Release Date: April 2018
With the release of this version, all earlier versions of the .NET framework, several fixes were added along with some additional features. If you want to obtain the benefits of the latest version of the .NET framework, you will have to install the updated Windows 7 SPI on your system.
- Improvements in JIT.
- Enhancements inaccessibility.
- Scanning of all Antimalware assemblies.
- Updated ZLib.
Since the release of its first version in 2002, the .NET framework has emerged as one of the leading platforms for developing Windows apps. A .NET Development Company has developers who are well versed in all different versions of the framework and can easily build robust applications. Enterprises, Microsoft and ISVs widely use .NET, and all different versions have proven their values.