Welcome to another part of the series C# From Scratch, a course dedicated to teaching you everything you need to know to be productive with the C# programming language.
In the previous part of the series, we looked at the different versions of .NET that are available to use for our C# projects. That part of the series is available here.
In this part of the series, we’ll look at what .NET does for our application.
What Does .NET Do?
Your computer can’t execute the code you write in C# directly.
To actually get code to execute on your machine (or any machine for that matter), you need an additional piece of software that translates the instructions in your source code file into something that can be executed by the computer. For C#, this additional piece of software is .NET.
.NET can be broken down into two main parts. There is the Common Language Runtime, more commonly known as the CLR, and the Framework Class Library, known as the FCL.
The Common Language Runtime
The CLR is responsible for running your .NET application.
The CLR is the tool that executes your application — it starts your application, manages the memory that your application is using and translates the instructions in your source code into instructions that the processor can understand.
The Framework Class Library
The Framework Class Library is a library of code that is written and tested by other developers.
You can use the Framework Class Library to perform common tasks in your application without having to write the code yourself. Using software from the Framework Class Library, you can perform basic tasks like opening files, storing data in a database and, communicating over a network.
The SDK that you downloaded and installed on your machine contains the .NET Runtime, the Framework Class Library, and some additional tools to make developing .NET applications with C# easier.
Now that we understand the parts of .NET and what .NET does for our application, let’s create our first application using a tool that was installed as with the .NET SDK — the .NET Command Line Interface.
Missed a part of the series? You can find an overview of the series and links to all previous parts on the index page.