The .NET framework (DotNet)is a new Microsoft initiative directed to the modification of computer world. More specifically, it is a large set of development tools, servers, software, and services. Its main advantages for the user are creation of an integrated information space connecting him or her with computers and programs, as well as connection software applications together. For developers, the value of DotNet lies in interoperability and the seamless connectivity of multiple systems and sources of data. This empowers them to quickly and easily create required products.
The IT department manager of every company has a dream — an enterprise that performs all business transactions with partners exceptionally over the Internet, with no headaches about the business processes. For this to happen, the processes must be well designed, stable, and easily customized and controlled both from the local network and from any computer in the Internet. All company’s employees should have general access to work information, Email and personal documents no matter if they use mobile phone, Pocket PC, Notebook or high-end workstation.
Nowadays, in an age of rapid development of E-commerce, the existing tools for creating digital marketplaces do not always handle the business needs. By developing the new means for this field a major breakthrough belongs to XML Web services. For a long period of time these were used by program engineering services provided by external software. When it became clear that it is easier to once create a universal information storage facility and to integrate it into different programs than invent each time a new one, there appeared first Database Management Systems. Next step was the creation of messaging and collaboration systems, e.g. Lotus Notes and Exchange, which simultaneously served as development platforms. Then came into use, the products providing messages delivery (Message Oriented Middleware), such as IBM MQSeries and MSMQ. They allowed to organize message exchange in distributed system with manifold (and often unreliable) communication links. Their difference from mail servers lay in the fact that they were oriented on information exchange not between people but various parts of program systems. Finally, one of the last tendencies became Application Servers and Enterprise Application Integration Servers. First ones allow to create scalable solutions of simple software components giving them a ready means of supporting distributed transactions, controlling access to total resources (particularly, connection with database) etc. Enterprise Application Integration Server acts as a glue, being the intermediate among existing program systems and helping them to process data and exchange references. Web services enhance and extend the value of these existing technologies. They allow an object’s methods to be called over the Internet via HTTP. As a result, programs written in any language, and running on any operating system, can access .NET applications implemented as web services. By introducing a common, well-known standards of interaction between software, Web service technology allows for the creation of inter-corporate information systems without protracted coordination of proprietary interfaces. In addition, the use of HTTP as the transport mechanism allows remote calls to these services to pass through corporate firewalls without compromising security. Web services existed before .NET was introduced, but the .NET framework makes creation of web services far easier than they otherwise would be.
Breaking down the distinctions between the Internet, standalone applications, and computing devices of every kind, Web services provide businesses with the opportunity to collaborate and to offer an unprecedented range of integrated and customized solutions – solutions that enable their customers to act on information any time, any place and on any device.
DotNet technology offers other far-reaching benefits for IT professionals. It enables programmers to develop powerful information systems using all capabilities of modern computers and networks without implementing helper functions implementation — almost all of these functions are subsumed into the platform). It allows to concentrate only on the business logic of the product. Thus developers will be able to quickly create high-quality (and easy!) programs with a multitude of Internet integrated capabilities while reducing costs.
Built on XML Web service standards Microsoft .NET-connected software enables both new and existing applications to connect with software and services across platforms, applications, and programming languages. DotNet is already shifting the focus from individual Web sites or devices connected to the Internet to constellations of computers, devices, and services that work together to deliver more comprehensive programs.