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.NET Framework Class Library in Visual Studio

The .NET Framework class library is made up of namespaces. Each namespace contains types that you can use in your program: classes, structures, enumerations, delegates, and interfaces.

When you create a Visual Basic or Visual C# project in Visual Studio, the most common base class DLLs (assemblies) are already referenced. However, if you have to use a type that is in a DLL not already referenced, you will have to add a reference to the DLL. For more information, see Adding and Removing References.

The topics in the following section provide the following information:

  • Lists of the most important namespaces for each feature area.

  • Links to reference topics in the .NET Framework about each major namespace.

  • Links to procedural and conceptual topics about how to use those namespaces in your Visual Basic and Visual C# applications.

Introduction to the .NET Framework Class Library in Visual Studio

Explains namespaces and assemblies.

Programming Basics Namespaces in Visual Studio

Covers the .NET namespaces for collections, character encodings, file I/O, and threading.

Data Namespaces in Visual Studio

Covers the namespaces in the .NET Framework for manipulating and accessing data from traditional data sources and from standards-based XML.

Web Namespaces in Visual Studio

Covers .NET namespaces for ASP.NET Web applications and XML Web services.

Windows Applications Namespaces in Visual Studio

Covers the namespaces in the .NET Framework for creating rich Windows applications and graphics with Windows Forms.

Component Model Namespaces in Visual Studio

Covers the namespaces for implementing the run-time and design-time behavior of components and controls.

Framework Services Namespaces in Visual Studio

Covers the namespaces for interacting with a variety of back-end server resources.

Security Namespaces in Visual Studio

Covers the namespaces that provide the underlying structure of the .NET Framework security system and that implement ASP.NET security in Web applications.

Network Namespaces in Visual Studio

Covers the namespace that provides a simple programming interface to many of the protocols found on the network.

Configuration Namespaces in Visual Studio

Covers the namespaces that work with .NET Framework configuration settings and handle errors in configuration files, and that enable you to write custom installers for components.

Globalization and Localization Namespaces in Visual Studio

Provides links to the namespaces in the .NET Framework that are designed for developing world-ready applications.

Reflection Namespaces in Visual Studio

Covers the namespace that provides a managed view of loaded types, methods, and fields, with the ability to dynamically create and invoke types.

Visual Basic Runtime Namespace in Visual Studio

Describes the modules, enumerations, and attributes that provide the properties, functions, and constants you can use in Visual Basic applications.

Inside the .NET Framework

Provides links to important information about the common language runtime, assemblies, common type system, metadata, interoperability, security, and other features of the .NET Framework.

.NET Framework Class Library

Describes the functionality provided by the types (classes, structures, enumerations, delegates, and interfaces) in the .NET Framework and lists the base data types provided by the System namespace.

Microsoft .NET Web site (http://www.microsoft.com/net/)

Provides the latest information and resources about .NET.

Adding and Removing References

Explains how to reference external projects and .NET and COM components so that you can use them in your application.

Assemblies

Provides links to topics that explain what assemblies do and how to use them.

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