This document may not represent best practices for current development, links to downloads and other resources may no longer be valid. Current recommended version can be found here.
Overview of the .NET Framework
This section provides conceptual overviews of the key features of the .NET Framework, including the common language runtime, the .NET Framework class library, and cross-language interoperability.
.NET Framework Conceptual Overview
Introduces the .NET Framework architecture and its features.
.NET Framework 3.5 Architecture
Explains the relationship between the .NET Framework version 3.5 and earlier versions and service packs.
Common Language Runtime
Explains the features and benefits of the common language runtime, a run-time environment that manages the execution of code and provides services that simplify the development process.
Common Type System
Identifies the types supported by the common language runtime.
Metadata and Self-Describing Components
Explains how the .NET Framework simplifies component interoperation by allowing compilers to emit additional declarative information, or metadata, into all modules and assemblies.
Explains how managed objects created in different programming languages can interact with one another.
Assemblies in the Common Language Runtime
Defines the concept of assemblies, which are collections of types and resources that form logical units of functionality. Assemblies are the fundamental units of deployment, version control, reuse, activation scoping, and security permissions.
Explains how to use application domains to provide isolation between applications.
.NET Framework Class Library Overview
Introduces the library of types provided by the .NET Framework, which expedites and optimizes the development process and gives you access to system functionality.
Describes the runtime hosts supported by the .NET Framework, including ASP.NET, Internet Explorer, and shell executables.
Guidelines and Best Practices
Provides principles, techniques, and practical advice on the use of .NET Framework technologies.
.NET Framework System Requirements
Provides system requirements for versions 3.5, 2.0, 1.1, and 1.0 of the .NET Framework.
How-to and Walkthrough Directory
Provides links to topics that provide example code, describe how to perform particular tasks, and describe complete scenarios.
.NET Framework Class Library
Provides programming information about the classes, interfaces, and value types that are included in the Windows Software Development Kit (SDK). This library provides access to system functionality and is designed to be the foundation on which .NET Framework applications, components, and controls are built.
What's New in the .NET Framework Version 3.5
Describes the new features in this release.