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Choosing a Compiler

To obtain the benefits provided by the common language runtime (CLR), you must use one or more language compilers that target the runtime, such as Visual Basic, C#, Visual C++, JScript, or one of many third-party compilers such as an Eiffel, Perl, or COBOL compiler.

Because it is a multilanguage execution environment, the runtime supports a wide variety of data types and language features. The language compiler you use determines which runtime features are available, and you design your code using those features. Your compiler, not the runtime, establishes the syntax your code must use. If your component must be completely usable by components written in other languages, your component's exported types must expose only language features that are included in the Common Language Specification (CLS). You can use the CLSCompliantAttribute attribute to ensure that your code is CLS-compliant. For details, see Writing CLS-Compliant Code.