Skip to main content

.NET Framework

The .NET Framework is Microsoft's managed code programming model for building applications on Windows clients, servers, and mobile or embedded devices. Developers use .NET to build applications of many types: Web applications, server applications, smart client applications, console applications, database applications, and more.

Windows Presentation Foundation

The Microsoft Windows Presentation Foundation provides the foundation for building applications and high fidelity experiences in Windows Vista, blending together application UI, documents, and media content, while exploiting the full power of your computer.

Windows Communication Foundation (WCF)

Windows Communication Foundation is a set of .NET technologies for building and running connected systems. It is a new breed of communications infrastructure built around the Web services architecture.

Windows Workflow Foundation (WF)

Windows Workflow Foundation is the programming model, engine and tools for quickly building workflow enabled applications on Windows. It consists of .NET classes, an in-process workflow engine, and designers for Visual Studio.

Windows Forms

Microsoft Windows Forms is the core development platform for building smart client applications. The Windows Forms classes contained in the .NET Framework are designed to be used for GUI development.


ADO.NET provides consistent access to data sources such as Microsoft SQL Server, as well as data sources exposed through OLE DB and XML. Data-sharing consumer applications can use ADO.NET to connect to these data sources and retrieve, manipulate, and update data.


Microsoft ASP.NET is a set of Web application development technologies that enables programmers to build dynamic Web sites, web applications, and XML Web services.

.NET Compact Framework

The Microsoft .NET Compact Framework is a key part of realizing Microsoft's goal to provide customers with great experiences - any time, any place, and on any device.

Windows CardSpace

Windows CardSpace is a Microsoft .NET Framework version 3.0 component that provides the consistent user experience required by the identity metasystem. It is specifically hardened against tampering and spoofing to protect the end user's digital identities and maintain end-user control.

More Technologies

Base Class Libraries
The Base Class Libraries (BCL) provides the fundamental building blocks for any application you develop, be it an ASP.NET application, a Windows Forms application, or a Web Service. The BCL generally serves as your main point of interaction with the runtime.

Common Language Runtime
The .NET Framework provides a run-time environment called the common language runtime, which runs the code and provides services that make the development process easier.


Enforcing Complex Business Data Rules with WPF
Microsoft Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) has a rich data-binding system.Find out more in the MSDN Magazine article.
Download .NET 4
The .NET Framework is Microsoft's comprehensive and consistent programming model for building applications that have visually stunning user experiences, seamless and secure communication, and more.
What's New in the .NET Framework 4
The .NET Framework 4 is highly compatible with applications that are built with earlier .NET Framework versions, except for some changes that were made to improve security, standards compliance, correctness, reliability, and performance.
A Developer's Introduction to Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) .NET 4
An overview of the most important new features and improvements in Workflow Foundation, with enough technical detail and code to help you as a developer understand how to use them.