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Dot Net Terminologies at a Glance

Dot Net Terminologies at a Glance

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Published by: creamy_go2003 on Nov 17, 2009
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The Common Language Specification
This is a subset of the Common Type System (CTS) and defines a set of conventions that are targeted at languageinteroperability of all the languages that run within the .NET environment.
The Common Type System
The Common Type System (CTS) is a standard that defines the necessary rules for type interoperability for thelanguages targeting the .NET environment. The common type system supports the following types.
Value Types
Reference Types
.NET Framework Class Library
The .NET Framework Class Library (FCL) is a set of managed classes that are responsible for providingaccess to the system services in the managed environment of Microsoft.NET.
The Common Language Runtime
The CLR is a runtime execution engine of .NET that provides an environment to execute programs that aretargeted at the .NET platform. It provides memory allocation, security, code verification, type verification,exception handling and garbage collection in the managed environment.
Common Language Infrastructure
The Common Language Infrastructure or the CLI provides support for language interoperability in the .NETmanaged environment. It is comprised of the following features.
A File Format (PE)
Base Class Library
An assembly is a group of resources and types, along with the metadata about those resources and types, deployedas a single unit.
Just In Time Compiler
The Just In Time Compiler or the JIT is responsible for compiling units of code and caching them at runtime asand when they are needed. Since the compilation occurs at runtime, it is known as a Just In Time Compilation. 
A program compiled in the .NET managed environment generates an intermediate code to support platformindependence. This is called the MSIL or Microsoft Intermediate Language.
Strong Name
A Strong Name is a unique identifier given to an assembly using cryptography and a digital signature that is usedto identify a particular assembly. An assembly is provided a strong name using the utility called sn.exe.A strong name consists of the following.
Name of the Assembly
Digital Signature
Version Number
Culture Information
Global Assembly Cache
The Global Assembly Cache is a system wide storage of shared assemblies. Assemblies can be stored or movedto and from the Global Assembly Cache using a tool called GacUtil.
Managed Code
A managed code is one that provides restricted access to the system’s resources and can be executed only in amanaged environment that is provided in Microsoft .NET by the Common Language Runtime.
Un-Managed Code
An Un-Managed code is one that executes outside of the Common Language Runtime environment and can perform unsafe operations.
Managed Data
Managed Data refers to the objects that are created by the Common Language Runtime environment and can begarbage collected implicitly by the Garbage Collector.
Shared Assembly
A Shared Assembly is one that can be referred by more that one application. All shared assemblies shouldcontain a strong name and should be located in the Global Assembly Cache (GAC).
Private Assembly
A Private Assembly is one that is private to one application. In other words, it can be accessed by the containingapplication only.
Satellite Assembly
When you wish to localize the application, it can be written in culture-neutral code and can distribute the localizedmodules in separate assemblies called satellite assemblies.
Assembly Manifest
The Assembly Manifest contains the information about an assembly. This includes the version number of theassembly, the list of the files that comprise the assembly, etc. An assembly manifest is contained in the dll file or the exe file itself.
A resource refers to an addressable unit of data that is available for use by an application. It consists of one or more of the following.
The .NET tool called resgen.exe is used to create resource files from the resource information that isstored in text or XML files.
Localization is the practice of designing and developing software that will properly use all of the conventionsdefined for a specific locale. An assembly that is used to provide localization feature in ASP.NET applications isreferred to as a Satellite Assembly.
Native Image Generator
This is a .NET tool that is used to compile a managed assembly to the native code and then store that in the localassembly cache. The name of this tool is Ngen.exe.
Value Type
A value type is one that contains the value rather than the reference and is stored in the stack memory. Examplesof value types are integers, floats, doubles, structures, etc.
Reference Type
A reference type contains a reference to the actual object in memory and is stored in the managed heap. Objects of classes are good examples of reference types.
Boxing refers to the conversion of a value type to a reference type. Value types are stored in the stack andreference types are stored in the managed heap.
This refers to the conversion of a reference type to a value type.
Garbage Collection
Garbage Collection is a technique introduced in Microsoft .NET that manages memory cleanup implicitly. Thisimplicit reclaiming of memory in the .NET managed environment is handled by the Common Language Runtime.
Dispose Method
The Dispose method can be used in an unsealed class to cleanup resources explicitly. It should be noted that boththe Dispose and the Finalize methods should make a call to their parents' respective methods after they havedisposed or finalized their own members. A class that needs to have this method implemented should implementthe IDisposable interface.
Finalize Method
The finalize method is a protected member of the Object class and is implicitly called at the runtime to cleanupunmanaged resources before the object is destroyed.
Code Verification
This is a feature that enforces type safety or type security by checking the code prior to its execution in the runtime environment. Therefore, it does not allow malicious code to get executed in the managed environment.
Authentication and Authorization
This is a security measure that is used to specify the user’s identity and authorization in ASP.NET. The process of authorization determines whether an authenticated user has access to a specific resource. Authentication andAuthorization details of an ASP.NET application are specified in the web.config file. There can be three types of authentication in ASP.NET.
Forms Authentication
Windows Authentication
Passport Authentication
Web.Config File
The web.config file is the configuration file for an ASP.NET web application. Typically, the followinginformation is stored in a web.config file.
Database Connection Strings
Session States

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