.NET is a framework which is used to develop software applications. It is designed and developed by Microsoft and first beta version released on 2000.
It is used to build applications for web, Windows, phone and provides broad range of functionalities and support for industry standards.
This framework contains large number of class libraries known as Framework Class Library (FCL).
The software programs written in .NET are execute in execution environment that is called CLR (Common Language Runtime).
These both are core and essential parts of the .NET Framework.
This Framework provides various services like: memory management, networking, security and memory safety. It also supports numerous programing languages like: C#, F#, VB etc.
Following is the .NET framework Stack that shows the modules and components of the Framework.
CLR (Common Language Runtime)
It is a program execution engine that loads and execute program. It acts as a interface between framework and operating system.
FCL (Framework Class Library)
It is a standard library that is collection of thousands of classes and used to build application. The BCL (Base Class Library) is the core of the FCL and provides fundamental functionalities.
Windows Forms is a smart client technology for the .NET Framework, a set of managed libraries that simplify common application tasks such as reading and writing to the file system.
ADO .NET is a module of .Net Framework which is used to establish connection between application and data sources. Data sources can be such as SQL Server and XML. ADO .NET consists of classes that can be used to connect, retrieve, insert and delete data.
WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation)
Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) is a graphical subsystem by Microsoft for rendering user interfaces in Windows-based applications. WPF, previously known as "Avalon", was initially released as part of .NET Framework 3.0 in 2006. WPF uses DirectX.
WCF (Windows Communication Foundation)
It is a framework for building service-oriented applications. Using WCF, you can send data as asynchronous messages from one service endpoint to another.
WF (WorkFlow Foundation)
Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) is a Microsoft technology that provides an API, an in-process workflow engine, and a rehostable designer to implement long-running processes as workflows within .NET applications.
LINQ (Language Integrated Query)
It is a query language, introduced in .NET 3.5 framework. It is used to make query for data sources with C# or Visual Basics programming languages.
It is an ORM based open source framework that is used to work with a database using .NET objects. It eliminates lots of developer effort to handle the database. It is Microsoft's recommended technology to deal with database.
Parallel LINQ or PLINQ is a parallel implementation of LINQ to objects. It combines the simplicity and readability of LINQ and provide power of parallel programing.
It can improve and provide fast speed to execute the LINQ query by using all available computer capabilities.
Apart from above features and libraries .NET include other APIs and Model to improve and enhance the .NET framework.
In 2015, Task parallel and Task parallel libraries are added and in .NET 4.5, task based asynchronous model was added.