net framework

How does the .NET framework support multiple programming languages?

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More and more companies are opting for the .NET framework to build and deploy a multitude of applications. That’s because the .NET framework is a Top-Level Domain (TLD) which was initially developed for networking technology, but now supports multiple programming languages such as Visual Basic, C#, and J# at an intermediate level by interoperating with them.

We’re not talking about just multiple programming languages, but spoken as well. The .NET framework behaves in a way similar to Microsoft Java bytecode by translating simple syntax into native machine code. It also allows you to create a multilingual website, and is used by companies around the globe to build and deploy a multitude of applications.

The process of application design in different languages for users worldwide is defined as globalization, while the application designing process which displays the content in user-language is defined as localization.

The following explains what makes .NET useful for multiple language support.

  •    Common Language Runtime (CLR)

CLR is crucial in the .NET framework, as it is useful for developing multilingual applications and converting compiled code into native code. The .NET framework compilers convert the source code into Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL), which is the reason for .NET’s multilingual capability. Your code is compiled from IL and is interoperable with the code from another language.

CLR also provides other services, like memory management, thread management, remoting, CTS and CLS. It is a layer between the .NET programming language and operating system, which utilizes CTS and CLS for code creation.

Common Language Specification (CLS)

CLS is the successor of CTS that declares all rules and restrictions which must be implemented under the .NET framework. CLS is the one language which follows these rules. CLS restricts multiple inheritances (e.g. you cannot inherit code from C++ to C#).

A different case and same name member are not allowed for all languages. For example, C# is case-sensitive. So if you type add () and Add() it takes it differently, but if you type in VB.NET, it is not case-sensitive, and hence, considers both the same.

  •    Common Type System (CTS)

When declaring, using or managing data types, CTS has defined some common language runtime rules to be followed. It may often be the case that one language cannot understand the data types of another language. The .NET framework has its own data type for every language. For example, In C#, for creating an application we have an integer, while in VB.NET it is an integer. After the compilation, the CTS converts int and integer into the int32 structure.

Conclusion

In this article, we’ve explored what it means when an application is said to be multilingual — It can be deployed in other languages. We looked at how the .NET framework consists of various interoperable layers, which helps it to support almost all programming languages, and switch from one language to another language without any hassle.


Vikash Kumar works as a manager at the .Net development company Tatvasoft.com. Sometimes he has free time while managing campaigns, during which he likes to write and explore new technology trends and topics. Vikash has published bylines on major platforms and has been blogging since 2014.


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