The Microsoft .NET framework is a software environment designed to run on Windows systems, for running applications and XML Web services. It provides a software-based environment for executing code designed to run safely on multiple systems, integration with other software-coding languages and memory management.
The goal of the framework is to help protect against severe software errors and bugs in software, improve productivity of programmers, and add efficiency by extending the access of services across platforms. Software using the .NET framework can be designed to run on multiple systems, such as desktop computers and mobile devices, as well as being accessible for use via web browser. The .NET framework uses a Common Language Infrastructure, which allows various compatible code types to compile together to run in one piece of software. Over twenty different coding languages, such as COBOL, APL and Pascal are supported. It uses object-oriented programming, so that data can be stored and executed both locally or remotely. A large library of built-in classes, a type of code template, gives programmers the ability to use common functions without having to code them themselves. The .NET framework is backwards compatible; software created to use an earlier version, works on newer versions.