.NET vs C#: Difference and Comparison

.NET represents a framework or developer platform that is employed to build various applications, whereas C# is a simple programing language that is strongly object-oriented. C# is statically typed.

Both .NET and C# are products of Microsoft. The .NET platform allows the usage of different languages, several libraries, and editors.

Key Takeaways

  1. .NET is a software framework developed by Microsoft that supports multiple programming languages, while C# is a programming language developed by Microsoft primarily used for .NET development.
  2. .NET provides a range of libraries and tools for developing applications, while C# is a language that allows developers to write code using the .NET framework.
  3. C# is a modern, object-oriented language that is easy to learn and widely used in enterprise applications. At the same time, .NET is a comprehensive framework that allows developers to build robust and scalable applications.

.NET vs C#

Net, also known as the .NET Framework, is a software development platform created by Microsoft. C is a high-level programming language that was developed in the 1970s. While .NET is used for developing desktop and web applications on Windows, C is used for a wide range of applications.

NET vs C

With so many coding languages available today, it is daunting for people entering software development to decide where to start. One great place that almost all will point out is the .NET framework.

It is an application framework that is used for creating applications for Windows.

C# has a similar syntax to the C language. Microsoft created and released it in 2002 for use in their .NET platform. It was originally built for Windows only but soon after ported to other OS such as macOS and Linux.

Now, it is an open source and also a cross-platform. So, applications developed using C# could be run on any operating system.

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison.NETC#
Definition.NET is an open-source developer platform.C# is an open-source object-oriented programming language.
Compatibility.NET framework is only for Windows but .NET core is compatible with other OS.C# is supported not only by Windows but also other OS.
Implementation.NET uses the model of single implementation inheritance. Hence, in .NET, single class can implement multiple interphases.The basic interface is implemented by a class used to define the properties, events, indexes, and functionality of the method.
ArchitectureFor .NET, the class library comprises Ado.net, windows forms, and especially Asp.net. The libraries are reusable and can be applied for developing different applications.For C#, the basic architecture is implemented on the .NET framework platform. Its programs are extended on CLR, a virtual execution system, and on a set of class libraries.
Functionality.NET not only works on C# but also on other languages.C# is a part of the .NET.
UsageIt is used for Microsoft-based applications.The primary usage of C# is the development of desktop-based applications.

What is .NET?

.NET is used for developing web-based and form-based applications and also web services. It could be used to build phone, web, and Windows applications.

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It is found to be the most productive platform. It works on any app and also any platform.

.NET is an innovative approach to developing applications and is ranked #1. This framework provides certain rules and supporting libraries that languages shall use.

It provides guidelines for programming that could be used for developing a wide variety of applications ranging from mobile, web to Windows applications.

It can work with over 60 programming languages such as C++, VB.NET, F#, C#, etc. Out of the 60+ programming languages, 11 are developed by Microsoft.

.NET includes the .NET framework (application framework library) and the CLI or the common language runtime in which .NET assemblies are run.

The .NET framework comprises FCL or framework class library and CLR or common language runtime and offers network communications,

data access, web application development, cryptography, user interface, numeric algorithms, and database connectivity.

Various versions of .NET have been released. The first version was 1.0, and it was released in 2002.

The latest is 4.7.2. The developmental tool that is employed for designing and developing .NET applications is called Visual Studio.

Previously, .NET was integrated with operating systems and the installation media. Thus, higher versions (3.5 and later) need to be installed from the Internet or Windows installation media.

Some advantages of .NET include its reusability. That is to say, adding or removing features is convenient.

It is cross-platform and supports multiple languages. It is easily implemented.

What is C#?

C# has some special features like Boolean conditions, conditional compilation, easy-to-use generics, assembly versioning, standard library, automatic garbage collection,

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simple multithreading, delegates management, events management, indexers, and so on.

C# is the language of choice for .NET developers. C# is simpler than C++ and Java. It is very flexible, and developers can create many projects and applications.

It is based on a small number of keywords only. It is also possible to use C# without the .NET platform using an open-source version of CLR.

C# is safe because it is not a type conversion, meaning there is no data loss.

C# supports the non-nullable type and the non-able type.

C# has a structured approach for the detection of errors and recovery. C# is employed for creating a variety of programs and applications ranging from mobile apps, cloud-based services,

enterprise software, websites, and desktop apps to games. The very first version of C# (C# 1.0) was released in 2002, and the latest version of C# is C# 8.0, released in 2019.

Some disadvantages of C# are its case sensitivity (creating confusion in coding) and also its flexibility being affected because it is completely based on Microsoft’s .NET.

Main Differences Between .NET and C#

  1. C# is a language used in the .NET platform.
  2. While C# gets huge support from the MSDN community, .NET is extensively supported by the MSDN community and the IBM network community.
  3. Local variables can be automatically initialized in the .Net framework, though, in C#, a variable for a procedure cannot be initialized this way.
  4. A functionality named “Mybase.New” cannot be used in C#, but in the .Net framework, this is used to call a specific base class constructor from a derived one.
  5. Checked and unchecked functions can be used for verification in C#, but this feature is not supported in the .NET framework.
Difference Between .NET and C
  1. https://philpapers.org/rec/ALBDAD-4

Last Updated : 17 August, 2023

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6 thoughts on “.NET vs C#: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The extensive capabilities and cross-platform support of both .NET and C# demonstrate their powerful contributions to modern software development.

  2. I think it’s impressive how both .NET and C# have evolved over the years to remain relevant and adaptable in the software development industry.

  3. Given the multitude of programming languages available, an introduction to the benefits of the .NET framework is incredibly informative and commendable.

  4. It’s fascinating to see the vast range of features and functionalities that .NET and C# offer for building applications.


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