Difference Between .NET and .COM (With Table)

.NET gives multiple options to developers, however .COM provides to use other environments. Runtime error and memory usage have always been an issue of all the frameworks but .NET manages memory much better than .COM resulting in fewer errors. .COM is not bounded by machine limits where there is the limit with .NET . We will see how these two frameworks have their advantages. 

.NET vs .COM 

The difference between .NET framework and .COM work is categorized on the basis of runtime error and memory management. .NET framework works well in memory management and doesn’t give runtime errors whereas .COM framework provides errors because of poor memory management. 

The .NET framework gives the developer an option to work with multiple languages, so the developer can choose the language, the framework also resolves the runtime error by managing the memory in an effective manner. .NET also provides a “Web application model” enabling developers to deliver software as a service, All of the developers are provided with a set of ASP and controls that contains common HTML user based interface widgets and tools like text boxes, drop-down menus and many more. 

Microsoft was the company that introduced the.COM framework. The framework was able to implement data types defined by binary. the Framework gives you the freedom to use other environments even if they were not the ones from, they originated. They are not event bounded by machine limits. they are limited to component implementers so that well defined interfaces can be provided which are different from the implementation. It also allow reusability of the objects .

Comparison Table Between .NET and .COM 

Parameters of Comparison  .NET COM 
Runtime .NET doesn’t give runtime errors as it manages memory efficiently. .COM isn’t as efficient as .NET in managing memory. As it allows multiple threads which affects the synchronization as well. 
Flexibility .NET gives the option to the developer to use multiple languages, so that developer could perform tasks up to his potential. .COM doesn’t have limitations bound to the machine only.   
User InterfaceUser has options like ASP+ control which lets the developer run widgets simply on projects. .COM gives the developer option to manually initiate/create objects as per the requirement which is a little customization. 
Reusability The developer can reuse the pre-written codes by driving the same logic. Developers can create reusable software just by taking advantage of windows services. 
SecurityThe framework has its security mechanism with two general features- “code access security” & Validation and Verification. The framework does not have its security features. 

What is .NET? 

.NET framework is one of the most flexible frameworks which gives more options to the developer. It lets the developer work as per his expertise and specialization of work. The framework provides feature of Common Type System that gives permit and support the exchange of types and object instances. Component development and execution environment made up of some major components: 

  1. Runtime for common languages. Despite its name, the runtime in a framework consists a vital role for the development purpose. It affects the runtime experiences of a component. The roles for the runtime change while the stage of development. It is only because of the feature of automation used in memory management.
  2. Programming classes have been unified, the framework has provided the developers with an extensible set of libraries. there are many classes available by Microsoft foundation or windows foundation. C++developers mostly use classes associated with Microsoft, whereas Java developers use the classes that belonged to the Windows Foundation.
  3. The developers which are Visual Basic developers use VBAPIs. If we simply put this in a simpler language, frameworks collect various frameworks which are already available by Microsoft. With these frameworks, the developer doesn’t need to learn other platforms and can easily develop the desired components. 

What is .COM?

Microsoft Windows is a family of operating systems. .COM is an abbreviation of Component Object Model. .COM technology allows software components to communicate.. The entire Windows Shell, explorer.exe, which is responsible for the start menu, taskbar, and windows used to search for files on the computer, is built with .COM technology. 

 Shell extensions use .COM to provide metadata about files that Windows does not recognize, specific commands for them (for example, right-clicking a.7z file), thumbnails, and many other features. .COM has an advantage as “Component farm” can run on it. With proper coding, it can be used with a new call to reuse without being uploaded by memory. 

Softwares are created by .COM programmers with the help of components of COM-aware. Each .COM component exposes its functionality throughout one or more interfaces. Interface IDs (IIDs), which are also GUIDs, are used to differentiate between the different interfaces that such a component claims to support. The custom interface(IUnknown) implementation exposes methods for reference type conversion and counting, which is implemented by most of the .COM components(casting). 

 A custom interface consists of a pointer to a virtual method table which has a list of the available printers which function the implementation of the declared interface, just the same as in the declared interface. 

Main Differences Between .NET and .COM 

  1. The difference between .NET framework and .COM work is categorized based on runtime error and memory management. .NET framework works well in memory management and doesn’t give runtime errors whereas .COM framework provides errors because of poor memory management. 
  2. .NET gives the option to the developer to use multiple languages, so that developer could perform tasks up to his potential whereas .COM doesn’t have limitations bound to the machine only. The custom interface(IUnknown) implementation exposes methods for reference type conversion and counting, which is implemented by most of the .COM components(casting). 
  3. User has options like ASP+ control in .NET which lets the developer run widgets simply on projects whereas .COM gives the developer option to manually initiate/create objects as per the requirement which is a little customization. 
  4. The developer can reuse the pre-written codes by driving the same logic in .NET, however, the developer has to write extra codes and create a library which is the addition of work whereas .COM Developers can create reusable software just by taking advantage of windows services. 
  5. The .NET framework also gives the feature of a security mechanism. It has two general features which are code access security & Validation and Verification whereas The .COM framework does not have its security features. 

Conclusion

.COM and .NET are developing technologies that work in tandem. The .NET Common Language Runtime integrates with .COM in a bidirectional and transparent manner. .COM and .NET are applications that can be used by each other and also can use each other’s system’s functionality. This can save your investments if you already invested in .COM applications and will allow you to do the transition to .NET. Both have their pros and cons in the flexibility of language or runtime.

.COM is having a complex implementation, “plumping” issues could distract the programmers however, these issues don’t affect the .NET. For well-written components, .COM allows the reuse of objects without knowledge of their internal implementation. With all the pros and cons both .COM & .NET could be sued to perform different tasks depending on the requirement of the task. Being a developer, you’ll have to choose what’s best for you and what you can get out of any of these frameworks.. 

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S001236921637177X
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S104784770400187X
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