Understanding .NET: A Tutorial and Analysis
There's no single way to write good software, and there's no perfect platform for it, either. Yet the people who create platforms keep striving for that unreachable ideal, and so they regularly give us new technology foundations to build on. With very few exceptions, each change is better than what it replaces. But with no exceptions at all, each innovation makes the current contents of our heads at least partially obsolete. Change is the essence of working with software. .NET is the biggest single set of new technologies that Microsoft (or possibly any vendor) has ever presented to its technical customers. The tremendous changes wrought by .NET improve nearly every aspect of a developer's life, but they also present a massive amount of new technology to understand. The goal of this book is to help you make the move to this big new world. Who This Book Is For .NET is huge. There will be plenty of books that provide detailed examinations of each facet of this enormous technology crystal, plenty of books with hardcore, hands-on information. This isn't one of those books. I believe strongly that understanding .NET as a whole is essential before delving more deeply into any single part of the technology. Accordingly, my goal here is to provide a broad overview of the major .NET technologies. And because one of the greatest strengths of this family of software and services is the way one part exploits another, this book also tries to show how those technologies fit together. If you're looking for a big-picture introduction and a perspective on the whole of .NET, this book is for you. Whether you're a developer just getting started with .NET, a technical manager who needs to make decisions about these technologies, or a student seeing some of these ideas for the first time, this book should be a useful guide. There is enough detail here to satisfy many people completely, while others will use this book as a stepping-stone to more specific knowledge. In any case, I hope the book's organization and content make it easier for you to come to grips with this mass of technology.