C# vs .NET: The Ultimate Difference

In the software development ecosystem, C# and .NET are known as the two most popular and widely used technologies. Both of them have their own functions, approaches, and purposes. C# is a very simple yet modern multi-paradigm programming language by Microsoft. Microsoft also came up with the .NET framework that is used by developers to create applications. When it comes to creating a web application or a desktop application, these two are the two listed technologies in every developer’s mind. But which to choose for the project is a bit confusing. Therefore, the developers from any .NET app development company must be aware of the differences between C# vs .NET.

In this blog, we are going to understand both C# and .NET, have a look at their pros and cons, and then go through the main differences between C# vs .NET. This will help you make the right choice for your next project.

1. What is C#? Pros Cons

C# is one of the most popular open-source, general-purpose and object-oriented programming languages that is used by developers for developing apps. It was developed by Microsoft in 2000 and it runs on the .NET Framework. Besides, it is a language that has got certification as a standard programming language by the ISO and ECMA. One of the main objectives of using the C# programming language is that it enables data access and services all across the web services.

Besides this, C# is one of the programming languages that enable developers to create secure, robust, and portable applications easily. Some of the major applications that can be created using this language are- Windows and web-based applications, Database applications, and Distributed Applications.

1.1 Pros of C#

Some of the major advantages of C# are –

Integration with Windows

The C# programming language can easily integrate itself with Windows. And it doesn’t require any type of special configuration to run a C# program in a Windows environment. Besides this, it is a programming language that enables the creation of anything from a web application to a desktop app.

Compiled Language

C# is a popular compiled language. This means that it has the capability to store the code on the server in a binary form. Because of this, the hackers don’t automatically get access to the app’s source code as it is in binary. This means that, unlike any other programming language, C# has the capability to keep the source code safe from hackers and secure the database details.

Additional App Developers can be Easily Found

When it comes to finding developers for creating an application for the business, it is much easier to find an expert who is working on the C# language whether it’s full-time or on a contract basis. The reason behind it is that C# is a very popular and common language that programmers can learn easily. This is why businesses try to find C# developers to create applications for the growth of their business. C# is closely related to java, therefore, developers can work on both of these technologies at the same time.

1.2 Cons of C#

Some of the major disadvantages of using C# language are –

Compiled Code

Though compiled code can be a very beneficial concept, it comes with some disadvantages. Working with this type of code is very difficult as here the code must be compiled every time a developer makes some minor changes. This means that every time a single change is made in the code, the user recompiles the entire application and then deploys it again. This process leads to a lot of bugs if the change is not tested perfectly.

Microsoft Stopped Supporting .NET

After a few OS upgrades, Microsoft has stopped supporting some of the older .NET frameworks. As C# is a part of the .NET framework, the server runs the apps in Windows. Nowadays, many companies are working with Linux servers as it is much faster and cheaper. Therefore, in this case, one requires windows hosting to run a .NET app which is a quiet time-taking process.

2. What is .NET? Pros Cons

.NET is a popular object-oriented programming language that is very easy to understand and work with. It is an open-source developer platform developed by Microsoft in 2002. .NET is known as a successor of Visual Basic 6 (VB6) programming language, that implements the .NET framework. Dot NET enables the developers to program multi-platform applications which means that the apps created using this programming language are not restricted to run on only the Windows operating system. Instead, these apps can also be executed on other operating systems like macOS and Linux.

Basically, .NET is a programming language that is used by .NET developers to create much more secure, high-performance, robust, and easy-to-understand applications. Some of the NET applications are- Mobile applications, Console Applications, Windows forms applications, the .NET website, and the Windows control library.

.Net employs a single implementation inheritance architecture and includes a large class library known as the Framework Class Library (FCL). Please find below a few components of .Net framework:

  1. .Net Application Framework Library
  2. Common Language Runtime
  3. Net AJAX
  4. Common Type System
  5. Net
  6. Windows Forms
  7. Windows Workflow Foundation
  8. Windows Presentation Foundation
  9. Windows Communication Foundation

2.1 Pros of .NET

Some of the major advantages of .NET are –

Object-Oriented Software Development Mode

.NET programming language is an object-oriented programming language. This is a model that is used for building applications by breaking down software development ideas into smaller pieces. This method also helps one to compartmentalize data into objects and use the declaration of classes to specify the content and behavior of the objects. With an object-oriented programming structure, the developers can easily interact with objects without any need of managing their inner attributes. This helps in simplifying the programming in the long run as it makes the code easier to test.

Basically, the use of the OOP model in .NET development enables smooth development and it also helps eliminate excessive coding which helps in making things more streamlined for developers. This also saves a lot of app development time and cost.

Simplified Maintenance and Flexible Deployment

With .NET development, developers get the benefit of the flexible deployment. It is very easy to install as a part of an app or a separate install. The .NET framework platform comes with a modular design that includes all of the required dependencies which makes the app deployment a very simple process. Besides this, .NET core versions enable the developers to work on different projects while the deployment of one project is carried out and the reason behind it is that the core versions keep running on the same computer at the same time.

Cross-Platform Design

.NET enables the developers to write code that can run on multiple platforms like Linux, Windows, and macOS. Initially, the .NET framework wasn’t completely open, so it didn’t allow such cross-compatibility, but now with new .NET Core features which are completely open-source and cross-platform expansion is possible. This means that from C# to Visual Basic, every code written in .NET will run on every operating system.

2.2 Cons of .NET

Some of the major disadvantages of using .NET language are –

Memory Leaks

The problem with the web application development framework is that it doesn’t always release the memory that it no longer requires. This is the case with .NET. It has a bit of a reputation when it comes to memory leaks. The developers working on .NET have to invest some extra time for proper resource management.

Cost of Licensing

Though .NET is open-source, it is a very expensive technology to use. The Visual Studio IDE component, the quality assurance services, and collaboration tools that are required while developing .NET applications quickly add costs to projects. .NET core can be used on Linux and Mac devices but when it comes to Windows for .NET, there are some additional licensing costs that tags along.

3. Main Difference between C# vs .NET

Difference between C# vs .NET

Here are the main differences between C# and .NET –

3.1 Implementation

When it comes to implementation, there is a huge difference between C# vs .NET. The implementation process with C#’s basic interface is very simple as it is carried out through the same structure or class that is defined by the functionality of methods, indices, properties, and events.

While on the other hand when comes .NET, it uses an inheritance model. This means that there is a single implementation approach with .NET. Therefore, a single class can implement various user interfaces in the basic structure portfolio.

3.2 Architecture

When it comes to C#, its basic architecture is on a .NET platform. Its programs are present on a set of class libraries and a virtual execution system. This system is also called CLR (Common Language Runtime).

While with .NET, is a kind of programming model that offers managed performance development, environment, and deployment in the simplest way. In this case, the integration process with various other coding languages becomes easy. Besides this, the .Net framework architecture is based on a few components like CLI (Common Language Infrastructure), CLS (Common Language Specification), FCL (.Net Framework Class Library), CTS (Common Type Specification), and CLR (Common Language Runtime).

3.3 Usage

C# uses Microsoft-implemented products and like any other general-purpose programming language, C# has the capability to create various apps and programs like cloud-based services, desktop apps, mobile apps, and more.

On the other hand .NET, a Microsoft creation, is used for developing windows-based applications, form-based applications, and web services for businesses. It comes with a variety of programming languages which enables the creation of complex apps.

3.4 Support

When it comes to supporting from the community, both C# and .NET are Microsoft creations. This means that both these technologies have vast MSDN community support. Besides this, as they are both open-source, the community of developers increases with each passing day and they offer testing methods and updates for their features. Both these technologies come with great community support which helps newbies to get used to both C# programming language and the .NET framework within no time.

4. Conclusion

As seen in this C# vs .NET blog, C# is a programming language and .NET is an app development platform. Both of these technologies can be used for creating robust applications. But the choice between them must be made as per the project’s type, implementation, definition, usage, and other factors. The developers must identify the pros and cons of using C# and .NET languages on that particular project before making the right choice. By doing so, choosing any of these two technologies will help the developer reach the project goals.

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Itesh Sharma

Itesh Sharma is core member of Sales Department at TatvaSoft. He has got more than 6 years of experience in handling the task related to Customer Management and Project Management. Apart from his profession he also has keen interest in sharing the insight on different methodologies of software development.

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