2.3 The .NET Framework
.NET is a large suite of resources for software developers on Windows systems.

Introduction to .NET

The .NET Framework (pronounced dot-net) is a suite of software development resources for the Windows operating system.
Essentially every Windows application, from Windows Explorer to buttons and drop-down menus makes extensive use of .NET libraries. Because of this, many of its graphical elements will already appear familiar to Windows users.
The framework contains many helpful, tried-and-tested libraries that tackle some fundamental (and tricky) subjects like time zones, regions, language, locations, UI development, networking, database management and more.

Why is it Relevant?

The .NET Framework's libraries provide the bedrock for most application development on Windows systems. This means that Revit, Dynamo and many other apps (e.g. Excel, Outlook) are built using .NET libraries. By having this common language, it becomes possible develop tools that extend far outside of Dynamo or access libraries that are incredibly helpful to your everyday tasks:
  • Communicate between programs: in terms of Dynamo packages, Rhynamo can talk with Rhino, Bumblebee with Excel and Dynaworks with Navisworks.
  • Build User Interfaces: The .NET Frameworks also gives users many resources in terms of GUI elements; the popular Data-Shapes package for Dynamo uses Windows' Winforms libraries to create pop-up user interfaces as part of a Dynamo definition.
  • Communicate with web services: both the DynaServer and DynaSlack packages are able to send and receive data from web servers. Want to use Google Translate as part of your Dynamo definition? It's possible!
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