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Understanding .NET, Second Edition by David Chappell

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Chapter 2. The Common Language Runtime

The Common Language Runtime (CLR) is the foundation for everything else in the .NET Framework. To understand .NET languages such as C# and Visual Basic (VB), you must understand the CLR. To understand the .NET Framework class library—ASP.NET, ADO.NET, and the rest—you must understand the CLR. And since the .NET Framework has become the default foundation for new Windows software, anybody who plans to work in the Microsoft environment needs to come to grips with the CLR.

Software built on the CLR is referred to as managed code, and the CLR provides a range of things that support creating and running this code. Perhaps the most fundamental is a standard set ...

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