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.NET vs C# Comparison: What You Must Know

.net vs c#
Reading Time: 5 minutes

The IT industry surprises us daily with new trends and technologies, but after the inception of artificial intelligence (AI), it has reactivated everyone who belongs to the IT industry in one way or another. 

If you don’t stay updated about the latest tools and programming languages in the present era of AI, you will easily be replaced by someone in your competition. This applies especially to the software development companies that provide web development and mobile app development services.

Two names that are becoming the topic of discussion within the tech industry are .NET and C#. Do you know what these technologies are? And how do they relate to each other?

If you don’t know, keep reading this blog post. Here, you will understand a comprehensive comparison between the .NET vs. C# comparison. You will also know their pros and cons and where to use these technologies.

So, whether you are a software developer or a businessman, you need to understand these technologies so that you can harness their potential in a better way.

What is .NET?

.NET (or the .NET framework) is an open-source, free software development platform created by one of the biggest tech giants, Microsoft. 

It provides a framework and a set of different libraries and development tools that developers can use to develop applications. These applications can be desktop, mobile, gaming, and IoT apps. 

.NET framework has been designed to simplify the process of software development. It has a consistent programming model as well as a set of APIs that you can use across multiple operating systems and devices. 

Using .NET, developers will have to write code once and use it on different platforms, including macOS, Windows, and Linux.

What is .NET used for?

.NET is a versatile framework; you can use it for different purposes. Look at the following:

Web development: You can use .NET to create dynamic and interactive websites. ASP.NET is a part of the .NET framework. It is one of the highly used options for web development.

Desktop applications: You can use .NET framework to develop Windows desktop applications, having a rich database of exciting user interfaces.

Mobile app development: Xamarin is another widely-used .NET-based platform. It allows mobile application developers to develop cross-platform mobile apps for Android and iOS using C#.

Cloud services: .NET is also used in cloud services. .NET Core is a lightweight version of .NET, which you can use to build cross-platform applications. .NET is one of the top options for building cloud-based applications and microservices.

Game development: .NET also has its applications in the game development industry. Its frameworks, like Unity using C#, are worldwide famous among game developers as they use it as their primary programming language.

Pros of .NET

  • .NET supports a variety of programming languages such as C#, Visual Basic, and F#.
  • .NET builds cross-platform applications that run on Windows, Linux, and macOS.
  • .NET has strong built-in security features, protecting your applications from security-related threats.
  • Visual Studio and Microsoft’s integrated development environment (IDE) provide powerful tools for .NET development.
  • .NET has a large and active community that ensures your access to every type of resource and support you need.

Cons of .NET

In comparison to other frameworks, .NET is somehow difficult to understand for fresh mobile application developers.

  • .NET closely relates to Microsoft. It may limit its functionalities in non-Windows environments.
  • Some .NET applications are resource-intensive, and they require substantial server and infrastructure resources.
  • .NET Core is free and open-source, but its advanced features and tools need significant licensing fees.

Now that you have a good understanding of .NET. Let’s turn our attention to another highly-famous framework, i.e., C#.

What is C#?

C# is commonly known as C-sharp. It is a high-level general object-oriented programming (OOP) language developed by Microsoft. 

Originally, C sharp was specifically designed to develop Windows applications. Later on, it started evolving into a versatile programming language. It is today widely used for software development.

What is C# used for?

The following are some famous applications of C#. Let’s have a look at these:

  • C# is used to develop Windows applications having top-notch graphical user interfaces (GUI).
  • Technologies like ASP.NET of C# are highly used to develop web applications.
  • Unity3D is globally famous in the industry of game development. This leading game engine uses C# as its primary scripting language.
  • C#, in combination with Xamarin, is used to develop high-quality cross-platform mobile apps.
  • Moreover, C# is used to create IoT applications that provide excellent connectivity and control.

Pros of C#

Easy to learn: C# is quite simple and readable; new application developers can easily learn it.

Strongly typed: C# enforces strong typing; it ensures the lesser chances of runtime errors.

Strong ecosystem: C# has a rich ecosystem of libraries and tools; thanks to its association with .NET programming language.

Cross-platform development: With .NET Core and Xamarin, you can easily and efficiently use C# for cross-platform development. This association attracts a broader audience.

High-quality performance: Yes, C# applications are famous worldwide for their high-quality speed and efficiency.

Cons of C#

  • Using .NET libraries adds a new layer of complexity, which is difficult for new developers.
  • Like .NET, C# is also closely related to Microsoft, which may cause some problems in non-Microsoft environments.
  • Every time you make changes, C# needs code compilation, which can cause errors and bugs.
  • As C# is a part of the .NET framework, it requires the Windows platform for efficient execution.
  • C# has automatic memory management, but inefficient coding practices can lead to memory leaks.

Difference Between .NET and C#

Now that we’ve examined both .NET and C# separately let’s compare them by highlighting their key differences.

Scope

.NET is an all-inclusive software development platform that includes a large set of libraries, development tools, and runtime. On the other hand, C# or C Sharp is just a programming language within the .NET framework and is used to develop applications. 

Use

.NET is a developer framework and can be used to develop different types of software. These include desktop software, mobile applications, IoT apps, gaming apps, cloud apps, and web applications.

However, C# is merely a programming language that is only used to write code for .NET-supported applications.

Implementation

The primary interface of C# is implemented through the same class or structure defined by the functionality of events, indices, methods, and properties. While .NET only has one implementation since it uses an inheritance approach. 

So, you can say that a single class implements more than one interface in your basic structure portfolio.

Primary Focus

The primary focus of .NET is to provide mobile app developers with a comprehensive and feasible development environment. But C#’s main focus is on a versatile programming language within that particular environment.

Language Options

.NET is a versatile framework that supports multiple programming languages like C#, Visual Basic, F#, etc. But C# is one of the languages that is used within .NET.

Final Verdict: Choosing Between .NET and C#

.NET is a software development platform, but C# is a programming language. Both play an important role in application development. The choice between both .NET and C# actually depends on the nature of the project, the technical skills of your developers, and the specific platform you want to target. 

If you properly analyze your project requirements, choosing either of the two will surely contribute to achieving project goals.

At PureLogics, we have been providing custom software development services for 17+ years. Our bright and brightest software engineers have excellent command of both .NET and C# technologies. We are so confident because we have successfully completed hundreds of projects.

Contact us now, and let’s achieve your goals together.

PureLogics: We believe in logic, not magic!

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