.NET (pronounced "dot net")   

  Most companies use general-purpose packaged software for accounting, manufacturing, sales & marketing, and other traditional functions where there are multitudes of sophisticated software packages to choose from.  But many organizations have operational procedures that are very unique and quite often represent the essence of their success.  The most profitable organizations we have seen over the years have identified their critical success factors and have systems built around monitoring the effectiveness in achieving them.  Often times these systems are custom written.

      Microsoft has created a dramatic new way in which to write custom software.  Quite simply Bill Gates has redesigned how custom software will be developed in the future with the introduction of the NET Software Development Platform.  This article provides the lay person with an overview of the new approach and why it is important to any organization that uses or plans to use custom written software, whether it is for the desktop or internet.

     One benefit of the new platform is that Web Applications (accessed via a browser such as Microsoft Internet Explorer) are created in manner analogous to creating traditional desktop applications that run under Windows.  Having easy to use graphical editors, common libraries, and a single integrated development environment as found in Visual Studio.Net will reduce development and on-going maintenance costs.  NET supports many programming languages including Visual Basic.Net and Visual C++.Net so that programmers do not need to learn an entirely new programming language.

     Another huge benefit of the platform is that all applications written under it will be more stable, reliable, and secure.  Applications require a special software engine to be present which loads the app, verify it can run without error, checks security, executes the app, and cleans up after it is finished.

     NET permits the creation of a new class of programs called Web Services.  These are applications that exchange XML-formatted data with other applications over the Web.  Think about this.  In the future your company will publish a number of Web Services that will be interacting with other companies’ Web Services.  The applications will be talking to each other with no human interaction.  The goal is to enhance the ability of businesses to work together with their partners, vendors, and customers.           


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