Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Basic .Net Framework Questions

What is .NET?

.Net is software development platform to build, test, run and host software applications.
It is based on Virtual machine Architecture.
In which High level languages like C# Vb.net Codes get compiled into CIL code that are OS, hardware independent and this Platform independent codes are converted into native or executable code through JIT compiler.

OOPS:

If we see this world with perspective of OOPs, Every thing in this world is treated as object. With OOPs we get power to create Objects of our own and use them according to the need.

Class:

A Class is abstract model which defines a new abstract data type in a programming language, so that we can re-use abstract data type with the help of objects that are instance of class.

Encapsulation:

It is a mechanism that binds together data and code and makes it safe from outside interference and misuse. Data is enclosed in water-tight compartment known as object, instance of class.

Encapsulation provides the boundary between a class's external interface—that is, the public members visible to the class's users—and its internal implementation details. The advantage of encapsulation for the class developer is that he can expose the members of a class that will remain static, or unchanged, while hiding the more dynamic and volatile class internals. As you saw earlier in this chapter, encapsulation is achieved in C# by virtue of assigning an access modifier—public, private, or protected—to each class member.

Encapsulation is the ability to hide the internal workings of an object's behavior and its data. For instance, let's say you have a object named Bike and this object has a method named start(). When you create an instance of a Bike object and call its start() method you are not worried about what happens to accomplish this, you just want to make sure the state of the bike is changed to 'running' afterwards. This kind of behavior hiding is encapsulation and it makes programming much easier.

Polymorphism:

Polymorphism is a feature of OOPS that enables one entity to be used as generic for different types of actions. The specific action is determined by the exact nature of the situation. The concept of polymorphism can be explained as "one interface, multiple methods"

Method Overloading is example of compile time polymorphism
Method Overriding is example of Run-time polymorphism

Inheritance:
Inheritance is the process by which derived class can acquire the features of base class.

Constants are used to provide readability and act as a single point of change for known values. Constants are shared members by default and are used whenever values are guaranteed not to change.

Fields are variables used to hold state in a class or struct. To provide data encapsulation, fields are commonly created with the private access modifier. Public fields lock the class interface and data together, making it difficult to change the code without breaking compatibility.

Properties represent a piece of data exposed by the class. Properties extend the concept of a field by adding a layer of abstraction between a class's internal and external representation. Properties give the designer the ability to change how state is managed within the class while not affecting how state is managed outside the class. Properties can be designated as read-only or write-only, simply by excluding the getter or setter, to prevent unwanted usage of the property.

Methods perform the functionality of the class. Multiple methods can have the same name with different signatures to provide multiple implementations. Such a practice is called method overloading.
Fields, properties, and methods can all be declared as static. Static type members are accessible without an object reference and normally address things that you would associate with the class's general concept not a specific instance.

Events provide a way for classes to notify listeners when certain actions have occurred. Since events are not required to be handled, they should typically be used to send information not critical to the central operation of the class.

Constructors allow you to customize the object creation process. If no constructor is specified the C# compiler will inject a default constructor into the class's MSIL.


Association

This is the simplest relationship between objects. Example every customer has sales. So Customer object and sales object have an association relation between them.

Aggregation

This is also called as composition model. Example in order to make a “Accounts” class it has use other objects example “Voucher”, “Journal” and “Cash” objects. Therefore, accounts class is aggregation of these three objects.


What is .Net Framework

The Microsoft .Net Framework is a platform that provides tools and technologies you need to build Networked Applications as well as Distributed Web Services and Web Applications. The .Net Framework provides the necessary compile time and run-time foundation to build and run any language that conforms to the Common Language Specification (CLS).The main two components of .Net Framework are Common Language Runtime (CLR) and .Net Framework Class Library (FCL).

The Common Language Runtime (CLR) is the runtime environment of the .Net Framework , that executes and manages all running code like a Virtual Machine. The .Net Framework Class Library (FCL) is a huge collection of language-independent and type-safe reusable classes. The .Net Framework Class Libraries (FCL) are arranged into a logical grouping according to their functionality and usability is called Namespaces. In the following sections describes how to .Net Framework manages the code in compile time and run time.
Microsoft .Net Languages Source Code are compiled into Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL). MSIL we can call it as Intermediate Language (IL) or Common Intermediate Language (CIL). Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL) is a CPU independent set of instructions that can be converted to the native code. Metadata also created in the course of compile time with Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL) and stored it with the compiled code . Metadata is completely self-describing . Metadata is stored in a file called Manifest, and it contains information about the members, types, references and all the other data that the Common Language Runtime (CLR) needs for execution.

The Common Language Runtime (CLR) uses metadata to locate and load classes, generate native code, provide security, and execute Managed Code. Both Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL) and Metadata assembled together is known as Portable Executable (PE) file. Portable Executable (PE) is supposed to be portable across all 32-bit operating systems by Microsoft .Net Framework.
During the runtime the Common Language Runtime (CLR)'s Just In Time (JIT) compiler converts the Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL) code into native code to the Operating System. The native code is Operating System independent and this code is known as Managed Code , that is, the language's functionality is managed by the .NET Framework . The Common Language Runtime (CLR) provides various Just In Time (JIT) compilers, and each works on a different architecture depends on Operating Systems, that means the same Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL) can be executed on different Operating Systems. In the following section you can see how Common Language Runtime (CLR) functions.

Common Language Runtime

The Common Language Runtime (CLR) is an Execution Environment . It works as a layer between Operating Systems and the applications written in .Net languages that conforms to the Common Language Specification (CLS). The main function of Common Language Runtime (CLR) is to convert the Managed Code into native code and then execute the Program. The Managed Code compiled only when it needed, that is it converts the appropriate instructions when each function is called. The Common Language Runtime (CLR) 's Just In Time (JIT) compilation converts Intermediate Language (MSIL) to native code on demand at application run time.
During the execution of the program ,the Common Language Runtime (CLR) manages memory, Thread execution, Garbage Collection (GC) , Exception Handling, Common Type System (CTS), code safety verifications, and other system services. The CLR ( Common Language Runtime ) defines the Common Type System (CTS), which is a standard type system used by all .Net languages. That means all .NET programming languages uses the same representation for common Data Types , so Common Language Runtime (CLR) is a language-independent runtime environment . The Common Language Runtime (CLR) environment is also referred to as a managed environment, because during the execution of a program it also controls the interaction with the Operating System. In the coming section you can see what are the main functions of Common Language Runtime (CLR).
The Common Language Runtime (CLR) is a an Execution Environment . Common Language Runtime (CLR)'s main tasks are to convert the .NET Managed Code to native code, manage running code like a Virtual Machine and also controls the interaction with the Operating System.
Common Language Runtime (CLR) manages Thread executions, Memory Management that is allocation of Objects and Buffers , Garbage Collection (GC) - Clean up the unused Objects and buffers , Exception Handling, Common Type System (CTS) that is all .NET language that conforms to the Common Language Specification (CLS) have the same primitive Data Types, Code safety verifications - code can be verified to ensure type safety, Language integration that is Common Language Runtime (CLR) follow a set of specification called Common Language Specification (CLS) , this will ensure the interoperability between languages, Integrated security and other system services.

.Net Framework Class Library (FCL)

The .Net Framework class library (FCL) provides the core functionality of .Net Framework architecture. The .Net Framework Class Library (FCL) includes a huge collection of reusable classes, interfaces, and value types that expedite and optimize the development process and provide access to system functionality.
The .Net Framework class library (FCL) organized in a hierarchical tree structure and it is divided into Namespaces. Namespaces is a logical grouping of types for the purpose of identification. Framework class library (FCL) provides the consistent base types that are used across all .NET enabled languages. The Classes are accessed by namespaces, which reside within Assemblies. The System Namespace is the root for types in the .NET Framework. The .Net Framework class library (FCL) classes are managed classes that provide access to System Services . The .Net Framework class library (FCL) classes are object oriented and easy to use in program developments. Moreover, third-party components can integrate with the classes in the .NET Framework.

Common Language Specification

Common Language Specification (CLS) is a set of basic language features that .Net Languages needed to develop Applications and Services, which are compatible with the .Net Framework. When there is a situation to communicate Objects written in different .Net Complaint languages, those objects must expose the features that are common to all the languages. Common Language Specification (CLS) ensures complete interoperability among applications, regardless of the language used to create the application.
Common Language Specification (CLS) defines a subset of Common Type System (CTS). Common Type System (CTS) describes a set of types that can use different .Net languages have in common, which ensure that objects written in different languages can interact with each other. Most of the members defined by types in the .NET Framework Class Library (FCL) are Common Language Specification (CLS) compliant Types. Moreover Common Language Specification (CLS) standardized by ECMA.

Common Type System

Common Type System (CTS) describes a set of types that can be used in different .Net languages in common . That is , the Common Type System (CTS) ensure that objects written in different .Net languages can interact with each other. For Communicating between programs written in any .NET complaint language, the types have to be compatible on the basic level .
These types can be Value Types or Reference Types . The Value Types are passed by values and stored in the stack. The Reference Types are passed by references and stored in the heap. Common Type System (CTS) provides base set of Data Types which is responsible for cross language integration. The Common Language Runtime (CLR) can load and execute the source code written in any .Net language, only if the type is described in the Common Type System (CTS) .Most of the members defined by types in the .NET Framework Class Library (FCL) are Common Language Specification (CLS) compliant Types.

Microsoft Intermediate Language

MSIL stands for Microsoft Intermediate Language. We can call it as Intermediate Language (IL) or Common Intermediate Language (CIL). During the compile time , the compiler convert the source code into Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL) .Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL) is a CPU-independent set of instructions that can be efficiently converted to the native code. During the runtime the Common Language Runtime (CLR)'s Just In Time (JIT) compiler converts the Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL) code into native code to the Operating System.
When a compiler produces Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL), it also produces Metadata. The Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL) and Metadata are contained in a portable executable (PE) file . Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL) includes instructions for loading, storing, initializing, and calling methods on objects, as well as instructions for arithmetic and logical operations, control flow, direct memory access, exception handling, and other operations
Just In Time Compiler
The .Net languages , which is conforms to the Common Language Specification (CLS), uses its corresponding runtime to run the application on different Operating Systems . During the code execution time, the Managed Code compiled only when it is needed, that is it converts the appropriate instructions to the native code for execution just before when each function is called. This process is called Just In Time (JIT) compilation, also known as Dynamic Translation . With the help of Just In Time Compiler (JIT) the Common Language Runtime (CLR) doing these tasks.
The Common Language Runtime (CLR) provides various Just In Time compilers (JIT) and each works on a different architecture depending on Operating System. That is why the same Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL) can be executed on different Operating Systems without rewrite the source code. Just In Time (JIT) compilation preserves memory and save time during application initialization. Just In Time (JIT) compilation is used to run at high speed, after an initial phase of slow interpretation. Just In Time Compiler (JIT) code generally offers far better performance than interpreters.

Managed Code

Managed Code in Microsoft .Net Framework, is the code that has executed by the Common Language Runtime (CLR) environment. On the other hand Unmanaged Code is directly executed by the computer's CPU. Data types, error-handling mechanisms, creation and destruction rules, and design guidelines vary between managed and unmanaged object models.
The benefits of Managed Code include programmers convenience and enhanced security . Managed code is designed to be more reliable and robust than unmanaged code , examples are Garbage Collection , Type Safety etc. The Managed Code running in a Common Language Runtime (CLR) cannot be accessed outside the runtime environment as well as cannot call directly from outside the runtime environment. This makes the programs more isolated and at the same time computers are more secure . Unmanaged Code can bypass the .NET Framework and make direct calls to the Operating System. Calling unmanaged code presents a major security risk.

.Net Metadata

Metadata in .Net is binary information which describes the characteristics of a resource . This information include Description of the Assembly , Data Types and members with their declarations and implementations, references to other types and members , Security permissions etc. A module's metadata contains everything that needed to interact with another module.
During the compile time Metadata created with Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL) and stored in a file called a Manifest . Both Metadata and Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL) together wrapped in a Portable Executable (PE) file. During the runtime of a program Just In Time (JIT) compiler of the Common Language Runtime (CLR) uses the Metadata and converts Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL) into native code. When code is executed, the runtime loads metadata into memory and references it to discover information about your code's classes, members, inheritance, and so on. Moreover Metadata eliminating the need for Interface Definition Language (IDL) files, header files, or any external method of component reference.

.Net Assembly

Microsoft .Net Assembly is a logical unit of code, it contains code that the Common Language Runtime (CLR) executes. Assembly is really a collection of types and resource information that are built to work together and form a logical unit of functionality. During the compile time Metadata is created, with Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL), and stored in a file called a Manifest . Both Metadata and Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL) together wrapped in a Portable Executable (PE) file. Manifest contains information about itself. This information is called Assembly Manifest, it contains information about the members, types, references and all the other data that the runtime needs for execution.
Every Assembly you create contains one or more program files and a Manifest. There are two types program files : Process Assemblies (EXE) and Library Assemblies (DLL). Each Assembly can have only one entry point (that is, DllMain, WinMain, or Main). We can create two types of Assembly, private Assembly and shared Assembly . A private Assembly is used only by a single application, and usually it is stored in that application's install directory. A shared Assembly is one that can be referenced by more than one application. If multiple applications need to access an Assembly, we should add the Assembly to the Global Assembly Cache (GAC).

.Net Assembly Manifest

An Assembly Manifest is a file that containing Metadata about .NET Assemblies. Assembly Manifest contains a collection of data that describes how the elements in the assembly relate to each other. It describes the relationship and dependencies of the components in the Assembly, versioning information, scope information and the security permissions required by the Assembly.
The Assembly Manifest can be stored in Portable Executable (PE) file with Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL) code. You can add or change some information in the Assembly Manifest by using assembly attributes in your code. The Assembly Manifest can be stored in either a PE file (an .exe or .dll) with Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL) code or in a standalone PE file that contains only assembly manifest information. Using ILDasm, you can view the manifest information for any managed DLL.

.Net Namespaces

Namespaces are the way to organize .NET Framework Class Library into a logical grouping according to their functionality, usability as well as category they should belong to, or we can say Namespaces are logical grouping of types for the purpose of identification.
The .NET Framework Class Library (FCL ) is a large collection of thousands of Classes. These Classes are organized in a hierarchical tree. The System Namespaces is the root for types in the .NET Framework. We can uniquely identify any Class in the .NET Framework Class Library (FCL ) by using the full Namespaces of the class .In .Net languages every program is created with a default Namespaces . Programmers can also create their own Namespaces in .Net languages.

Garbage Collection

The .Net Framework provides a new mechanism for releasing unreferenced objects from the memory (that is we no longer needed that objects in the program) ,this process is called Garbage Collection (GC). When a program creates an Object, the Object takes up the memory. Later when the program has no more references to that Object, the Object's memory becomes unreachable, but it is not immediately freed. The Garbage Collection checks to see if there are any Objects in the heap that are no longer being used by the application. If such Objects exist, then the memory used by these Objects can be reclaimed. So these unreferenced Objects should be removed from memory , then the other new Objects you create can find a place in the Heap.
The reclaimed Objects have to be Finalized later. Finalization allows a resource to clean up after itself when it is being collected. This releasing of unreferenced Objects is happening automatically in .Net languages by the Garbage Collector (GC). The programming languages like C++, programmers are responsible for allocating memory for Objects they created in the application and reclaiming the memory when that Object is no longer needed for the program. In .Net languages there is a facility that we can call Garbage Collector (GC) explicitly in the program by calling System.GC.Collect.

Threads

Thread in computer science means a sequence of execution instructions that can run independently , that is a single flow of execution in a process. Thread is like a process, at least one thread exists within each process. Single Thread (normal programs) in computer science means that only one task can execute and at the same time the other tasks have to wait for the completion of the current task like in a queue. Single thread resulted in systems idle time and application performance.
Multithreading allows multiple process to execute concurrently within a single program .That is more than one task in a program can execute at the same time and each thread run independently of its own. If multiple threads can exist within a process, typically share the state information of a process, and share memory and other resources directly. Each thread maintains exception handlers, a scheduling priority, and a set of structures the system uses to save the thread context until it is scheduled.
In multiple threaded programming we can use system's idle time, so it leads improved application performance . Also we can set priority in each Threads . Threads with higher priority are executed in preference to threads with lower priority. It is recommended that you use as few threads as possible, thereby minimizing the use of Operating System resources . Check the following links to see how Multi Threaded applications works in VB.NET .

1 comment:

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