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What is .NET Framework 4.8 and Why You Need It

This article provides links for installing all versions of .NET Framework from .NET Framework 4.5 to .NET Framework 4.8.1 on your computer. If you're a developer, you can also use these links to download and redistribute .NET Framework with your apps. For information on deploying a version of .NET Framework with your app, see .NET Framework deployment guide for developers.

Install a developer targeting pack to develop against the most recent version of .NET Framework in Visual Studio or another development environment, or download the .NET Framework redistributable for distribution with your app or control.

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From the developer pack download page, choose Download. Next, choose Run or Save, and follow the instructions when prompted. You can also install the developer pack or targeting pack for a specific version of .NET Framework by selecting it from the optional components in the .NET desktop development workload in the Visual Studio Installer, as the following figure shows.

When building an application from Visual Studio or using MSBuild from the command line, MSBuild may display error MSB3644, "The reference assemblies for framework "framework-version" were not found." To address the error, download the developer pack or the targeting pack for that version of .NET Framework.

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Installers download .NET Framework components for an app or control that targets those versions of .NET Framework. These components must be installed on each computer where the app or control runs. These installers are redistributable, so you can include them in the setup program for your app.

Web installer (web bootstrapper) downloads the required components and the language pack that matches the operating system of the installation computer from the web. This package is much smaller than the offline installer but requires a consistent Internet connection. You can download the standalone language packs to install additional language support.

Offline installer (standalone redistributable) contains all the required components for installing .NET Framework but doesn't contain language packs. This download is larger than the web installer. The offline installer doesn't require an internet connection. After you run the offline installer, you can download the standalone language packs to install language support. Use the offline installer if you can't rely on having a consistent Internet connection.

The .NET Framework 4.5 redistributable was updated on October 9, 2012 to correct an issue related to an improper timestamp on a digital certificate, which caused the digital signature on files produced and signed by Microsoft to expire prematurely. If you previously installed the .NET Framework 4.5 redistributable package dated August 16, 2012, we recommend that you update your copy with the latest redistributable from the .NET Framework download page. For more information about this issue, see Microsoft Security Advisory 2749655.

Language packs are executable files that contain the localized resources (such as translated error messages and UI text) for supported languages. If you don't install a language pack, .NET Framework error messages and other text are displayed in English. Note that the web installer automatically installs the language pack that matches your operating system, but you can download additional language packs to your computer. The offline installers don't include any language packs.

See .NET Framework Reference Source to browse through .NET Framework source code online. The reference source is also available on GitHub. You can download the reference source for offline viewing and step through the sources (including patches and updates) during debugging. For more information, see the blog entry A new look for .NET Reference Source.

Just thought I'll post my issues as I stumbled across this too with VS2019 Winforms project, and couldn't target anything apart from .Net 5 and Core 3.1. Turns out there're 2 types of Winforms, Winforms App and Winforms App (.Net Framework). The former won't be able to target the other .net framework. The latter is able to. Duh! Simple stuffs that aren't obvious.

I wound up having to re-create my VS project. For template, I found framework 4.8 through searching templates in project creation using framework c# console search params. I then copied my files over to the new project folder, and added them as existing items through the solution tool.

Already popular in technologies such as the Spring Framework, dependency injection lets one object supply dependencies of another object. .NET Framework 4.7.2 makes it easier to use this capability in web forms. Setter-, interface- and constructor-based injection are supported, and other dependency injection frameworks can be plugged in.

Microsoft has announced the .NET Framework early access build, which you can download directly from the Microsoft server. This early access build is one of the in-development builds of the next version of the .NET Framework.

The .NET Framework (pronounced as "dot net") is a proprietary software framework developed by Microsoft that runs primarily on Microsoft Windows. It was the predominant implementation of the Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) until being superseded by the cross-platform .NET project. It includes a large class library called Framework Class Library (FCL) and provides language interoperability (each language can use code written in other languages) across several programming languages. Programs written for .NET Framework execute in a software environment (in contrast to a hardware environment) named the Common Language Runtime (CLR). The CLR is an application virtual machine that provides services such as security, memory management, and exception handling. As such, computer code written using .NET Framework is called "managed code". FCL and CLR together constitute the .NET Framework.

FCL provides the user interface, data access, database connectivity, cryptography, web application development, numeric algorithms, and network communications. Programmers produce software by combining their source code with .NET Framework and other libraries. The framework is intended to be used by most new applications created for the Windows platform. Microsoft also produces an integrated development environment for .NET software called Visual Studio.

In April 2019, Microsoft released .NET Framework 4.8, the last version of the framework as a proprietary offering. Only monthly security and reliability bug fixes to that version have been released since then. No further changes to that version are planned.[3]

While Microsoft and their partners hold patents for CLI and C#, ECMA and ISO require that all patents essential to implementation be made available under "reasonable and non-discriminatory terms". The firms agreed to meet these terms, and to make the patents available royalty-free. However, this did not apply to the part of the .NET Framework not covered by ECMA-ISO standards, which included Windows Forms, ADO.NET, and ASP.NET. Patents that Microsoft holds in these areas may have deterred non-Microsoft implementations of the full framework.[8]

Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) provides a language-neutral platform for application development and execution. By implementing the core aspects of .NET Framework within the scope of CLI, these functions will not be tied to one language but will be available across the many languages supported by the framework.

Because computer systems commonly require interaction between newer and older applications, .NET Framework provides means to access functions implemented in newer and older programs that execute outside .NET environment. Access to Component Object Model (COM) components is provided in System.Runtime.InteropServices and System.EnterpriseServices namespaces of the framework. Access to other functions is via Platform Invocation Services (P/Invoke). Access to .NET functions from native applications is via the reverse P/Invoke function.

While Microsoft has never implemented the full framework on any system except Microsoft Windows, it has engineered the framework to be cross-platform,[23] and implementations are available for other operating systems (see Silverlight and Alternative implementations). Microsoft submitted the specifications for CLI (which includes the Base Class Libraries, CTS, and CIL),[24][25][26] C#,[27] and C++/CLI[28] to both Ecma International (ECMA) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO), making them available as official standards. This makes it possible for third parties to create compatible implementations of the framework and its languages on other platforms.

.NET Framework has its own security mechanism with two general features: Code Access Security (CAS), and validation and verification. CAS is based on evidence that is associated with a specific assembly. Typically the evidence is the source of the assembly (whether it is installed on the local machine or has been downloaded from the Internet). CAS uses evidence to determine the permissions granted to the code. When calling code demands that it be granted a specific permission, CLR performs a call stack walk checking every assembly of each method in the call stack for the required permission; if any assembly is not granted the permission, it will throw a security exception.

.NET Framework includes a garbage collector (GC) which runs periodically, on a separate thread from the application's thread, that enumerates all the unusable objects and reclaims the memory allocated to them. It is a non-deterministic, compacting, mark-and-sweep garbage collector. GC runs only when a set amount of memory has been used or there is enough pressure for memory on the system. Since it is not guaranteed when the conditions to reclaim memory are reached, GC runs are non-deterministic. Each .NET application has a set of roots, which are pointers to objects on the managed heap (managed objects). These include references to static objects, objects defined as local variables or method parameters currently in scope, and objects referred to by CPU registers.[31] When GC runs, it pauses the application and then, for each object referred to in the root, it recursively enumerates all the objects reachable from the root objects and marks them as reachable. It uses CLI metadata and reflection to discover the objects encapsulated by an object, and then recursively walk them. It then enumerates all the objects on the heap (which were initially allocated contiguously) using reflection. All objects not marked as reachable are garbage.[31] This is the mark phase.[32] Since the memory held by garbage is of no consequence, it is considered free space. However, this leaves chunks of free space between objects which were initially contiguous. The objects are then compacted together to make free space on the managed heap contiguous again.[31][32] Any reference to an object invalidated by moving the object is updated by GC to reflect the new location.[32] The application is resumed after garbage collection ends. The latest version of .NET framework uses concurrent garbage collection along with user code, making pauses unnoticeable, because it is done in the background.[33]

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