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An Introduction to the .NET FCL, Part 2
Pages: 1, 2


Related Reading

VB.NET Core Classes in a Nutshell
By Budi Kurniawan, Ted Neward

The FCL provides a full set of graphics objects, such as the Color structure, the Brush class, the Font class, and the Graphics class in the System.Drawing namespace.


The FCL allows you to read the standard input, standard output, and standard error streams, as well as to access the file system, through classes like File, FileInfo, StreamReader, and StreamWriter in the System.IO namespace.

Availability of metadata

Through the Type class in the System namespace and classes like Assembly, Module, EventInfo, MethodInfo, and ParameterInfo in the System.Reflection namespace, the .NET FCL provides support for reading metadata (the data that describes particular program elements) at any time.

Remote calls

Through classes such as ObjRef, RemotingConfiguration, and RemotingServices in the System.Runtime.Remoting namespace, the .NET FCL adds support for remoting (calls that cross process or machine boundaries).

String handling and manipulation

Interestingly, in the .NET Framework, strings are immutable. This means that simple operations such as string concatenation involve an enormous performance penalty. The StringBuilder class in the System.Text namespace makes it possible to perform string concatenation efficiently. The RegEx and Match classes in System.Text.RegularExpressions make it possible to perform regular expression searches on strings.

Control of threading

In previous versions of Visual Basic, threading was a factor that enormously impacted VB applications but over which the VB developer had no control. With classes like Thread, Mutex, and Monitor in the System.Threading namespace, the .NET FCL for the first time places threading under the direct control of the VB.NET developer.

In This Series

An Introduction to the .NET FCL, Part 5
In this final installment from VB.NET Core Classes in a Nutshell, learn how to approach the .NET FCL.

An Introduction to the .NET FCL, Part 4
In part four in this five part series on the .NET FCL from VB.NET Core Classes in a Nutshell, learn the types of a .NET namespace.

An Introduction to the .NET FCL, Part 3
In part three in this series of book excerpts on the .NET Framework Class Library from VB.NET Core Classes in a Nutshell, learn how to work with the .NET FCL.

An Introduction to the .NET FCL, Part 1
In part one of a five-part series of book excerpts from VB.NET Core Classes in a Nutshell, learn what it's like to develop without the .NET FCL library and its core classes.

Data access

The .NET FCL features a brand new data access technology, ADO.NET. It is represented by classes like the DataSet class in the System.Data namespace, the OleDbConnection, OleDbCommand, and OleDbDataReader classes in the System.Data.OleDb namespace, and the SqlConnection, SqlCommand, and SqlDataReader classes in the System.Data.SqlClient namespace.

Windows desktop applications

The forms and controls that made Visual Basic the premier Rapid Application Development package for Windows have their equivalent in the .NET FCL. These classes, such as the Form class, the Button class, and the TextBox class, are found in the System.Windows.Forms namespace.

Web application development

In addition to Windows controls, the .NET FCL features two sets of controls for web application development. HTML server controls execute on the server but otherwise correspond more or less directly to standard client-side HTML controls. They are found in the System.Web.UI.HTMLControls namespace. Web controls (also known as ASP controls) are server controls that abstract the functionality of controls in a web application. They are found in the System.Web.UI.WebControls namespace.

Web services

A web service is simply a function call over the Internet. The .NET FCL supports the development of web services through the types in the System.Web.Services namespace.

As you can see, the functionality offered by the .NET FCL is extensive--and in this overview of the .NET FCL, we've only emphasized the highlights.

In the next installment, learn to work with the .NET FCL.