The .NET Framework is a system component that is part of the Microsoft Windows operating system. It consists of a collection of components that handle the execution of programs written specifically for the framework. It also consists of a large class library containing pre-coded solutions for common programming tasks such as cryptography, database management, network connectivity, web services and algorithms. This is Microsoft’s response to Sun’s Java platform. Unlike Java, the concept behind the .NET Framework is standardized as Common Language Infrastructure (CLI).