The Microsoft .NET Framework in Embedded ApplicationsMay 01, 2015
The world has come a long way from the first context sensitive C code editor in the early 1980s. Tooling and languages developed initially for desktop apps have been extended to encompass server, cloud and other environments. The Microsoft .NET Framework and Visual Studio provide state-of-the-art tools that greatly increase programmer efficiency. The .NET Framework tools and languages provide rich libraries and collaboration tools, and protect programmers from the most common mistakes. These advances have not, however, been made available to developers working on embedded devices. The market for embedded tools has lacked the scale necessary to attract the kind of investments made in tools for PC, server and cloud applications. The emergence of “intelligent devices” of all descriptions is bringing about a change in this imbalance. With the .NET Micro Framework, there has been a new stream of products, including small devices that used to require a different set of embedded skills to develop code. Instead these were developed by individuals and teams with .NET skills. If you’re a .NET developer and have thought about how to leverage small embedded devices in your applications, hopefully now you can use your skills to participate in the explosion of the Internet of Things (IoT) and intelligent devices. The goal of the .NET Micro Framework is to help .NET developers create an application that runs on a small 32-bit MCU-based device for embedded applications. At the Build conference in 2014, Microsoft described a range of OS platforms covering the IoT space with Windows Embedded Standard at the high end and the .NET Micro Framework for the small device end.