What is the Common Language Runtime (CLR)?

The Common Language Runtime (CLR) is the virtual machine component of .NET framework. It manages the execution programs written with .NET languages. A process known as just-in-time compilation converts compiled IL (Intermediate Language) code into machine instructions which the computer's CPU then executes.

Also, the CLR provides additional services including memory management, type safety, exception handling, garbage collection, security and thread management. All programs written for the .NET framework, regardless of programming language, are executed by the CLR. All versions of the .NET framework include CLR.

The common language runtime makes it easy to design components and applications whose objects interact across languages. Objects written in different languages can communicate with each other, and their behaviors can be tightly integrated. For example, you can define a class and then use a different language to derive a class from your original class or call a method on the original class. You can also pass an instance of a class to a method of a class written in a different language. This cross-language integration is possible because language compilers and tools that target the runtime use a common type system defined by the runtime, and they follow the runtime's rules for defining new types, as well as for creating, using, persisting, and binding to types.

Benefits of common language runtime

  • Performance improvements.
  • The ability to easily use components developed in other languages.
  • Extensible types provided by a class library.
  • Support for explicit free threading that allows creation of multithreaded, scalable applications.
  • Support for structured exception handling.
  • Garbage collection.

Short answer

  • The Common Language Runtime (CLR) is the run-time environment of .NET Framework, which runs the code and provides services that make the development process easier.
  • The CLR not just compiles IL code and executes it, but also provides additional services including memory management, type safety, exception handling, garbage collection, security and thread management.

Similar articles

Comments