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14 An Introduction to the Common Language Infrastructure (CLI)

Sunday, 26 October – 13:30-17:00 Afternoon

Damien Watkins, Director - Project 42 / Research Associate - DSTC, damien@project42.net

A number of Component-Based Architectures (CBAs) have been developed to facilitate the interoperability of software components that are written in different programming languages. The most widely known and used of these is OMG's Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) and Microsoft's Component Object Model (COM) and Distributed COM (DCOM). Although not specifically designed to provide language interoperability, many Java-based technologies, such as Enterprise Java Beans (EJB), also adhere to the principles of a CBA. The Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) is the latest CBA to be developed, and it builds on many of the lessons learned from previous architectures.

In this tutorial, we will look at the major components of the CLI. The CLI is an ECMA standard on which Microsoft has built three implementations: the .NET Framework, the Compact Framework and the Shard Source CLI. The CLI is also the specification on which non-Microsoft implementations, such as Ximian's Mono, are based.

Attendee background

Prerequisites: Attendees should have experience programming in an object-oriented programming language. Knowledge of a distributed/component architecture, such as CORBA or COM, is helpful. No familiarity with the CLI is required.




Dr. Damien Watkins is the founder and Managing Director of the software company "Project 42" and a Research Associate with the Distributed Systems and Technologies Centre. Prior to commencing Project 42, Damien lectured at the School of Computer Science and Software Engineering at Monash University. Damien is the primary author of "Programming in the .NET Environment" (Addison-Wesley 2003) and several papers on COM/DCOM, CORBA and the .NET Framework. Damien has presented tutorials on software architectures at OOPSLA 2002, SIGCSE 2002, TOOLS Pacific/Europe and the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit 2001/2002.