Microsoft .NET Framework Repair Tool Released
Microsoft released version 1.0 of its .NET Framework Repair Tool late last week.
This version of the tool only addresses .NET Framework 4.0, but Microsoft plans to extend it to cover other framework releases in the future. It checks for common setup or update problems with .NET Framework 4.0 and attempts to repair them, according to a Microsoft support article. The wizard-based tool, currently only available in English, can be obtained from Microsoft's download center here, or it's available via Windows Update or Windows Server Update Services.
The repair tool works on the client side of Windows all of the way back to Windows XP Service Pack 3. On the server side, it works with installations of Windows Server all of the way back to Windows Server 2003 SP2.
Microsoft's newer Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 solutions, still at the test stage, are designed to work with .NET Framework 4.5. Microsoft released a "consumer preview"-stage beta of .NET Framework 4.5 in late February.
Microsoft recommends not removing older versions of the .NET Framework since they ensure that older applications will stay compatible. Updating the .NET Framework ensures that newer software development tools will work well and that applications will install properly on systems. In general, the .NET Framework consists of a common language runtime enabling code execution, as well as class libraries that support managed and unmanaged code, according to Microsoft's .NET Framework overview.
Applications created on an earlier .NET version will still work if a system is upgraded to .NET Framework 4.0, according to an MSDN migration guide. However, Microsoft provides a list of potential .NET Framework 4.0 migration issues at this page.
Reasons to move to the .NET 4.0 Framework include better support for Office development, as well as the ability to tap into a bundle of new improvements.
Earlier this month, Microsoft released reliability update 1 for .NET Framework 4.0. This patch contains eight hotfixes that address known issues, but it requires a system restart to take effect.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.