Common frameworks you may want installed

Ever encountered small print under program description - saying that it requires something installed? Which is often ten times larger than program itself.

It’s because some software is made to run on certain framework. You have framework needed installed - it works. You don’t - it doesn’t. Such model has some advantages and disadvantages but they aren’t in focus for today.

This post covers core frameworks that are most widely used on Windows platform. They are worth installing (and keeping up to date) because:

  1. plenty of software and/or web stuff needs them
  2. ignoring their updates is huge security risk

Microsoft .NET Framework

framework_dotnet Skipping bunch of technical details - this is software framework from Microsoft. There is plenty of software that requires this framework and more appears every year.

.NET Framework is rather large download but rarely updated. Install once and forget is good enough. Windows Vista includes it out of the box.

Home page microsoft.com/net

Download Page filehippo.com/download_dotnet_framework_3/
(FileHippo link for the sake of simplicity, downloading from Microsoft is a mess)

Microsoft DirectX

framework_directx Not really framework but pretty much same for end users. DirectX is another Microsoft technology that powers most of graphic and video related tasks. It is heavily used by games and by Windows interface itself.

DirectX version 10 is exclusively included in Windows Vista. Older ones use DirectX version 9 which is updated around every other month. Updates are mostly minor so keeping up only matters for heavy gamers.

Home page gamesforwindows.com/en-US/AboutGFW/Pages/DirectX10.aspx

Download Page filehippo.com/download_directx

(FileHippo link for the sake of simplicity, downloading from Microsoft is a mess)

Java Runtime Environment

framework_java Very similar to .NET Framework this one is required to run software (both usual and so-called applets that you can encounter online in your browser) written in Java programming language.

It is updated relatively often and worth keeping up to date (anything online related is possible security risk). Worth mention that installing latest version does not overwrite or uninstall previous ones so they can quickly eat lots of space if forgotten.

Home page java.sun.com

Download Page filehippo.com/download_jre_32 & filehippo.com/download_jre_64

(FileHippo link for the sake of simplicity, downloading from Sun is a mess)

Adobe Flash Player

framework_flash Another not-really-framework. This one handles all online animation in highly popular Adobe Flash format (SWF and FLV files). Including online video (like YouTube), online games, animated menus (or whole sites) and even advertisement.

Comes in two separate packages - for Microsoft Internet Explorer and for other browsers. Updates are infrequent but mostly security related so very important.

Home page adobe.com/products/flashplayer

Download Page adobe.com/shockwave/download/download.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash

Related Posts


  • Navjot Singh #

    Download link of .NET Framework is broken. Pls fix it.
  • Rarst #

    @Navjot Singh Link was correct but only worked if you browsed on it from Microsoft site (stupid). Changed to FileHippo link, big thanks for noticing! :)
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  • Adrian #

    Rarst, Where did Shockwave Player go?? It's different from Flash Player, and most online games require Shockwave. Also, you can use JavaRa @ http://raproducts.org/ to update Java RE and also delete previous unused versions of Java. Adrian
  • Rarst #

    @Adrian Where did Shockwave Player go? You mean why not in post? :) Honestly I hadn't need for Shockwave for years. I don't even remember when I had last seen it installed on any PC. I had looked at JavaRa in the past but as for me - excessive. Recent JRE versions do better work keeping its garbage under control and I download setup package when it hits RSS anyway.
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  • Ishan #

    I was looking for .Net Framework, and was not able to find it on Microsoft website. Then I remembered you had this post. So, I came here, and got the direct URL. Thanks buddy :)
  • Rarst #

    @Ishan No problem. :) Microsoft sites are indeed pain to navigate.
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