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Can an older .NET program utilize a newer .NET Framework?

Posted on 2013-05-16
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I'm experimenting with an install of a product called the Pedestrian and Bicycle Crash Analysis Tool (PBCAT). PBCAT appears to be an older .NET WinForm product. I found some older literature that indicates that PBCAT v2.0 is based on .NET Framework 1.1. I was able to successfully install PBCAT on my laptop without an additional .NET Framework install despite the fact that I don't have .NET Framework 1.1 installed on my laptop. I do, however have versions 2.0, 3.5, and 4.0 installed. Is the PBCAT program able to utilize a newer version of the .NET Framework? In other words, do newer versions of .NET Framework contain all the elements of the older versions to allow for backward compatibility? Or, is the literature I'm reading simply old?

Here's a secondary question, is it possible to determine which version of the .NET Framework PBCAT is pulling from if I'm not the PBCAT developer?
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Question by:jdana
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by:Paul MacDonald
Paul MacDonald earned 892 total points
ID: 39172441
In many - maybe most - cases, yes.  There were some syntactic changes between a few versions - some commands were deprecated or changed.  You may need to make some tweaks, but otherwise you're probably okay.
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Ron Malmstead earned 448 total points
ID: 39172483
When developing in .net, I notice I sometimes use deprecated functions/syntax, and Visual Studio will flag it as a "warning".  After compile, the program still works as expected... so my answer would be yes.  .net has backward compatibilty.   Usually when you install a .net program, you'll see system requirements.. such as .. ".Net version XX or later".

I think an exception would be, if a function is not only deprecated, but "removed" from a future release.. though I can't think of an example off the top of my head.
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by:Paul MacDonald
Paul MacDonald earned 892 total points
ID: 39172689
I can't think of a removed command either, but I know they exist because I've run into them.
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Author Closing Comment

by:jdana
ID: 39253248
Terrific answers, thanks to all three of you.
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