Memory Management In Microsoft .NET Framework


This article features a review discussing the function of memory management in Microsoft .NET framework in detail.


Microsoft .NET framework memory management is taken care of by the Common Language Runtime, CLR system. It is a great feature as it takes care of memory management in Microsoft Dot Net framework and relieves the programmers from the duty of memory management which includes allocating and freeing up the memory.  Thus, we see that memory is allocated to the instantiations of .NET objects in a close manner from the managed heap, a pool of memory managed by the CLR.


Till the time there is a reference to an object, either a direct reference to an object or through a graph of objects, it is believed to be in use by the Common Language R. When there is no reference to an object, and it cannot be reached or used, it becomes garbage. However, it still holds on to the memory allocated to it. Note that the Microsoft .NET framework memory management system consists of a garbage collector that runs on periodical basis on a different thread from the application's thread, which specifies all the unusable objects and get back the memory allocated to them.


Garbage Collector (GC) in Microsoft .NET framework can be defined as a non-deterministic, compacting, mark-and-sweep garbage collector. It is in running state only when a definite amount of memory has already been used or the system is under pressure for memory. The Garbage Collector which is used for memory management in Microsoft .NET framework is actually a generational one. The objects are being assigned a generation and the newly formed objects come under Generation 0. The objects which successfully overcome garbage collection are named as Generation 1, and those objects of Generation 1 that successfully survive another Garbage collection are known as Generation 2 objects.


The Microsoft .NET framework utilizes objects till the Generation 2 objects and the objects belonging to the higher generation objects are garbage collected less frequently as compared to the objects belonging to lower generations. It helps in enhancing the efficiency of garbage collection, as older objects are more likely to have a superior lifetime than the newer objects. Therefore by removing the older objects from the scope of a collection run, there would be lesser number of objects which required checking and compacting in process of memory management in Microsoft Dot Net framework.