What is Common Type System (CTS)?

What is Common Type System (CTS)?

The Common Type System (CTS) is a standard that is primarily used for defining and using data types in the .NETframework. A data type is a definition of a set of values. The CTS specifies how type definitions and specific values of types are represented in computer memory. These data types in turn are used and managed by the run time to facilitate cross-language integration.

The benefit of CTS is that it allows programs written in different programming languages to easily share information. It also provides an object-oriented model that supports the complete implementation of many programming languages.

THE CTS supports two general categories of types:

Value types – contain data and instances of value types that are either allocated on the stack or allocated inline in a structure. These can be implemented by the runtime, can be user-defined, or through enumerations.

Reference types – store a reference to the value's memory address. Are allocated on the heap. These can be self-describing types, pointer types, or interface types. The type can be determined from values of self-describing types. Are user-defined classes, boxed value types, and delegates. Are further split into arrays and class types.

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