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Peer-to-peer applications such as Napster, Gnutella, and Scour that communicate as peers sharing and receiving information are becoming commonplace as a means for users connected on large networks to take advantage of the vast resources available to them. The Microsoft .NET Framework provides a rich platform for building P2P apps. This article explains the concepts that make up peer-to-peer applications. The peer-to-peer application model, discovering other peers, and querying peers for information are discussed. The article goes on to cover the System.Net namespace for the use of Internet protocols, the System.Web.Services namespace for exposing Web Services, and firewall and port issues. Finally, the role of the .NET Framework in simplifying the design of powerful peer-to-peer applications is outlined.
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