Common Type System (CTS)
Definition - What does Common Type System (CTS) mean?
The Common Type System (CTS) is a standard for defining and using data types in the .NETframework. CTS defines a collection of data types, which are used and managed by the run time to facilitate cross-language integration.
CTS provides the types in the .NET Framework with which .NET applications, components and controls are built in different programming languages so information is shared easily. In contrast to low-level languages like C and C++ where classes/structs have to be used for defining types often used (like date or time), CTS provides a rich hierarchy of such types without the need for any inclusion of header files or libraries in the code.
CTS is a specification created by Microsoft and included in the European Computer Manufacturer‘s Association standard. It also forms the standard for implementing the .NET framework.
Techopedia explains Common Type System (CTS)
- Value Types: Contain the values that need to be stored directly on the stack or allocated inline in a structure. They can be built-in (standard primitive types), user-defined (defined in source code) or enumerations (sets of enumerated values that are represented by labels but stored as a numeric type).
- Reference Types: Store a reference to the value‘s memory address and are allocated on the heap. Reference types can be any of the pointer types, interface types or self-describing types (arrays and class types such as user-defined classes, boxed value types and delegates).