Platform vs. Framework


A platform usually means an environment in which a piece of software is designed to run. So it often means the operating system (e.g. windows or Linux), but sometimes the architecture (x86 might be a platform, or the java virtual machine).

Platforms may also include:

  • Embedded systems
  • Modern browsers (e.g., chrome)
  • Twitter and Facebook
    • Extending the idea of a software framework, these allow application developers to build software out of components hosted by the provider, with internet communication linking them together
  • Java virtual machine
  • Window/Mac/Linux OS
  • iOS/Android


A framework is usually a collection of functions or classes, so it is very similar to a library, except that Control is Inverted. (Inversion Of Control is the core characteristic of what constitutes a framework.) That is, your code calls a library, but a framework calls your codes.

Usually, a framework comes with a collection of tools: software, methodology, and design pattern to provide a way of building applications (or specific layers of an application).

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