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CLI(1) (Call Level Interface) A database programming interface from the SQL Access Group (SAG), an SQL membership organization. SAG's CLI is an attempt to standardize the SQL language for database access. Microsoft's ODBC conforms to the CLI but adds its own extensions. Under CLI, SQL statements are passed directly to the server without being recompiled.
(2) (Command Line Interface) A user interface to an application that accepts typed-in commands a line at a time. See command-driven.
(3) (Common Language Infrastructure) A standard version of Microsoft's .NET platform from the European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA). In late 2001, ECMA standardized .NET, naming it the CLI (ECMA-335). ECMA also standardized Microsoft's C# (ECMA-334) as the flagship .NET programming language.
A Universal .NET
The CLI is a platform-independent standard that allows third parties to develop compilers for non-Microsoft programming languages. It also allows runtime engines to be developed for Linux, Unix and other non-Microsoft operating systems as well as alternate runtime engines for Windows.
The intermediate language created by CLI-based systems is the Common Intermediate Language (CIL), which is identical in structure to the Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL). Depending on the class libraries used, the Virtual Execution System (VES), which is the CLI runtime engine, may or may not be able to execute Microsoft MSIL bytecode. See .NET Framework, DotGNU Portable.NET and Mono.