An application domain (often AppDomain) is a virtual process that serves to isolate an application. All objects created within the same application scope (in other words, anywhere along the sequence of object activations beginning with the application entry point) are created within the same application domain. Multiple application domains can exist in a single operating system process, making them a lightweight means of application isolation.
An OS process provides isolation by having a distinct memory address space. While this is effective, it is also expensive, and does not scale to the numbers required for large web servers. The Common Language Runtime, on the other hand, enforces application isolation by managing the memory use of code running within the application domain. This ensures that it does not access memory outside the boundaries of the domain. It is important to note that only type-safe code can be managed in this way (the runtime cannot guarantee isolation when unsafe code is loaded in an application domain).