What is ASP.NET?
ASP.NET stands for Active Server Pages .NET and is developed by Microsoft. ASP.NET is used to create web pages and web technologies and is an integral part of Microsoft’s .NET framework vision. As a member of the .NET framework, ASP.NET is a very valuable tool for programmers and developers as it allows them to build dynamic, rich web sites and web applications using compiled languages like VB and C#.
ASP.NET is not limited to script languages, it allows you to make use of .NET languages like C#, J#, VB, etc. It allows developers to build very compelling applications by making use of Visual Studio, the development tool provided by Microsoft. ASP.NET is purely server-side technology. It is built on a common language runtime that can be used on any Windows server to host powerful ASP.NET web sites and technologies.
In the early days of the Web i.e. before the release of Internet Information Services (IIS) in 1997, the contents of web pages were largely static. These web pages needed to be constantly, and manually, modified. There was an urgent need to create web sites that were dynamic and would update automatically.
Microsoft’s Active Server Pages (ASP) was brought to the market to meet this need. ASP executed on the server side, with its output sent to the user’s web browser, thus allowing the server to generate dynamic web pages based on the actions of the user.
These server-side technologies are important contributions to the development of the Web. Amazon.com, eBay.com, and many other popular web sites use ASP.NET as the framework for their site; without ASP.NET it would not be possible.
12 Important Advantages ASP.NET
offers over other Web development models:
- ASP.NET drastically reduces the amount of code required to build large applications.
- With built-in Windows authentication and per-application configuration, your applications are safe and secured.
- It provides better performance by taking advantage of early binding, just-in-time compilation, native optimization, and caching services right out of the box.
- The ASP.NET framework is complemented by a rich toolbox and designer in the Visual Studio integrated development environment. WYSIWYG editing, drag-and-drop server controls, and automatic deployment are just a few of the features this powerful tool provides.
- Provides simplicity as ASP.NET makes it easy to perform common tasks, from simple form submission and client authentication to deployment and site configuration.
- The source code and HTML are together therefore ASP.NET pages are easy to maintain and write. Also the source code is executed on the server. This provides a lot of power and flexibility to the web pages.
- All the processes are closely monitored and managed by the ASP.NET runtime, so that if process is dead, a new process can be created in its place, which helps keep your application constantly available to handle requests.
- It is purely server-side technology so, ASP.NET code executes on the server before it is sent to the browser.
- Being language-independent, it allows you to choose the language that best applies to your application or partition your application across many languages.
- ASP.NET makes for easy deployment. There is no need to register components because the configuration information is built-in.
- The Web server continuously monitors the pages, components and applications running on it. If it notices any memory leaks, infinite loops, other illegal activities, it immediately destroys those activities and restarts itself.
- Easily works with ADO.NET using data-binding and page formatting features. It is an application which runs faster and counters large volumes of users without having performance problems
In short ASP.NET, the next generation version of Microsoft’s ASP, is a programming framework used to create enterprise-class web sites, web applications, and technologies. ASP.NET developed applications are accessible on a global basis leading to efficient information management. Whether you are building a small business web site or a large corporate web application distributed across multiple networks, ASP.NET will provide you all the features you could possibly need…and at an affordable cost: FREE!
What is ASP.NET Core?
ASP.NET Core is a new version of ASP.NET that runs on every major computing platform, including Windows, MacOS and Linux. Like ASP.NET, it is open source, created by Microsoft and allows developers to create web applications, web services, and dynamic content-driven websites. First released in 2016, ASP.NET Core is relatively new, but has already received a 2.0 release and is now a stable alternative to Windows-hosted ASP.NET web applications. Developers who know ASP.NET can leverage their existing knowledge of C# and can quickly pick up the framework differences introduced in ASP.NET Core.
Why Should I Use It?
There are plenty of good reasons to use ASP.NET when developing a website or an application. High speed, low cost, and vast language support are among the most significant benefits. ASP.NET is built into the familiar Windows server environment, requiring less setup and configuration than other web development platforms that must be installed and configured separately. The popularity of ASP.NET makes online resources and skilled developers easy to find.
Websites and applications built with ASP.NET can be faster and more efficient than a website build with PHP, for example. ASP.NET applications are compiled, which means the code is translated into object code, which is then executed. This compilation process takes a small amount of time, but happens only once. After compilation, the code can be executed over and over by the .Net platform very quickly.
The compilation process also provides validation that all of the code is consistent. For example, if a method named GetUser is renamed to GetEmployee as part of some code updates, any reference to GetUser throughout the rest of the application will cause an error during compilation, making it easy to identify and fix. Interpreted languages would not identify this error until the code is actually run and tested. In a large application, it is very time consuming to manually test every scenario, or to write and maintain additional code that tests of every scenario, whenever code is changed.
Software cost is an important factor when developing a website. It used to be that developers had to buy expensive software (called Integrated Development Environments, or IDEs) in order to build applications. These days, most code can be written using free tools. ASP.NET code can be written using a simple text editor, various free programming text editors and, most commonly, Microsoft’s ubiquitous Visual Studio application, which is available in a free Community Edition for non-corporate use. Companies with more than 5 developers must purchase a license to use Visual Studio, but the cost is competitive with professional IDEs for other platforms. Microsoft also provides Visual Studio Code, a lighter-weight IDE and editor, which is free for everyone, including corporations.
What type of database to use is an important decision when developing a web application. ASP.NET applications can use all of the popular databases, including Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, MariaDB, Postgres, MongoDB and CouchDB. While Microsoft SQL Server can require expensive software licenses for complex deployments, the free Express version is suitable for the vast majority of websites. All of the other databases mentioned here are free and open source.
ASP.NET is written using Object Oriented Programming languages such as C# or VB.net. Object Oriented Programming provides a framework and patterns for code organization and reuse. While VB.net is a holdover from Microsoft’s legacy Visual Basic product and has largely fallen out of favor among developers, C# is a first class programming language and consistently ranks among the worlds most in-demand and most-used programming languages.
Finally, even though ASP.NET is open source and free to use, it is actively developed and supported by the world’s largest software company, Microsoft. Microsoft is heavily invested in their development platforms, their developer community, and supporting the software companies use to run these applications. This means you don’t need to worry about your software becoming yesterday’s news any time soon.
As a whole, ASP.NET is a great framework to use when developing web sites and web applications. It is reliable, fast, easy to use, free and widely known. ASP.NET gives you full control of your development and can be used on any project, big or small. If you aren’t already using ASP.NET, why not give it a shot?