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IN THIS CHAPTER
The Major Differences Between ASP and ASP.NET
Breaking Down the Parts of ASP.NET
At the same time that many Web developers were just starting to wrap their heads around Microsoft's Active Server Pages (ASP) 2.0, the development teams at Microsoft were hard at work preparing ASP.NET, the next generation of ASP. The development team, led by Mark Anders and Scott Guthrie, wrote ASP.NET from scratch, maintaining the good parts of ASP while radically changing its inner workings and extending its functionality to a new level. The goal was to enable Rapid Application Development (RAD) for Internet-based applications that's seamlessly integrated with the entire .NET Framework. The developer now has access to all the same APIs and components in an ASP.NET application that he would have with a Win32 application.
ASP provided a relatively easy way to create dynamic Internet applications, but the developer still had to write too much code. Unlike other Microsoft products, such as Visual Basic, ASP required code to be written for everything rather than using intrinsic controls for commonly performed functions.
For instance, let's say you want to show the results of a database query in a table on an ASP page. Unless you're using Visual Interdev or have the Script Library, there's no way to drag-and-drop a data-based table on your page, bind it to a data source, and run the page. You have to create a pretty large mix of HTML elements and server script to accomplish this. ASP.NET solves the problem of excessive coding by providing a rich set of stock server controls.
Don't panic. Learning ASP.NET will be challenging but fun. One of the great benefits of ASP.NET is that it can run side-by-side on the same installation of Internet Information Server (IIS) as ASP. You can continue to run and build your existing ASP applications while you learn how to build ASP.NET applications. As a matter of fact, most of the ASP object model was maintained in ASP.NET, with changes made only where it was absolutely necessary. The Application , Session , Response , Request , and Server objects from classic ASP are part of ASP.NET as well, providing a familiar development structure.
This chapter will provide a brief overview of the major features of ASP.NET and the .NET Framework.
This book is intended to teach you how to program ASP.NET and ADO.NET for data-driven Web applications. It is outside the scope of this book to teach you the basics of programming ASP.NET. This chapter is meant more as a refresher or overview of ASP.NET. If you want a comprehensive book on ASP.NET read ASP.NET: Tips, Tutorials and Code (Sams Publishing, ISBN: 0-672-32143-2).
In this chapter you will learn about:
The major differences between ASP and ASP.NET
HTML server controls
ASP.NET server controls
Server-side event handling
Session state management
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