A couple of years ago, the computing world saw a great divide. Developers found themselves in one of two categories: those who created programs for the desktop, such as Visual Basic wizards, and those who specialized in writing applications for the Web, such as ASP developers.
With .NET, this digital divide no longer exists. Microsoft has revamped its old Active Server Pages (ASP) technology, renaming it ASP.NET and bundling it as part of the .NET Framework.
And because Visual Basic .NET is built on top of the .NET Framework, VB developers can now create amazingly interactive Web sites in the same amount of time it takes to knock together a regular Hello World Windows app.
That s right: for VB .NET developers, there s no new language to learn. There are a couple of fresh concepts, perhaps, but nothing drastic. ASP developers will experience a slight learning curve, but it s still relatively painless. The divide has been stitched up.
So, how can you create your own Web apps using your favorite programming language? Simply launch Visual Studio .NET and create a new ASP.NET Web application. This is created directly on your Web server, exposed through Internet Information Services (IIS).
After you create your project, you ll be presented with a Web form, along with a bundle of toolbox widgets. Similar to the way in which you create a Windows application, you just drag and drop controls onto your form. When you re ready, open the code window and respond to a Click event, or some such, writing a few lines to perhaps change the page or display a couple of search results.
That s it ”nothing too drastic, nothing too different from what you already know. It s an evolution .
In this chapter, we re going to start by briefly reviewing the essentials of Web applications: what you need to get up and running, how to handle postbacks, working with sessions that sort of stuff.
Then we ll dive straight into the real gold: all those nifty ASP.NET secrets. I ll show you how to create a default Enter button (using a technique few ASP.NET developers know exist), I ll share blocks of ready-to-run code for dealing with uploaded files, I ll demonstrate the secrets of generating images on the fly, and I ll even reveal how you can save hours of development time by stealing Microsoft s own code.
Just read on .