ASP.NET Explained

ASP.NET is a unified web development model that includes the services necessary for you to build enterprise-class web applications with a minimum of coding. ASP.NET is part of the Microsoft .NET Framework, and when coding ASP.NET applications you have access to classes in the .NET Framework. You can code your applications in any language compatible with the common language runtime (CLR), including Microsoft Visual Basic, C#, JScript .NET, and J#. These languages enable you to develop ASP.NET applications that benefit from the common language runtime, type safety, inheritance, and so on.

ASP.NET includes:

  • A page and controls framework
  • The ASP.NET compiler
  • Security infrastructure
  • State-management facilities
  • Application configuration
  • Health monitoring and performance features
  • Debugging support
  • An XML Web services framework
  • Extensible hosting environment and application life cycle management
  • An extensible designer environment

The ASP.NET page and controls framework

The ASP.NET page and controls framework is a programming framework that runs on a Web server to dynamically produce and render ASP.NET Web pages. ASP.NET Web pages can be requested from any browser or client device, and ASP.NET renders mark-up (such as HTML) to the requesting browser. As a rule, you can use the same page for multiple browsers, because ASP.NET renders the appropriate mark-up for the browser making the request. However, you can design your ASP.NET Web page to target a specific browser, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer 11, and take advantage of the features of that browser. ASP.NET supports mobile controls for Web-enabled devices such as cellular phones, handheld computers, and personal digital assistants (PDAs).

The ASP.NET page and controls framework also enables you to encapsulate common UI functionality in easy-to-use, reusable controls. Controls are written once, can be used in many pages, and are integrated into the ASP.NET Web page that they are placed in during rendering. The framework delivers features to control the overall look and feel of your Web site via themes and skins. You can define themes and skins and then apply them at a page level or at a control level.

The ASP.NET Compiler

All ASP.NET code is compiled, which enables strong typing, performance optimizations, and early binding, among other benefits. Once the code has been compiled, the common language runtime further compiles ASP.NET code to native code, providing improved performance.

ASP.NET includes a compiler that will compile all your application components including pages and controls into an assembly that the ASP.NET hosting environment can then use to service user requests.

Configuration of ASP.NET

ASP.NET applications use a configuration system that enables you to define configuration settings for your Web server, for a Web site, or for individual applications. You can make configuration settings at the time your ASP.NET applications are deployed and can add or revise configuration settings at any time with minimal impact on operational Web applications and servers. ASP.NET configuration settings are stored in XML-based files.

ASP.NET applications can be built in the Microsoft Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE).

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