WHAT IS ASP.NET?
ASP.NET is an open-source, server-side web-application framework designed for web development to produce dynamic web pages. It was developed by Microsoft to allow programmers to build dynamic web sites, applications and services
ASP.NET is an open source, server-side web application framework created by Microsoft that runs on Windows and was started in the early 2000s. ASP.NET allows developers to create web applications, web services, and dynamic content-driven websites.
ASP.NET is a web development platform, which provides a programming model, a comprehensive software infrastructure and various services required to build up robust web applications for PC, as well as mobile devices.
ASP.NET works on top of the HTTP protocol, and uses the HTTP commands and policies to set a browser-to-server bilateral communication and cooperation.
ASP.NET is a part of Microsoft .Net platform. ASP.NET applications are compiled codes, written using the extensible and reusable components or objects present in .Net framework. These codes can use the entire hierarchy of classes in .Net framework.
Features of ASP.NET
Let’s see some major features of ASP.NET in detail so as to build a better application.
1. High Performance
Performance is always a critical feature for any of the applications or software. Due to its ASP.NET Core and Kestrel web server, it’s remarked as the fastest and quick web application framework which is available in the market. Due to its new Kestrel web server, it is more fast and lightweight. Also, it has the advantage of asynchronous programming models. All other things like python, java, jsp, php use an interpreter. However, compilers are faster as compared to the interpreter. Compilers take all the code and compile at a time. So it is fast because ASP.NET uses compiler-based technology.
2. Cross-Platform and Container Support
As we say it supports cross-platform means it supports Windows, macOS, and Linux. So if we create ASP.NET application then we can directly deploy it on these platforms.
3. Asynchronous via Async/Await
Asynchronous programming patterns is now implemented in all .net frameworks classes and 3rd party libraries. You know why asp.net is faster, because of its wide use of asynchronous patterns in kestrel frameworks. However, most of the applications spend their lots of time waiting for database queries, web services call and its input-output operations to complete. Popular Course in this category
Rich Development Environments
If we are creating the application then we will use IDE i.e visual studio. It provides a rich development environment by which we can easily drag and drop the components (radio buttons, checkboxes, etc.) and create the application.
5. Language Independent
The framework is language independent that is developers can use various languages like C#. So it’s easy for a developer to make its application by language which they know. We can create a dynamic web application using any of the languages.
6. Supports for Web Sockets
Sockets are used to create a client – server-based Applications. By socket normally we can create web-based client-server applications. These provide back and forth communication of the browser.
7. Action Filters
NET supports a very great feature that is ACTION FILTERS. These filters are used to implement error handling, authorization, caching or to any custom logic which we would like to implement. There is a logic been implemented which will be executed before and after controller action. To implement these logic Action filters are used.
8. Globalization and Localization
We host the web application and it can be accessed from anywhere globally. So language, date and time format, number format, the currency must be different for different regions or countries. ASP.NET supports globalization so that different countries’ clients or people also can understand and they can access this application. ASP.NET customize our application for different languages with the help of resource files. These files act as a central repository where all the texts are placed.
As it supports the .net framework so it will provide security for our application. Applications have its individual identity, so before running this .net will check its identity of those objects. It will also check the operating system security. Due to its pre-application configuration and feature of built-in windows authentication, our developed application is safe and secure. With built-in Windows authentication and per-application configuration, your applications are safe and secured.
10. Supports for HTML5 Form Types
It provides support for HTML5 form types. There the new controls are available in HTML 5 like email, URL, Number, RNGE, Date pickers (week, date, month, time, DateTime-local, etc.), color and search.
11. NET Web API
This includes ASP.NET web forms. HTTP services are easily consumed and built with the help of ASP.NET Web API.
The ASP.NET application codes can be written in any of the following languages:
- Visual Basic.Net
ASP.NET is used to produce interactive, data-driven web applications over the internet. It consists of a large number of controls such as text boxes, buttons, and labels for assembling, configuring, and manipulating code to create HTML pages.
ASP.NET Web Forms Model
ASP.NET web forms extend the event-driven model of interaction to the web applications. The browser submits a web form to the web server and the server returns a full markup page or HTML page in response.
All client side user activities are forwarded to the server for stateful processing. The server processes the output of the client actions and triggers the reactions.
Now, HTTP is a stateless protocol. ASP.NET framework helps in storing the information regarding the state of the application, which consists of:
- Page state
- Session state
The page state is the state of the client, i.e., the content of various input fields in the web form. The session state is the collective information obtained from various pages the user visited and worked with, i.e., the overall session state. To clear the concept, let us take an example of a shopping cart.
User adds items to a shopping cart. Items are selected from a page, say the items page, and the total collected items and price are shown on a different page, say the cart page. Only HTTP cannot keep track of all the information coming from various pages. ASP.NET session state and server side infrastructure keeps track of the information collected globally over a session.
The ASP.NET runtime carries the page state to and from the server across page requests while generating ASP.NET runtime codes, and incorporates the state of the server side components in hidden fields.
This way, the server becomes aware of the overall application state and operates in a two-tiered connected way.
The ASP.NET Component Model
The ASP.NET component model provides various building blocks of ASP.NET pages. Basically it is an object model, which describes:
- Server side counterparts of almost all HTML elements or tags, such as <form> and <input>.
- Server controls, which help in developing complex user-interface. For example, the Calendar control or the Gridview control.
ASP.NET is a technology, which works on the .Net framework that contains all web-related functionalities. The .Net framework is made of an object-oriented hierarchy. An ASP.NET web application is made of pages. When a user requests an ASP.NET page, the IIS delegates the processing of the page to the ASP.NET runtime system.
The ASP.NET runtime transforms the .aspx page into an instance of a class, which inherits from the base class page of the .Net framework. Therefore, each ASP.NET page is an object and all its components i.e., the server-side controls are also objects.
Components of .Net Framework 3.5
Before going to the next session on Visual Studio.Net, let us go through at the various components of the .Net framework 3.5. The following table describes the components of the .Net framework 3.5 and the job they perform:
|Components and their Description|
|(1) Common Language Runtime or CLRIt performs memory management, exception handling, debugging, security checking, thread execution, code execution, code safety, verification, and compilation. The code that is directly managed by the CLR is called the managed code. When the managed code is compiled, the compiler converts the source code into a CPU independent intermediate language (IL) code. A Just In Time(JIT) compiler compiles the IL code into native code, which is CPU specific.|
|(2) .Net Framework Class LibraryIt contains a huge library of reusable types. classes, interfaces, structures, and enumerated values, which are collectively called types.|
|(3) Common Language SpecificationIt contains the specifications for the .Net supported languages and implementation of language integration.|
|(4) Common Type SystemIt provides guidelines for declaring, using, and managing types at runtime, and cross-language communication.|
|(5) Metadata and AssembliesMetadata is the binary information describing the program, which is either stored in a portable executable file (PE) or in the memory. Assembly is a logical unit consisting of the assembly manifest, type metadata, IL code, and a set of resources like image files.|
|(6) Windows FormsWindows Forms contain the graphical representation of any window displayed in the application.|
|(7) ASP.NET and ASP.NET AJAXASP.NET is the web development model and AJAX is an extension of ASP.NET for developing and implementing AJAX functionality. ASP.NET AJAX contains the components that allow the developer to update data on a website without a complete reload of the page.|
|(8) ADO.NETIt is the technology used for working with data and databases. It provides access to data sources like SQL server, OLE DB, XML etc. The ADO.NET allows connection to data sources for retrieving, manipulating, and updating data.|
|(9) Windows Workflow Foundation (WF)It helps in building workflow-based applications in Windows. It contains activities, workflow runtime, workflow designer, and a rules engine.|
|(10) Windows Presentation FoundationIt provides a separation between the user interface and the business logic. It helps in developing visually stunning interfaces using documents, media, two and three dimensional graphics, animations, and more.|
|(11) Windows Communication Foundation (WCF)It is the technology used for building and executing connected systems.|
|(12) Windows CardSpaceIt provides safety for accessing resources and sharing personal information on the internet.|
|(13) LINQIt imparts data querying capabilities to .Net languages using a syntax which is similar to the tradition query language SQL.|
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF ASP.NET
ASP or Active Server Pages, developed by Microsoft is a technology to ease interactive web application development and build rich and dynamic websites. One of the highlights of this technology is that it can use both client side and server side scripts. As long as the developer is fully aware of C# and VB, you can take full advantage of this framework.
The developer can set the various conditions in the ASP program, and use this language to manage the content of any page. However, your visitor may not be very concerned about the backend script of a page, they are more interested in the content, design and speed of the application.
The better the speed and performance they get from previously used applications, the happier they become. If you have experience with Visual Basic or similar visual form development tool, then you can easily get started with ASP.NET.
Given the short intro, let us now delve a bit deeper into the advantages and disadvantages of the framework.
1) It allows for separation of concern
ASP.NET follows the MVC architecture, which allows for separate input, process and output of the application. This three-tier architecture, Model-View- Controller has interconnected parts, and can handle specific development aspects of software applications.
2) Reduces coding time
The framework technology is a big help in reducing coding time, especially when you are developing big applications. There are different types of code reviews, so you have no chance of writing a bad code. Code reviews would help you improve code quality.
3) Consists of some of out-of- the box features
ASP.NET delivers enhanced performance and scalability. It also comes with features like just-in- time compilation, early binding, native optimisation and caching services, and they too serve to improve performance several notches higher. The codes here are not interpreted like traditional ASP pages.
4) World class toolbox
The framework comes with incredibly rich toolbox through its Visual Studio integrated development environment. This toolbox acts as a very important building framework for the framework, and aids the developer to create applications very quickly. The toolbox is famous for its features like drag-and-
drop server controls WYSIWYG editing, and automatic deployment.
5) Delivers power and flexibility
The framework language is based on common language runtime, so all the web application developers can enjoy flexibility and power of that entire platform. It is also language independent, so you can choose the language for your application or even divide your application across several languages.
Each task can be performed easily, even the most common ones to the complicated and tricky ones. The common language runtime makes development process a simple one, with services like garbage collection and automatic reference counting. The framework lets you build user interfaces that can separate application logic and presentation code.
7) Customizability and Extensibility
The well factored architecture of the framework is a major help to developers. You can easily extend or replace the subcomponent of the ASP.NET runtime with the help of your own custom-prepared components. Implementing those have become even easier.
Security is a good feature of the framework language. You can develop secure applications through built in Windows authentication and per-application configuration features.
The excellent manageability feature of the framework is contributed through its text based hierarchical configuration system. And since these configurations are incorporated as plain texts, you can just make use of the local administration tools to apply the new settings. This makes tasks much easier, with no server restart, or with the necessity to deploy them separately, or replace running compiled code.
10) Benefit of continuous monitoring
Continuous and constant monitoring is an incredible feature of ASP.NET. You don’t have to worry about the status of the applications, components and the pages themselves. The program watches out for any such illegal events, and if anything happens (for example, memory leaps of infinite loops), it would immediately rise into action by destroying the activities, and restarting itself.
11) Cross-platform migration
The framework language allows for easy cross-platform migration, configuration and deployment services.
Before getting down to work with the framework, make sure to understand its drawbacks. This would give you better results.
Yes, we did mention security as one of the advantages of the framework. But apparently, extra care should be taken to protect the applications.
When compared to open source alternatives, ASP.NET is expensive, as you have expenses like SQL Server licenses, Visual Studio licenses, Windows server licenses, etc. This makes the hosting providers charge extra for their services as well. Additionally, the upkeep of the framework is very expensive, and you might have to use far more web server resources than other languages, for example, PHP. This requires far greater number of web server resources.
3) Documentation is not exactly up to the mark
The documentation of the framework is not as good as you want it to be, and when you building MVC apps, you could face issues.
4) ASP.NET core not good enough
Users say that ASP.NET core is still very raw. Certain basic things like Data Access may not give you the expected 100%. So you might have to be very careful when the app is ready for release, certain codes might just not work.
5) Making changes in the app
Changes might not work in the next version of your app. What works in the current version, works, but in the next, you might have to get help from GitHub.
6) Porting ASP application from one server to another is expensive
The configuration settings in an ASP web application is obscure, and stored in the IIS metabase. You need utilities like Internet Service Manager to access the metabase, as it is stored in the proprietary format on the server machine. Manipulating and extracting the settings is an arduous task because the support for this is pretty limited.
Another drawback of the framework is that it usually is not installed in the older versions of Windows. In that case, you may have to do it manually, following the user guidelines.
As you can see, you can enjoy a number of benefits with ASP NET. Just counter the cons with working experience and knowledge, and you can easily create high quality websites and apps.