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A Detailed Study of The Microsoft ASP.NET Framework

ASP.NET, where ASP stands for Active Server Pages is a web development model developed by Microsoft, integrated with .NET and built on Common Language Runtime (CLR). This framework is extensively used by many web developers to build server-side web pages and web applications.

Basically, ASP.NET works along with the Internet Information Server (IIS) to deliver content that is requested by users through the frontend. While processing these user requests, ASP.NET provides access to the included .NET classes, custom components and databases.

This framework has assisted web developers in creating dynamic web pages that can keep up with the expectations of the users. There are basically 2 main reasons why this framework is highly preferred by many dot net developers:

A) It is an open source framework with a large community of developers constantly working to improvise it.

B) It is backed by Microsoft and that makes it a safe to use the framework.

ASP.NET is being used extensively in web development to the extent that some web development specialists tend to choose it over several other popular frameworks. The features that have facilitated the success of ASP.NET framework are:

  • High compatibility: It is easily compatible with all types of frameworks as well as various other .NET platforms.
  • Cross-platform migration: This framework is easily portable from one operating system to another, be it Windows, Linux, MacOS or any other platform.
  • Simplicity and manageability: It has a text-based hierarchical configuration system that enables easy management and simple handling of the framework. Also, the simplistic and light structure that the framework has to offer makes it easier to handle.
  • Reduced coding: It has an enhanced framework technology that reduces coding time, especially for large web applications. Also, there is a huge range of code reviews which one can refer to while coding and that helps prevent writing a bad code.
  • Flexible deployment: The framework can easily be integrated into a web application or installed side-by-side across various platforms.

ASP.NET is a framework that has been around for over 15 years now. The web application development based on it can be further divided into two categories:

1) ASP.NET MVC

2) ASP.NET web forms

Both these frameworks have their individual features and characteristics to offer. From the time ASP.NET MVC was introduced in 2008, ASP.NET specialists have been constantly debating which platform is better.

Here is a clear list of the pros and cons of both the frameworks to help you figure out which one is preferable for your website design development.

ASP.NET MVC

MVC stands for Model View controller which is an object-oriented programming web development model. This enables the development of web applications with a user interface that is efficiently related to the underlying data models.

  • Pros:

Easy to understand: Generally, the perception is that the understanding of .NET requires a detailed knowledge of the topic. But, ASP.NET MVC is really easy to understand for developers with a background in PHP, Ruby, or Python as it has a lot in common with those platforms.

Fast server side: Though there no detailed reports of the performance speed of MVC, it can be clearly observed that ASP.NET MVC pages are a lot faster in processing requests and delivering results than other frameworks. This fast performing framework would give a boost to large websites.

Multiple related views: As this framework is based on object-oriented programming model, it enables multiple ways of calling a single view. One can have multiple versions of a page displaying the same data but in a slightly different format. This enables developers to create multiple views for various devices keeping the same controller.

  • Cons:

Difficult to convert a pre-existing site: MVC may have conceptual similarities with other frameworks which makes it simpler to comprehend but that does not mean a website built with a different framework can easily be transferred to ASP.NET MVC framework. It is not impossible, but it is very time-consuming and costly which renders it useless.

May not run smoothly if you are not upgraded to IIS7: Integration of .NET MVC with IIS is one of the major upgrades of IIS. But, if you are using older versions of IIS, there may be minor server-side issues on the website if the site is based on .NET MVC.

Requires a lot of familiarity with HTML and client-side languages: For a .NET developer to be able to create MVC pages, he or she requires to have an in-depth knowledge with HTML coding and most of the client side languages as the MVC framework supports all the client side languages. Thus, to gain high compatibility, one requires high knowledge.

ASP.NET Web form:

A Web form is written with a combination of 4 factors – HTML, client-script, server controls, and server code. This framework has the capability to compile and execute a command when a user requests a page and then generates the relevant HTML markup which the browser renders.

  • Pros:

Have been around for a long time: This framework has been around even before MVC was launched. This makes it as old as .NET itself and thus, most .NET development service providers have mastered it fully and can deliver the requested web application designed with perfection.

Drag and drop controls: The framework offers web developer drag and drop controls for plugins and buttons. This way, developers can use third-party solutions which facilitates the generation of the essential HTML and JavaScript needed for the web application.

Abstracted out mechanisms: The mechanisms of how pages work with an event-driven structure pre-designed by default. Thus, the developer does not need to know the detailed specifics of the inner-workings of the structure.

  • Cons:

Less control: As the HTML code is auto-generated by the framework, the developers do not have the complete control in their hands. Also, due to the same reason, several client-side languages cannot be used, for example, JQuery.

Complex pages: For large websites with multiple events, the whole page becomes extremely complex and heavy and that leads to the developers struggling to find the control hierarchy at runtime and to implement code at the right place.

Low-performance web pages: As the pages become complex, their size also increases and that leads to performance issues that lead to a slow loading website which is not at all appealing to visitors.

Conclusion:

Though it is difficult to decide which one is the superior choice out of ASP.NET MVC and ASP.NET Web form, a .NET developer can pick a suitable one based on his or her convenience and the type of website to be designed. But, looking at the larger picture, the demand of dot NET development services has been on the rise due to the ASP feature that can be integrated along with it.

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