ASP.NET is the latest version of Microsoft's Active Server Pages technology (ASP).
What You Should Already Know
Before you continue you should have a basic understanding of the following:
- WWW, HTML, XML and the basics of building Web pages
- The basics of server side scripting like ASP or PHP
If you want to study these subjects first, find the tutorials on our Home Page
What is ASP?
ASP is a server side scripting technology that enables scripts (embedded in web pages) to be executed by an Internet server.
- ASP is a Microsoft Technology
- ASP stands for Active Server Pages
- ASP is a program that runs inside IIS
- IIS (Internet Information Services) is Microsoft's Internet server
- IIS comes as a free component with Windows servers
- IIS is also a part of Windows 2000 and XP Professional
What is an ASP File?
- An ASP file is just the same as an HTML file
- An ASP file can contain text, HTML, XML, and scripts
- Scripts in an ASP file are executed on the server
- An ASP file has the file extension ".asp"
How Does it Work?
- When a browser requests an HTML file, the server returns the file
- When a browser requests an ASP file, IIS passes the request to the ASP engine on the server
- The ASP engine reads the file, line by line, and executes the scripts in the file
- Finally, the ASP file is returned to the browser as plain HTML
Before you study ASP.NET, it would help to have a basic understanding of Microsoft's ASP technology.
To learn more about ASP, you can study our ASP tutorial.
What is ASP+?
ASP+ is the same as ASP.NET.
ASP+ is just an early name used by Microsoft when they developed ASP.NET.
What is ASP.NET?
ASP 3.0 is the latest version of ASP. There will not be an ASP 4.0 version.
ASP.NET is the next generation ASP, but it's not an upgraded version of ASP.
ASP.NET is an entirely new technology for server-side ASP scripting. It was written from the ground up and is not fully backward compatible with ASP 3.0.
You can read more about the differences between ASP and ASP.NET in the next chapter of this tutorial.
ASP.NET is the major part of the Microsoft's .NET Framework.
The Microsoft .NET Framework
The .NET Framework is the infrastructure for the Microsoft .NET platform.
The .NET Framework is an environment for building, deploying, and running Web applications and Web Services.
Microsoft's first server technology ASP (Active Server Pages), was a powerful and flexible "programming language". But it was to much code oriented. It was not an application framework and not an enterprise development tool.
The Microsoft .NET Framework was developed to solve this problem.
.NET Frameworks keywords:
- Easier and quicker programming
- Reduced amount of code
- Declarative programming model
- Richer server control hierarchy with events
- Larger class library
- Better support for development tools
The .NET Framework consists of 3 main parts:
- C# (Pronounced C sharp)
- Visual Basic (VB .NET)
- J# (Pronounced J sharp)
Server technologies and client technologies:
- ASP .NET (Active Server Pages)
- Windows Forms (Windows desktop solutions)
- Compact Framework (PDA / Mobile solutions)
- Visual Studio .NET (VS .NET)
- Visual Web Developer
This tutorial is about ASP.NET.
ASP.NET 2.0 improves upon ASP.NET by adding support for several new features.
You can read more about the differences between ASP.NET 2.0 and ASP.NET in the next chapter of this tutorial.
ASP.NET 3.0 is not a new version of ASP.NET. It's just the name for a new ASP.NET 2.0 framework library with support for Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows Communication Foundation, Windows Workflow Foundation; and Windows CardSpace.
These topics are not covered in this tutorial.