Changes in the .NET framework.
ASP.NET has come a long way since it first came out. The major changes that took place in version 2.0 revolutionized the way a developer could look at a web page. Instead of the “stateless” web, the .NET framework allowed developers to look at web development in the same way that they looked at developing desktop applications.
While ASP.NET 2.0 brought out several new features that fundamentally changed the way programmers used .NET, version 3.5 adds to the feature set of 2.0 instead of changing it. Perhaps the only fundamental change in 3.5 is the addition of the MVC framework.
Changes in ASP.NET 3.5
There are several improvements in ASP.NET 3.5 that make it worth your while to use it. Amongst others, the AJAX framework is now an inherent part of .NET, along with new data controllers. We take a look at some of the improvements below.
AJAX is one of the most promising technologies in web development and has already gone far in improving the web users experience. Basically what it means is that an AJAX enabled web page can query the server and redisplay a part or the web page without the whole page needing to be refreshed.
For example, in a registration form that asks you to type in a new username for yourself, you must have noticed that after typing in a username, some web pages tell you immediately whether or not that username is available after you remove focus from the textbox. Under normal circumstances, you would have to click a “Check if username is available” link, or wait for the form to be submitted before you were informed of the error.
In this case, AJAX was able to query a backend database automatically and allow that portion of the webpage to change with the availability status without the whole page having to reload.
This has the benefits of saving bandwidth as well as improving the user experience. A no brainer for any developer.
ASP.NET makes it easy for users to now display data on a web page and have users edit and change the data on the screen itself. Earlier, developers had a limited choice of how to display data using ASP.NET’s GridView and DetailsView controls.
With the new ListView control, developers are able to control the exact display much more precisely. Also, when viewing large sets of data, the DataPager contol allows developers to create an interface that provides a facility for shifting between sets of data using “Next” and “Previous” buttons in a more stylish manner than before.
Works best with SQL Server.
Several features of .NET are automatically configured for ease of use with Microsoft’s SQL Server. As a developer, I myself lamented the fact that I had to use MySQL with .NET. However, with modern hosting plans these days, you get to use MSSQL’s Web edition with unlimited scalability. This is a boon to .NET developers everywhere!
All in all, ASP.NET is a major programming platform and with the latest 3.5 release as well as SQL Server’s Web release, there’s nothing to hold back developers from this superb programming framework.