Applied ASP.NET 4 in Context
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My first experience with ASP.NET wasn’t very positive. It was back in 2003, and I had agreed to write a book for Microsoft Press about using ASP.NET to create XML web services.
This was when ASP.NET 1.0 was released. In those days, .NET was interesting but nothing special. It was widely regarded as Microsoft’s attempt to compete with Java, and the whole platform had a “me too” feel about it. ASP.NET itself was a very rigid and limited platform. It hadn’t been thought through and had a lot of rough edges. It was difficult to use, the tools support was lacking, and programmers had to work hard to get even the most basic functionality working.
Most Microsoft products follow a standard pattern of evolution. Version 1 shows promise but is rushed out the door and has major flaws. It is more a statement of intent rather than something to bet on. Version 2 fixes the worst flaws and delivers more of the original promise. Version 3 starts to look polished, but there are breaking changes. Version 4 is a solid performer, which adds innovative features and has the capability to lead the market segment.
This is the story of ASP.NET (and, of course, .NET as a whole). We are at the point where Microsoft excels: building on a solid and widely adopted product set to produce tools and features that shine. ASP.NET 4 is a very solid web application platform. It is packed with features, contains a choice of development frameworks, and has excellent tool support in Visual Studio. ASP.NET has reached maturity and is a platform to bet on.
In this book, I’ll take you on a tour through ASP.NET, starting with the core platform features, moving on to the Web Forms and MVC framework development frameworks, and finishing with the information you need to know to successfully deploy an ASP.NET web application.
As we go from chapter to chapter, you’ll learn everything you need to write effective ASP.NET web applications and understand how to solve the most commonly encountered web application challenges.