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What is the best way to transition from Classic ASP development to .net development?

Posted on 2008-10-02
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Last Modified: 2013-11-08
Hi,

We develop web sites/application using classic ASP & SQL Server 2005. We are looking to migrate to a .net platform, but would like some insight on the best transition path. .Net offers a lot more variety and languages and we want to know what others went through in their transitions.

Thanks.
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Question by:BuddhaNature
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onemancat earned 250 total points
ID: 22628853
It was a bit of a rough learning curve for me.  Being from a C background, I was so happy about getting strong data types in C#, not having to worry about what type my VBScript "Variant" really was.  I think if you've been using a lot of VB6 COM objects with classic ASP, it won't be as bad as if you were doing everything in VBScript (which I was).
The opportunity to use components that others have written (Microsoft, third party vendors, random peoples' freeware) is a huge bonus, as is the ability to use web services really easily.  The new LINQ stuff can really speed up how you integrate with your SQL Server 2005 database.
My short answer is this: to do the transition right, it will take a lot of hard work, and the best bet is definitely to 1) read an ASP.NET book (e.g., from Wrox), 2) post lots of questions on this site (EE) as you hit big problems, and to me most importantly 3) get your hands on a reference application (Microsoft has some on their web site) that is similar to what you will develop with your first project, and copy it stylistically.
In my view, you really need to be building with at least 3 tiers (VS projects): the ASP.NET project, a Class project for Value Objects (objects that contain only properties to hold data from database), and a Class for Business Layer (objects that contain only methods that operate on value objects and the database).  Many would advocate additional layers, such as one for Data Access, but I find 3 works very well for me.  You then re-use these class libraries all the time, and it just makes everything work so well.
The best way to get started is just to pick a low-risk project, either a new project or a migration, and just do it.  Your team probably won't be super-professional at this until there's been a few projects under your belt.
Best of luck!
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by:NicksonKoh
NicksonKoh earned 250 total points
ID: 22630271
After sticking on to many years of hardcore ASP development, I finally switched over the site partially to ASP.NET. Firstly, it is impractical to switch over a nice working system to ASP.NET. The approach I've adopted was to move all new modules to ASP.NET and switch over some existing functionalities to ASP.NET if there are major changes. I also took 1 existing ASP module and switch over to ASP.NET just for the team to get a feel of ASP.NET development.

In the process of conversion, we hit quite a number of issues such as pushing session variables across from ASP to ASP.NET pages, ole db driver issues, language issues due to the differences in encoding of asp and asp.net pages, handling gobalization parameters, switching over includes files, etc... After resolving these many issues, I was then confident that my team could handle all new projects in ASP.NET.

As for my feel on ASP.NET. Moving to ASP.NET was a good opportunity to improve some of the bad techniques that I've employed in ASP. I like the web services, I like the re-usability of codes through app_code and custom controls. I like strong typing. But still on the front end, i.e. as far as the end users are concerned, there wasn't any significant difference, of which I have similar notion.

Lastly, I have a VB team and so naturally, we just stick to VB.NET. I am personally not so bothered with whether which language is better because they both really can serve the same objective.

Good Luck to you.
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