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What is ASP.Net used for?

Posted on 2011-09-04
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I know a little bit about PHP and how it's used for things like shopping carts and CMSs, but I have no idea what ASP.Net is about.

I've started reading a book on it and the beginning chapters are about the IDE. My first impression of it is that it allows you to create a quick design but the resulting code is bloated and ugly. Web designers must hate it.

What is ASP.Net used for and is my first impression of it wrong?
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Question by:Eindoofus
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by:disrupt
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Gewgala earned 500 total points
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asp.net is more geared towards web applications I'd say, and smaller web applications at that, rather than websites or large commercial enterprise-level applications.  It does come with many powerful tools that can prove to be very useful in that type of scenario.  For bigger scale projects or regular websites, I would say that the .net MVC framework is much better because it is not bloated, does not rely on viewstate, and as a result is very light weight.  In all honesty, I find that the .net MVC framework is very similar to the concept of PHP when you utilize the Razor syntax.  Of course, the big difference still is that things are compiled and strongly typed whereas PHP is not that way.

As far as advantages of asp.net web form development, the below bullet list is an excerpt taken from http://www.asp.net/mvc/tutorials/asp-net-mvc-overview-cs (which actually is an asp.net MVC overview, comparing MVC and traditional ASP.NET.  If I were you I'd read the article in its entirety, because you may find that asp.net MVC is more practical for your needs):

"Advantages of ASP.NET

It supports an event model that preserves state over HTTP, which benefits line-of-business Web application development. The Web Forms-based application provides dozens of events that are supported in hundreds of server controls.
It uses a Page Controller pattern that adds functionality to individual pages. For more information, see Page Controller on the MSDN Web site.
It uses view state or server-based forms, which can make managing state information easier.
It works well for small teams of Web developers and designers who want to take advantage of the large number of components available for rapid application development.
In general, it is less complex for application development, because the components (the Page class, controls, and so on) are tightly integrated and usually require less code than the MVC model.
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by:Eindoofus
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@Gewgala, what language would you say is used for enterprise-level applications?
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by:Gewgala
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From my experience, it's C#.  Because it's syntax is C-based, it has the most in common with lots of other languages out there.  As a result, transitions to it are not as difficult as say going from a C-based language over to VB.

All of the enterprise level applications I have ever worked on have been in C#, or translating old VB code to C#.
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by:Gewgala
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Hmmm I suppose I jumped the gun a little bit.  Are you meaning in the .net world?  Or any language, like making something like Facebook or something that is outside the .net world like php?

Either way, I personally prefer strongly typed, compiled languages that can give you reliable intellisense and can catch compile-time errors that would otherwise be run-time errors in a scripting language like PHP.  That means for a serious web application, I'd go with .net (asp.net web forms or asp.net MVC depending on the need), and more specifically C# as far as which specific language.

I'm not saying that scripting languages like PHP don't have their place, because they certainly do.  That's just my personal preference.

If you're talking about VB vs. C#, both have their advantages and many people use both.  From my personal experience, C# is the more widely used / widely growing language.
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