Improving the Performance of ASP.Net Web Forms Applications


This article explains the development of an ASP.NET Web Application using a Web Forms Project Template. As you know, there are various project templates available on the ASP.NET to create the web application and one of them is ASP.NET MVC. The developer wants to create the application in the ASP.NET MVC. However it may be possible that the Web Forms project template is suitable instead of the MVC project template.

The developer also thinks that if the application is developed using the Web Forms project template and later it'll be migrated to the MVC. In such cases, there are some important notes defined here and if we follow these notes when creating the application on the web forms project, then it is easy to migrate the application to the MVC (if it is necessary).

So, let's have a look at that, given below.

1: Use of Class Libraries

The use of class libraries are very essential and very effective when creating the application. This is independent of any user interface because they contain many POCOs. When developing the application, try to separate more code into class libraries; that helps after the migration. As an example: If we design the application in a layered architectural manner like developing the data access layer and business logic layer, we can use it as in the MVC also.

2: Use of CSS

The development of ASP.NET is very easy, like you can easily drag the server control and drop it. Make and set the properties of that control and your control is ready. Beginners make a common mistake  by setting its UI related properties like ForeColor, Font-Size and so on. The recommended approach is that instead of these we should use CSS and then use the ClassName property of the server control and attach the class name to the control. It is the standard way to design and develop the application. Do not use the specific features like themes and web parts in here because these are not migrated.

3: Use of jQuery Ajax

When you create the Web Forms applications, it offers the AJAX extensions that are individual for the Web Forms. We should use the standard techniques liks jQuery or XMLHttpRequest object. The development by this way will be quite portable to any other web development framework that includes the MVC also.

4: Use of Web API

Initially the Web API was launched with the ASP.NET MVC but now it is available with the ASP.NET Web Forms application also. We should use the Web API instead of writing the Ajax code that calls a Page method or web service. We can call it from the client side. It is reusable in the MVC applications also.

5: Use of User Controls

There are two types of creating the web forms, Custom Server Controls and Web User Control. If we develop the application with the use of a Custom Server Control then a rich design interface is created for the application but this won't be readily reusable in the MVC. It is the right approach to choose Web User Controls to design the application. It provides a raw HTML and code and which is also offered by the MVC and equivalent also in the form of partial pages.

6: Use of Standard HTML

There are many controls that are very important and essential in the Web Forms application like GridView. The migration of these might be difficult because it is not assigned directly in the MVC but we cannot avoid it. We can use the standard HTML tags like Span or label tags in the place of Label controls. With this way we can reuse markup readily in MVC.

7: Design as MVC

The Web Forms do not maintain the architecture of MVC. As in the MVC, there are Models, Views and Controllers, so you can design the Web Forms application in terms of the MVC. You can design it as the Model, View and Controller.

 Structure of MVC

8: Use Design Patterns

Generally many ASP.NET Web Forms developers use the drag and drop way to create the application and their application have the significant User Interface. These are good for that specific development only but if we extend them, then that is quite difficult and there are some problems because a substatial amount of code is done directly in the wed forms. So the easiest way to improve that is, we should use the commonly used Design Patterns so that we can construct the application in a meaningful and better way.


This article described how to develop ASP.NET Web Forms Applications so that it can easily migrated to the ASP.NET MVC. There are many more things to elaborate on to design and structure in the ASP.NET MVC. Thanks for reading the article.