What is ASP.NET?

Lot of new programmers are confused about ASP.NET. They assume ASP.NET is another programming language like C#, VB.NET etc.

ASP.NET or Active Server Pages for the .NET framework is a technology for providing dynamic Web Page content to the users.

Its name is very descriptive, and can be analyzed in reverse order

Page: An ASP page is a Web page that the user navigates to and is displayed in his or her browser.

Server: An ASP page contains script code that the Web server executes.

Active: An ASP page provides dynamic content that's updated every time the page is accessed.

Let me explain ASP.NET in more detailed way:

  • ASP stands for Active Server Pages.
  • ASP.NET is the name of the Microsoft technology used for web site development.
  • ASP.NET is NOT a programming language like C# or VB.NET
  • ASP.NET technology comes with a rich set of components and controls that make the web development very easy.
  • Visual Studio .NET is the editor from Microsoft, which helps you, develop ASP.NET web sites faster and easily.
  • IIS is the web server from Microsoft, which supports ASP.NET. To develop ASP.NET web sites, you must have IIS installed in your computer.
In ASP.NET programming, a web page is developed using HTML and a .NET programming language like C#, VB.NET or J#. You can choose your favorite .NET language to develop ASP.NET pages.

ASP.NET is the next generation ASP, but it's not an upgraded version of ASP. ASP.NET is an entirely new technology for server-side scripting.

What is an ASP.NET File?
  • An ASP.NET file is just the same as an HTML file.
  • An ASP.NET file can contain HTML, XML, and scripts.
  • Scripts in an ASP.NET file are executed on the server.
  • An ASP.NET file has the file extension ".aspx".
Working of ASP.NET
  • When a browser requests an HTML file, the server returns the file.
  • When a browser requests an ASP.NET file, IIS passes the request to the ASP.NET engine on the server.
  • The ASP.NET engine reads the file, line by line, and executes the scripts in the file.
  • Finally, the ASP.NET file is returned to the browser as plain HTML.
Though there are other technologies used for web development like PHP, Flash, CGI/Perl etc. ASP.NET is the technology from Microsoft and it he widely used one.


I hope that this article would have helped you in understanding the ASP.NET. Though it a simple article but will help the beginner to have good knowledge of the technology before starting. Please share it if you know more about this article. Your feedback and constructive contributions are welcome.

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