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ASP.NET History

ASP.NETLearn basics of ASP.NET

ASP.NET is a server-side Web application framework developed by Microsoft to allow coders to build web apps, dynamic web sites and web services. If you are interested to learn or improve your ASP.NET programming skills, Livecoding social community is the right place to start. Read ASP.NET guide, follow tutorials, subscribe to ASP.NET channels, discover ASP.NET videos or just ask our programmers to help if needed.


Introduction to ASP.NET Framework

ASP.NET is Microsoft’s server-side web application development framework. It is an Open Source tool for creating dynamic web pages. It is used for dynamic web sites, web applications, and web services.

It came out in January 2002 as part of the .NET Framework version 1.0. It is a replacement for Active Server Pages (ASP). Since it runs inside the Common Language Runtime (CLR), ASP.NET programs can use any .NET language. It also provides a SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) extension framework that allows easy processing of SOAP messages.

The main components of ASP.NET projects are Web Forms, ASP.NET’s term for web pages. They come in two types: web applications and web sites. Web applications require compilation before being deployed. Web sites can be copied directly to the server. Individual Web Forms are contained in .aspx files, which contain markup code. This markup can reference custom Web Controls and User Controls.

History of ASP.NET

The January 5, 2002 release of ASP.NET 1.0 was preceded by four years of development, and multiple beta releases in 2000 and 2001. These beta releases led to dozens of books being written about ASP.NET before version 1.0 even came out.

After it’s release it was promoted heavily by Microsoft, which put Scott Guthrie in charge of further development of the framework. He oversaw the April 24, 2003 release of ASP.NET 1.1, which improved support for mobile clients.

ASP.NET was succeeded by ASP.NET Core. It makes the framework modular in nature, designed to be used alongside technologies like the Entity Framework. This move brings ASP.NET MVC, ASP.NET Web API, and ASP.NET Web Pages together under the umbrella of ASP.NET Core.


Being based on .NET, ASP.NET has excellent tool support. There’s too many great tools to possibly cover them all in one place, so we’re only going to cover a few of them.

  • Visual Studio Visual Studio is the number one IDE for developers on any Microsoft technology, including ASP.NET. It puts everything that you need to develop, test, and debug your applications in one place, so you can focus on writing code instead of juggling multiple tools.
  • LINQPad LINQPad manages and edits LINQ queries and individual expressions, statement blocks, or full programs written in C#, F#, or Visual Basic. It allows you to do scripting and incremental development without creating hundreds of Visual Studio Console projects. Prototype in LINQPad and then your code into Visual Studio or call it from the command line.
  • is a Free and Open Source unit testing tool for .NET code by the author of NUnit 2.0. It works with ReSharper, CodeRush, TestDriven.NET and Xamarin. It is a member of the Outercurve Foundation’s Open Source Gallery under the OSI-approved Apache 2 license.
  • Resharper is a Visual Studio plugin for refactoring code. It highlights coding mistakes and provides useful shortcuts.
  • .NET REFLECTOR .NET Reflector decompiles any .NET code so it can be understood and edited. It is especially useful for working with poorly-documented third-party platforms, in which case it can discover available APIs and dig into their internal behavior.
  • BROWSERSTACK BrowserStack is a service that lets you test your application on many different browser and operating system combinations, all from the comfort of your web browser.
  • AUTOMAPPER Automapper generates code to map data from one object type to another. It relies on simple coding conventions to discover matching fields and methods.
  • ASPhere is a freeware editor for ASP.NET configuration files. It can also work with other XML files and plain test files.
  • POSTSHARP PostSharp automates the creation of boilerplate code. It knows about most common patterns out of the box, and can be scripted to handle custom patterns.
  • .NET MEMORY PROFILER .NET Memory Profiler finds memory leaks and identifies sources of memory usage in any .NET program. It features profiling guides, an automatic memory analyzer, and specialized trackers to optimize your program’s use of memory.


The fastest way to get up to speed with any new technology is with books. There are tons of great ASP.NET books on the market. The first ASP.NET books were published even before version 1.0 of the technology was released, and they never stopped coming!

To add value to the whole process of learning, you may want to learn ASP.NET online, and also watch Education Ecosystem broadcasts from places San Francisco, London, New York, Moscow, Beijing, and Sao Paolo for a more valuable learning experience.

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    ASP.NET Programming Success In A Day

    by Sam Key

    ASP.NET Programming at its best!

    Discover A Book That Tells You What You Should Do and How! Instead of jumping right into the instructions, this book will provide you first with all the necessary concepts that you need to learn in order to make the learning process a whole lot easier.

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    Learning ASP.NET MVC Programming

    by Mugilan T. S. Ragupathi


    Learn the fundamentals of ASP.Net MVC and build real-world web applications using ASP.Net MVC 6

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    Front-end Development with ASP.NET MVC 6, AngularJS, and Bootstrap

    by Simone Chiaretta

    Front-End Development with ASP.NET MVC 6, AngularJS, and Bootstrap is the professional's guide to fast, responsive web development. Utilizing the most popular combination of web technologies for Microsoft developers, this guide provides the latest best practices and ASP.NET MVP guidance to get you up to speed quickly. The newest ASP.NET MVC is leaner, easier to use, and less bound to the operating system and IDE.colle, giving you the perfect opportunity to leverage third-party frameworks and libraries that provide functionalities not native to ASP.NET MVC and Visual Studio. This book shows you how to integrate ASP.NET MVC with Angular JS, Bootstrap, and similar frameworks, with a bit of JQuery Mobile, Nuget, continuous deployment, Bower dependencies, and Gulp/Grunt build systems, including development beyond Windows on Mac and Linux. With clear, concise instruction and expert insight, this guide is an invaluable resource for meeting the demands of modern web development.

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    Professional ASP.NET MVC 5

    by Jon Galloway, Brad Wilson, K. Scott Allen, David Matson

    MVC 5 is the newest update to the popular Microsoft technology that enables you to build dynamic, data-driven websites. Like previous versions, this guide shows you step-by-step techniques on using MVC to best advantage, with plenty of practical tutorials to illustrate the concepts. It covers controllers, views, and models; forms and HTML helpers; data annotation and validation; membership, authorization, and security.

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    Hands on with ASP.Net MVC

    by Rahul Sahay

    This book covers all the tiny steps on using MVC at its best. With complete practical tutorials to illustrate the concepts, you will step by step build one End to End application which covers below mentioned techniques - Controllers, Views, Models, Forms and HTML helpers, Data annotation and Validation, Membership, Authorization, Security rather you will also learn how to bootstrap your design, then how to host the app in AZURE, Web API and Dependency Injection.

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    ASP.NET 3.5 Unleashed

    by Stephen Walther

    This edition covers all the new features of ASP.NET 3.5. It explains Microsoft LINQ to SQL in detail. It includes a chapter on the two new data access controls introduced with the ASP.NET 3.5 Framework: ListView and DataPager. With its coverage of ASP.NET AJAX, this book shows you how to take advantage of Microsoft’s server-side AJAX framework to retrofit existing ASP.NET applications with AJAX functionality. It also demonstrates how to use Microsoft’s client-side AJAX framework to build the web applications of the future: pure client-side AJAX applications. All code samples are written in the C# programming language

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    Professional ASP.NET 1.0, Special Edition

    by Alex Homer, Karli Watson, Rob Howard, Brian Francis

    This comprehensive compendium provides a broad and thorough investigation of all aspects of programming with ASP.NET. Entirely revised and updated for the Golden Release of .NET, this book will give you the information you need to master ASP.NET and build dynamic, successful, enterprise Web applications.

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    ASP.NET MVC 6 High Performance

    by James Singleton

    Learn the importance of measuring, profiling, and locating the most impactful problems. Discover the common areas you might encounter performance problems and areas you don't need to worry about. Understand the differences between development workstations and production infrastructure and how these can amplify problems.

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    Professional ASP.NET Design Patterns

    by Scott Millett

    Professional ASP.NET Design Patterns is all about showing you how to use the power of design patterns and core design principles in real ASP.NET applications. The goal of this book is to educate developers on the fundamentals of object oriented programming, design patterns, principles, and methodologies that can help you become a better programmer. Design patterns and principles enable loosely coupled and highly cohesive code, which will improve your code’s readability, flexibility, and maintenance. Each chapter addresses a layer in an enterprise ASP.NET application and shows how proven patterns, principles, and best practices can be leveraged to solve problems and improve the design of your code. In addition, a professional-level, end-to-end case study is used to show how to use best practice design patterns and principles in a real website.

ASP.NET Projects

As you would expect from a Microsoft technology, ASP.NET is supported by scores of projects. Here’s a few top picks.

Better CMS is a Content Management System focused on the publishing industry. It is Open Source, and strives to be friendly to developers wishing to extend it.

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Better CMS

Oak makes development of single-page web applications with ASP.NET frictionless.

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ASP.NET MVC, Web API, and ASP.NET Web Pages (aka Razor) are fully Open Source projects, and this site is where development takes place. Outside developers are welcome to make contributions, and the Microsoft team will review them for potential inclusion.

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Service Stack

Orchard CMS is an Open Source Content Management System grown on ASP.NET MVC, nHibernate, and Autofac.

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Orchard CMS

.less is a .NET port of LESS. It allows you to use variables, mixins, and nexted rules inside otherwise normal style sheets.

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Glimpse is a browser-based debugging tool for web sites and web services. It strives to be the Firebug of server-side development.

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N2cms is a Content Management System that lets you quickly define strongly typed models and automatically generate corresponding management UIs.

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Chirpy minifies, verifies, and consolidates client files including JavaScript, style sheet, and dotless files. It can auto-update T4MVC and other T4 templates.

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MvcContrib provides development and testing support for the development of custom UI elements within ASP.NET MVC.

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ASP.NET MVC, Web API, and ASP.NET Web Pages (aka Razor) is a package manager for .NET libraries. You can trivially download and install a wide range of .NET libraries and utilities with the NuGet client.

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ASP.NET Community

ASP.NET has a varied and active online community. Here’s a few places that ASP.NET like to go for news, get their questions answered, network, and sometimes just engage in water cooler chat.

There is an official ASP.NET community site. It hosts forums and blogs.

  • The DiscountASP.NET

    DiscountASP.NET is a hosting provider targetting .NET developers that also is home to a large developer community.

  • ASP.NET news

    ASP.NET news reports on everything new and exciting in the world of ASP.Net.

  • AspNetCommunity

    AspNetCommunity is a global group of .NET professionals. It started life on LinkedIn, but has spread to have a Facebook presence as well.

  • ASP.NET Blogs

    ASP.NET Blogs is a database of notable blogs in the ASP.NET world.


  • Scott Guthrie

    Scott Guthrie

    Scott Guthrie is a corporate vice president at Microsoft. Along with Mark Anders, he developed ASP.NET. He posts regular updates on his blog.

    Scott Guthrie’s blogs
  • Scott Hanselman

    Scott Hanselman is a member of Microsoft’s web platform team. He has accounts on Google+, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

    Google+ Twitter Instagram Facebook
    Scott Hanselman
  • Damian Edwards

    Damian Edwards

    Damian Edwards is a Microsoft program manager for ASP.NET He created SignalR and Web Forms MVP. He has a blog, and accounts on Twitter, GitHub, and Stack Overflow.

    Blog Twitter Github Stack Overflow
  • Phil

    Phil Haack specializes in Software Architecture, Test Driven Development, ASP.NET, T-SQL, C#, and .NET for GitHub. He naturally has a GitHub account.

    Twitter Github
  • Scott


    Scott Allen is a teacher, writer, speaker, and podcaster. His areas of expertise include .NET, HTML5, and Microsoft SQL Server. He founded Ode to Code, a source of tutorials and code examples. He has a Twitter account.


ASP.NET Conferences

Microsoft spare no expense to produce great conferences for its developer technologies. ASP.NET is no exception.

  • DEVintersection

    DEVintersection is a week long conference with keynotes from notables like Scott Guthrie and in-depth workshops on Microsoft technologies like ASP.NET, Visual Studio, SQL Server, and Azure. DEVIntersection also has an official Twitter account.

  • Microsoft Ignite

    Microsoft Ignite is a technology preview event that used to go under the name TechEd. It covers five days of presentations (more than 700 of them!), product demos, and one-on-one discussions with experts. More than 100 vendors attend. There is a corresponding Twitter account.

  • Visual Studio Live!

    Visual Studio Live is a seven-city tour by a team of Microsoft experts in ASP.NET, Visual Studio, and Database Analytics.

  • Build

    Build is a Microsoft event dedicated to .NET. It is jam-packed with learning opportunities, and sells out early!

  • IT/DEV Connections

    IT/DEV Connections is an event with 190 sessions and a full day of workshops. It covers Microsoft technologies like Azure and Azure Services, Visual Studio, and SharePoint. You can watch for updates through Twitter.