Asp.Net Tutorial

We all know that the world is rapidly changing with the latest advancements and technologies. In the current era of Living, we see many inconsistencies in the IT world with the latest changes that are happening. Applications are the essential aspects that every organization is now dealing with. The clients are more focused on the applications as they would bring up success and development to the organization. In order to run the applications and develop the same, the developers are utilizing the frameworks that are flexible to meet the customer requirements efficiently. ASP.NET is one of the Frameworks that is utilized by most of the organizations to build and develop the applications effectively and efficiently. In this tutorial, you will gain an understanding of what is ASP.NET, its features, life cycle, architecture, controls, advantages and disadvantages, etc.

What is ASP.NET?

ASP.NET refers to active server pages.NET, which is developed by Microsoft. The primary purpose of using asp.net is to create web pages in web technologies. It is also referred to as an integral part of the microsoft.net framework. In simple terms, aSP.NET is referred to as a web development platform, the comprehensive software infrastructure that helps in building robust web applications for mobile and desktops. 

ASP.NET is a part of Microsoft .net platform which helps in producing data-driven and interactive web applications over the internet.ASP.NET works based on the HTTP protocol, utilizing the HTTP commands and policies that help in building the extensible and reusable components or objects present in the .Net Framework. 

ASP.NET allow you to make use of the .Net languages like VB, C#, J#, etc. It also provides extensible support to the developers, allowing them to build compelling applications by making use of the developmental tool provided by Microsoft called Visual Studio. 

ASP.NET is based on the common language runtime and is a server-side technology. In traditional times, the web page content was mostly static. There is a need for constant modification of the web pages manually. In the short period, there is an urgent need for the creation of the websites that can be handle dynamically without any human intervention. 

Microsoft active server pages were then released into the market, which are executed on the server-side based on the output that is sent to the user web browser. This allows us to create dynamic web pages that are based on the actions of the user.

ASP.NET Framework is the most commonly used, robust Framework for developing web applications. The architecture of the .NET framework includes a set of components that are listed below. 

Language: .Net Framework consist of different variety of languages. Some of them are c#, VB.net, etc. These languages are utilized for developing web applications. 

Library: .Net Framework includes a set of standard libraries. Web library is one of the most commonly used libraries for building web applications. The web library maintains the essential components that are used for developing the .net web-based applications. 

Common language runtime: Common language runtime refers to infrastructure or a CLI platform in which the .net programs will be executed. The common language runtime is used for performing activities like garbage collection and exception handling. 

Apart from the components of the.net framework, you also need to know the characteristics of the ASP.NET Framework. Few important characteristics are listed below. 

Code behind mode:

The code behind mode characteristic refers to the separation of designing and coding in an application. By separating these two different phases, the maintenance of the ASP.NET application becomes more comfortable. The ASP.NET file is generally represented with the file extension aspx. Let us say; the is ASP.NET file is test1.aspx. There would also be another file called test1.aspx.cx which contains the code of the page. Hence visual Studio involves in creating the separate file for a web page.

State management:

ASP.NET provides the flexibility to control state management. We all know that http is referred to as a stateless protocol. Let us gain understanding by taking an example. In Shopping Cart application, the user will go through the list of the items that you wanted to buy and decide what he wants to buy from the cart and click on the submit button. The application has to remember the number of items that the user has chosen for the purchase. This is called as remembering the state of an application at the current point of time. In the same way, http is a stateless protocol. When the user force to the Purchase page, HTTP will not make use of the information or store the information on the cart items. There is a need for additional coding that has to be done to make sure that the cart items can be carried forward to the Purchase page. ASP.NET is compatible and taxable to make its state management, remember the cart items and look forward to the next page.

Caching:

ASP.NET is also flexible and compatible to work with the concept of caching, which helps in improving the performance of the application. Catching helps in storing the most frequently used pages that are requested by the user in a temporary location. Whenever user request for the page again, the pages will be retrieved faster, and there will be a better User experience as performance will be high.

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ASP.NET life cycle: 

During the launching of the ASP.NET application, a few steps have to be followed aur carried out. The sequential steps form the life cycle of ASP.NET. Below are the series of steps to be followed. 

  1. Application start 
  2. Object creation 
  3. Http application creation 
  4. Dispose 
  5. Application end 

Let me give a briefing about every step in the life cycle of ASP.NET web applications. 

1. Application start:

This is the first step in the life cycle of an ASP.NET application, where the user makes a request. This request will be sent to the webserver for the ASP.NET application. This usually takes place when the user typically goes to the home page for the application for the first time. During this time, a method called application_start that will be initiated and executed by the webserver. Global values will always be set to the default values in this method.

2. Object creation:

The next step in the life cycle of ASP.NET is object creation which includes the creation of HttpContext, HttpRequest & HttpResponse by the webserver. The HttpContext is the container of HttpRequest and HttpResponse objects. The HttpRequest object includes information about the current request, along with the browser information and the cookies information. The HttpResponse object includes information about the response that is sent to the client.

3. Http application creation:

The http application creation is created by the webserver, which is used for processing each subsequent request that is sent to the application. Let us consider two different applications, in which one is a Shopping Cart application, and the other is a news website. For each application, there will be two http application objects created. Any request that is placed to each website will be processed by each HttpApplication, respectively.

4. Dispose:

The dispose event takes place before the application instance is destroyed. This method can be used manually to release any unmanaged resources during this time. 

5. Application end:

This is the last step of an application in which the application will be unloaded from the memory.

ASP.NETpage life cycle: 

Whenever an ASP.NET page is called, it goes through a series of steps which have to be followed for the processing of any ASP.NET. District place before the response is sent to the user as per the user request. 

Below are the different stages of the life cycle of an ASP.NET page. 

Page request:

Page request is the initial step in the ASP.NET web page life cycle which is triggered when the page is requested from the server. Whenever a page is requested, the server will go ahead and check for the particular page if it is requested for the first time. If it is for the first time, then the page needs to be compiled, parsed and has to be sent to the user. If it is not the first time, then the Catcher can be checked so that the output can be given to the user in a short period with high performance.

Page start:

In this phase, two objects called request and response objects are created. The request object is responsible for holding all the information that was sent when the page was requested. The response of that is responsible for holding the information which is sent to the user as the output. 

Page initialization:

In the step, all the controls on the web page will be initialized. If it includes any test, label box or any other control, all of them will be initialized. 

Page Load:

In this phase, the page will be loaded with the default values. 

Validation:

In some scenarios, there can be some validation set up on the form. For example, there can be a validation that can be set up stating that the list box should have a particular set of values. If the condition is not successful, then the error will be loaded upon the page. 

Postback event handling:

The postback event handling event will be triggered if the same page is being loaded again. In response to an earlier event, the same page might load. In some scenarios, the user might click on the submit button on the page which will display the same page again. At this moment, the postback event handler will be called.

Page rendering:

This event takes place just before the response information or the output is sent to the user. All the required information that has to be sent to the user on the form will be saved, and then the result will be sent to the user as a complete webpage. 

Unload:

As soon as the output is sent to the user, there is no need to keep the objects in the memory. Hens and loading processes will help you in removing all the unwanted objects from memory.

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Development and styles in ASP.NET: 

Three different developmental styles can be used for creating web applications. They are 

  1. Webforms 
  2. ASP.NET MVC 
  3. ASP.NET web pages 

Let me give a briefing about each developmental style. The model-view-controller provides many different features that help in the fast development of the applications.

Web forms: Web forms is referred to as an event-driven development that is used for developing applications with powerful data access. It utilizes server-side controls and events for creating a web application. 

ASP.NET MVC: 

MVC refers to a model view controller, a developmental style which is based on the patterns to build dynamic websites. The model-view-controller provides many different features that help in faster development of web applications in an effective way. 

ASP.NET web pages: 

ASP.NET web pages is one of the developmental styles in ASP.NET to develop the dynamic web pages. It also helps in creating a lightweight way to combine the server code with HTML and also add the video links to the social sites, helping in creating beautiful sites based on the latest web standards.

ASP.NET controls: 

ASP.NET can add the controls to form like labels, text boxes, etc. Let's take an example of the properties that we need to create a web form. 

  1. A Field for the user has to enter his name or. 
  2. An option to choose the city in which the user resides. 
  3. An option for the user to enter the gender. 
  4. An option to choose the course that he was still learning with two different choices for C# and ASP.Net 

Let us go through the steps to be followed. 

The first step is to open the form designer to create the web form. You will be able to drag the controls from the toolbox to the web form. Open the web designer form; you need to the right click on the demo dot file which is represented in the Solution Explorer and choose the menu option View designer. Once done, you will be able to view the form designer. Let us learn about each control briefly now.

  1. Label Control: The label control is responsible for displaying a message or text to the user on the form. The Label control is allowed to be used with the other controls. The most commonly used combination is label along with textbox control. The label indicates the user on what is expected to be filled up in the textbox. 
  1. Text box: Text box is another control that is used for allowing the user to enter some text into the web form application. 
  1. List box: Listbox is a control that will help in showing the list of items on the web form. 
  1. Radio button: Radio button is a control that helps in showing a list of items out of which the user is allowed to choose any one option. 
  1. Checkbox: Checkbox is a control that helps in providing the list of options in which the user can select multiple choices as the answers. 
  1. Button: A button is used for allowing the user to click on the button when we should start the processing of the form. 
  1. Event handler in ASP.NET: When you are working with the form, you need to add some event to the controls. Event is usually referred to as something that happens when a particular action is performed. The most common activities that can be used with real-time is clicking on a form. In the web forms, you are allowed to add a particular code to their corresponding aspx file, which is healthier and performing specific actions when a button is pressed on the form.

Environmental setup of ASP.NET: 

ASP.NET is responsible for providing an abstraction layer on the top of HTTP in which applications are built and developed. The primary development that is used for building the ASP.NET applications, and front end is Visual Studio. Visual Studio is referred to as an integrated development environment for a platform that helps in writing, compiling and debugging the core. It also includes setup developmental tools that are used for building ASP.NET applications, web Services, mobile applications and desktop applications.

Let us know the installation process off Visual Studio. Microsoft is providing a free version of Visual Studio which includes SQL server. Visual Studio and be downloaded from the below link: 

https://visualstudio.microsoft.com/downloads/ 

Below are the steps to be followed: 

Step 1: After the downloading of Visual Studio is completed, you need to run the installer. A dialogue page will appear. 

Step 2: Click on the install button, and the installation process will then begin. 

Step 3:  Once the IT Solution process is completed, a box appears, and you will need to restart the computer if it is required. 

Step 4: You need to open up Visual Studio from the Start menu, which also comes up with the dialogue box with Visual Studio icon. 

Step 5: You will see the main window official studio when you can create a new project from the options File -> New -> Project 

ASP.NET has come up with multiple advantages making it one of the most robust platforms for developing web applications over the other different web development models available. Few of the advantages are listed below. 

  1. ASP.NET is responsible for reducing the amount of code that is required to build primarily based applications. 
  2. ASP.NET also includes the built-in windows authentication and also per-application configuration, which will help in keeping applications secure and safe. 
  3. ASP.NET for providing better performance by taking advantage of early binding, caching, native Optimization, just in time compilation which are the services that are out of the box. 
  4. ASP.NET Framework is responsible for providing a Visual Studio integrated development environment by using the rich toolbox and designer in Visual Studio. It also includes automatic deployment, drag and drop server controls which are few features the most powerful among the different frameworks and developmental models available. 
  5. ASP.NET is flexible and compatible, making it easier for the users to perform the common tasks right from simple form submission to the client authentication for deployment inside configuration. 
  6. In ASP.NET, the source code in HTML together, which helps in easy writing and maintaining of ASP.NET pages. The source code is also executed on the web server, adding a lot of power and flexibility to the web pages. 
  1. All the processes are managed and monitored by the ASP.NET runtime. If any process dies, a new process will be created in its place, which helps in keeping the application working always and also keeping it available to handle the different requests that come up. 
  2. Asp.net is a server-side where the asp.net Core the server before it is sent to the browser. 
  3. ASP.NET is providing an easy deployment where there is no need to register new components because it already who's configuration information which is built-in. 
  4. ASP.NET is language independent, allowing you to choose the language that is best applicable for the application, also allowing you to partition across the different languages available. 
  5. The server is responsible for monitoring the pages, components and applications that are running on it. Also, it is responsible for noticing The Infinite loops, illegal activities, Memory leaks that are affecting the activities and immediately restarts itself. 
  6. ASP.NET is also flexible to work with ADO.NET data binding and page formatting activities. ADO.net is an application that will help in running the applications faster and counter the large volumes of users without any issues in performance

ASP.NET, along with the advantages, also holds you disadvantages which are from the perspective of developers for developing web applications. The advantages are explained below. 

  1. Windows: Most of the developers who are working on the ASP.NET will train to follow the windows form. The field that the form is way too similar and can be leading to an awkward moment that would affect the developmental process of web applications. 
  2. Poor Security features: ASP.NET is capable of having some basic security features and frameworks but also lacks in handling the security features that are provided by the other developmental models out of the box. Few of the security features like username reminder, email login page verification, mobile application, modern password storage, password reset options, etc. vir missing in ASP.NET. 
  3. Leaky abstractions and IuserRoleStore: IuserRoleStore is an interface that is responsible for associating the rows with the other users and is leading to problems unnecessarily. IuserRoleStore interface is an optional interface; it must be included if the developers want to include explicit role support. Most commonly, the issues arise when the rules are kept in the wrong place. The programmers must be alert when they are choosing the roll storage. They should be aware of where the role has to be kept to ensure that there is a smooth operation.

Leaky Abstractions is one of the most significant advantages that is affecting the smooth running Framework. However, it has a great feature. Application programming interface implementation should not be taken as a hazard, as a few of them should have been included. There have been many issues that have been rising since the release of ASP.NET, many modifications have been taking place along with the improvements, but their structure is one of the issues that has not been solved yet and is still affecting the ASP.NET framework efficiency.

In simple terms, ASP.NET has with the features like high performance along with the cross platform and container support, includes a unified Multi-View controller along with web API frameworks, compatible to work with multiple environments and developmental modes with self-hosted web applications, extensible output caching along with localization and globalization, etc.

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Conclusion:

With the Rapid increase in the customer requirements, we see that there is a high increase in the development of the applications, with the organizations focusing on positive customer experience. It is essential to choose the right Framework or developmental model for the successful development of web applications. ASP.net is one of the robust frameworks it is helpful in the organizations in meeting the customer requirements and building the applications efficiently. The organizations are looking for individuals who have hands-on experience or expertise on the subject. I would recommend you to get trained and certified in ASP.NET, which will help you in developing your career in the right path.

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Kavya Gowda
Kavya Gowda
Research Analyst
Kavya works for HKR Trainings institute as a technical writer with diverse experience in many kinds of technology-related content development. She holds a graduate education in the Computer science and Engineering stream. She has cultivated strong technical skills from reading tech blogs and also doing a lot of research related to content. She manages to write great content in many fields like Programming & Frameworks, Enterprise Integration, Web Development, SAP, and Business Process Management (BPM). Connect her on LinkedIn and Twitter.