Web development with ASP.Net


ASP.Net is an improved release of Microsoft's ASP development environment based on the .Net framework. All you need to run ASP.Net applications is MS' web server IIS, and the .Net framework. You can download either the framework per se (about 20MB), or the framework + SDK (about 130MB; Includes the free SQL-compatible MSDE database engine). Development can be done with different tools, from NotePad, Web Matrix (requires SP), all the way to VS.Net.

In addition to Web-based applications per se, you can also create web services (ie. functions that can be called by remote applications throught the XML-RPC or SOAP protocols.) Unlike ASP which required using VBScript, ASP.Net applications can be written in different languages (VB.Net, C#, JScript.Net, etc.).

In addition to ASP.Net per se (the .Net framework?), you will need to install Microsoft's IIS web server, and (CHECK) an IDE such as VisualStudio .Net (VS.Net) or a lighter tool such as the free Web Matrix (Web Matrix includes a lightweight personal web server that serves most web content, including ASP.NET pages and XML Web Services, for local requests) or the other free IDE #develop. When using Web Matrix, if you need a databaser server, you can also download MSDE, a free, SQL Server Compatible Database Engine.


Common Language Runtime (CLR)

The CLR is in charge of compiling ASP.net (ie. .aspx pages) into MSIL (Microsoft Intermediate Language), which is itself compiled in real time into binary code by a Just in Time (JIT) compiler, hence offering much better performance:




To install a .Net server:

  1. Install the IIS web server. By default, Windows2000 Professional doesn't not include IIS in its standard install procedure, but the server is available on its CD-ROM. Hit Control Panel | Add/Remove Programs | Windows Components, and select "Internet Services (IIS)"

    Note: Microsoft WebMatrix comes with its own web server, so IIS is not required
  2. Configure the server through Control Panel | Administration Tools | Internet Services Management. The default directory is c:\inetpub\wwwroot\
  3. Install the .Net framework. Once it's done, go to Control Panel | Administrative Tools: You should find two new icons ("MS .Net Framework Wizard", and "MS .Net Framework Configuration"). The default file extension for ASP.Net pages is .ASPX, and the default home page is default.aspx

Here's a sample that you save as page.aspx in the default folder wwwroot and call through http://localhost/page.aspx:

<script language="vb" runat=server>
Sub Page_Load()
   Dim aujourdhui as DateTime = DateTime.Now
   Dim s1, s2 as String
   s1 = aujourdhui.ToString("dddd dd MMM yyyy")
   s2 = aujourdhui.ToString("HH:mm:ss")
   Message.Text = "Today is " & s1 & " and the time is " & s2
End Sub
</script> <asp:label id="Message" runat="Server" />


The Mono Project

An open-source version of Microsoft's .Net standard.



The VSFlexGrid spreadsheet object is also available for ASP.Net, and comes in two version: ComponentOne True DBGrid for .NET, and ComponentOne FlexGrid for .NET, both available from ComponentOne (Note: APEX and VideoSoft merged to form ComponentOne LLC).