ASP.NET for Beginners
Although ASP.NET has recently reached its second major revision, 2.0, there are still many developers who are just beginning to learn the previous versions 1.0 and 1.1. Whatever the case may be it’s never too late to get active with this fantastic web application technology.
If you have previous experience with Java applications, ASP.NET is actually quite an easy migration. Although Java and Microsoft technologies may seem like they’re on opposite sides of the spectrum, they are in fact very similar in a number of ways. JSP and classic ASP are practically identical in terms of structure, with the biggest difference being of course the language used to express the pages.
ASP.NET was a radical change from classic ASP; bringing developers are plethora of new capabilities and functionality. Trying to wrap one’s head around all of this new technology was pretty daunting even to seasoned developers.
The purpose of this tutorial therefore is to give new developers or even veteran developers looking for a refresher, a very basic look at the core features and functionality of ASP.NET 1.1. We’ll review some of the theory and key concepts to ASP.NET and look at 2 very basic code examples.
We’ll try to unravel some of the mysteries behind what is going on when you use the types of features in ASP.NET so you have a more clear understanding of how to take the knowledge and apply it in your own applications.
Let’s begin by setting up a new ASP.NET project in Visual Studio .NET
Creating ASP.NET Projects
Visual Studio.NET has 2 main primary project types: ASP.NET (web) and Windows Application (desktop). ASP.NET applications run through a URL, either a virtual directory setup on your local PC or a remote location on a remote development server. Whichever method you use, it’s important to note that you specify a URL as the project location as opposed to a physical path on your machine.
Start up Visual Studio.NET and click on File->New Project. We’ll use VB.NET as the code type for the purpose of this tutorial. Note that the location field points to Http: indicating the URL where this project will run from. The easiest way to run multiple ASP.NET projects on your machine is to setup a root virtual directory and then create folders below the root for all of your projects. For example, create a virtual directory in IIS called DNzone for all of your DNzone test applications. This will make the virtual directory look like:
Now when you create a new ASP.NET project, you simply append a new folder below the root. In this case we’ll create a project called BeginnerASPNET, so the Location URL will look like this:
Visual Studio.NET will know your local path to the root virtual directory, and create a new folder called BeginnerASPNET. This is where all the files for the project will be located. This style of setup gives a clean directory structure on your machine to keep things organized.