ASP.NET is a compiled, .NET-based environment; you can author applications in any .NET compatible language, including Visual Basic .NET, C#, and JScript .NET. Additionally, the entire .NET Framework is available to any ASP.NET application. Developers can easily access the benefits of these technologies, which include the managed common language runtime environment, type safety, inheritance, and so on.
ASP.NET has been designed to work seamlessly with WYSIWYG HTML editors and other programming tools, including Microsoft Visual Studio .NET. Not only does this make Web development easier, but it also provides all the benefits that these tools have to offer, including a GUI that developers can use to drop server controls onto a Web page and fully integrated debugging support.
Developers can use Web Forms or XML Web services when creating an ASP.NET application, or combine these in any way they see fit. Each is supported by the same infrastructure that allows you to use authentication schemes, cache frequently used data, or customize your application’s configuration, to name only a few possibilities.
- Web Forms allow you to build powerful forms-based Web pages. When building these pages, you can use ASP.NET server controls to create common UI elements, and program them for common tasks. These controls allow you to rapidly build a Web Form out of reusable built-in or custom components, simplifying the code of a page. For more information, see Web Forms Pages. For information on how to develop ASP.NET server controls, see Developing ASP.NET Server Controls.
- An XML Web service provides the means to access server functionality remotely. Using XML Web services, businesses can expose programmatic interfaces to their data or business logic, which in turn can be obtained and manipulated by client and server applications. XML Web services enable the exchange of data in client-server or server-server scenarios, using standards like HTTP and XML messaging to move data across firewalls. XML Web services are not tied to a particular component technology or object-calling convention. As a result, programs written in any language, using any component model, and running on any operating system can access XML Web services. For more information, see XML Web Services Created Using ASP.NET and XML Web Service Clients.