ASP.NET is a web application framework designed and developed by Microsoft. ASP.NET is open source and a subset of the .NET Framework and successor of the classic ASP(Active Server Pages). With version 1.0 of the .NET Framework, it was first released in January 2002. So a question comes to mind that which technology we were using before the year 2002 for developing web applications and services? Answer is Classic ASP. So before .NET and ASP.NET there was Classic ASP.
.NET Framework is used to create a variety of applications and services like Console, Web, and Windows, etc. But ASP.NET is only used to create web applications and web services. That’s why we termed ASP.NET as a subset of the .NET Framework.
Below table illustrates the ASP.NET Versions History:
|2008||3.5 SP 1|
Note: In the year 2015, the version 5 RC1 came and later this gets separated from the ASP.NET and turns into a new project called ASP.NET Core Version 1.0 with some advancement.
A web application is an application installed only on the web server which is accessed by the users using a web browser like Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla FireFox, Apple Safari, etc. There are also some other technology like Java, PHP, Perl, Ruby on Rails, etc. which can be used to develop web applications. Web applications provide the cross-platform feature. The user needs only a web browser to access a web application. The web applications which are developed using the .NET framework or its subsets required to execute under the Microsoft Internet Information Services(IIS) on the server side. The work of IIS is to provide the web application’s generated HTML code result to the client browser which initiates the request as shown in the below diagram.
Don’t confuse in the terms ASP.NET, ASP.NET core, ASP.NET MVC, etc. ASP(Active Server Pages) supports a lot of development models which are as follows:
Also, to create web applications ASP.NET provide the 3 development styles which are ASP.NET Web Pages, ASP.NET MVC, Web Forms.
There are a lot of reasons which makes the ASP.NET popular among the developers. Some of the reasons are listed below:
Extending .NET Framework: ASP.NET is a subset of .NET Framework as it extends the .NET Framework with some libraries and tools to develop web apps. The thing that it adds to the .NET Framework is Libraries for common web patterns like MVC, Editor Extensions, the base framework to process the web requests, and web-page templating syntax like Razor, etc.
Performance: It is faster than the other web frameworks available in the market.
Backend Code: With the help of ASP.NET you can write the backend code for data access and any logic in C#.
Supporting different OS: You can develop and execute ASP.NET apps on Windows, Linux, Docker, and MacOS. The Visual Studio provides the tools to build .NET apps different OS.