Web Applications

There are two main approaches you can take when creating web applications using the .NET Framework.

The ASP.NET Web Forms technology is the older and more mature one. It has been around basically since the early days of the .NET Framework. The main idea behind this technology is to make the web development as similar as possible to the one of rich client applications – such as WinForms. Web Forms makes this possible through the use of application events, special web controls as well as careful state management – the ViewState. In theory, one is supposed to be able to develop Web applications using the Web Forms technology without knowing any HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc. This due to the higher level of abstraction in Web Forms. In the real world, you will still need some of this knowledge though.

The ASP.NET MVC technology is a newer approach that tries to be less complex and allows more things to be handled on the client side through the use of carefully prepared HTML, CSS and JavaScript. This allows for creating a more SEO-friendly code. In a way this technology kind of returns back to the classic ASP development. Classic ASP is a Microsoft technology predating the .NET Framework by quite a few years. The MVC (Model View Controller) brings clearer separation of view and its data.

Many enterprise web applications are still being built and maintained using the ASP.NET Web Forms technology. New web application development goes more towards the MVC though. MVC makes AJAX, SEO and other new web development techniques more accessible.

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