Developers are writing more and more of their applications to run over the Web and to be seen in a browser. As we saw in Chapter 20, Silverlight lets you write C# code to run on the client side in the web browser. As for the server side of a web application, the .NET Framework offers ASP.NET.
The focus of this chapter is to illustrate where ASP.NET and C# programming intersect when using Web Forms. ASP.NET is a huge topic, and for intensive coverage of ASP.NET, please see either Programming ASP.NET 3.5, Fourth Edition by Jesse Liberty, Dan Maharry, and Dan Hurwitz, or Learning ASP.NET 3.5, Second Edition by Jesse Liberty, Dan Hurwitz, and Brian MacDonald (both published by O’Reilly).
Web Forms brings Rapid Application Development (RAD) to the creation of web applications. From within Visual Studio or Visual Web Developer, you drag-and-drop controls onto a form and write the supporting code in code-behind pages. The application is deployed to a web server (typically IIS, which is shipped with most versions of Windows, and Cassini, which is built into Visual Studio for testing your application), and users interact with the application through a standard browser.
ASP.NET supports other models besides Web Forms. You can work directly at the HTTP level, for example. And .NET 4 introduces a new model called MVC (which stands for Model View Controller). MVC is more complex, but is ultimately more powerful and flexible, ...