Chapter 5. Building Web Applications

Within a short few years, ASP.NET has become a favorite tool of web applications developers and now, with the release of ASP.NET 2.0, it has undergone its second major upgrade. With ASP.NET 2.0, Microsoft has made major improvements based on feedback from its millions of customers as well as the company’s own experience in developing and deploying web sites and portals. The rise of competing tools such as Macromedia Flash and open source PHP have also encouraged Microsoft to focus with particular intensity on improving the ease of use of ASP.NET while reducing the amount of code developers must write to create web applications.

For the Visual Basic 2005 programmer, the new release of ASP.NET is yet another bonanza, making web application development more accessible then ever to those with Visual Basic skills. Among its many improvements, ASP.NET 2.0 ships with dozens of new ready-to-use controls, considerably reducing the amount of code you need to write to achieve professional results. In fact, a stated aim of the Microsoft web development tools team is to reduce the amount of code you write to perform common web site tasks by up to 70%. In addition, ASP.NET 2.0 comes with some neat improvements, such as cross-page posting and the ability to insert client script into a page. You will learn about some of these features in this chapter.

The new features in ASP.NET 2.0 can be grouped into three broad categories: new controls and control functionality, ...

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