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The Evolution Of Microsoft: .NET Explained

Sure, you've heard about .NET... maybe you're a Visual Basic programmer for a small company, maybe you write SQL stored procedures for a huge company, or maybe you're just a Microsoft developer wanting to keep on the cutting edge of technology. In this article, James will explain exactly what .NET is, how it works, how we (as developers) can benefit from it, its many new features, and other .NET related information.

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By: James Yang
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December 23, 2001
  1. · The Evolution Of Microsoft: .NET Explained
  2. · What is .NET?
  3. · Understanding .NET
  4. · The .NET framework (contd.)
  5. · The .NET framework(contd.)
  6. · Web Services
  7. · Conclusion

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The Evolution Of Microsoft: .NET Explained - The .NET framework(contd.)
(Page 5 of 7 )


WinForms are an essential part of the Win32 application development system in .NET. They are the .NET standard of the graphics and drawing API’s and controls and are available to all of the .NET compatible languages. WinForms are equivalent to MFC for C++ developers, and the Win32 API for VB developers.

Due to the unification and the way they are built, structured and integrated into the CLR, WinForms provide developers with features like a drag and drop designer, which can be used to visually create forms for .NET applications.


The biggest and most popular change within the .NET framework occurred during the transformation of ASP to ASP.NET. In my opinion, ASP.NET is a completely different language compare to the older, classic version of ASP. A lot of people seem to get confused in relation to ASP.NET and some of its newer features. Let me clear up a couple of things before we continue:
  1. ASP.NET is not written in VBScript anymore. It now supports VB.NET, C# and JScript.NET.
  2. You cannot use ASP.NET code between <% and %< anymore. Also, you cannot use ASP.NET code in the <body< section of an HTML page, so no more <%=Response.Write(“Hello”)%<
  3. ASP.NET is based on an event-driven, object-orientated paradigm, not a sequential paradigm, like classic ASP.
  4. ASP and ASP.NET share very few similarities, besides their name.
  5. ASP.NET used to be called ASP+
ASP.NET is a server side even driven language that is created using any of the .NET languages. Because ASP.NET utilises an even-driven, object-orientated programming paradigm, stronger, more formal syntax is enforced. This helps increase performance significantly, and the use of components, events, properties and methods is now easier.

ASP.NET’s most significant benefits over traditional ASP relate directly to its integration with the CLR. ASP.NET takes a lot of features from the CLR, including support for common approach programming. Also, ASP.NET pages are compiled and cached in the servers’ memory once they are first executed. This provides a huge speed increases in comparison to traditional ASP pages, which were compiled every time they were executed.

Scalability was another big issue with traditional ASP. Traditional ASP code and HTML could be written, mixed and matched on any one page, making it nearly impossible to keep track of which code was where. Sure, COM objects helped to separate code into tiers, but still a lot of developers just plonked their business logic directly into their ASP pages. Not good.

ASP.NET however, almost completely eliminates this problem. ASP.NET code is object-orientated, and implementation code is kept separate from presentation code. All ASP.NET code is written between the <head< and </head< section of the page, or by using another separate page with a “Code Behind” reference to that page.
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