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Programming C# 5.0 by Ian Griffiths

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Chapter 20. ASP.NET

The .NET Framework provides various ways to build web applications. There are relatively high-level frameworks for creating both user interfaces and web APIs that offer abstractions some way removed from the underlying operations, but if you would prefer to embrace the nature of HTTP directly, you can work at that level instead. Collectively, this set of web-oriented technologies is called ASP.NET. (It’s not short for anything. The name originally suggested a connection with the old pre-.NET ASP, which was short for Active Server Pages, but ASP.NET covers such a broad range of features that it would make no sense to insist that this is what the ASP part means.)

Although the term ASP.NET covers a fairly wide range of server-side web technologies, these all share a common infrastructure, whether you’re writing web user interfaces or web services. For example, ASP.NET supports hosting code inside Microsoft’s web server, Internet Information Services (or, as it’s more commonly known, IIS), it has an extensible modular processing pipeline for handling requests, and the default pipeline includes basic services such as authentication.

In this chapter, I will focus on building web-based user interfaces. Even here, there are two choices to make: the syntax to use for creating web pages with server-side behavior, and how to decide how HTTP requests are processed. ASP.NET offers two view engines, each defining its own syntax for writing web pages. The older Web Forms engine, ...

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