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Oct 28, 2012

Asp.Net Tutorial (PART-6)

The Need for a New ASP Model

It was evident that Microsoft would require a fundamental change to bring ASP up to the standard of industrial-strength programming. Active Server Pages was a technology based on the foundations of COM. ActiveX and COM technology provided much of its strength, but also many of its limitations. Microsoft would need to have a long hard look at COM to see how it could improve, and these changes would be bound to affect ASP. At the same time,Microsoft realized that the developers' playing field was changing, with new standards arriving all the time, particularly in information-sharing and distributed applications using XML, such as Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and XML-RPC.

Web services were becoming all the rage; Java was everywhere, and XML was taking the developer community by storm.A new version of ASP was not going to be enough to meet these demands; the changes must be more far-reaching if they were not just going to catch up but also take the lead against such tough challenges.

ASP and Windows DNA, being based on early 1990's COM and Win32 API technologies, did not provide a very coherent technical architecture roadmap for modern distributed applications, whereas with Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE), Sun had a suite of technologies that developers could follow, starting small with Standard Edition projects and scaling up to full Enterprise JavaBeans.

In today's world, we do not have to contend just with different Web browsers but also with different distribution channels and modes of operation, with mobile phones and computers, interactive digital TV, intelligent appliances, digitally networked homes, and possibly moving from Web pages to disposable applications and Web services.

No doubt, as Microsoft was looking at their own technologies they must have analyzed the competition. As they announced the .NET framework, they also introduced a new language for the twenty-first century, C#. C# and .NET would address all of the criticisms, provide for a whole new way of looking at applications and the Web, and replace everything that had gone before, including Microsoft's flagships Visual C++,Visual Basic, and Active Server Pages.

The ASP Timeline

Before looking at ASP.NET, let's briefly take a look at the short but eventful history of Active Server Pages to see how we got to where we are today:
  • December 1995 Microsoft makes a dramatic U-turn and announces that their whole product lineup will be refocused to embrace the Internet. Up until this point they had largely ignored the Internet market and had fallen dangerously behind the competition.
  • February 1996 Microsoft releases Internet Information Server to the public for free download. Microsoft spokespeople claim that the server offers a four-fold increase in performance over Netscape Netsite server. IIS includes ISAPI and IDC technologies.
  • With the release of Windows NT 4, IIS version 2 is bundled, while IIS 1 is available for Windows NT 3.51.
  • October 1996 Microsoft releases the public beta for IIS 3 as an optional upgrade to IIS 2.The major change with this version is the inclusion of a new development environment called Active Server Pages,
  • formerly known under its project name of "Denali." As part of their public relations campaign, Microsoft claims they are beating Netscape 2- 1 in the server market. IIS no longer supports MIPS and NT 3.51.
  • August 1997 Microsoft releases ASP 2 with IIS 4. IIS now includes the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) to make administering the server more straightforward, and the SMTP server is now bundled, having previously been a part of the Commercial package. IIS and ASP are now tightly integrated with Microsoft Transaction Server, and this is seen as a real step forward in making the platform a credible choice for large-scale deployment.
  • 1998-2000 Microsoft started releasing incremental versions of the language Scripting Engines, adding language features and functionality without the need for full ASP version updates, such as the addition of Regular Expressions for VBScript programmers.
  • With the release of Windows 2000 with IIS 5, Active Server Pages 3 became available. ASP 3 allowed for server-side redirects, better error support, ADO 2.5 with support for XML, and caching of compiled code. IIS 5 enabled the administrator to finely separate processes to prevent crashing of the server.
  • July 2000 .NET makes their first public announcement, revealing their new C# language, promising to deliver better functionality and flexibility than ever before, and promising support for a wide variety of Internet standards.

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