1.6 New Features in ASP.NET
We'll close our introductory look at the .NET
platform with a list of new features that are unique to ASP.NET and
the chapter in which each will be discussed.
- Web Forms
A new feature that, in combination with an editor such as Visual
Studio .NET, provides the ASP.NET developer the same drag and drop
development convenience enjoyed by Visual Basic developers for years.
Web Forms improve the speed of development by encapsulating
frequently used features into server controls, which are declared
using a tag-based syntax similar to HTML and XML.
We'll discuss Web Forms in Chapter 3 and Chapter 12.
- Web services
Web services allow developers to expose the functionality of their
applications via HTTP and XML so that any client who understands
these protocols can call them. Web services can make the task of
application integration easier, particularly in situations in which
application-to-application integration is made difficult by firewalls
and/or differing platforms. We'll discuss web
services in Chapter 4.
- Server controls
Server controls are declared using an HTML-like syntax, making them
easier to work with for page UI designers. They are executed on the
server, returning HTML to the browser. Server controls may be
manipulated on the server programmatically and provide power and
flexibility for applications that must support a variety of browsers.
We'll discuss using server controls in Chapter 5 and custom server control development in
One group of server controls is designed to simplify the task of
validating user input. It includes controls to validate required
fields, to compare one field to another or to a specific value for
validation, and to validate user input using regular expressions,
which allow you to specify a format that user input must follow to be
valid. Validation controls will be discussed in Chapter 5.
- Improved security
ASP.NET offers tighter integration with Windows-based authentication,
as well as two new authentication modes: forms-based authentication
(which allows users to enter authentication credentials in a standard
HTML form, with the credentials validated against your choice of
backend credential store) and Passport authentication (which makes
use of Microsoft's Passport authentication service).
We'll discuss these improvements and new techniques
in Chapter 9.
1.6.1 New Features in ASP.NET v1.1
In Version 1.1 of the .NET Framework, several features have been
added that are of interest to ASP.NET developers. These include:
- Request Validation
Request Validation, when enabled (the default), checks all forms of
posted input (form fields, querystring, etc.) and raises an exception
if any HTML or script code is found. This can help prevent cross-site
scripting attacks in your applications. We'll
discuss Request Validation further in Chapter 9.
- Side by side execution
Starting with ASP.NET 1.1, you can choose which version of the .NET
Framework your application will run against. Assuming you have both
Version 1.0 and Version 1.1 installed, you can configure individual
applications to run against either version. We'll
discuss how to do this in Chapter 8.
- Built-in mobile control support
In Version 1.0, support for targeting mobile devices such as cell
phones and PDAs was provided via a set of controls available as a
separate download. In Version 1.1, these controls have been fully
integrated into the .NET Framework, and a new application type has
been added to Visual Studio .NET 2003 to support development of
ASP.NET applications for mobile devices. We'll
discuss mobile development in Chapter 5.
- ADO.NET enhancements
In Version 1.0, developers wishing to access data from Oracle and/or
ODBC data sources had to download and install a separate data
provider for these data sources. In Version 1.1, the ODBC and Oracle
data providers have been integrated into the .NET Framework.