5.2 Web Controls
Web controls provide an abstract, consistent, and strongly typed object model. They are abstract because their object model does not necessarily reflect HTML syntax. These controls include standard controls like text boxes and radio buttons, as well as rich controls like calendars and data grids. Web controls are always declared with the ASP namespace prefix, sometimes using self-closing tags as follows:
<asp:textbox id="txtName" text="Hello, World!" runat="server" />
You can alternatively declare a web control by using an opening and closing tag pair. For certain controls, such as the Label and TextBox controls, any text contained between the opening and closing tags will be assigned to the Text property of the control. Thus, the following code fragment is equivalent to the previous one:
<asp:textbox id="txtName" runat="server"> Hello, World! </asp:textbox>
Like element and attribute names in page declarations, the tag and attribute names used to create server controls declaratively are not case-sensitive. However, because the HTML 4.0 standard specifies that tags and attributes should be in lowercase, it's good coding practice to follow this guideline, even though server control tags are not sent to the browser.
The attributes of web controls declared using the ASP.NET syntax become the properties of the control, and you can access them programmatically. Unlike the HTML controls, the object model of the web controls does not necessarily reflect HTML syntax. The main reason for this behavior is that, depending on the attributes applied to a web control, it may render one of many HTML elements to the browser. For example, <asp:textbox> can render <input type="text">, <input type="password">, or <textarea>, based on the value of the TextBoxMode attribute supplied by the developer at design time.