ASP.NET: Advantages

Feb 24, 2010

When choosing a programming framework to use, the most important things are the benefits it brings, the support it offers and its reliability. The ASP.NET framework incorporates all these characteristics, aiming every time for performance.

The first advantage that ASP.NET has over other frameworks, such as PHP and J2EE, is that it is developed on the Microsoft platform, and this confers the programmers access to the most updated documentation, reliable customer support from Microsoft through the MSDN service, innovative features and secured applications, thanks to the Windows built-in authentication. Meant as a propeller for dynamic web sites, web services and web applications, the .NET framework proves to be more than that, offering end users rich, easy to use and reliable web tools.

Being a real object oriented (OOP) framework, ASP.NET offers better code management and a clean code structure. It also produces faster web applications using optimized compiled code, in comparison to the PHP language, which runs as interpreted code. Also, many project managers find the partition between code and markup (between logic and design) to be very effective and to allow a more organized and efficient work inside a team.

Another big plus that the ASP.NET web application framework brings is that it supports more than 25 mainstream coding languages, such as: Visual Basic .Net, C++, C#, JScript and others. This way, the developer can choose to work on a language, and at the same time have access to top features from another supported language.

The Visual Studio .NET IDE with its rich set of tools, among which we find database tools, Web design tools, debugging tools and many others, constitutes a powerful, yet easy to use environment for web development. The Visual Studio .NET debugging feature is a very efficient interactive tool, allowing developers to test, debug and even modify a page while executing it. In comparison to PHP's Zend Studio and J2EE's Eclipse, Visual Studio offers programmers a wider range of high quality tools which help them develop new web applications in a shorter amount of time.

As a built-in functionality, ASP.NET provides direct and immediate access to the vast .NET framework class libraries, offering more than 4500 classes with a rich functionality including: data access, XML, image generation, file upload, SMTP, and so on. For the UI, there are the ASP.NET web forms, which support a variety of server controls, business objects, and the ASP.NET Mobile Internet Toolkit – which aims mobile phones, PDAs and other 80 mobile devices, etc. Although, in PHP and J2EE most of the libraries are open source and free, they can't provide the necessary support for users.

Another big advantage that ASP.NET brought in with the release of .NET Framework 3.5 (released on November 19, 2009), is the LINQ (Language Integrated Query) functionality which allows the work with queries over collections and over almost any type of data. For programmers, this translates into easy to write, expressive code.

For the future, ASP.NET 4.0, which is due to be released on March, 2010, will bring exciting new features, such as the 2010 version of Visual Studio and new functionalities in the Microsoft Ajax Library, and will improve the existing services, including the output caching and session-state storage.