Difference Between ASP and ASP.NET

ASP.NET is Microsoft’s current technology for building dynamic web applications. ASP.NET was the successor to their earlier web technology for the same purpose, ASP (called Classic ASP). ASP provided a conventional platform for Web programming, while ASP.NET has many new features that make it very easy to develop web applications than using traditional methods.

What is ASP?

ASP (Active Sever Pages) is a web technology developed by Microsoft. ASP was their first ever server-side script engine for dynamically generated web sites. At first it was just an add-on to IIS (Internet Information Services) through Windows NT 4.0. Later, it became a standalone product distributed with Windows 2000 Server. In ASP 2.0, programmers were provided with 6 main objects to work with. They were Application, Session, Request, Response, Server and ASPError. These 6 objects encapsulated the attributes and behavior of the most important concepts of web programming. For example, a Session object can be used to represent a session based on cookies and maintain the state from page to page. ASP websites can access DLLs through COM (Component Object Model) technology. ASP web pages use .asp file extension. ASP programmers mainly used VBScript to write pages. Jscript and PerlScript were the other choices of Active scripts used for writing ASP pages. After the introduction of ASP.NET, ASP was referred to as Classic ASP or ASP Classic.

What is ASP.NET?

Microsoft’s ASP.NET is the successor to ASP. It was released in 2002 (with .NET Framework 1.0). ASP.NET is a web application framework that can be used to develop web sites, web applications and web services. Because ASP.NET runs on CLR (Common Language Runtime), programmers can use any of the .NET languages (i.e. C#, VB.NET, etc.) to write ASP.NET web applications. ASP.NET applications can process SOAP messages through the ASP.NET SOAP extension. Web Forms the main units of development in ASP.NET. Web Forms usually have the .aspx file extension. These Web Forms are made up of static XHTML and server-side scripts for defining Web control and User controls. The code-behind model introduced in ASP.NET Framework 2.0 allows programmer to keep static code in .aspx pages, while all the dynamic code is kept in .aspx.vb or .aspx.cs or .aspx.fs files (corresponding to the VB.NET or C#.NET or F#.NET languages used). For example, the code-behind file will be Home.aspx, while its corresponding page file will be Home.aspx.cs (assuming C# is used). This is the default practice in Microsoft Visual Studio, which is an IDE that can be used to develop ASP.NET web applications.

What is the difference between ASP and ASP.NET?

When compared with Classic ASP, ASP.NET makes it very easy for the programmers to transit from Windows programming to Web programming by introducing the concept of Web controls (very similar to Windows Forms controls). Unlike ASP, programmers are encouraged to use event-driven GUI model for web development with ASP.NET. ASP.NET integrates technologies like JavaScript to enable the programmers to create persistent states by using components such as ViewState.