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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Installing the ASP.NET Framework

The easiest way to install the ASP.NET Framework is to install Visual Web Developer Express. You can download the latest version of Visual Web Developer from www.ASP.net, which is the official Microsoft ASP.NET website.

Installing Visual Web Developer Express also installs the following components:

  • Microsoft .NET Framework version 3.5
  • SQL Server Express

Visual Web Developer Express is compatible with the following operating systems:

  • Windows 2000 Service Pack 4
  • Windows XP Service Pack 2
  • Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1
  • Windows x64 editions
  • Windows Vista

I strongly recommend that you also download the .NET Framework SDK (Software Development Kit). The SDK includes additional documentation, sample code, and tools for building ASP.NET applications. You can download the SDK from the Microsoft MSDN website located at msdn.microsoft.com. The .NET Framework 3.5 SDK is included as part of the Microsoft Windows SDK for Windows Server 2008.

You can install Visual Web Developer Express on a computer that already has Visual Studio 2005 or Visual Web Developer 2005 installed. Different versions of the development environments can co-exist peacefully.

Furthermore, the same web server can serve ASP.NET 1.1 pages, ASP.NET 2.0 pages, ASP.NET 3.0 pages, and ASP.NET 3.5 pages. Each version of the .NET Framework is installed in the following folder:


For example, on my computer, I have the following five versions of the .NET Framework installed (version 1.0, version 1.1, version 2.0, version 3.0, and version 3.5):


The first three folders include a command-line tool named aspnet_regiis.exe. You can use this tool to associate a particular virtual directory on your machine with a particular version of the .NET Framework.

For example, executing the following command from a command prompt located in the v1.0.3705, v1.1.4322, or v2.0.50727 folders enables the 1.0, 1.1, or 2.0 version of ASP.NET for a virtual directory named MyApplication:

aspnet_regiis -s W3SVC/1/ROOT/MyApplication

By executing the aspnet_regiis.exe tool located in the different .NET Framework version folders, you can map a particular virtual directory to any version of the ASP.NET Framework.

The .NET Frameworks 3.0 and 3.5 work differently than earlier versions. The 3.0 and 3.5 versions build on top of the existing .NET Framework 2.0. To use these versions of the .NET Framework, you need to add the correct assembly references to your website and use the correct versions of the C# or VB.NET compilers. You reference these assemblies and configure the compiler within your application's web.config file. When you create a new website in Visual Web Developer, the necessary configuration settings are included in your web.config file automatically.

You also have the option of targeting a particular version of the .NET Framework. To do this, select the menu option Website, Start Options and select the Build tab. You can choose to target the .NET Framework 2.0, .NET Framework 3.0, or .NET Framework 3.5 (see Figure 1.18).

Figure 1.18

Figure 1.18 Targeting a particular version of the .NET Framework.

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