ASP.NET is a unified Web development platform that greatly simplifies the implementation of sophisticated Web applications. In this chapter we introduced the fundamentals of ASP.NET and Web Forms, which make it easy to develop interactive Web sites. Server controls present the programmer with an event model similar to what is provided by controls in ordinary Windows programming. This high-level programming model rests on a lower-level request/ response programming model that is common to earlier approaches to Web programming and is still accessible to the ASP.NET programmer.
The Visual Studio .NET development environment includes a Form Designer, which makes it very easy to visually lay out Web forms, and with a click you can add event handlers. ASP.NET makes it very easy to handle state management. Configuration is based on XML files and is very flexible. There are a great variety of server controls, including wrappers around HTML controls, validation controls, and rich controls such as a Calendar. Data binding makes it easy to display data from a variety of data sources.
In the next chapter we cover Web Services, which enable the development of collaborative Web applications that span heterogeneous systems.