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An Overview of ASP.NET - The New ASP.NET Infrastructure

An Overview of ASP.NET

by John Peterson

The New ASP.NET Infrastructure (The NGWS Frameworks and Runtime)

When I say whole new infrastructure... I mean whole new infrastructure! This is not just a change for ASP. There's this new concept of managed code that extends throughout the entire Windows development platform. This managed code runs in the NGWS Runtime. The NGWS Runtime is basically a run-time environment, which manages the execution of the code and helps make programming easier. It does much of the stuff that programs used to have to do themselves and allows you to focus on the actual development and not managing your code. From the ASP developers point of view it's similar to the role Transaction Server used to play in ASP 2 and 3. It manages the system level stuff so you can spend more time focusing on building your application.

The runtime automatically handles object references and frees them when they're no longer being used. It also manages system memory, which helps eliminate memory leaks and other traditional programming problems. On top of this the new runtime also allows cross-language integration and exception handling since all the languages are running in the same environment. For example you can now derive a class in any language from a class written in any other language or pass an instance of a class from one language to another. This is made possible by the runtime and the new common type system and environment it provides.

I can already hear you saying "Enough already... what does this mean to me?" Well at very least what this means to you is:

  • Increased performance
  • Cross-language re-use of components
  • Better object-oriented programming support
  • Automatic memory-management
  • The ability for you to work more freely with people who use different languages than you

So basically less work and more free time! That being said, please remember that I'm greatly over-simplifying this to cover it quickly and get to the stuff most ASP developers will find more applicable, but the runtime is important to mention since it's the basis and environment for ASP.NET.

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