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Microsoft IIS Web Server and ASP.NET Forum

This 33 message thread spans 2 pages: 33 ( [1] 2 > >     
New Forum: .NET Technologies

 12:41 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Microsoft has committed vast resources to it's .NET initiative. Although still in it's infancy stage, it is clear that the technology is going to grow by multitudes.

Thanks to our two moderators for taking on this forum. Xoc is a former Microsoft programmer and is currently a traveling .NET instructor. Lisa is a full time web guru working in Microsoft related technologies.

The scope of the forum is going to be rather large. Most Microsoft 'centric .NET technologies are game here: including C#, ASP, and IIS questions.



 12:45 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Excellent! There has been some .Net grumblings around here for a while.


 12:50 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

WoW! That will be a busy one! Xoc is the one for it.

Good luck Xoc!

I always thought Lisa was *nix person!


 12:52 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Looking forward to learning more about this, congrats!


 2:31 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

With this forums help I can actually learn exactly what .NET is :)


 2:48 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

>what .NET is?
Exactly. I'm a bit rusty there to, so this is great.

Congrats to Xoc and Lisa - I will be enjoying reading what you come up with :)


 3:01 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Well, what .Net is, in a nutshell, is...

internet without pointing and clicking. B2B automated.

Picture this: a recent MS ad showed a bicycle frame shop on one page with a bicycle gear shop on the other page.

The two companies write little programs that allow their two distinct software packages to talk to each other across the internet.

Bike frame shop gets an order from Walmart for 100 bicycles. Bike frame shop only has 75 gears in stock. When the order is processed in Frame shop's computer, the computer realizes a need to order more gears.

So, through the magic of .Net and web services, an order is generated and sent via HTTP directly into the Gear shops production system, without having to fax purchase orders, generate emails, etc.

.Net will revolutionize the supply chain the way the introduction of the FAX machine did in the early 1980's.

The whole idea of "web services" is to be able to integrate disparate computer systems across the internet through HTTP calls, using a common frame work of XML to pass data. At each end, the legacy systems will read the XML and translate it to whatever format it needs.

It's mind boggling.


 3:08 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Interesting this .net story, and I have not looked into it at all, other than seeing some add type things.

Congrats XoX & Lisa - and here goes the first question:

Are there some good demo sites around that are brief and clear? Which services/companies are already using it?


 3:18 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

I know that Dollar Rent-A-Car is using it. I read an article about it in Business 2.0.

Brief and clear demos I haven't seen. The Silverstream company has a good product and demo which shows a good example.

An on-line bank offers instant approval of loans. You fill out the app. On Submit, the web service at the credit bureau gets called, all the information gets sent, they run it and return a beacon score to the bank web site. If the score is right you get approved. The bank and the credit bureau are on two different systems, and the "web service" in XML bridges between them automatically.


 3:29 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

I am a Unix person. You can call me a switch hitter. I started programming in ASP pages back in 1995 and stopped in 1999 as I moved over to PHP and Perl. I also started programming in Visual Studio back in the 90's as well and continue to program in it today. When it comes to desktop development I still use Visual Studio. My skills are rusty in some Microsoft areas so I expect to learn more then I know in this forum. May the teaching begin.


 3:32 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Well you will see alot of my posts here. I'm just starting out with .net. A thank you in advance for all the answers you will give me and thanks Brett. This is exactly what I need.


 3:40 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

.net is nice because it is object oriented like java. You can write in lots of programming languages. I write a jscipt program that has methods that your python program can access.

Microsoft wants .net classes or objects floating around cyberspace that all developers can use and build off of. They are trying to create a low level basic programming language that is translated from tons of other languages.

development time is a lot faster.

it is also nice to see that the asp.net site is down the day this forum is created:)


 3:46 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

So, through the magic of .Net and web services, an order is generated and sent via HTTP directly into the Gear shops production system, without having to fax purchase orders, generate emails, etc.

Taking the risk of sounding naive, but I've had systems using EDI communications to accomplish the same thing since 93.
What is the difference?


 3:50 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

The real innovation of .net is the common language runtime. Many languages translated into one low level language that is compiled and object oriented.


 4:05 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Welcome all.

Let's make further posts on what .NET is and what it's for in separate threads and leave this one for introductions.

I hope that Lisa and I can make this one of the places for .NET info on the Web. But that's going to take your help. Right now, there is no question too dumb or trivial about .NET. Don't know what it is? Ask! Want to know how to set it up? Ask! Want to find a hosting company for it? Can't get that first "Hello World" to compile? Ask! More than anything we need postings. If we don't know the answer, we'll find it for you.

Besides the specific .NET technologies, this forum also encompass classic ASP (Active Server Pages), IIS (Internet Information Server), and general XML (eXtensible Markup Language) and XSLT (eXtensible Style Language Tranformation) questions. We will cover VB.NET and C# (and if Lisa wants, C++) questions, even if they are not being used for programming not related to the Web.

Greg Reddick (aka Xoc)

(edited by: Xoc at 4:10 pm (utc) on May 29, 2002)


 4:07 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

> common language runtime

I think that was already invented like 40 years ago... it was called machine language. I am glad they are moving forward, it was sort of sad that it took so much effort to program in one language and use that code in another. Like in VB you could not do low level stuff. You had to break open the C++ and code a DLL for VB. With .NET they are doing something that should have been done a long time ago.


 8:29 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

> What .NET is?

.NET is a Web Services enabled platform providing protocols for machine to machine communication. Web Services, as opposed to EDI, employs ubiquitous tecnnologies such as http and XML to accomplish the information interchange. This is the key point and it makes it possible to find a new use for the Internet in enterprise software development.

The use of common place technologies also means that Web Services and SOAP is not confined to the .NET platform or Microsoft but can be implemented using e.g. Java / J2EE on Unix. In my personal opion I think that .NET is too late to challenge Java as the main platform for enterprise software development. The good thing is that .NET offers an alternative, especially for software solutions based on Microsoft products.


 8:36 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

In my personal opinon I think that .NET is too late to challenge Java as the main platform for enterprise software development.

I think you could have said the same thing about spreadsheets when Lotus was boss; word processors when WordPerfect was boss; databases when dBase was box; networks when Novell was boss; etc., etc. Thinking that just because Microsoft is late to the game that they can't play well is a mistake.


 9:06 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

"Thinking that just because Microsoft is late to the game that they can't play well is a mistake."

You are absolutely right, never underestimate Microsoft. .NET will be major platform in the future and any IT professional must know how to program in C# if they want to make any money. No question about it. Still Java and J2EE has a bit of a head start (5 years) and it may take some time before .NET is embraced by the programming community in general.

From a machiavellian point of view .NET is a welcome addition since it is the first credible rival to J2EE and it provides a balance in modern software development.


 9:26 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

"The two companies write little programs that allow their two distinct software packages to talk to each other across the internet."

And I thought the internet was about communication all the time. Didn't know this is a new feature that ships with .net

Thors Hammer

 9:38 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Its really interesting to see new Forums sprout right outta the ether in front of us, LOL. ;)

I was trying to get more information on net, and came accross these;



Hope these help. :)



 9:48 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

If I understand the technologies correctly, the business positioning is interesting and important (I'm a new programmer so pardon me if my grasp of the appropriate terminology is not always right on):

Both .Net and Java promise cross-platform compatibility. With Java everyone must retrain and it may not always be the best language for the job. However, it has proven extremely successful especially on the server side and within large web-based operations.

Microsoft, which has had difficult penetrating the larger web sites (both on the hardware and software side) has been looking for a way in. The benefit Microsoft holds out (we shall see) with .Net is the ability to continue working in whatever languages you prefer (whether because of expertise or suitability to task), while leaving the middleware 'headache' (the CLR) to Microsoft.

This is a clever bet. Microsoft hopes that by making it easy for diverse developer community to build applications on .Net it will drive adoption. They do not have to do all the heavy lifting themselves. The benefits will be obvious to the smaller fish, while they will trust the individual developers to upsell into larger companies.

In a way it is counterintuitive -- or at least counter the public perception, Microsoft is a supporter of diversity while Java represents a much more unified and centralized control.

But of course, what Microsoft wants is control over that middleware. They have a proven ability to generate revenue at this level, as well as parlaying that middleware/OS expertise into dominance over the application market.

Should be interesting to watch this fight play out over the next few years.


 12:23 am on May 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

.NET is a MS ploy to destroy the current interoperability of the web with MS proprietary protocols, thus ensuring we all have no choice other than Redmond software forever and ever and ever. Oh, and did I mention that you're going to be renting it? Oh, and did I mention that because you're renting their software, they can pull the plug on your servers at any time they want? It is the biggest IT marketing scam of all time. As there is no teaming with Microsoft on anything (witness Electronic Arts' president's comments on the subject [slashdot.org]) unless you want to go out of business, the correct answer is to avoid .NET like the plague.


 12:53 am on May 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have to disagree. For web interoperability, it is built on SOAP, which is just XML over HTTP. Nothing proprietary about that--Microsoft didn't develop or control either of those standards. .NET programs are on your machines running your software. For verification of people you can use Passport, but you don't have to--they have other verification mechanisms available built into the .NET framework. The C# language was submitted to ECMA to be an open standard that other competing compilers can work with, unlike certain offerings such as Java. .NET is actually the most non-proprietary thing Microsoft has done in their entire history.

Are there things that worry me? Yes, but none that you listed. All the server-side controls essentially form a non-standard version of HTML on the server. Once you code to them, you are locked into ASP.NET and IIS, at least until other servers support those controls. But that is no different than coding to ASP.

I see .NET as a subtle move by Microsoft to divorce the future of the company from Windows and Intel. Did you ever think that for almost every copy of Windows sold, Intel sold a CPU? Let the states break up the company (not likely to happen) and Microsoft will still laugh all the way to the bank. The future of Microsoft rests on the .NET Framework now, not Windows. Windows is a cash cow, but not necessary for the survival of the company any more than Flight Simulator is. You can bet whatever division of the company wound up with the .NET Framework would be the one that Bill retained stock in.

(edited by: Xoc at 8:02 am (utc) on May 30, 2002)


 1:58 am on May 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

"For verification of people you can use Passport."

Is Passport the big calling card here? You can only get to the pocketbook through .NET? If so, there would seem to be a tremendous incentive to "get on board".


 3:16 am on May 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Great to see my favourite forum to finally catch up with times and open a .NET thread well done Brett!


 5:03 am on May 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Im one of those who wants to know what exactly this is!

Are there implications for webmasters like me. eg: non-e-commerce, non-networked/intraneted etc, mainly informational? Or is it mainly for the networked and big guys. If I use SOAP as we do in a very limited way, does that mean we are are ".netted" and how does that affect me?


 5:45 am on May 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

very cool. I've been programming and teaching asp for a number of years. I've always wanted to take the time to learn .net but never had the go ahead to do so "on the job". YEsterday, my boss made the announcement that we "need" to learn .net and can do so at his expense. He confirmed this by putting .Net on his business cards.

Now I get to read about it in my favorite forum.


 8:02 am on May 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Let's take new questions to new threads. Many of these kinds of questions deserve a thread of their own! Thanks! ;)

But to answer Chiyo's question, if you are just doing static HTML pages, .NET really has nothing special to offer. But once you start doing any sort of programming (scripting) on the pages, it has a lot of cool things. Let's just take one example: by putting one line at the top of the web page, you can specify that you want it to be cached for 24 hours. Or until a file changes. Or almost any other criteria. The HTML the program produced is not regenerated until the specified event occurs or the server gets low on memory and flushes the cache. That means that the server doesn't have to rerun that code, it sends it down with a much lower hit on server resources.

So you don't need to be on a server farm dishing out millions of pages a day to get some advantage from .NET.

SOAP is not Microsoft specific, but .NET sure makes it easier to set up and use.


 12:57 am on May 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

Xoc, you say
For web interoperability, it is built on SOAP, which is just XML over HTTP. Nothing proprietary about that--Microsoft didn't develop or control either of those standards.

Riiight. And if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell ya. It amazes me how many people still get fooled by "open" standards that are actually proprietary. Sure, XML is a standard, but how standard are the particular tags MS uses? MS has pulled plenty of BS in the past regarding licensing of their interfaces, and they will for sure pull it again. For instance: MS issued a CIFS Technical License [slashdot.org] such that you couldn't read it and use it as the basis for any free software implementation (e.g., for Samba). In the absence of this, it becomes a lot harder to figure out what's going on. Expect similar kinds of harassment on otherwise unidentifiable MS XML tags.

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