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Microsoft IIS Web Server and ASP.NET Forum

New to asp.net
Visual Studio.NET or something else?

 9:20 pm on Feb 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

We have most text based static pages in ASP. But we want to move to database based site so that it's easy to manage content. We used FrontPage 2000 in the past. But as this is a new project, I want to make sure that we do it right. How should I start? Do I need to buy Visual Studio.NET or there are some other options too.



 9:30 pm on Feb 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Anything you can do in Visual Studio you can do in NotePad. VisualStudio makes it easier, but it's nt necessary.

Creating dynamic pages from your static pages is the next logical step, and nothing beats taking an ASP tutorial. There are several good sites out there which can get you started.


 12:55 am on Feb 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

If you are going to use ASP.Net then try to get Visual Studio, or Web Matrix which is a free development tool available from Microsoft at their ASP.Net site.

Sure you can use Notepad to code with...but to really take advantage of everything VS.Net is the way to go.


 9:50 pm on Feb 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Visual Studio.Net has one very important feature that the others don't. VS.Net provides you with code-completion (Intellisense), in other words when you are entering a word such as "response" and hit period it provides you with options such as "write", "redirect". This feature is very beneficial when you are coding with the many objects and classes that the .Net framework includes. It can very much speed up your coding when using objects that you aren't used to.

If you have used any of the prior Visual Studio software you probably have seen this technology. Dreamweaver MX also includes something similar, though not for ASP.Net.

One limitation of VS.Net though is that it doesn't allow you to use Intellisense within the actual page code (.aspx). It will complete HTML, and client side Javascript, but not VB (I haven't tried C#). This may be a limitation if you plan on writing most of your code within the page rather than in the code-behind (.vb, .c). Though I believe I've heard that MS is going to include page side Intellisense in the next version of VS that is a ways a way.

Hope this help,


 8:23 pm on Mar 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

If you don't know .Net very well, I would have to disagree and say that vs.net *is* necessary. Manually coding and compiling .Net would be impossible for someone new to .Net


 8:54 pm on Mar 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Visual Studio.net is top of the line like everybody else has said, but it comes with a nice little price tag. You don't have to use it. Microsoft has created webmatrix for on the page asp.net that most asp developers are use to. It is not as feature rich, but it is very powerful for a free program and can definitely be used to learn asp.net. Download it and try it.


 9:50 pm on Mar 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

VS.Net is expensive, but it can pay itself off in saved development time. The only thing about Web Matrix that I've found is that it doesn't provide the Intellisense, which is very useful.

Another thing I'd recommend buying a good book on ASP.Net. Sticky mail me and I can recommend the one I have.



 9:51 pm on Mar 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Can you post the .NET book? I think other people might like to know the title as well.


 10:23 pm on Mar 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Of course! Being new to the WebMasterWorld I was a little concerned about the Posting Guidelines and not wanting to appear to be promoting.

The book I'd recommend is ASP.NET Unleashed from Sams by Stephen Walther. It's big and expensive, but it's quite in depth, and it doesn't require you to have VS.Net. It even provides example on how to compile with just the .NET framework. Also most of the examples are page based, which is also beneficial for those who don't want to purchase VS.Net. I'd certainly recommend it for beginner to intermediate level, I looked at quite a few books, but this one seemed to be, by far, the best.

One note though, the edition I have isn't completely updated for the newer version of .Net, so the information on ODBC database connectors is missing. This isn't necessarily a problem though as the SQL and OleDB aren't that much different.



 12:10 am on Mar 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

Another good set of books are the microsoft press books.


 12:30 am on Mar 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

I agree that the ASP.Net unleashed book is very good.


 3:03 am on Mar 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

I like to use Visual Studio and Web Matrix. Web Matrix has some nice feature VS doesn't but it can't do code behind.


 3:38 pm on Mar 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

I just recently moved up to ASP.NET and though I own VS.NET (2002), I just bought a book (ASP.NET for Developers - Sams) and choose to use Dreamweaver MX 2004.

I did this because I wanted to learn the language myself. Visual Studio.NET does so much for you that it's easy to build an application and not know exactly what you've done or why things work a particular way. Once I have a frim grasp on the .NET underpinnings I'll move to VS.NET so that I can speed things up.

BTW Dreamweaver MX does have Intellisense for .NET but it's not as extensive as VS.NET and it does not do it for ADO.NET. That is ok for me because I mainly copy and paste from a group of standard data functions anyway. It will autocomplete on an ASPX page though.


 3:49 pm on Mar 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>visual Studio.NET does so much for you that it's easy to build an application and not know exactly what you've done or why things work a particular way.

I highly recommend agianst VS.net wizards. They will hurt you in the long run. Not sure why you think dreamweaver is a good tool if you are learning .net though. It likes to compile your stuff so you never really see some of their add on code. If you really want the underpinnings then go with web matrix.

Jimmy Turnip

 3:53 pm on Mar 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

If you install the ASP.NET extension for Dreamweaver you get a few 'drag-and-drop' items too for the WYSISWG designer too.

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