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Services and APIs

Behind the various new controls in ASP.NET 2.0 lie the foundation services and APIs that do the heavy lifting needed to enable the controls to do their work. For example, behind the new Login controls you'll find the new collection of Membership APIs, which perform such tasks such as user authentication, registration of new users, and so on. Besides using the new controls, you can directly make use of these APIs in code.

Table 1. New Features in ASP.NET 2.0

Controls Page Framework Services and APIs
Data Controls
Includes controls that simplify the connection to data sources as well as the new GridView and DetailsView controls.
Master Pages
Visual page inheritance for Web Forms.
The core service for user management, such as user creation, deletion, authentication, retrieval of passwords, etc.
Login Controls
Contains controls that makes website user management and user authentication easy and efficient.
Themes and Skins
Maintain consistent look and feel for the entire site by using Skins definitions grouped by themes.
Role Management
Manages the assigning of roles to users, such as add user to role, delete user from role, inquire if user's in role, etc.
Web Parts
Provides the infrastructure for creating Web Parts.
Simplify the steps needed to globalize and localize your web applications.
Site Maps
Supports the retrieval of site information, as well as the display of site maps.
Navigation Controls
Contains controls that display site information and menus.
Supports dynamic compilation of business logic without the need for explicit recompilation when the code is changed. Also supports automatic generation of web services proxy class using WSDL.
Supports the personalization of websites through the Profile object.
Additional Standard Controls
Contains controls such as ImageMap, FileUpload, MultiView, and TreeView.

For a detailed discussion of the new features in ASP.NET 2.0, refer to ASP.NET 2.0: A Developer's Notebook.


In this article, you have seen some of the most important features of ASP.NET. If you have never developed a web application before, I strongly encourage you to take ASP.NET 2.0 for a spin today. You will be amazed at how easy it is to start building compelling applications with so little effort. Of course, one of the easiest ways is to grab a copy of my book and spend a few good afternoon trying out all the features. Have fun!

To try out ASP.NET 2.0, download Microsoft Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition Beta 2, or, if you are a MSDN subscriber, download Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2.

Wei-Meng Lee (Microsoft MVP) is a technologist and founder of Developer Learning Solutions, a technology company specializing in hands-on training on the latest Microsoft technologies.

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