An Introduction to ASP.NET 2.0
When Microsoft released the .NET Framework 1.0 Technology Preview in July 2000, it was immediately clear that Web development was going to change. The company's then current technology, Active Server Pages 3.0 (ASP), was powerful and flexible, and it made the creation of dynamic Web sites easy. ASP spawned a whole series of books, articles, Web sites, and components, all to make the development process even easier. What ASP didn't have, however, was an application framework; it was never an enterprise development tool. Everything you did in ASP was code oriented—you just couldn't get away without writing code.
ASP.NET was designed to counter this problem. One of its key design goals was to make programming easier and quicker by reducing the amount of code you have to create. Enter the declarative programming model, a rich server control hierarchy with events, a large class library, and support for development tools from the humble Notepad to the high-end Visual Studio .NET. All in all, ASP.NET was a huge leap forward.