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<8 Reasons to Stick with ASP 3.0 in 2006 (and 2007) ⁄ >

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ASP.NET has been around for several years now, firstly as the Visual Studio 2003 incarnation based on .NET version 1, and more recently as the Visual Studio 2005 incarnation based on .NET version 2.

Many developers made the jump from regular ASP to .NET immediately, drawn in by the all too familiar Microsoft hype and the promises of cross-platform compatibility, rapid and robust development, and the ability to develop web applications in the familiar, comfortable and slightly lazy VB environment.

The move to a .NET development environment was expensive and a far bigger change than many expected. The uptake was, and still is much slower than Microsoft ever expected. It is surely no accident then that the .NET suffix has been removed from the recent Visual Studio 2005. There is no such thing as VB.NET anymore, it is VB2005. It is also a surprise, (although not altogether unexpected), that Microsoft is now giving away a light weight version of VB2005 for free! Change the name and give it away - a cunning recruitment drive or a company in panic?

In truth, I find VB2005 for traditional Windows application development a fantastic tool. A sensible object-orientated programming architecture combined with the marvellous ADO.NET database access, alongside powerful features such as Web Services, throw in some of the best layout tools ever seen in an environment of this nature, gently stir in the ability to code in C#, J#, or VB and you cannot deny that VB2005 is an order of magnitude greater than VB6, and is definitely a cake worth eating.

In this accolade, however, I do not include ASP.NET. VB and ASP have now been bundled together in the same VB package and the distinction between the two is supposed to be invisible; VB2005 Windows Forms and VB2005 Web Forms - a slight difference in name, yet a huge difference to the developer. VB Windows Forms (or VB.NET, or VB2005, or VB) will improve your life. VB Web Forms (or ASP.NET, or ASP2005) will make you frown.

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