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ASP.Net 2.0 Improvements

In this article we discuss the several new features that are introduced in ASP.NET and see how it has improved by doing so.

The need for improvement lead to ASP.NET 2.0, which was designed keeping in mind the factor that web development requires to be made simpler and faster.


ASP.NET 2.0 was designed to meet the following goals:

  • Reducing code by 70% to increase productivity

  • Use similar controls for all kinds of devices

  • Provision of a quicker and improved web server platform

  • Web Application's administration needs to be simplified

  • To make easier the compilation and installation

New Features in ASP.NET 2.0

ASP.NET 2.0 offers some of the following new features:

  • Master Pages, Themes and Web Parts

  • Security controls standardized

  • Standard controls for navigation

  • Personalization, roles and internationalization services

  • Simpler and better data access controls

  • Complete support for XML standards

  • Better compilation and deployment

  • Better Site Management

  • New and improved development tools

Let's discuss these new features in detail:

Master Pages

ASP.NET didn't offer a way to have a consistent look and feel for the complete web site.

ASP.NET 2.0 solved this problem by introducing master pages. A master page is a template for other pages, with shared layout and functionality. The master page defines placeholders for content pages. The result page is a combination (merge) of the master page and the content page. More about master pages read in Master Pages in ASP.NET 2.0 tutorial


To give a customized look to the web applications, ASP.NET 2.0 came up with the themes/skins feature (more about this feature you can find in Themes and Skins in ASP.NET 2.0 tutorial).

ASP.NET 2.0 aimed to achieve the following design goals:

  • Simplify to customize the appearance of a site

  • Allow themes to be applied to controls, pages, and entire sites

  • Allowing the customization of all visual elements

Web Parts

ASP.NET 2.0 Web Parts provide a consistent look for a site, while still allowing user customization of style and content (more in Web Parts in ASP.NET tutorial).

New controls:

  • Zone controls - areas on a page where the content is consistent

  • Web part controls - content areas for each zone


ASP.NET 2.0 introduces built-in navigation controls (more in Web Site Navigation in ASP.NET 2.0 tutorial)

  • Site Maps

  • Dynamic HTML menus

  • Tree Views


Security plays a key role in application development. So the confidential and personal information need to be protected (read more on Security Features in ASP.NET 2.0).

In ASP.NET 2.0 the following controls has been added:

  • A Login control, which provides login functionality

  • A LoginStatus control, to control the login status

  • A LoginName control to display the current user name

  • A LoginView control, to provide different views depending on login status

  • A CreateUser wizard, to allow creation of user accounts

  • A PasswordRecovery control, to provide the "I forgot my password" functionality

Roles and Personalization

Internet communities are gaining popularity. ASP.NET 2.0 has personalization features for storing user details. This caters to an easy way to customize user (and user group) properties (more about user management read in User registration and authentication for an ASP.NET 2.0 tutorial).


To cater and reach out to a large audience is important and requires reaching people with different languages. So to handle this, ASP.NET 2.0 introduces an improved support for multiple languages (read more in Building Multilingual Web Sites with ASP.NET tutorial).

Data Access

There are many data driven web sites that use databases or XML files as data sources. With ASP.NET this involved code, and often the same code had to be used over and over in different web pages.

A key goal of ASP.NET 2.0 was to ease the use of data sources and eliminate this redundancy. ASP.NET 2.0 has a whole new data controls, removing much of the need for programming and in-depth knowledge of data connections. Read more in Data Source Controls in ASP.NET 2.0 and DataSet and DataAdapter in ASP.NET 2.0 tutorials

Mobility Support

Often with Mobile devices is a problem arises when it comes to screen size and display capabilities. In ASP.NET, the Microsoft Mobile Internet Toolkit (MMIT) is used for such purposes. But In ASP.NET 2.0, MMIT is no longer needed because mobile support is built into all controls.


In ASP.NET 2.0, following new controls for image handling have been included:

  • The ImageMap control - image map support

  • The DynamicImage control - image support for different browsers

These controls are important for better image display on mobile devices, like hand-held computers and cell phones.

Automatic Compilation

ASP.NET 2.0 supports automatic compilation. The first run will compile all files within a directory, including support for WSDL, and XSD files.

Compiled Deployment (Installation) and Source Protection

ASP.NET 2.0 also provides pre-compilation. A complete web site can be pre-compiled. This gives an easy way to deploy (upload to a server) compiled applications, and this protects the source code as only compiled files are deployed.

Site Management

ASP.NET 2.0 introduces three new features for web site configuration and management:

  • New local management console

  • New programmable management functions (API)

  • New web-based management tool

Development Tools

Along with ASP.NET, Project and design features were released in Visual Studio.NET keeping in mind the need of corporate developers. With ASP.NET 2.0, Visual Studio 2005 was released.

Visual Studio 2005's key design features include:

  • Support for the features described above

  • Upload files from anywhere (FTP, File System, Front Page...)

  • No project files, allowing code to be manipulated outside Visual Studio

  • Integrated Web Site Administration Tool

  • No "build" step - ability to compile on first run

For non-corporate developers who cannot access Visual Studio.NET, ASP.NET introduces a new and free tool called Visual Web Developer. More about this free tool read in Introduction to Visual Web Developer 2005 - Express Edition tutorial.

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