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  1. #1
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    ASP.NET - getting started (Win2K, IIS 5.0, FP2K)

    I'm more than happy mucking about with ASP classic, and have several large projects in that language, but I'd like to start 'boning up' on ASP.NET (at least) and wanted to pick some brains about a good strategy doing so. For starters, I am running IIS 5.0 on my desktop machine, so it is a fully-function ASP development machine. There's a couple of projects that run directly off my box, so it should be considered a 'production' machine. This means I *cannot* scrap ASP Classic if I want to set up the machine to also run dev code for ASP.NET. In terms of coding enviornment, it's FP2K almost exclusively. FP is ok for coding but I do enjoy it's ability to manage a website fairly decently and overall have no huge complaints re. using it for coding. In addition, I like the ability to preview pages in a browser in FP without having to use a little custom webserver as is done using Web Matrix. In fact, I'm not all that interested in using Web Matrix. I can lobby (and perhaps get) Visual Studio but IMHO if an big ol' IDE is required to mess about with ASP.NET that seems like too much buy-in demand for just learning the language... If the general feeling is 'thou shalt use Visual Studio', let me know the reasons please. I'd like to get it at some point anyay.

    SO, in sum: what do I need to do to host ASP.NET on a production machine already using IIS 5.0/ASP to host pages in FP? I've downloaded frameworks, stared at a few tutorials and, in general, would like to setup something useful and minimal and, certainly preferably, something that cohabits peacefully with a system that is not in the least bit broken.

    TIA!
    <img src=/S/compute.gif border=0 alt=compute width=40 height=20>

  2. #2
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    Re: ASP.NET - getting started (Win2K, IIS 5.0, FP2K)

    Here are my suggestions and thoughts after spending more than 2 years working exclusively in the .NET environment:

    1) ASP.NET and classic ASP can cohabitate peacefully in development or production environments. However, you would want to use caution when trying to mix the two platforms in a single project (that one is pretty much common sense).

    2) Thou shalt use Visual Studio.NET. You can very easily use other tools to learn and develop with the .NET Framework but there is no other tool that will make life as easy. For example, to compile a project with Visual Studio, you click a single button. Without Visual Studio, you have to use the VBC.EXE (for VB) or CSC.EXE (for C#) command line tool with the appropriate command switches, which can be quite daunting and frustrating.

    3) You should generally avoid using FrontPage as a development tool for .NET applications - especially any version that has no knowledge of the .NET Framework (FP2002 and 2003 should be less of a problem in this area). That's not to say that FP isn't a valuable tool for some things (such as maintaning a mostly static site or helping generate page-design HTML) but it is just not a good tool for working with ASP.NET development.

    4) You can find several open source .NET IDEs out there (such as SharpDevelop). I understand that budget is a concern for some companies/organizations/agencies/etc. However, I can assure you that extra cost of Visual Studio will be more than made up by time you will save not having to deal with other methods of learning and applying .NET.

    Just my 2 cents <img src=/S/2cents.gif border=0 alt=2cents width=15 height=15>

  3. #3
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    Re: ASP.NET - getting started (Win2K, IIS 5.0, FP2

    thanks for the feedback. i was anticipating strong advice to use visual studio, as you may have gathered from my query. how much is that anyway? (I know, I can google, just thought I'd ask). also, is IIS 6.0 needed? I notice 6.0 has some extra/added functionality for web apps n stuff. this is a little more important in the long run as I will (if I campaign to start using ASP.NET) have to anticipate any config demands on the enterprise webserver. since i don't maintain the webfarm, any requests have to be fairly strictly worded and vigilantly pursued. for example, it took the webfarm IT people 2 weeks to get CDONTS reconfigured after a bad server crash...if ASP.NET demands significant config on the webserver, I may have to settle for ASP.NOT...

    As far as using FP, well, if it ain't the right IDE, it ain't. But, I'll need to know what the cost benefits are overall if I start down the .NET road to make it easier to make a 'pitch'.

    from your persepctive, what are the BIG advantages to ASP.NET over good ol' ASP? I have a low tolerance for MS-inspired Marketing blather....

  4. #4
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    Re: ASP.NET - getting started (Win2K, IIS 5.0, FP2

    You can easily use IIS 5.0 for development and possibly even for some production apps. IIS 6.0 is actually easier to config than 5.0 because you can handle most of the settings for each application in its own Web.config file. That means that once the virtual directory for the application is created, almost all other settings can be controlled by the developer. In the long run, IIS 6.0 will be much less work for the network admins. Keep in mind that IIS 6.0 only runs on Windows Server 2003, so you may be locked in to IIS 5.0 if you're still using Server 2000 for production.

    You'll have to check the MS site for pricing on VS.NET. They recently had a great price on a bundle with VS 2003, Windows Server 2003, and SQL Server developer for around $500 - that's a steal! You may consider ordering a demo version of Visual Studio (should last at least 60 days, if not 120). This will give you a bit of hands-on use so you can make your own comparisons and justifications. There's really no comparison between FrontPage and Visual Studio - they're totally different products created for totally different types of users.

    The advantages of ASP.NET over classic ASP are pretty well summed up in the MS Marketing blather. Believe it or not, it's mostly true. Better overall performance, MUCH better reusability of code, event-driven model, TRUE object-oriented programming, platform-agnostic web services, mobile device development, etc. Just look at the financial resources Microsoft is investing in the .NET push - Visual Studio, SharePoint, BizTalk, Commerce Server, Windows Server 2003 and so on. It's not just a passing fad - the platform is here to stay...

    Also, don't forget that the next version is due out in just a few months (Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005, .NET Framework 2.0). You may just want to wait and aim for purchasing the software then (sometime in Q3 or Q4, I think) - especially if you think it will take you that long to get purchase approval. And don't worry - almost anything you've learned about the .NET Framework 1.x will apply in 2.0. It's backwards compatible - it's more of an enhancement than a totally new platform.

  5. #5
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    Re: ASP.NET - getting started (Win2K, IIS 5.0, FP2

    visual studio 2003 prof. edition 60 day trial is $4.95 but is on backorder. the whole package (Full Version Microsoft

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