What's New in Web Development
An important new feature of Visual Studio is the ability to create Web applications — that is, Visual Basic and Visual C# applications that run on a Web server.
What's New in Visual Studio .NET 2003
In Visual Studio .NET 2003, there are small changes to Web Forms and the Web Forms Designer, all of which are designed to make Web Forms more robust and easier to develop.
- Request Validation
- By default, the page framework automatically scans posted user information for HTML elements, including tags and reserved characters. If it detects HTML, it raises an error. This provides protection against potentially malicious user input ("script injection"). For details, see Scripting Exploits.
- Consolidated View and Build Commands
- The View in Browser command (available when you right-click a Web Forms page in Solution Explorer) has been consolidated with the Build and Browse command. The View in Browser command now builds before displaying the page in a docked window in the designer. (Formerly it did not compile before displaying the page.) This change makes the Build and Browse command unnecessary, so that command has been removed from the shortcut menu.
- Visual J# .NET Support
- You can now develop Web Forms pages using Visual J# .NET. For more information, see Visual J# Overview.
- Web References
- The Start Browsing for XML Web Services pane in the Add Web Reference Dialog Box now provides Web links to both local and Internet sources of available XML Web services, including your own machine, UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration) servers on the local network, the Microsoft UDDI Business Registry, and the Test Microsoft UDDI Directory. For more information, see Locating XML Web Services and Adding and Removing Web References.
What's New in Visual Studio .NET 2002
The two major developments in Web applications are Web Forms and XML Web services:
- Web Forms technology allows you to quickly and easily create the user interface for ASP.NET Web applications. Web Forms pages represent a revolutionary improvement over existing Web-development tools, combining the speed and ease of a rapid application development (RAD) environment with the power of compiled programming languages. Web Forms output is compatible with any browser or mobile device and automatically renders the correct browser-compliant HTML for features such as styles, layout, and so on. For more information see Web Forms Pages.
- An XML Web service is a piece of business functionality — a component — that can be called by other components or applications via Internet protocols. XML Web services enable the exchange of data using standards like HTTP and XML messaging to move data across firewalls. XML Web services are not tied to a particular component technology or object-calling convention. As a result, programs written in any language, using any component model, and running on any operating system can access XML Web services. For more information see XML Web Services in Managed Code.
Visual Basic Note If you are familiar with the Visual Basic language, see Language Changes in Visual Basic for a list of differences from previous versions.
- RAD Support for Creating Web Forms Pages
- Visual Studio includes a forms designer for creating HTML and ASP.NET-based forms. The designer allows you to drag HTML elements, controls, data classes, and other objects onto your form, use the Properties window to work with them, and use RAD techniques for adding code to them. For more details, see Creating and Managing Web Forms Pages.
- RAD Support for Creating XML Web Services
- Visual Studio includes a project template for creating XML Web services, in which you can expose methods for public access on the Web. You can create and distribute XML Web services using Visual Basic, Visual C#, or ATL server. For information, see Introduction to Programming XML Web Services in Managed Code.
- RAD Support for Accessing XML Web Services
- Visual Studio contains features that make it easy for you to locate existing XML Web services and make use of them in your applications. The Add Web Reference dialog box can be used to navigate services and add the necessary proxies to your project to access them. For details, see Accessing XML Web Services in Managed Code.
- Programming Language Support
- You can program Web Forms pages in any language supported in the .NET Framework, including Visual Basic .NET and Visual C# .NET. As in all .NET programming, you can create components in different languages; for example, you can create a Web Forms page in Visual Basic and call components written in Visual C#. For details, see Programming Languages.
- Server Controls
- When creating Web Forms pages, you use a special class of controls designed for use in browsers. The controls render as HTML, but execute code on the server, giving you maximum flexibility and power over the form. For details, see ASP.NET Server Controls.
- You can create user input validation easily using a set of controls that automatically read user input, perform a validation check, and produce error information. For details, see Web Forms Validation.
- Data Access in Web Applications
- You can bind controls to a variety of data sources, ranging from simple arrays to datasets created in the ASP.NET Framework. The Web Forms Designer allows you to drag data objects onto the form and configure them. You can then bind any property of a Web Forms server control to any available data element. For more information, see Data Access in Web Forms Pages.
- Compiling, Deploying, and Running Web Forms Pages
- Web Forms pages are compiled into classes that are deployed as DLLs, giving you both performance and code security in your distributed application.
- Debugging Web Applications
- The Visual Studio .NET debugger is fully supported for XML Web services and for Web Forms pages. You can use the Visual Studio to debug your Web applications, including code that is running on a remote computer. For more information, see Introduction to Web Application Debugging.
- Custom Web Control Creation
- You can create your own Web server controls in two ways:
- User Controls You can create visual controls as Web Forms pages encapsulating the functionality you want, then embed those pages in other Web Forms pages. User Controls provide you with simple, easily developed controls that are ideal for components such as menus and toolbars. For more information, see Introduction to Web User Controls.
- Custom server controls Using an SDK provided with the .NET Framework, you can create your own controls that are fully integrated into the Visual Studio .NET environment. Developing custom controls allows you to create the design-time and run-time look of the control, specify property editors, set right-click behavior, and so on. For details, see Introduction to Web Custom Controls.