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Saturday 20 March 2021

Evolution / History of ASP.NET

Recently, I posted a video on our YouTube channel in which I have given brief information about the Evolution / History of ASP.NET. In this post, I am going to share the content which is shown during the presentation.

If you have not seen the video yet, I am adding the link so that you can watch it here. 

Evolution of ASP.NET (Quick Discussion on some of the popular Version(s) of ASP.NET)

Evolution of ASP.NET
  • ASP (Active Server Pages) - 1996
  • ASP.NET Web Forms - 2002
  • ASP.NET MVC - 2009
  • ASP.NET Core - 2016
  • ASP.NET Core 2 - 2017
  • ASP.NET Core 3.1 - 2019
  • ASP.NET Core 5.0 - 2020

1. ASP (Active Server Pages)

  • Known as Microsoft’s First Server Side Language.
  • ASP was released in 1996 as part of IIS 3.0.
  • ASP Pages are currently supported by all the version of IIS (Internet Information Services)
  • ASP pages have .asp file extension.
  • ASP is interpreted language means the compiler interprets the compiling code. 

2. ASP.NET Web Forms

  • ASP.NET Web Forms lets us to build dynamic websites using a drag and drop, event-driven model.
  • ASP.NET WebForms was released in 2002.
  • ASP.NET Web Forms have efficient error handling support as compared to ASP.
  • ASP Web Form pages have .aspx file extension.
  • Validations in ASP.NET Web Forms can be easily implemented by setting up properties on the control. 


  • Code-behind and tightly coupled code make unit testing almost impossible.
  • ViewState stored on the page which increases the size of the page and reduces the overall performance.
  • Lack of separation of concerns (SoC).
  • Lack of Code Reusability due to Code behind file and tightly coupled approach.


  • ASP.NET MVC is a web application framework developed by Microsoft that implements MVC i.e. Model-View-Controller Pattern.
  • It was released in 2009.
  • It is Open Source Software.
  • It is lightweight as compared to ASP.NET WebForms.
  • Separation of Concerns and provides better support for the test-driven development.
  • It does not use view state or server-based forms.


  • ASP.NET MVC uses .NET Framework and it requires Windows OS/Server for the build or deployment purpose.

4. ASP.NET Core

  • ASP.NET Core is a Cross-Platform (Windows, Mac, and Linux), high-performance, open-source framework for building modern, cloud-enabled, Internet-connected applications.
  • It was released in 2016.
  • Built-in Dependency Injection.
  • It is lightweight and has a modular HTTP request pipeline.
  • ASP.NET Core applications can run on the .NET Core Framework as well as on full .NET Framework (ASP.NET Core is composed of the .NET Standard Libraries). ASP.NET Core 2.X
  • It was released in 2017.
  • ASP.NET Core 2.0 has introduced the Razor Pages to create dynamic web applications.
  • It comes with the “Microsoft.AspNetCore.All” package which is a meta-package for all the dependencies which are required to create ASP.NET Core 2.0 application.
  • ASP.NET Core 2.0 target .NET Standard 2.0.

5. ASP.NET Core 3.1

  • It was released in 2019.
  • It has Partial class support for the Razor components.
  • Pass parameter to top-level components.
  • New component tag helper.
  • Detailed error during Blazer Application Development.
  • Breaking Changes for SameSite Cookies etc. 

6. ASP.NET Core 5.0

  • It was released in 2020.
  • .NET Core MVC & Razor page improvements.
  • MVC Model binding improvements.
  • Auto browser refresh with dotnet watch.
  • Build-in OpenAPI and Swagger UI Support for Web APIs.

I am also sharing the presentation with the content (mentioned above) as well so that you can easily refer to it whenever required.

I hope this post will help you to understand the Evolution / History of ASP.NET.


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