ASP.NET is an open-source[2] server-side web application framework designed for web development to produce dynamic web pages developed by Microsoft to allow programmers to build dynamic web sites, applications and services.

Initial releaseJanuary 5, 2002 (2002-01-05)
Stable release
4.7.1 / October 17, 2017 (2017-10-17)[1]
Written in.NET languages
Operating systemMicrosoft Windows, Linux, macOS
TypeWeb framework
LicenseApache License 2.0
Filename extension.aspx, .cshtml, .vbhtml
Internet media typetext/html
Developed byMicrosoft

It was first released in January 2002 with version 1.0 of the .NET Framework, and is the successor to Microsoft's Active Server Pages (ASP) technology. ASP.NET is built on the Common Language Runtime (CLR), allowing programmers to write ASP.NET code using any supported .NET language. The ASP.NET SOAP extension framework allows ASP.NET components to process SOAP messages.

ASP.NET's successor is ASP.NET Core. It is a re-implementation of ASP.NET as a modular web framework, together with other frameworks like Entity Framework. The new framework uses the new open-source .NET Compiler Platform (codename "Roslyn") and is cross platform. ASP.NET MVC, ASP.NET Web API, and ASP.NET Web Pages (a platform using only Razor pages) have merged into a unified MVC 6.[3]

Programming models

ASP.NET supports a number of programming models for building web applications:[4]

Other ASP.NET extensions include:

  • ASP.NET Handler: Are components that implement the System.Web.IHttpHandler interface. Unlike ASP.NET Pages, they have no HTML-markup file, no events and other supporting. All they have is a code-file (written in any .NET-compatible language) that writes some data to the server HTTP response. HTTP handlers are similar to ISAPI extensions.
  • ASP.NET AJAX: An extension with both client-side as well as server-side components for writing ASP.NET pages that incorporate Ajax functionality.
  • ASP.NET Dynamic Data: A scaffolding extension to build data driven web applications

IIS integrated pipeline

On IIS 6.0 and lower, pages written using different versions of the ASP framework cannot share session state without the use of third-party libraries. This does not apply to ASP.NET and ASP applications running side by side on IIS 7. With IIS 7.0, modules may be run in an integrated pipeline that allows modules written in any language to be executed for any request.[7]

Third-party frameworks

It is not essential to use the standard Web forms development model when developing with ASP.NET. Noteworthy frameworks designed for the platform include:


The ASP.NET releases history tightly correlates with the .NET Framework releases:

Date Version Remarks New ASP.NET related features
January 16, 2002 Old version, no longer supported: 1.0 First version

released together with Visual Studio .NET

  • Object-oriented Web application development supporting inheritance, polymorphism and other standard OOP features
    • Developers are no longer forced to use Server.CreateObject(...), so early-binding and type safety are possible.
  • Based on Windows programming; the developer can make use of DLL class libraries and other features of the Web server to build more robust applications that do more than simply rendering HTML (e.g., exception handling)
April 24, 2003 Old version, no longer supported: 1.1 released together with Windows Server 2003

released together with Visual Studio .NET 2003

  • Mobile controls
  • Automatic input validation
November 7, 2005 Old version, no longer supported: 2.0

codename Whidbey
released together with Visual Studio 2005 and Visual Web Developer Express
and SQL Server 2005

  • New data controls (GridView, FormView, DetailsView)
  • New technique for declarative data access (SqlDataSource, ObjectDataSource, XmlDataSource controls)
  • Navigation controls
  • Master pages
  • Login controls
  • Themes
  • Skins
  • Web parts
  • Personalization services
  • Full pre-compilation
  • New localization technique
  • Support for 64-bit processors
  • Provider class model
November 21, 2006 Old version, no longer supported: 3.0
November 19, 2007 Old version, no longer supported: 3.5 Released with Visual Studio 2008 and Windows Server 2008
  • New data controls (ListView, DataPager)
  • ASP.NET AJAX included as part of the framework
  • Support for HTTP pipelining and syndication feeds.
  • WCF support for RSS, JSON, POX and Partial Trust
  • All the .NET Framework 3.5 changes, like LINQ etc.
August 11, 2008 Old version, no longer supported: 3.5 Service Pack 1 Released with Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1
  • Incorporation of ASP.NET Dynamic Data
  • Support for controlling browser history in an ASP.NET AJAX application
  • Ability to combine multiple JavaScript files into one file for more efficient downloading
  • New namespaces System.Web.Abstractions and System.Web.Routing
April 12, 2010 Old version, no longer supported: 4.0

Parallel extensions and other .NET Framework 4 features

The two new properties added in the Page class are MetaKeyword and MetaDescription.

August 15, 2012 Old version, no longer supported: 4.5 Released with Visual Studio 2012 and Windows Server 2012 for Windows 8

Parallel extensions and other .NET Framework 4.5 features

October 17, 2013 Old version, no longer supported: 4.5.1 Released with Visual Studio 2013[8] for Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1
May 5, 2014[9] Older version, yet still supported: 4.5.2
  • Higher reliability HTTP header inspection and modification methods
  • New way to schedule background asynchronous worker tasks
July 29, 2015[9] Older version, yet still supported: 4.6 Released[10] with Visual Studio 2015[11] and EF 7 Previews for Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10
  • HTTP/2 support when running on Windows 10
  • More async task-returning APIs
November 30, 2015[9] Older version, yet still supported: 4.6.1
August 2, 2016[9] Older version, yet still supported: 4.6.2
  • Improved async support (output-cache and session providers)
April 11, 2017[9] Older version, yet still supported: 4.7 Included in the Windows 10 Creators Update[12]
  • operating system support for TLS protocols
October 17, 2017[9] Current stable version: 4.7.1 Included in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.[13]
  • Improved accessibility
  • Value tuple types serialization
  • SHA-2 support
November 18, 2015 Old version, no longer supported: 5 RC1 This version was later separated from ASP.NET and brought into a new project called ASP.NET Core, whose versioning started at 1.0.[14] An entirely new project with different development tenets and goals
Old version
Older version, still supported
Latest version
Latest preview version
Future release

Other implementations

The Mono Project supports "everything in .NET 4.5 except WPF, WWF, and with limited WCF and limited ASP.NET 4.5 async stack."[15] ASP.NET can be run with Mono using one of three options:- Apache hosting using the mod_mono module, FastCGI hosting, and XSP.




  • MacDonald, Matthew; Szpuszta, Mario (2005). Pro ASP.NET 2.0 in C# 2005 (1st ed.). Apress. ISBN 1-59059-496-7.

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