Microsoft's ASP.NET framework is a set of programming classes. These classes contain code that takes care of the mechanics of sending and receiving data through Internet protocols. This lets programmers use their time creating code to perform novel tasks with the data the class code is sending and receiving. Because these code libraries take the form of classes, programmers need to be working in an object oriented language in order to use them.
While surfing the Internet is a staple of modern life, it takes a tremendous amount of code to perform something as simple as opening a connection to a Web server. Microsoft's ASP.NET framework saves Web designers and programmers working on Internet capable applications the time and effort of rewriting simple networking functions and lets them focus on their actual project. ASP.NET works with object oriented programming languages, which does not include C.
Object Oriented Languages
Object oriented languages can create multiple, independently functioning, data structures from a single code blueprint called a class. For example, a class can contain the code for sending and receiving data from a server whose address the programmer provides. The programmer can instantiate multiple instances, or objects, of a single class for the different servers which which his program may need to communicate. Object oriented languages include Java, C#, and C++ -- but not C.
The C Language
When Dennis Ritchie first created the C programming language in the early 1970s, it revolutionized software development. However, object oriented programming did not come to be until the 1990s. While C lacks object oriented capabilities, the C++ language created an object oriented language that mostly followed the C language's syntax and style. If you are a C developer, you cannot incorporate ASP.NET classes into your projects. You can, however, translate your code to C++ and use these classes with a minimal amount of work.
Working With ASP.NET
The ASP.NET framework, at heart, is simply a series of class files. Microsoft provides functions within its Visual Studios series of integrated development environments (IDEs) to expedite the process of importing class files and linking during the compilation process, but you do not have to use Microsoft's IDE in order to use ASP.NET classes. You can import the class files as libraries into other IDEs or provide the appropriate directory path arguments to a command line-based compiler.
- Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images