What is Web Forms
ASP.NET Web Forms is a part of the ASP.NET web application framework. It is one of the three different programming models you can use to create ASP.NET web applications, the others being ASP.NET MVC and ASP.NET Web Pages.
Web Forms are pages that your users request through their browser and that form the user interface (UI) that give your web applications their look and feel. These pages are written using a combination of HTML, server controls, and server code. When users request a page, it is compiled and executed on the server, and then it generates the HTML markup that the browser can render.
Using Visual Studio, you can create ASP.NET Web Forms using a powerful IDE. For example, this lets you drag and drop server controls to lay out your Web Forms page. You can then easily set properties, methods, and events for controls or for the page in order to define the page's behavior, look and feel, and so on. To write server code to handle the logic for the page, you can use a .NET language like Visual Basic or C#.
ASP.NET Web Forms offer:
- Separation of HTML and other UI code from application logic.
- A rich suite of server controls for common tasks, including data access.
- Powerful data binding, with great tool support.
ASP.NET 4 Web Forms
ASP.NET 4 Web Forms is part of the .NET 4 framework, which is included with Visual Studio 2010. To download ASP.NET 4 and Visual Studio 2010, visit the download page. For a full description of what's new in ASP.NET 4, review our ASP.NET 4 and Visual Studio 2010 Web Development Overview whitepaper. You can also refer to Scott Guthrie's blog series on VS 2010 and .NET 4 and see a list of the breaking changes in our ASP.NET 4 Breaking Changes document.
- Easy to start, develop, and deploy
With new project templates, smaller configuration, improved IntelliSense, and enhanced snippets in Visual Studio 2010 — along with ASP.NET 4 Web Forms improvements — you can now create and build Web applications easier than ever. Visual Studio 2010 makes deployment simple by allowing you to transfer all your files and code, make configuration changes, and more.
- Cleaner HTML
ASP.NET 4 Web Forms gives you more control over the markup generated by server controls, which helps you create standards-compliant web pages. For example, you can more easily use CSS, generate semantically correct markup, and handle the IDs created for HTML elements.
- Optimize URLs for search engines
Using URL routing in ASP.NET 4, you can develop and manage human-readable, SEO-friendly URLs. New features in ASP.NET 4 Web Forms also let you create cleaner HTML that can help optimize your pages for search engines.
- More productive and extensible
Enable dynamic data in your existing web applications and take advantage of automatic generation of the validation UI. And with the new QueryExtender control, you can easily incorporate filtering functionality and create custom filters and other custom entity templates.