Monday, October 13, 2008

Are Server Controls Still Useful?

ASP.NET pages are made of code, markup tags, literal text, and server controls. Based on the request, the server controls generate the right markup language. The ASP.NET runtime combines the output of all controls and serves the client a page to display in a browser. The programming richness of ASP.NET springs from the wide library of server controls that covers the basic tasks of HTML interaction -- for example, collecting text through input tags-as well as more advanced functionalities such as calendaring, menus, tree views, and grid-based data display.

When the ASP.NET platform was introduced, server controls looked like the panacea of all evil. They were just perfect for the job making a reasonable tradeoff between performance and productivity. It goes without saying that server controls make it so easy to generate complex markup for pages. All that it requires is a simple step-by-step procedure. You drag one from the toolbox and drop it on the Web Form drawing surface. You select some of its properties and set them declaratively through Visual Studio. You point the browser to the page and see the result.


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