Developing With ASP.NET

You can program ASP.NET Web pages with Razor syntax using WebMatrix or many other code editors. You can also use Microsoft Visual Studio which is a full-featured integrated development environment (IDE) that provides a powerful set of tools for creating many types of applications (not just websites). To work with ASP.NET Razor pages, you can either use one of the full editions of Visual Studio or the free Visual Studio Express for Web edition.

Using Visual Studio with Different Versions of ASP .NET Web Pages

Visual Studio 2012 and Visual Studio 2013 include support for ASP.NET Web Pages. (The packages that are required in order to support ASP.NET Web Pages are installed when you install Visual Studio.)

Visual Studio 2010 does not include support by default for ASP.NET Web Pages. To use ASP.NET Web Pages with Visual Studio 2010, you must install the ASP.NET MVC package. To get ASP.NET Web Pages 2, you install ASP.NET MVC 4.

Websites and Web Applications

ASP.NET offers three frameworks for creating web applications: Web Forms, ASP.NET MVC, and ASP.NET Web Pages. All three frameworks are stable and mature, and you can create great web applications with any of them. No matter what framework you choose, you will get all the benefits and features of ASP.NET everywhere.

Each framework targets a different development style. The one you choose depends on a combination of your programming assets (knowledge, skills, and development experience), the type of application you’re creating, and the development approach you’re comfortable with.

Web Forms

With ASP.NET Web Forms, you can build dynamic websites using a familiar drag-and-drop, event-driven model. A design surface and hundreds of controls and components let you rapidly build sophisticated, powerful UI-driven sites with data access.


ASP.NET MVC gives you a powerful, patterns-based way to build dynamic websites that enables a clean separation of concerns and that gives you full control over markup for enjoyable, agile development. ASP.NET MVC includes many features that enable fast, TDD-friendly development for creating sophisticated applications that use the latest web standards.