ASP.NET is useful in more ways than one. If you aren’t already a .NET developer, it’s the gateway to
learning the framework, and the languages that you can use to program against it. The most common
languages, and the ones covered in this book, are C# and VB.NET. Skills in these languages and
framework go way beyond web development. You can use them for mobile development with Silverlight,
which uses the .NET framework for Windows Phone 7 Desktop development; or .NET on Windows
Power Desktop development with the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), part of the .NET
Framework Workflow development for business processes using the Workflow Foundation (WF)—which
is also part of the .NET Framework Connected systems development using the Windows Communication
Foundation (WCF).
Beyond these, the skills continue to grow in relevance as the industry matures and develops. Time
invested in .NET development will reap benefits with cloud-scalable applications using Windows Azure,
as well as the new Windows 8 client applications. But you have to start somewhere, and starting with the
web is a wise choice. ASP.NET allows you to build dynamic websites, web applications and web
services. As a developer, you know and understand that there as many different types of web application
as there are web applications themselves, and you need a powerful and flexible framework that will
allow you to build them, without having to reinvent the wheel each time.
ASP.NET is this framework, and with its Web Forms and Controls technologies, you can use rapid

development methodologies to get your application up and running quickly. Being fully standards-
compliant, you can also make it beautiful using CSS. Beyond this, particularly for professional,

commercial applications, you’ll need tools that allow database connectivity to be smart, secure, and
efficient, and ASP.NET with its ADO.NET technology provides this for you.