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Creating Web Sites with ASP.NET Whidbey

ASP.NET Whidbey adds a huge number of productivity features and enhancements. Although it's still early in the development process, Paul Sheriff and Ken Getz dig in and start playing with some of the new features, passing along what they've found.

e remember clearly the time period before ASP.NET 1.0 shipped. While building applications using ASP, we said over and over "I sure wish we could use this stuff right now," referring to ASP.NET. Having seen a preview version of ASP.NET Whidbey that's included as part of the Whidbey release of Visual Studio .NET, we're doing it again. We really want to use this new technology right now. Of course, the product is still in its early stages, so anything and everything can still change, but it certainly appears that the number of features added for ASP.NET Whidbey rivals the number of features added for the original release. That is, ASP.NET Whidbey looks very cool.

In this article, we'll point out some of the changes to ASP.NET that are going to make it much easier to develop Web sites in a fraction of the time it takes now. (Note that this article was written in September 2003, using the Whidbey Alpha Milestone 2 release. By the time you read this, a newer version may be available with more and/or different features.)

Creating a New Web Application
The changes start when you first attempt to create a new Web project. If you select File and then New Project, you won't find an option to create a Web project. Instead, in the current version of Whidbey, create a new Web project by selecting File and then New Web Site. Figure 1 shows the New Web Site dialog box.

Fast Facts
ASP.NET Whidbey includes a ton of new, useful functionality. Microsoft has encapsulated a lot of code you previously needed to write yourself, and has created simple, templated components for most scenarios. Need to authenticate users, allow for site personalization, or bind to just about any data source? It's all in there.

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