When working with a complex application framework such as ASP.NET 1.x it’s tough to know where to begin sometimes. Which areas to design first, what pages to add, how to wire up your database, how to create a secure area and a login form, are some common obstacles you’ll come across when you dive into Visual Studio .NET and actually start development.
There really is no one-size-fits-all approach to starting a web application since there are simply too many factors to consider, and each application will have its own unique set of requirements. Typically you will take a simple 2-tier approach to your application unless you’re working with a large client with a very large amount of concurrent users.
In order to be cost effective in your development timeline a 2-tier approach will cut some of the advanced design principles in favour of delivering a product quickly to the customer. The definition of 2-tier means there are no middle tier or database tier components, your web forms will communicate directly with the database.
The reality is that 2-tier designs are very unscalable and difficult to maintain. However not every client can afford the extra effort required to make everything nice and object oriented and scalable to large amounts of users, servers and dedicated components.
So for the most part you’ll likely find yourself developing small applications which require a quick rollout to production and delivery to the customer. Using the 2-tier approach with the built in data wizards in .NET will help facilitate this process.
When you’re first starting out with ASP.NET you’ll likely not know where to start, even when using a simple 2-tier design framework. The purpose of this article is to take some very basic features which you’d find in almost any application and show you how to develop them step by step.
Note: Visual Studio .NET 02/03 running ASP.NET version 1.x is required to implement this tutorial. Additionally, access to an SQL Server with the built in Northwind database is highly recommended as it is the database used as the data source for this tutorial. If you are comfortable with database connectivity you may apply the techniques in this tutorial to another database of your choice.
Both C# and VB.NET code samples will be provided