ASP.NET is a programming framework built on the common language runtime that can be used on a server to build powerful Web applications.
ASP.NET 2.0 is an eligible investment because it offers a number of features, which improve application development in the areas of developer productivity, administration and management, extensibility, and performance. Firstly, ASP.NET 2.0 introduces over 50 new server controls that enable powerful declarative support for data access, login security, wizard navigation, menus, treeviews, portals, and more. Many of these controls take advantage of core application services in ASP.NET for scenarios like data access, membership and roles, and personalization. Secondly, data access in ASP.NET 2.0 can be accomplished completely declaratively (with no code) using the new data-bound and data source controls. There are new data source controls to represent different data backends such as SQL database, business objects, and XML, and there are new data-bound controls for rendering common user interface for data, such as grids, details, and data-bound forms. Moreover, ASP.NET 2.0 includes Web Part Controls, which are an exciting new family of controls that enable to add rich, personalized content and layout to the web site, as well as the ability to edit that content and layout directly from the application pages. These controls rely on the personalization services in ASP.NET 2.0 to provide a unique experience for each user in the application. One more feature of ASP.NET 2.0 are Master Pages that provide the ability to define common structure and interface elements for the site, such as a page header, footer, or navigation bar, in a common location called a "master page", to be shared by many pages in the web site. In one simple place you can control the look, feel, and much of functionality for an entire web site. This improves the maintainability of the web site and avoids unnecessary duplication of code for shared site structure or behavior. Furthermore, using the new personalization services in ASP.NET 2.0 you can easily create customized experiences within Web applications. The Profile object enables developers to easily build strongly-typed, sticky data stores for user accounts and build highly customized, relationship based experiences. At the same time, a developer can leverage Web Parts and the personalization service to enable Web site visitors to completely control the layout and behavior of the site, with the knowledge that the site is completely customized for them. Personalization scenarios are now easier to build than ever before and require significantly less code and effort to implement. And the last but not the least, ASP.NET 2.0 is now 64-bit enabled, meaning it can take advantage of the full memory address space of new 64-bit processors and servers. ASP.NET 2.0 also now includes automatic database server cache invalidation. This powerful and easy-to-use feature allows developers to aggressively output cache database-driven page and partial page content within a site and have ASP.NET automatically invalidate these cache entries and refresh the content whenever the back-end database changes.
Visual Studio 2005 will set a new bar for developer productivity by tailoring the software development experience to the needs of the individual developer.