Ever since the day Microsoft has started working on the ASP.NET MVC framework, one of the major concerns for the developers was its ability to reuse features from ASP.NET Web forms. There are many people who believe that ASP.NET MVC has replaced conventional Web Forms. Unfortunately, this perception is totally wrong! Both of them are totally different and share their own pros and cons. Of course, you can mix up both of them in one application, but no one has replaced the other one.
ASP.Net Web Forms are part of the ASP.NET web application framework It has solved a lot of problems by creating a high-level abstraction over the stateless web and the stimulated stateful model for the developers. Postback and ViewState are the major concepts in the Web forms. On the other hand, ASP.Net MVC is a framework designed with separation of concerns and capability in mind. It is built on the CLR (Common Language Runtime) and based on MVC (Model-View-Controller) architecture.
Apart from this technical difference, there are some other major differences between them. In this post, we will discuss about some important differences that will help you make a right choice between both of them. Let’s take a look each of the differences in more detail.
· Rendering Layouts – While ASP.NET Web Forms use Page controller pattern approach to render the layouts, ASP.NET MVC uses Front controller approach. In ASP.NET Web Forms, every page has its own controller. On the other hand, in ASP.NET MVC, there is a common controller for all the pages.
· In terms of separation – There is are separation concerns in ASP.Net Web Forms as each page has its own controller. However, in ASP.NET MVC, there is a clean separation as view and controller are totally separate.
· Testing – Automated testing is tedious and difficult in ASP.NET Web Forms. ASP.NET MVC wins the battle here as test driven development is quite simple in this approach.
· Development model – ASP.Net Web Forms follow a conventional even-driven development model, whereas ASP.Net MVC follows MVC pattern-based development model.
· State management – While ASP.NET Web Forms have state management techniques like view state or sessions, ASP.NET MVC doesn’t have any such state management techniques.
· Page life cycle is followed by the ASP.Net Web Form model, but there is nothing like page life cycle in ASP.Net MVC. Request cycle is quite simple in ASP.Net MVC.
· With tons of control libraries and limited knowledge of other relevant technologies, ASP.NET Web Form is called a rapid application development approach. However, there is nothing like RAD in ASP.Net MVC. It reduces the productivity of the developers.
· If you’re developing a small application with limited team members, ASP.NET Web Form is a best approach. ASP.NET MVC is more suitable for the large-scale applications.
· Web Forms help you reduce the time to develop intranet and internet applications that requires a lot of controls. However, there is a lot of time required later on to code around the limitations. On the other hand, in ASP.Net MVC, the main goal is gaining control over the application. You don’t have to spend more time to code around the limitations.
· ASP.Net Web Form is quite simple to learn and works best for the developers having issues with the HTTP/HTML model. ASP.NET MVC requires a learning curve to understand how it works.
· In ASP.NET Web Forms, the amount of code require is very less as lots of components are integrated. On the other hand, in ASP.Net MVC, a lot of coding is required as application tasks are divided into different components.
· You can use Visual Studio and Visual Web developer for creating ASP.NET Web Forms. The same tools can be used for the ASP.NET MVC.
· While ASP.Net MVC is an open source, ASP.Net Web Form is not an open source.
· ASP.NET Web Forms include user controls in order to enable code re-usability. On the other hand, ASP.Net MVC uses Partial views to enable code re-usability.
In the above section, we’ve seen some basic differences between ASP.Net MVC and ASP.Net Web Forms. We hope that after reading this post, you would have a clear idea about what is the difference between both of them and which one to use for your development venture. Your valuable feedbacks or comments are always welcome!