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ASP.NET 4.0 Visual Studio 2010 New features part 1
ASP.NET 4.0 Visual Studio 2010 New features part 2

URL Routing

Nowadays, we see that website URLs are more SEO specific and do not show any descriptive information. For example, rather than showing a URL like:, developers would prefer to show the URL as:

URL mapping in ASP.NET 2.0 provides us an option to achieve this functionality up to some extent. We can mention exact URLs to navigate and URLs to show to the user. But in the case of postback, this option starts showing the actual URL in the browser.

URL routing was introduced in ASP.NET 3.5. Developers had to create different route handler classes depending on the number of URL routings for a website. The postback issue was solved with this URL routing option.

In ASP.NET 4.0, you do not need to define separate handler classes for each routing. There is a built-in helper function MapPageRoute which helps you to implement routing more quickly. These routes are registered on Application_Start. For example, in this example, in global.asax, the SetRouting method sets routing, the first parameter is the router’s friendly name, the second parameter is to check for the URL pattern to match, and the third is the ASPX page where this functionality would be implemented for the users.

Global.asax would be:

protected void Application_Start(object sender, EventArgs e) 
private void SetRouting(System.Web.Routing.RouteCollection routeCollection) 
    // you can add other page routes with different names and combinations here 

Now, Book.aspx would use the following code to proceed further:

string Parameter = Page.RouteData.Values["RequestParameterName"].ToString(); 

if (Parameter=="Chemistry"){....} 
else if (Parameter=="Physics"){....}

Now, if we navigate to localhost/MyWebsite/Chemistry, it will go to the first if condition.

Add Reference Dialog

In previous versions of Visual Studio, on opening the Add Reference dialog box, it will take some time to load .NET assembly files initially till the time it loads all the references from the GAC. In VS2010, on opening Add Reference, it opens the Projects tab by default.

If you click on the .NET or COM tab by mistake, you still have an option of canceling it before it loads all the assemblies. So, the VS IDE does not freeze like before.

Compressing Session Values

ASP.NET session out-of-process state values are saved in a database or on the server. These are saved in a serialized format. Bigger session values consume more resources to be sent to the server. Now, those can be compressed with a new built-in property compressionEnabled. This attribute for the sessionState element can be mentioned in the web.config, like this:

  stateConnectionString="connectionstring goes here" 

This option would be available for out-of-process sessions.

Improvements in C# 4.0

C# in .NET Framework 4.0 has some more things to offer. These are: Dynamic lookup Named Optional parameters Dynamic LookupThere is a new static type named dynamic. We can use it as object of any type. If there is any error on its usage, we would get it on runtime only. For example:

dynamic integerValue = 1; 
dynamic stringValue = " a string"; 
dynamic Result = integerValue + stringValue;

Output of this would be: 1 a string.

But, if you change the last line to:

dynamic Result = integerValue & stringValue;

You will not get any compilation error, but the following error on runtime:

Operator '&' cannot be applied to operands of type 'int' and 'string'

Optional Parameters

To implement optional parameters, we used to create overloaded functions before ASP.NET 4, but now, optional parameters are no more a restriction in C#. Like VB, optional parameters must be mentioned last. For example:

public void FunctionOptionalParam(string Name, int Age, string Country = "") 

and we can call them without mentioning the value for the optional parameter.

FunctionOptionalParam("My Full Name",20); 

Named Parameters

Named parameters allow you to ignore the parameter order and mention parameters with names in a different order. For example:

public void FunctionNamedParam(int x, int y , int z) 

On function call, it would be:

FunctionNamedParam(x:1, z:3, y:2);

Although we are sending a value for the parameter z before its order in the function declaration, but these would be equal to x=1, y=2, z=3.

Meta Tags

The HtmlMeta class can be used to add HTML meta tags dynamically. HTMLMeta’s Name, Content properties can be used to add any meta tag name and its values dynamically on runtime.

In ASP.NET 4.0, the Page class has two more properties: MetaDescription and MetaKeywords. These can be used to add meta values in HTML on runtime for the description and keyword elements. These can be mentioned as page attributes in HTML, or in this way:

 Page.MetaDescription = "this is meta description"; Page.MetaKeywords = "this is a meta keyword"; 

If we see the HTML generated for this, it would be:

<meta name="description" content="this is meta description " />
<meta name="keywords" content="this is a meta keyword" />


Generating Client IDs

Client IDs for web controls are generated dynamically based on their parent controls. So if we use a textbox inside a web user control in a WebForm, we have to see what ID is generated for it and use it in the client script accordingly.

Sometimes, these are dynamic, or in the case of changing the user control name, it changes the ID for the child control as well. In ASP.NET 4.0, this problem is solved by the ClientIDMode attribute for the page. It has the following possible values: AutoID, Static, Predictable, and Inherit.

  • AutoID: It is the default setting for a webpage, and works like in the previous versions of ASP.NET.
  • Static: It sets the static IDs for the web control, so we do not have to worry about the parent control ID and so on if we are referencing it in JavaScript.

For example, a TextBox inside a user control and one outside it with ClientIDMode set to Static:

<asp:TextBox ID="textbox1"runat="server" clientIDMode="Static"></asp:TextBox>
    <uc1:WebUserControl ID="WebUserControl1" runat="server" />

And this user control is the container for TextBox2:

    <asp:TextBox ID="TextBox2"
   ClientIDMode="Static" runat="server"></asp:TextBox>

This code will generate the following HTML:

<input name="ctl00$MainContent$textbox1"
  type="text" id="textbox1" />
  <input name="ctl00$MainContent$WebUserControl1$TextBox2"
  type="text" id="TextBox2" />

If we remove the ClientIDMode set to static, the output would be like this:

  <input name="ctl00$MainContent$textbox1" type="text" id="MainContent_textbox1" />

It will generate the ID for TextBox as it does in previous versions of ASP.NET.

  • Predictable: If we use Predictable as ClientIDMode for web controls inside a GridView or ListView, then it will concatenate the GridView ID with the control ID and the value of the column mentioned in the ClientIDRowSuffiex attribute:
 Gridview ID ="GridView1" ClientIDMode="Predictable" ClientIDRowSuffix="ItemID" 

If there is a Label in the GridView template column having the ID Label1 and it is bound with the ItemID column, it will generate an ID, GridView1_Label1_200.

If we use the ClientIDMode value of Predictable for web controls outside databound controls:


<asp:TextBox ID="TextBox1" runat="server"

<asp:Panel ID="panel1" runat="server">

<asp:TextBox ID="TextBox2" runat="server"


You can see the output of the web controls in the panel and outside the panel.

<input name="ctl00$MainContent$TextBox1"
  type="text" id="MainContent_TextBox1" />

<div id="MainContent_panel1">

<input name="ctl00$MainContent$TextBox1"
  type="text" id="MainContent_TextBox1" />


It will generate the ID for all the web controls concatenated with the ID of the content panel of the child page

  • Inherit: Web controls, by default, inherit from the parent container ID. Controls can override this attribute of the parent as well if we set a different value for ClientModeID.

Permanent Redirect

In a situation where we want to redirect users to a newly developed page if current page is obsolete, we can use Response.Redirect to shift the page to a new page. But in this case, search engines keep the old information of the page in their indexes for search. Also, if a user navigates to this page, he would be redirected to this page and then to a new page with the help of Response.Redriect.

But in ASP.NET 4.0, a new command Response.RedirectPermanent can be used to change the header information for the page on the server. So, if a user goes for a page, he is directly redirected to new page and it saves a double trip for him.

Similarly, search engines, on re-indexing of that website and page, finds the updated header and updates the information in their index and shows the updated information on search.

New Browser Definitions

During the last few years of ASP.NET 3.5, a few browsers have been introduced including Google Chrome and those which support Blackberry SmartPhones as well. ASP.NET 4.0’s HTTPBrowserCapabilities class is updated with the support for new browsers.

Publishing a Project

In VS2010, if you click the Properties link in Solution Explorer, you will find three new tabs:

Deploy SQL
Silverlight Applications

I will discuss about the first two options.
Package, Publish options provide you settings for the publish and package commands. The configuration option for Debug, Release provides options to set these values on compilation and build like in previous versions.

If the hosting server does not have SQL Express, or if you do not want to include those in the published files, then select Exclude files from the App_Data folder. If you select the option Create a web package as a ZIP file, it will create a zip file to be deployed. Otherwise, it would be an unzipped folder by default.

The default package folder is created under the obj folder of the application. It is not be shown by default in the Solution Explorer until you select the Show all files option. We can also set the web application name on the server and the destination server physical path as well.
Deploy SQL 

The Deploy SQL option allows you to set the connection string as part of the deployed package. You can add the connection strings manually with different names and values, or import from the web.config by clicking the Import button. You can choose the script for Schema Only or the database option as well. On selection of a connection string, it shows the source settings and we can set the values for the destination server.

You can also add database script files manually by clicking the Add button. You can also change the order of SQL files to run on server.



Reference URL –

Please post your comment for any queries !


None found.
  1. Hi,

    I was reading your article and I would like to appreciate you for making it very simple and understandable. This article gives me a basic idea of URL Routing in ASP.Net 3.5(IIS7) and it helped me a lot. Thanks for sharing with us. Check out this link too its also having nice post with wonderful explanation on URL Routing in ASP.Net 3.5(IIS7), for more details check this….

    Thank you very much!

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