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Chapter 20. Controlling, Configuring,and Deploying Applications

ASP.NET offers many improvements over classic ASP. The topics covered in this chapter highlight several of the major improvements in controlling, configuring, and deploying ASP.NET applications.

ASP.NET provides easy control of the entire application through the global.asax file. This text file allows you to create event handlers for a wide variety of events exposed by both the application as a whole and by individual sessions. You can also include methods and server-side include files that will apply globally to the entire application.

Configuration of web applications is handled using the configuration files machine.config and web.config. These XML files provide a flexible and hierarchical configuration scheme. Configuration settings can apply to every application on the web server, to specific applications, or to specific subdirectories within an application.

Since all of the configuration and control for ASP.NET applications is done with text files, either XML or some other variant of plain text, it is very easy to maintain and update a web application remotely. It is no longer necessary to be physically present at a web server to reconfigure the application through IIS.

Perhaps the single greatest improvement that .NET has made over previous generations of development environments is in the area of deployment:

  • dll files only have to be located in a specific directory to be visible to an application.

  • There is no registration of objects, either in the Registry or elsewhere, required for an application to utilize the contents of a dll. Installation does not require any registering of components with regsrvr32 or any other utility, though some globally available components will be placed in the Global Assembly Cache.

  • XCOPY installations are here.

  • There are no versioning issues with conflicting dll files.

All of this will be described fully in this chapter. In the meantime, shout it from the rooftops: No more DLL hell!

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