Learn how to use ASP.NET, including programming essentials, forms, web server controls, form validation, classes, namespaces, applications, database interaction, error handing, email and creating an online store.

Course CodeBIT200
Fee CodeS4
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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ASP.Net programmers are the most sought after for writing web sites. Whilst there is an oversupply of programmers skilled in some languages, there is heavy demand for skilled ASP.Net Programmers. This course provides a comprehensive introduction to ASP.Net. By the end of the course, you should be able to easily understand all the major aspects of ASP.Net and use it to produce your own database driven web applications.


This course provides a comprehensive introduction to ASP.NET for students wishing to further develop their understanding of, and ability to creatively use the internet. By the end of the course, the student should be able to easily understand all the major aspects of ASP.NET and use it to produce their own web applications.
This course assumes that the student has a good knowledge of basic HTML. Students must have access to a computer with internet access. Students are required to install Visual Web Developer Express Edition -- this is a free download from Microsoft.



Microsoft explains the concept of .NET in these words:

“Microsoft® .NET is a set of Microsoft software technologies for connecting information, people, systems, and devices. It enables a high level of software integration through the use of Web services—small, discrete, building-block applications that connect to each other as well as to other, larger applications over the Internet.”


Microsoft’s ‘.NET’ platform was released in 2001 as a new feature to their Windows family of products, and with regular improvements since then has become one of the most important languages used in web site programming. This affects many aspects of Information Technology because Windows products are responsible for a major share of home and office computers systems and website servers on the Internet. The technology behind .NET allows programmers (often called ‘developers’) to create software programs or applications that utilise the wide spectrum of information technology resources used every day by people around the world.



The .NET Framework simplifies Windows software development. It provides developers with a single approach to build both desktop applications - sometimes called ‘smart client applications’ - and Web-based applications. It also enables developers to use the same tools and skills to develop software for a variety of systems ranging from handheld smart phones to large server installations.

Software built on the .NET Framework can be easier to deploy and maintain than conventional software. Applications can be designed to automatically upgrade themselves to the latest version. The .NET Framework can also minimize conflicts between applications by helping incompatible software components coexist.

Lesson Structure

There are 11 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • What is ASP.Net
    • Enhanced Performance,
    • World-Class Tool Support
    • Power and Flexibility
    • Simplicity
    • Manageability
    • Scalability and Availability
    • Customizability and Extensibility
    • Security
    • Required Software
    • Visual Web Developer Express Edition
    • Visual Studio.NET
    • Internet Information Services (IIS)
    • A Simple Asp.Net Page
    • Programming Exercise -Running the Example in Visual Web Developer
  2. VB.NET Essentials
    • What Are Variables?
    • Arrays
    • Kinds of Variables (Data types)
    • Integer variables
    • Long integer variables
    • Single precision floating point variables
    • Double precision floating point variables
    • Assigning Variable Values
    • Operator Precedence
    • Strings
    • Hard Coding Variables
    • Program Flow and Branching
    • branching (conditional branching, unconditional branching)
    • If Statements
    • If...Else Statements
    • Select Statements
    • Looping
    • For Loop
    • While Loops
    • Other Types of Loops
    • Looping Summary
    • Hungarian Notation
    • Functions
    • Subroutines
    • Programming Exercise -Using Variables
  3. Web Forms
    • Using CSS and Master Pages
    • Master Pages
    • Content Page vs. Master Page
    • Creating a Master Page
    • Default Master Content
    • Web Forms
    • A Basic Introduction to HTTP
  4. Web Server Controls
    • Server Controls
    • HTML Controls
    • ASP.NET Controls
    • Validation Controls
    • Programming Exercise -Creating a Form to Capture User Details
    • Raising and Handling Events
    • Postback Architecture
  5. Form Validation
    • Required Field Validator
    • Compare Validator
    • Regular Expression Validator
    • Range Validator
    • Custom Validator
  6. Classes and Namespaces
    • OOP Concepts
    • Fields, Properties, Methods, and Events
    • Encapsulation, Inheritance, and Polymorphism
    • Overloading, Overriding, and Shadowing
    • Access Levels
    • Constructors and Destructors
    • Namespaces
  7. ASP.NET Applications
    • Page Lifecycle
    • Events in the Life Cycle of Page
    • Page Methods
    • Site Model
  8. Interacting with Databases
    • Database basics
    • Creating a Database
    • Connecting to a Database
    • Coding Connections
    • Reading from a Database
    • Executing the Query
    • Stepping through the SQL Result
    • Writing to a Database
    • Adding New Records
    • Updating Records
    • Closing the Connection
    • Data Binding
  9. Error Handling
    • Introduction
    • Exceptions
    • Trapping Errors
    • Try "Catch"
    • Logging Exceptions
    • Using Web.config file
  10. Email from Your Applications
    •,mail Namespace
    • SMTP
    • Sending a Simple Email
    • Using the Mailmessage Class
  11. Project: Creating an Online Store
    • Systems Development Lifecycle
    • System Request
    • Analysis and Design
    • Programming
    • Testing and Acceptance
    • Installation/ Implementation
    • Maintenance
    • Using Interface Design (UID)
    • Project

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Understand the .NET framework and the advantages of ASP.NET over other web based languages.
  • Understand the basics of Visual Basic .NET (VB.NET).
  • Understand how web forms work including how and when to use them.
  • Understand web server controls and how to use them to enhance web applications.
  • Understand how to use web forms validation to control what information is accepted by a web form.
  • Understand classes and namespaces in ASP.NET.
  • Understand what web applications are and how to create them.
  • Understand the basics of databases and data access technologies used in ASP.NET.
  • Understand how to handle errors in your website application and how to "debug" to prevent errors.
  • Understand how to send email from your web application.
  • Develop a completed online store web application.

What You Will Do

  • Define "code behind"
  • Learn what ASP.NET is.
  • Define many different types of variables.
  • Define what a subroutine is.
  • Define what a function is.
  • Work with webforms and note advantages over traditional html forms.
  • Explain how & when Web Controls are used.
  • Explain the difference between ASP server side controls and standard html controls.
  • Create a web form that asks for a person’s details.
  • Select two validation controls and explain their benefits.
  • Create code for a page that asks for a file name and then creates that file on the local hard drive.
  • Define what a "namespace" is and give examples of two namespaces.
  • What is the web.config file and what is it used for?
  • Explain the difference between application & session events.
  • Create a small ASP.NET application that uses a database, admin section and front page.
  • Explain the difference between page level tracing and application level tracing.
  • Create an Email contact page.
  • Create an Online Shopping application.

Do You Understand?

  • The following is an extract from the course. If you understand this, you should be able to cope with this course.
  • If you do not understand this; you are advised to complete our HTML course before attempting this course.
When you input data (i.e. information) into a computer the data is stored in the computer’s memory. To visualise this, you might think of the computer’s memory as millions of little boxes, each holding a single value. Normally, each box is numbered starting at zero. As a computer uses binary numbers (made up of 0s and 1s), the boxes may be numbered something like this: 10100010, which is 162 in decimal.

The actual number of boxes depends on the amount of memory in the specific computer. When data is put into the computer, the computer stores the data in the boxes that are part of the computer’s Random Access Memory (RAM), and the numbers of those boxes is referred to as the memory addresses.

Obviously, for humans to refer to memory addresses by their binary index would be very difficult, so programming languages use a device called a variable. A variable is a word label that the programmer assigns to a piece of data, so they don’t need to worry about where it is stored in memory or how to tell the computer where to find it.

Variables are simple memory boxes with names. You, the programmer, supply these names.

For example, the following lines first declare a variable called myAge of data type Integer (it will store whole numbers), and then assigns the integer value 25 to myAge:

Dim myAge As Integer

myAge = 25

When you declare a variable, you must give it a name (the compiler will claim some memory space and associate the name with the binary address), and specify the type of data that will be stored in that variable. The keyword Dim (short for dimension) instructs the compiler to claim some memory space, set its name, and define the data type that will be stored in it.

At this point, the variable will be empty (for Integers, "empty" is equivalent to 0). In the example above, the second line stores the value 25 in the variable named myAge. This is called initialising a variable. It is important to initialise variables as soon as you have declared them, to prevent the possibility of Null exceptions, even if you don’t know what value it will eventually hold (e.g. you will be getting data from the user later in your program).

Variables can represent almost any value, and can be used in mathematical operations.

When naming your variables, there are a few rules you must follow to comply with the formal syntax for Visual Basic.NET. Variable names:

  • Must start with a letter (a to z, A to Z)
  • Can contain any number of letters or digits (a digit is 0 to 9)
  • Can contain the underscore (e.g. _)
  • Can be up to 255 characters long

Visual Basic .NET is not case sensitive. This means that once a variable named, say ‘width’ is declared, you cannot then declare another variable named, say ‘Width’; to VB, the two names are considered identical. There are several different naming conventions used in programming; a popular style, Hungarian Notation, is described below. Make your variable names suggestive of what the variable represents, to increase readability of your code. Also, try to keep your names short and concise. It doesn’t matter which naming style you decide to use, but be consistent, as changing styles throughout a program may make it hard to understand and maintain.

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Dr. Sherif Sakr

Research Scientist and University Lecturer in Computer Science and Engineering. Sherif has a PhD in Computer Science, MSc, BSc.
Josiane Joubran

CSC consultant with IBM, Software QA Engineer, Course Writer and Tutor. Josiane is an I.T professional with extensive experience with computer hardware and engineering in Lebanon and Australia. Josiane has a B.Eng., Grad.Dip.I.T., Master Info.Tech., MCP,
Sarah Jury

Over 15 years working in small business, I.T., education and science. Sarah has a PGCE(Post Compulsory Education), BSc(Hons) (Genetics), DipComp(Open), CertWebApps(Open). She has designed and created several Web sites for different organisations.