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What is the difference between Asp.Net Webforms and Asp.Net MVC?

Introduction: In this article i am going to explain the difference between Asp.Net Web Forms and Asp.Net MVC(Model View Controller) or we can say Asp.Net web forms vs Asp.Net MVC. In another article i explained Asp.Net MVC 4 application to Create,Read,Update,Delete and Search functionality using Razor view engine and Entity Framework

Description: Below are some most frequently asked interview questions about Asp.Net MVC: 
  1. What is MVC, its goals, work flow and advantages over asp.net WebForms?
  2. What is the different between ASP.NET WebForms and Asp.Net MVC?
  3. Is Asp.Net MVC going to replace WebForms for web application development?
The answer to first question is in my previous article "What is Asp.Net MVC? Its work flow,goals and advantages"
The answer to second question is in this article.
The answer to third question is big NO because both the Asp.net web forms and Asp.net MVC are the methodologies to develop web based application and both have their own advantages and disadvantages over each other. Some developers prefer web forms while others prefer MVC for creating web applications.

 Difference between Asp.net Web Forms and Asp.Net MVC


Asp.Net Web forms
Asp.Net MVC
Asp.Net Web Form follows traditional event driven development model for creating web applications.
Asp.Net MVC is a light-weight framework that separate an application into three main components i.e. Model, View, Controller (MVC) so it follows MVC pattern based development model for web application development.
ASPX page (.aspx) is tightly coupled with code behind files (aspx.cs/aspx.vb file) .So In Asp.Net web Forms there is no separation of concerns (SOC). So it’s not possible that multiple developers can work on one section i.e. aspx and another on code behind file at same time. So less support for parallel development.
 Asp.Net MVC pattern is loosely coupled and provides very clean separation of concerns (SOC). View and Controller are independent of each other. So one developer can work on Controller, at the same time other on View and third developer can work on Model. This is called parallel development.
Because of this tightly coupled behavior unit testing in Asp.Net Web Forms becomes really difficult.
Each component in Asp.Net MVC can be easily tested because MVC is loosely coupled. So it provides better support for test-driven development (TDD) and Enhances testability.
Asp.Net Web forms doesn't require much prior knowledge of HTML, JavaScript and CSS.
Asp.Net MVC requires detailed knowledge of HTML, JavaScript and CSS.
Asp.Net Web forms provides limited control over HTML, JavaScript and CSS.
With MVC we have full control over HTML, JavaScript and CSS.
Asp.Net Web forms allow rapid application development (RAD) of web applications because of the availability of robust toolbox having lots of web controls and many control libraries.
Asp.Net MVC might be bit slower to develop a project than Web Forms (due to its SOC nature)
In Asp.Net web forms there are ViewState and Postback events. Large viewstate means increase in page size since viewstate is stored in the page itself thus bit slower loading time and performance degrades.
MVC is stateless, so no ViewState and PostBack events so light weight, quick loading time and gain in performance.

URLs are not much SEO friendly (though this is now possible in ASP.NET 4 as well), so affect SEO.
Use of RESTful URLs makes MVC is more suitable to Search Engine Optimization as we can control the URL and the HTML to a greater extent.

ASP.NET Web Forms model follows a Page Life cycle.
Asp.Net MVC doesn't follow Page Life cycle like Web Forms instead request cycle is simple in ASP.NET MVC model.
Asp.Net Web forms have rich server controls and ViewState, so developers can develop web applications with minimal HTML and JavaScript skills,thus bit easy to learn.
Because ASP.NET MVC doesn't support server controls, ViewState and event driven programming mode so it is very difficult framework for new developers to learn and work on MVC pattern.
Asp.Net Web Form has Master Pages that provides for consistent look and feels across all the pages of web application.
Asp.Net Web Form has Layouts for consistent look and feels. Default name of the layout is _Layout.cshtml and stored in /Views/Shared folder.
Many server controls provided by visual studio toolbox like GridView and DataList, Repeater etc has easy data binding capabilities so reduces lots of efforts and codes being written.

ASP.NET MVC doesn’t have server controls instead it has html input controls.
Asp.Net allows code re-usability through User Controls.
Asp.Net MVC has Partial Views for the concept code re-usability.
Asp.Net Web forms will be good for small scale applications with limited team size.
Asp.Net MVC will be best suitable and recommended for large-scale applications where different teams are working together.

Now over to you:
" I hope you have got the difference between Asp.Net web forms and Asp.net MVC and If you like my work; you can appreciate by leaving your comments, hitting Facebook like button, following on Google+, Twitter, Linked in and Pinterest, stumbling my posts on stumble upon and subscribing for receiving free updates directly to your inbox . Stay tuned and stay connected for more technical updates."
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13 comments

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November 08, 2013 ×

hello once again i want to say thank you for your helpful post ...
i have a question if you could post the answer i would most appreciate it i have asp.net website with local sql server wich you create in visual studio and i want to upload it and i have no idea how to do so . if you could help me ..... thanks again

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November 09, 2013 ×

Your welcome Danish..:)

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simonbassey
admin
November 10, 2013 ×

Neatly presented , thanks very much

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November 10, 2013 ×

I am glad you like my post..keep reading and stay connected for more articles on MVC..:)

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Anonymous
admin
November 11, 2013 ×

thanks.

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Gandharv
admin
December 19, 2013 ×

Thanks a lot Lalit for very clear differences between them.

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Anonymous
admin
December 19, 2013 ×

well explained so easy to understand
thank you very much
one request is just give "download" option for code....

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December 20, 2013 ×

Thanks for appreciating my work..i will also provide the option to download the code in near future..:)

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December 20, 2013 ×

Your welcome gandharv..stay connected and keep reading for more useful updates like this one..:)

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Ragu raman.M
admin
March 11, 2014 ×

Very useful sir. . In the past years I've programmed only desktop applications..now I'm a regular reader of your articles on web development .. love them all. . Now I'm going to develop a web application for the first tine ;just bacause of you. . :)

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March 14, 2014 ×

Hello Ragu raman..thanks for appreciating my work..i am glad you found this article helpful..stay connected and keep reading..:)

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