ASP.NET Web Forms and MVC are two web frameworks developed by Microsoft - they are both good choices. Neither of the web frameworks are to be replaced by the other nor are there plans to have them 'merged' into a single framework. Continued support and development are done in parallel by Microsoft and neither will be 'going away'.

Each of these web frameworks offers advantages/disadvantages - some of which need to be considered when developing a web application. A web application can be developed using either technology - it might make development for a particular application easier selecting one technology versus the other and vice versa.


  • Separation of concerns (SoC) From a technical standpoint, the organization of code within MVC is very clean, organized and granular, making it easier (hopefully) for a web application to scale in terms of functionality. Promotes great design from a development standpoint.
  • Easier integration with client side tools (rich user interface tools) More than ever, web applications are increasingly becoming as rich as the applications you see on your desktops. With MVC, it gives you the ability to integrate with such toolkits (such as jQuery) with greater ease and more seamless than in Web Forms.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Friendly / Stateless URL's are more friendly to search engines (i.e. 1 - retrieve user with an ID of 1 vs mywebapplication/users/getuser.aspx (id passed in session)). Similarly, since MVC is stateless, this removes the headache of users who spawn multiple web browsers from the same window (session collisions). Along those same lines, MVC adheres to the stateless web protocol rather than 'battling' against it.

ASP.NET Web Forms

  • Development supports state Gives the illusion that a web application is aware of what the user has been doing, similar to Windows applications. I.e. Makes 'wizard' functionality a little bit easier to implement. Web forms does a great job at hiding a lot of that complexity from the developer.
  • Rapid Application Development (RAD) The ability to just 'jump in' and start delivering web forms. This is disputed by some of the MVC community, but pushed by Microsoft. In the end, it comes down to the level of expertise of the developer and what they are comfortable with. The web forms model probably has less of a learning curve to less experienced developers.
  • Larger control toolbox ASP.NET Web Forms offers a much greater and more robust toolbox (web controls) whereas MVC offers a more primitive control set relying more on rich client-side controls via jQuery (Javascript).

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