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Key Difference between ADO.NET and ASP.NET

When we plan to develop any web-based application using the .NET Framework, we need to use ASP.NET for development. But, while we are using ASP.NET for any application development, we can also use ADO.NET within that application. We often misunderstand that ASP.NET and ADO.NET are the same or related. But actually, it is not valid. Both are different in the concept of feature and functionality. But definitely, we can use both of them at a time within an application. So, here, we will mainly discuss the critical difference between ADO.NET and ASP.NET. 

What is ASP.NET?

In 2002, Microsoft introduced a new framework for web-based application development purposes called ASP.NET, which replaces the existing Class ASP programming languages. ASP.NET is always known as a web-based framework for developing any web application or website with the help of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc. In ASP.NET, we can use the three types of web frameworks: Web Forms, ASP.NET Web Pages, and ASP.NET MVC. These frameworks are much more stable and provide many useful features for developing web applications. Each framework mentioned above provides different development styles, and we must choose a particular framework per our requirements. We can also build Web APIs to implement a real-time-based technical solution with the help of ASP.NET as well. So, before discussing in detail, we first need to understand the basic overview of these three frameworks for understanding purposes.

  • Web Forms –  In the case of web forms, we can develop dynamic web-based applications or websites with the help of a familiar drag-n-drop, event-driven model. In Web Forms, we can use the design surface along with hundreds of readymade controls and components that can be directly used in the application. Using this helps us to develop any web-based application rapidly.
  • MVC – ASP.NET MVC provides a robust, rapid, pattern-based development process to build the web-based application. It always supports the clean separation of concerns related to the application code layer. Using this framework, we can also benefit from the agile development process. In ASP.NET MVC, we can get many features that help us develop the application in a fast, Test-Driven Development (TDD) model. 
  • ASP.NET Web Page – ASP.NET Web Pages and the Razor syntax provide another way to develop any web application with a combination of server-side code and HTML. With the help of this framework, we can create the application in a speedy process, and also, the application is always much more lightweight than the other frameworks. 

All the above three frameworks depend on the .NET Framework. So, these frameworks always contain all core functionality of the .NET Framework and ASP.NET. Also, these three frameworks are not independent of each other. So, we can use multiple frameworks in the same application to develop different web application components. For example, for any web-based application, we can extend the user login security component with the help of the ASP.NET MVC framework, and the rest of the application component can be created with the help of the ASP.NET Web Page along with Razor syntax. 

With the help of ASP.NET, we can also develop the Web API-based application, which can help us develop the HTTP services. These HTTP services can be consumed by clients or external users from different application types like Web-Application, Mobile applications, etc. ASP.NET Web API provides an exact platform for developing any RESTful applications using the .NET Framework. Moreover, ASP.NET always works on top of the HTTP protocol object model. So, we can use all the HTTP-based commands and policies to establish a browser-to-server communication or vice-versa. 

In the case of ASP.NET, it used the .aspx extension for the ASP.Net Pages, which supports the C# programming languages. The latest version of ASP.NET is ASP.NET 4.6. In recent years, Microsoft also introduced a new version of ASP.NET, known as ASP.NET Core. The new ASP.NET Core is quite different compared to the earlier ASP.NET. But only one similarity is that both are used for web development-related work. In the case of ASP.NET, we can execute the entire life cycle of a web page in several phases like page initialization, page load, restoring, page unloads, etc. These phases can maintain the different states of the application data within the web page as per our customer business logic.

Basic Concept of ADO.NET

ADO.Net is mainly used as a subset of the .NET Framework. ADO.NET is primarily used to perform different database-related operations in any .NET-based application. Like the .NET framework, ADO.NET also entirely supports the object-oriented programming concept and provides other class and method objects that can perform various database-related operations. ADO.NET is mainly used to pass data from the database application to the .NET-based application or vice-versa. 

ADO.NET is used widely across different applications without considering whether particular applications may use used .NET Framework or not. We can also use the ADO.NET concept in the case of other framework-based applications like JAVA. We can establish connections with all types of databases, including both relational and nonrelational databases, with the help of ADO.NET. during the development process. We can use ADO.NET for the connections with databases and then, with the help of different methods of ADO.NET, either can fetch data from the database as a result or push the data from our application to update or store data into the database. 

From a technical aspect, ADO.NET always supports the n-tier-based application architecture. ADO.NET consists of some of the critical objects like the following:

  • Connection Objects
  • Command Objects
  • Dataset Objects

In ADO.NET, we can insert, update, delete, and retrieve data from a database with the help of SQL Queries and Stored Procedures. In ADO.NET, Command objects are responsible for executing all types of SQL queries and returning the data due to either DataSet Objects or DataReader Objects. Once the data is retrieved from the database, the connection is closed automatically, and we can use the retrieved data as a DataSet object. Then, if required, we can again connect the database to update the changes we already made in the dataset objects.

In ADO.NET, XML has always taken an important part. XML is used in ADO.NET to store data into the cache. The XML also handles the communication between the data source and the application. We can also interact with XML files without communicating with the database in our applications. ADO.NET provides several advantages like XML support, improved performance and scalability compared to other database technology, Single object-oriented API, supports disconnected data mode, managing application code, easy deployment process, and many more.

Key Differences between ASP.NET and ADO.NET

In today’s digital world, websites or web-based applications always play a crucial role for the developers or customers in case of any type of business or E-Commerce based operations. Both ASP.NET and ADO.NET is a part of the web-based framework. But, both have different uses in the concept of functionality and features. The main fundamental difference between ADO.NET and ASP.NET is that ADO.NET is known as a data communication technology that uses a predefined collection of methods or components so that we can establish communication with any database system. On the other hand, ASP.NET is a server-based open-source web application framework that helps us develop any web-based application along with dynamic web pages. 

The critical comparison between Asp.NET and ADO.NET in respect of some of the primary vital aspects is as bellows – 

Meaning or Purpose of UseIt is a web-based application framework that helps developers create dynamic websites and web applications using different programming languages.It is known as a data communication technology provided by Microsoft. It is mainly used to establish a connection between an application’s front-end and the database system as the backend.
Application TypeIt is used to develop any type of web-based application by using different programming languages like C# or VB.NET.ADO.NET provides different objects like Connection, Command, DataSet, etc., mainly designed to encapsulate all the data access-related processes. These objects also control all interactions with the database to display data.
AcronymASP means Active Server Pages. It is a web framework for developing web-based applications. We can use different development models in the Framework like Web Forms, MVC, Asp.NET Razor Pages, etc.ActiveX Data Objects is introduced as a part of the .NET Framework. It is mainly known as one of the latest data-access technology provided by Microsoft. 
Architecture PatternThe basic architecture of ASP.NET always supports a multi-layer pattern. In addition, several levels are also maintained internally within ASP.NET Framework like Language, Class Library, and the CLR or Common Language Runtime.ADO.NET support a layered base design structure which depends upon mostly some objects like Connection, Command, Reader, Dataset, and Adapter objects

So, while discussing the difference between Asp. Net and ADO.NET, the below tables demonstrate the fundamental differences between these two- 

Asp.NET is a frameworkADO.NET is a Library, and we can use it along with the .NET framework.
With the help of Asp. NET, we can develop a dynamic web-based application.Using ADO.NET , we can connect databases to access their data.
Asp.NET can be developed using many programming languages like C#, VB.NET, etc.ADO is mainly used XML to convert data from the database.
It is specially used for developing web-based real-time applications. But despite web-based applications, we can also build web pages, websites, and web services using it.It is used to develop scalable database-based applications for any environment like Web Based, Desktop, etc.


In the above section, we discussed two different topics – Asp.NET and ADO.NET. Also, we analyzed the essential difference between them. In case of any development, we can use the Asp.NET Framework for developing that application. And also, we can use the ADO.NET as a part of the .NET framework in that particular application if we require to access any data from any type of data source like SQL, Oracle, OLEDB, etc. So, in simple concept, for any web-based application development, ASP.NET is a must requirement in the case of .NET framework. But, on the other hand, ADO.NET in that particular application depends upon our business requirements.