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Difference Between Razor View Engine and ASPX View Engine

18 Aug 2022
3 min read  

View Engine is responsible for rendering the view into html form to the browser. By default, MVC support Web Form(ASPX) and Razor View Engine. There are many third party view engines (like Spark, Nhaml etc.) that are also available for MVC. Now, MVC is open source and can work with other third party view engines like Spark, Nhaml. In this article, I would like to expose the difference between Razor & Web Form View Engine.

Razor View Engine VS Web Form(ASPX) View Engine
Razor View Engine
Web Form View Engine
Razor Engine is an advanced view engine that was introduced with MVC3. This is not a new language but it is a new markup syntax.
Web Form Engine is the default view engine for the MVC that is included with MVC from the beginning.
The namespace for Razor Engine is System.Web.Razor.
The namespace for Webform Engine is System.Web.Mvc.WebFormViewEngine.
The file extensions used with Razor Engine are different from Web Form Engine. It has .cshtml (Razor with C#) or .vbhtml (Razor with VB) extension for views, partial views, editor templates and for layout pages.
The file extensions used with Web Form Engine are also like Web Forms. It has .aspx extension for views, .ascx extension for partial views & editor templates and .master extension for layout/master pages.
Razor has new and advance syntax that are compact, expressive and reduces typing.
Web Form Engine has the same syntax like Web Forms uses for .aspx pages.
Razor syntax are easy to learn and much clean than Web Form syntax. Razor uses @ symbol to make the code like as:
 @Html.ActionLink("SignUp", "SignUp") 
Web Form syntax are borrowed from Web Forms syntax that are mixed with html and sometimes make a view messy. Webform uses <% and %> delimiters to make the code like as:

 <%: Html.ActionLink("SignUp", "SignUp") %> 
By default, Razor Engine prevents XSS attacks(Cross-Site Scripting Attacks) means it encodes the script or html tags like <,> before rendering to view.
Web Form Engine does not prevent XSS attacks means any script saved in the database will be fired while rendering the page
Razor Engine is little bit slow as compared to Webform Engine.
Web Form Engine is faster than Razor Engine.
Razor Engine, doesn't support design mode in visual studio means you cannot see your page look and feel.
Web Form engine support design mode in visual studio means you can see your page look and feel without running the application.
Razor Engine support TDD (Test Driven Development) since it is not depend on System.Web.UI.Page class.
Web Form Engine doesn't support TDD (Test Driven Development) since it depend on System.Web.UI.Page class which makes the testing complex.
What do you think?

I hope you will enjoy the tips while programming with MVC. I would like to have feedback from my blog readers. Your valuable feedback, question, or comments about this article are always welcome.

About Author
Shailendra Chauhan (Microsoft MVP, Founder & CEO at Scholarhat by DotNetTricks)

Shailendra Chauhan is the Founder and CEO at ScholarHat by DotNetTricks which is a brand when it comes to e-Learning. He provides training and consultation over an array of technologies like Cloud, .NET, Angular, React, Node, Microservices, Containers and Mobile Apps development. He has been awarded Microsoft MVP 8th time in a row (2016-2023). He has changed many lives with his writings and unique training programs. He has a number of most sought-after books to his name which has helped job aspirants in cracking tough interviews with ease.
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