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We are considering moving from an ASP.NET Web forms model to SharePoint 2010 Application Pages. The main reason for this is so we can utilise the SharePoint Foundation solutions framework rather than maintaining Web forms separately.

The reason we have used Web forms in the past are as follows:

  1. Integration with third party components (such as K2 Blackpearl) via .NET libraries.
  2. Process isolation from SharePoint content application pools.
  3. Capability to connect to custom databases (we have used SQL authentication but are looking to move away from that approach for security reasons).

My two queries around this are:

  1. Are there any limitations around third party libraries that can be utilised in Application Pages?
  2. Does SharePoint offer any capabilities to ensure that our Application Pages won't impact application pool availability?

I have looked around for an explanation of the limitations and benefits associated with Application Pages, but have only found comparisons with Site Pages.

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could you please elaborate on your reason for moving to sharepoint (solutions framework). is that the wsp packaging? – djeeg Apr 18 '11 at 11:38
That is the main reason - we would like to maintain our solutions in a consistent manner but I am concerned around the limitations associated with Application Pages vs. ASP.NET Web forms. – Benjamin J Athawes Apr 18 '11 at 11:49
whatever gains you make in consistency, you probably end up bombing out in every other performance metric. (speed, simplicity, ease of learning, development costs ...). sure you could do it in SharePoint, but its not really ideal – djeeg Apr 18 '11 at 12:23
up vote 2 down vote accepted

As far as I know:

  1. Only the normal ones for an ASP.NET application - e.g. Framework version, CAS policy, etc..
  2. Yes... but it's the application pool itself! If you want to isolate your code, you're looking at having to put it into it's own application pool. There's no reason not to do that - it's a configuration I use sometimes with custom code that is 'risky' - though obviously there's an overhead to it.
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Another reason that I didn't mention was that I want to create a trusted connection to an external database using an application pool identity. Using SharePoint we could use the RunWithElevatedPrivileges() delegate to elevate priveleges for specific methods only: is there an equivalent in "pure" ASP.NET? – Benjamin J Athawes Apr 18 '11 at 12:46
Not as far as I'm aware, but it wouldn't be too hard to create you own. – Andy Burns Apr 21 '11 at 10:41

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