Fail: Microsoft Adcenter Labs and .NET

People wonder why I don’t enjoy programming in ASP.NET. It’s because every time I do, I get some error page like this. I figure if the good folks at Microsoft can’t develop their own applications without doing it, how am I going to?! From Microsoft Adcenter Labs Demographics Prediction:

microsoft adcenter demographics prediction


  1. 1

    I don’t get it… thats a standard error page. You can get that with any application (PHP, Ruby, Perl, etc…) It’s actually more secure because unlike PHP, by default ASP.NET hides the error message so its not exposed to the world and can your site a target for hackers.

    • 2

      You can get an error page with any platform, for sure Sameer. My complaint is that it’s a MICROSOFT site with a MICROSOFT error. They should be embarrassed that they’ve put up an application that errors, given that they are the ones who wrote both IIS and ASP.NET.

  2. 3

    I understand your point now. You are saying this particular Microsoft site is to be blamed.
    Okay your point is valid, they should customize their error page (which is a trivial task) but to actually place the blame on .NET is irresonsible to say the least. That would be like saying “I don’t like programming in PHP because the PHP site has a standard error page” 😛

  3. 4

    I did take a dig at Microsoft, too, Sameer :). I think the error pages in IIS with respect to ASP.NET are terrible! In other languages, including PHP, if error handling is on, I get detail regarding the error. It seems (to me) when I test with ASP.NET all I ever get is this config stuff.

  4. 5

    Ahh okay now I understand. But keep in mind its terrible by design. They intentionally hide the real error message. This is because you don’t want your vulnerabilities exposed to the world.

    The same thing with ASP.NET, you see the screenshot you have? Simply add customErrors=off then it will give you the exact error message.

    Infact there is even a plug and play error handling module you can get called Elmah which I think is just beautiful, I suggested it for use at work and its awesome. In this case you can hide the error messages from the site visitors, but it will be nicely logged and it can even be setup to send you an email every time a new error message appears. Talk about sweet 😉

    PS I like PHP too, but after using .NET for 2 years full-time it has really grown on me 🙂

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