Tag Archives: WebCombo

Coming in 2011 R1: WebCombo 5 and Enhanced WebGrid for ASP.NET

The upcoming WebUI Studio 2011 volume release will include a host of new controls across all .NET development platforms, including Silverlight, WPF, and ASP.NET. In the past few months, I’ve been actively blogging about the upcoming new controls for the Silverlight and WPF development. In this post, I’ll unveil the new controls and key enhancements for ASP.NET platform that we will deliver in the 2011 volume release.

WebCombo 5 Features Client-side Binding and Web Services Support

The 2011 volume release will include a new version of our flagship ASP.NET WebCombo control. WebCombo 5 is now built upon the rock-solid Client Data Object Framework (CDOF), the same framework that powers WebGrid Enterprise 7 to provide rich client binding functionality. As the results, you can now use WebCombo to bind data to web services such as web services, WCF services, ADO data services, Azure or other cloud-based data services.

Client-side binding has a number of benefits such as producing smaller data output size between callbacks which greatly improve application’s performance in overall. Our test with various binding configuration show impressive results for client binding mode. See the following comparison chart.

Data size chart comparison

Notice that the WebCombo with any client-binding mode will reduce the data output size by 40 – 50%.

Another great feature that is made possible with the client-binding in WebCombo 5 is the pure client data source support. This means that you can create your own data source and bind it in the client-side, in the similar fashion as in server-side.

Interestingly, the client data source also enables you to retrieve data from RESTful services and bind the results to the WebCombo directly in the client-side. And the beauty of the client-binding framework is that all WebCombo features continue to work as expected, including multiple columns, auto-complete entry mode, link settings, multiple selection, and more.

That said, we’ve created several interesting new examples that demonstrate the power of the client-side data source. One of the examples is to retrieve photos from the Flickr through jQuery, and bind the results to the WebCombo in the client-side. See the screenshot below.

Binding WebCombo to Flickr Service

Full WCF Service Support in WebGrid Enterprise 7

Due to high demands, WebUI Studio 2011 will also ship with an enhanced WebGrid control for ASP.NET which includes full support for WCF data service. The WebGrid LINQ data provider has been enhanced as well to fully support data query and contract serialization in the WCF service.

You can now elegantly retrieve the select arguments and other passed parameters in the WCF service, which was one of the unsupported features in the existing release. With the updated WebGrid LINQ data provider, querying data requires only a few line of code, see the code example below.

[OperationContract]
[ServiceKnownType(typeof(List))]
public object GetCustomers(WcfDataSourceSelectArguments selectArguments)
{
    NorthwindDataContext context = new NorthwindDataContext();
    context.DeferredLoadingEnabled = false;
    context.ObjectTrackingEnabled = false;

    WebGridDataProvider provider = 
                   new WebGridDataProvider(context.Customers);

    return provider.Select(selectArguments);
}

The client-binding, data services, LINQ providers and cloud support are significant milestones in our ASP.NET development roadmap. They are the precursor to the modern, RESTful web development that is server-pages agnostic.

I hope this post gives you some ideas on the new capabilities that you can add to your web applications using the client-binding and WCF support in the new WebCombo and WebGrid. As usual, comments and feedback are open.

Best,

Jimmy

ASP.NET MVC Support

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been receiving questions that asked whether our new ASP.NET lineups have supported ASP.NET MVC. Microsoft released the first stable version of ASP.NET MVC couple months ago. It  is a free and fully supported Microsoft framework for building web applications that use a model-view-controller pattern. I won’t be covering much on the MVC concept here, please visit http://www.asp.net/mvc to learn more on ASP.NET MVC.

Unlike Webform style that most developers used in ASP.NET web development, ASP.NET MVC  doesn’t use view state and server-based form. Put simply, it doesn’t support event life-cycle model because the interactions between the model, view and controller in MVC use a different life-cycle model. That said, ASP.NET server-side controls that rely on postback and state management will not be able to work in ASP.NET MVC application.

Luckily you can continue to use Intersoft WebUI Studio for ASP.NET lineups in your ASP.NET MVC application. Thanks to our advanced view state storage framework, you can set where the view state of a page should be stored. It supports server-side storage such as Session, PageCache or File Storage in addition to ASP.NET default client-side view state.

To proof our Webform components in ASP.NET MVC project, I create a new MVC project, open the default page and then add some databound controls into the page such as WebGrid and WebCombo. To see how it looks like in Visual Studio, please refer to the screenshot below.

WebUI Studio components in ASP.NET MVC project

Using WebUI Studio components in ASP.NET MVC project

Another key ingredient to enable Webform controls to run flawlessly in ASP.NET MVC is by adding <form runat=”server”> tag in the beginning of the view page. All built-in page features and nice AJAX operations will then continue to work as expected. To proof it, I enabled some built-in features in WebGrid that trigger AJAX such as grouping, sorting, filtering and paging.

Run the page in browser and we can see that both WebGrid and WebCombo show up as expected. Next, try to interact with the controls such as by clicking on the column header, drag the slider to navigate between pages, or type some keyword into the WebCombo. All worked perfectly as shown in the following.

WebUI Studio components support ASP.NET MVC application

WebUI Studio works flawlessly in ASP.NET MVC application

Although the above experiment is pretty straightforward and simple, it does show the basic proof-of-concept of using Webform components such as WebUI Studio ASP.NET lineups in MVC page. This also means that you no longer have to worry on your existing Webform investment and to decide which application model that you prefer to develop on. I’ll be surely checking out more advanced scenarios based on your feedback and request.

The latest WebUI Studio continues to support growing Microsoft platform adoption such as ASP.NET MVC, Silverlight, Sharepoint 2007, and more — as well as cutting-edge technologies such as client binding, “cloud” support, and other Web 2.0 trends. Please visit http://www.intersoftpt.com/2009 to learn more.

All the best,
Jimmy.

2007 Tutorial Videos – Updated

Again, we have added some tutorial videos for WebDesktop.NET members such as WebButton, WebNotification, WebTab and many more. Have a look at WebCombo’s tutorial video as well since we have updated and added 1 new video which is how to configure Linked WebCombo. Many users want to know how to use this feature and hence, we have decided to create a tutorial video for them.

Check the updated tutorial videos for WebDesktop.NET and WebCombo.NET from the following link respectively:

WebDesktop
http://support.intersoftpt.com/default.aspx?pid=93&type=Videos

WebCombo
http://support.intersoftpt.com/default.aspx?pid=109&type=Videos

Please feel free to submit any feedback or request for future tutorial videos in this post. Maybe we can go further to create a more advanced videos for intermediate users. Thanks.

2007 Tutorial Videos

We have released the latest tutorial videos which consist of ISDataSource, WebGrid, WebCombo, WebInput and WebDesktop. Each of these components has basic and essential tutorial videos which are very useful for beginner users to get more familiar on how to use them efficiently.

For instance, there are several videos demo in WebGrid such as how easy to display data using smart tag, then create the DataSource and retrieve the data structure, and finally run to your browser. This task can be quickly done without having to write any code.

All these videos are now available in Intersoft Solutions – Support Center.

Following are the videos’ URL of each component:

These are all videos we can produce so far. However, we will still enhance and add more tutorial videos for each component.

Therefore, if you guys have any feedback or any request for the future tutorial videos, please feel free to give a comment on this post. Thank you. 🙂

5 cool features you won’t want to miss

There are so much improvements, new features and capabilities that made possible in our new 2007 R1 release, for instances SmartWebResources, file cache server, new datasource control, new UI styles and more. With all these new stuff, sometimes it’s easy to miss certain small features, but in fact very useful ones.

Ok let’s just go to the points. In the following, you can find the list of top 5 cool things that you won’t want to miss in our 2007 R1 release.

  1. Enable SmartWebResources and deploy with confidence.
     
    We have received tremendous praises from developers that they loved this feature very much. Why? This feature saved their valuable time by enabling them to perform deployment with just xcopy — no more scripts and images folder copying or IIS headaches. Unbelievable, but true!
     
    Here are some useful links to get you started with SmartWebResources:
    How-to: Configure SmartWebResources in a web application
    Features and benefits introduced by SmartWebResources™
    How does SmartWebResources™ work
     
  2. Loved our new UI and styles? Then try our new DefaultStyle.
     
    DefaultStyle is a new feature in WebGrid, WebCombo and WebInput. It enables these components to use modern UI styles automatically – without the need to load layout. You can enable them by simply setting a property.
     
    Here are some useful links to get you started with DefaultStyle:
    How-to: Enable Default Style for existing instance of WebGrid
    Cleaner and reduced page output through built-in default style
    UseDefaultStyle property (server-side reference)
     
  3. Data binding made easy with our new-born ISDataSource control.
     
    It’s inevitable that many developers missed the DataSet binding feature in VS2005 since Microsoft decided to introduce datasource control in ASP.NET 2 and hence remove the ability to bind to DataSet in designtime. While the new datasource control concept is better (since it offers higher reusability and easier implementation through declarative markup), ASP.NET Team did not manage to come up with multi-table datasource control and hence causing databinding a bit more complex in VS2005.
     
    ISDataSource brings back the good old days DataSet databinding ability to VS2005 in the form of datasource control. So you got the best of both worlds — ability to bind to DataSet and still have the power and benefits of datasource control.
     
    Here are some useful links to get you started with ISDataSource:
    Walkthrough: Binding to data using ISDataSource.NET
    ISDataSource Architecture
    Walkthrough: Binding to Hierarchical data using ISDataSource.NET
     
  4. Want to keep important information visible in your Grid view? Then freeze it.
     
    Column freezing is always the most wanted feature in every data presentation application. Our experiences with column freezing has started since the DOS era where we used Clipper to build column freezing Grid. We absolutely understand how users expect the column freezing behavior in today’s Web era. The implementation is truly complicated, but we have made it very easy for you to enable it. With some property changes, you can now enjoy column freezing using WebGrid.NET Enterprise 5.0.
     
    Here are some useful links to get you started with Column Freezing feature:
    How-to: Enable column freezing and configure initial settings
    How-to: Allow user to freeze/unfreeze at runtime
    Column Freezing Overview
    LiveFreeze™ behaviors and other notes
     
  5. Keep your web user interface stylish with our pixel-perfect Office 2007 styles for WebDesktop components.
     
    Many vendors claimed that they supported Office 2007 styles, and yet many developers told us that they were not satisfied with the components they were using before, because the Office 2007 styles that the other vendors provided are still far away from the real Office 2007 styles.
     
    Our Office 2007 UI and styles are different. We have the closest styles and UI implementation to the real Office 2007 styles, because we take care on every single pixel of the appearance — even the smallest factors like padding, margin and border width. The good news is our 2007 styles rendered perfectly and consistently in both IE and Mozilla browsers.
     
    Here are some useful links to get you started with our new Office 2007 styles:
    WebDesktopManager Office 2007 Style
    The complete WebUI Studio.NET® 2007 components in the fashion of Office 2007 Style
    WebTab Office 2007 Style
    Using Component Designer 2.0 to apply predefined style

Have a nice day and happy developing with WebUI Studio.NET 2007 R1! Enjoy!