In this first blog post of the New Year, I’m going to share several new stuffs from our latest product development. Last month, I have blogged about WebCoverFlow, our upcoming UI component targeting Silverlight. Although we are going to release the beta very soon, many of you have asked us to post more news and demos about WebCoverFlow. So today I decided to put up a demo, recorded into a video and posted it to YouTube.
The above video demonstrates the latest brand-new feature that we have just finished recently. This new innovation, named VirtualFlow™ technology, enables you to load virtually hundreds to thousands of media (can be pictures and videos) without performance depletion. Our VirtualFlow technology is incorporated with an advanced Load-on-Demand architecture and Smart-Asynchronous mechanism to perform downloading when necessary.
This means you can develop a pure “Web 2.0″ application that retrieves images from API-enabled sites such flickr.com, facebook.com – you name it.
In the above video, we use Flickr API to retrieve up to 500 pictures. The page loads in only few seconds for the first time, and then it will start to download the required pictures asynchronously. When the pictures are downloaded, it will be displayed in a smooth fashion and elegant animation.
Unlike Apple’s CoverFlow, our VirtualFlow technology does not increase your memory consumption as the pictures grow larger. As you can watch in the above YouTube video, you can quickly scroll from a position to another in real-time – without any performance hits. I believe this is a very exciting and advanced technology that we came up with for the 2008 R1 milestone.
Finally, you asked about the usage of WebCoverFlow in enterprises and business application. This visually compelling CoverFlow component is not only designed for showing personal pictures etc (although it’ll be nice if you load up your favorite Facebook pictures into WebCoverFlow experience :), but in fact there are also a lot of features and functions that specifically designed for business application scenarios. For instance, you can build an advanced Slideshow-enabled application that contains your enterprise’s video tutorials or showing document previews (and program it so that it opens the document when user double-click on the cover), or an application selector/navigator. If you are a fan of Mac, you’ll certainly get the ideas
I hope you enjoyed the video. Let me know if you have questions or feedback.