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Using ASP.NET AJAX Controls to Create Great Web 2.0 Experiences

By , 31 Aug 2010

Editorial Note

This article is in the Product Showcase section for our sponsors at CodeProject. These reviews are intended to provide you with information on products and services that we consider useful and of value to developers.

Aikido™ Framework for ASP.NET AJAX Controls

Created by Infragistics, the Aikido Framework on which all of NetAdvantage’s new ASP.NET AJAX controls are built, leverages ASP.NET 4.0 (or ASP.NET 2.0 with the Microsoft ASP.NET 2.0 AJAX Extensions installed) to seamlessly integrate AJAX functionality with W3C standards including XHTML and CSS. Infragistics ASP.NET AJAX controls are scalable because they minimize the network traffic between client and server. They also maximize responsiveness to rival a desktop user experience in the browser, taking full advantage of Infragistics expertise with UX design patterns and AJAX.

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Figure 1 – Infragistics infraShop™ reference application built with ASP.NET AJAX controls including the WebDataGrid™, WebSlider™ and WebDialogWindow™.

Learn more about the ASP.NET controls available in NetAdvantage for Web Client,

Download a Fully-Functional Free Trial today.

Have questions? Attend the “Best Practices for Building Business Applications with ASP.NET” online webinar being held Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 10:00am ET to ask how you can do this with the ASP.NET controls available in NetAdvantage for Web Client. Sign Up Now!

State of the Art WebDataGrid

Based on the Aikido Framework, the WebDataGrid offers a pay-to-play model meaning that the data grid optimizes either its client mark up or JavaScript depending on the behaviors you select, so you don’t have bloated pages full of unnecessary HTML and JavaScript that is unneeded. The end result is optimized performance.

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Figure 2 – Shows how “pay-to-play” model works in the WebDataGrid.

In addition to optimized performance, with its complete ASP.NET templating capabilities within the grid, you can display your data in any fashion. No matter what caliber application you are aiming for, you can always achieve the high-fidelity of some of the most state of the art Web-based applications out there such as Web-based e-mail clients.

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Figure 3 - Infragistics WebDataGrid with ASP.NET Template Columns, Paging and Styling.

Full support for complex editors let you choose editors depending on your field type for data-entry, so if you need a dropdown list of values you can just plug-in the WebDropDown™ editor and be all set. And since the WebDataGrid is built on the Infragistics Application Styling Framework™, it can be globally styled using CSS and a roles-based styling paradigm that gives you complete control over the look and feel of your applications.

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Figure 4 – WebDataGrid showing how your users can dynamically widen its Company column with the built-in Column Resizing behavior.

Line of business application users expect functionality akin to Microsoft Excel 2010 – they demand it. WebDataGrid has the wealth of features that make it the perfect fit for these line of business applications on the Web. Its interactive features for data manipulation include sorting, filtering, paging, resizing, selection, column reordering and Excel-like navigation. All of these behaviors are configurable within the control. If you want the grid to perform CRUD (create, read, update and delete) operations against your data store, you just turn on the desired behaviors and the WebDataGrid renders what is needed to support it.

Furthermore, Infragistics has developed an Excel-compatible class library for use with the WebDataGrid so that you can easily import and export Excel files in your Web-based applications. Export the data grid “as is” and in high-fidelity to Microsoft Excel’s .XLS/.XLSX file format, to let users work with your business data offline.

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Figure 5 – PDF report generated from WebChart™ data using Infragistics.Documents class library included with NetAdvantage for Web Client.

Infragistics also has a Documents class library which lets your Web-based application perform similar operations out-of-the-box, to generate your own Adobe PDF or Microsoft XPS (Extensible Paper Specification) documents. The NetAdvantage for Web Client toolset also comes with a calculation engine, WebCalcManager™, which supports over 100 spreadsheet-like formulas covering finance, statistics, and more, that enable you to create dynamic Web-based applications.

Learn more about the ASP.NET AJAX data grid and file format support in NetAdvantage for Web Client,
Download a Fully-Functional Free Trial today.

Rich Controls for Thin Clients

When we talk about a Web application the first thing that comes to mind are the limitations, disconnected architecture, page refreshes, and the pain of supporting different browsers. With the ASP.NET AJAX controls in NetAdvantage for Web Client, you don’t have to worry about those limitations. These rich controls make your Web applications more responsive to your end-user, and you can stay connected to your data sources so you don’t have to manage manual updates. A host of load-on-demand features are built into the ASP.NET AJAX controls, like paging and scroll-on-demand, that make your Web application deliver limitless data on-the-fly!

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Figure 6 – Infragistics infraProperties™ reference application built with Infragistics ASP.NET AJAX controls (the WebSlider, WebDataGrid, WebPanel™, WebDialogWindow™, WebImageViewer™ and WebEditors™ are shown.)

In addition to using traditional page elements on your Web pages, you can jazz up your UI with the innovative Web 2.0 controls like the ones seen above. All of these ASP.NET AJAX controls have been tested across every major browser and back up this interoperability by conforming to key Web standards.

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Figure 7 – The Infragistics Portfolio Manager reference application was built with a variety of AJAX-Enabled ASP.NET controls including the WebTab™ and WebExplorerBar™.

Infragistics ASP.NET controls give applications built for thin clients tremendously rich capabilities. Why don’t you see them online and download a free trial copy today?

Navigation Web Elements

With site maps, search engine optimization and social networking, navigation is essential in today’s Web applications. As a Web developer, you want to support this navigation and the Infragistics ASP.NET toolset enables this by providing you with a number of powerful navigation controls that include trees, menus, toolbars, explorer bars, tabs and so on.

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Figure 8 – Infragistics’ Web-based e-mail client reference application built with ASP.NET controls including the WebDataGrid™.

These navigation controls can be used not just for traversing your Web site’s many different pages, but they can also help users perform page-level operations when they click, activate or select elements. All of this helps make your Web pages more dynamic, and reactive to your users’ scenarios.

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Figure 9 – WebDataMenu™ demonstrating its item template support with its novel presentation of a list of page numbers.

If you like the navigation elements that you see here and want to explore them further, check them out online and download a free trial of the NetAdvantage for Web Client.

Meet Business Requirements in SharePoint®

Use NetAdvantage ASP.NET controls to add rich functionality within Microsoft Office SharePoint System (MOSS) or Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) to present your knowledge workers with rich business intelligence that can be organized around a set of highly-functional WebParts. It’s easy to wrap the Infragistics ASP.NET data grids, charts, gauges and more in a WebPart and add these controls’ versatile and rich feature set anywhere.

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Figure 10 – Infragistics InfraDashboard™ reference application built with ASP.NET controls including the WebPanel, WebCharts, and WebGauge™.

Infragistics knows the demands of your application’s user interface as well as anybody, and offers real-world guidance on the best practices when applying and deploying NetAdvantage ASP.NET controls in SharePoint-based applications so you will know just how to be successful.

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Figure 11 – Infragistics Pomegranate reference application running on SharePoint and built with the NetAdvantage ASP.NET controls including WebDataGrid, WebChart, WebGauge and WebSlider.

Conclusion

NetAdvantage for Web Client 2010 Volume 2 has just been released by Infragistics and is now available for download with the latest ASP.NET AJAX controls. With these controls, Web developers receive the tools they need for creating next-generation Rich Internet Applications user interfaces that are scalable, high performance, and meet line of business application needs.

Evaluate NetAdvantage for Web Client 2010 Volume 2 for yourself today.
Download a Free, Fully-Functional Trial Now.

Want to learn more? Attend the “Best Practices for Building Business Applications with ASP.NET” online webinar being held Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 10:00am ET to ask how NetAdvantage for Web Client can be used to build line of business applications more quickly and easily with ASP.NET. Sign Up Now!

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

About the Author

Murtaza Abdeali
Product Manager Infragistics
United States United States
My name is Murtaza Abdeali, also known as Taz, I am the Product Manager for Web Clients at Infragistics. I manage our ASP.NET product line.
 
I started at Infragistics in 2004 as a Developer Support Engineer, where I enjoyed being at the fore front of all the product lines, talking directly to customers, answering questions, solving simple and complex problems.
 
Then I joined our Evangelism department as a Technical Evangelist, where I travelled all over the world visiting customers, speaking with them face to face, talking about the product and technologies around. During the same period, I also did some consulting and training gigs. This was the time where I got to see Infragistics customers actually using the product within their applications and being able to help with their problems in real time.
 
In my current role as a Product Manager, I still do all of the above, but I am also responsible for setting the direction for our ASP.NET product. So, if you want to discuss anything regarding the ASP.NET toolset, please feel free to contact me: murtazaa@infragistics.com

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