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15 Steps to Develop a Product Management System in Only a Day

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23 Mar 2010GPL3
The article introduces how to easily develop business solutions in RapidWebDev through developing a product management system with the special requirement step by step.


The article introduces how to easily develop business solutions in RapidWebDev through introducing the development for a product management system with the following requirement step by step. The source code of this sample system is downloadable here.


The glossary of the system are role, user, permission, product category, product and product log. The product categories are maintainable enumeration values by administrators that a product has to belong to a category. There are 2 kinds of product properties, hardwired and dynamic properties. The hardwired properties like Name, Number, Description and Manufactory, etc. which cannot be changed at runtime. The dynamic properties are maintained by administrators online. Administrators can define Text, DateTime, Date, Integer, Decimal and Enumeration typed dynamic properties for products at any time.

The system includes:

  1. role management with permission setting
  2. user management with permission setting
  3. product category management
  4. product dynamic property management
  5. product management with logs, includes:
    • create products
    • update products
    • delete products
    • bulk delete products
    • print/export products


Let's first download the RapidWebDev release package (v1.51) from the official website and extract it locally. I intend to reuse its Web and Tests project by adding product management features so that I can save time to setup environment and project structure.

Step 1: Create a database for product management system:

Image 1

Step 2: Initialize the database by RapidWebDev SQL scripts, Database.sql, SchemaVersions.sql, and UnitTest for ExtensionModel.sql.

Image 2

Step 3: Open the downloaded RapidWebDev solution in Visual Studio 2008, and modify the database connection string of Web.config for Web project and App.config for Tests project. Then modify RapidWebDev.Web\Config\permission.config for the requirement of product management system so that administrators can assign roles/users with correct permissions in management UI.

Image 3

Step 4: Modify RapidWebDev.Web\Config\sitemap.config for navigation menu. The sitemap.config is integrated with authorization that users only can see the links which they have the appropriate permission.

Image 4

Step 5: First launch the web project and log on. You can see the system main page is as following screenshot.

Image 5

Step 6: Then we can create data tables for product management system. As RapidWebDev provides generic Role/User management and concrete data model, we don't consider the authentication and authorization, and we can reuse concrete data model for product category. So we only need to create 2 tables bizProducts and bizProductLogs. biz_Products schema is below:

Image 6

Step 7: biz_ProductLogs schema is below:

Image 7

Step 8: Create a new project into the solution named ProductManagement with references to necessary assemblies. And generate a Linq2SQL model from ProductManagement database. Besides, set the base class of ProductManagementDataContext to RapidWebDev.ExtensionModel.Linq.ExtensionDataContext and Product to AbstractExtensionObject for product dynamic properties support.

Image 8

Step 9: Configure ProductManagement data context into web.config of Web project and App.config of Tests project with setting connectionStringName to Global which means that it uses the connection string named "Global" for database connection.

Image 9

Step 10: As product properties are maintainable at runtime, we need to create an installer to setup metadata type for product when the application started.

Image 10

Step 11: Let's start to implement product category management. We create an ascx template for product category detail panel first as follows. As product category integrates RapidWebDev concrete model, actually we can copy from Templates\Platform\ConcreteData.ascx and do modification.

Image 11

Step 12: Then create a dynamic page configuration ProductCategoryManagement.dp.xml. Actually it's copied and modified from Spring\DynamicPage\Membership\ConcreteDataManagement.dp.xml as well.

Image 12

Step 13: Then implement product management. As product category, we still create an ascx template for product detail panel first.

Image 13

Step 14: Implement aggregate panel, detail panel and dynamic page interfaces for Product as following screenshot.

Image 14

Step 15: Configure the dynamic page for product management in the last step.

Image 15

Then compile the solution and launch the web application. We see the logon page shows up:

Image 16

Logon with user=admin and password=password1 and get the system main page with navigation menu:

Image 17


Surely, if we need to deploy the solution to our customers, we may have to replace the background image of logon page, logo and license information of the system main page, even rename the solution file name. But as you see, we don't do much work on development really. I created this sample application in only 4 hours. But it should be less than 2 working days for a RapidWebDev new guy.

What's RapidWebDev

Official Website:

RapidWebDev is an infrastructure that helps engineers to develop enterprise software solutions in Microsoft .NET easily and productively. It consists of an extendable and maintainable web system architecture with a suite of generic business model, APIs and services as fundamental functionalities needed in development for almost all business solutions. So when engineers develop solutions in RapidWebDev, they can have a lot of reusable and ready things then they can more focus on business logics implementation. In practice, we can save more than 50% time on developing a high quality and performance business solution than traditional ASP.NET development.

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This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The GNU General Public License (GPLv3)


About the Author

President TCWH
China China
I've worked as a software architect and developer based on Microsoft .NET framework and web technology since 2002, having rich experience on SaaS, multiple-tier web system and website development. I've devoted into open source project development since 2003, and have created 3 main projects including DataQuicker (ORM), ExcelQuicker (Excel Report Generator), and RapidWebDev (Enterprise-level CMS)

I worked in BenQ (8 mo), Bleum (4 mo), Newegg (1 mo), Microsoft (3 yr) and Autodesk (5 yr) before 2012. Now I own a startup company in Shanghai China to deliver the exceptional results to global internet users by leveraging the power of Internet and the local excellence.

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Posted 28 Feb 2010


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