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It takes a short overview of Microsoft development tools and platforms evolvement in order to demonstrate the importance of supporting Web Forms development for ASP.NET Ajax with HTML5 enhancements. In an article that Todd Anglin publishes in Redmond Developers, under the title "Silverlight: What Web Forms Wanted to Be", Todd says that ASP.NET was supposed to be Web Forms. A framework that meant to duplicate VB6 ease of development or rather its more mature successor Window Forms. Asp.Net was expected to deliver this simple and easy development paradigm for web. But it failed, Microsoft could not reproduce stateful based development paradigm for a stateless environment. Years later Microsoft rolled out Silverlight that is really another trial to come up with Web Forms paradigm for website development. Todd says in his article " Silverlight is what Web Forms wanted to be, a stateful application development model that can be deployed and updated as easily as traditional Web sites. Unencumbered by the limits of stateless pages, developing for Silverlight finally achieves what ViewState could not: It allows traditional desktop application developers to reuse their skills and development patterns for applications that can be deployed with no installation, save for the Silverlight plug-in"

However, Silverlight does not seem to deliver as well, for 3, main reasons: it is propriety plug-in that enterprises hesitate to opt in for. It did not really maintain the classic state full development, and it did present a learning curve for the VB6 and WinForms developers. HTML5 is hitting faster and stronger than expected with its cross browsers, open approach and the support of world leaders: such as Google, Apple and now Microsoft and Adobe.

Todd says "Microsoft envisioned a world in 2002 where developing for the Web and Windows would be indistinguishable. Windows Forms and Web Forms tried to present a uniform approach, but ultimately Web Forms was bound by the limits of the Web and the vision was never fully realized."

Microsoft did make a huge step with Silverlight toward realization of the concept, but HTML5 takes it back to square one and to ASP.NET as a platform that target HTML.

And here is where Visual WebGui presents its value. VWG takes a different approach all together. It virtualizes Dot.Net code atop ASP.NET server, and by doing that, it provides 2 major achievements: In design time it enables the VB6 and WinForms classic development paradigm AS IS for ASP.NET Ajax, as Web Forms based development, with no learning curve for Microsoft core developers. In run time it enables again AS IS desktop richness and experience atop ASP.NET that turns ASP.NET Ajax into Rich Internet Application (RIA), deployed in a plain (plug-in free) cross browser environment and now with HTML5 frontend.

The outcome is the Web Form experience that Microsoft was trying to deliver with ASP.NET and later with Silverlight BUT IN A PLAIN HTML5 BASED BROWSER, with Silverlight-like rich user experience. This makes ASP.NET extension, Visual WebGui the first Microsoft shop solution to support stateful Web Form experience for HTML5. Very soon, developers will use the same drag & drop, stateful and event driven development paradigms of VWG to build perfect ASP.NET based data centric apps using HTML5 frontend for both desktop browsers and mobile browsers.

And what HTML5 features Visual WebGui is going to support?  Among HTML5’s features and capabilities which VWG is about to support are further UI and behaviors flexibilities, Canvas, SVG and additional boost utilizing the local-storage
Some examples:

  • Utilizing a HTML5’s Canvas element which enables client side manipulation on images and client drawing simply by dragging the Canvas control onto the form and hooking-up to its events. Streamlined according to VWG’s concepts, you will of course be able to choose whether to handle events on the client side or on the server. Providing full jQuery support for those client scripting
  • VWG will enable the usage of the events bound scalable vector graphics (SVG) by dragging an SVG element to the Form and manipulating it through Object Oriented code or direct HTML5 tags & attributes. Events will be handled either by the server or by the client according to the developer’s choice.
  • Native HTML5 Audio, Video and media elements will be drag-able to the Form, controlled through Object Oriented code and events or directly customized using standard HTML5 tags & attributes, jQuery and JavaScript.
  • HTML5 new form field types such as Required Text, Email, Range, Date, Search, Tel, Meter etc will be added to the list of available controls. Those controls will inherit VWG efficiency at runtime and at the same time they will enrich and enhance the interactivity of the application.
  • Full complementing support for CSS 3 such as Border Radiuses, HSLA, Opacity and others will be present through the theme designer. Transitions and Animations will be controllable through Object Oriented code or direct HTML5 tags & attributes.
  • Improved drag & drop experience utilizing the newest HTML5 drag & drop concepts.
Posted on Sunday, November 14, 2010 7:38 PM Ajax framework new releases , Web Development , Open Source Community | Back to top


Comments on this post: ASP.NET Ajax will not be left behind the HTML5 rush

# re: ASP.NET Ajax will not be left behind the HTML5 rush
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Visual WebGui is a mature development and deployment paradigm, completely derived from the .NET visual development of drag & drop and event driven (which is an evolution of VB6), coding only object oriented .NET code. Using Visual WebGui the developer does not mess with JavaScript, AJAX, multi-browser support, different CSS versions, multi HTML standards and the endless considerations on where a piece of code should be executed on an A-sync, Stateless environment with lots of latency issues.

Visual WebGui took care of all of that for the developer, providing a data centric targeted environment with proven x10 runtime performance comparing to ASP.NET and other web technologies.

Its essence is a server centric deployment and the browser only renders the UI, providing the highest level of security since it's all on the server. The security level was proven to be unhackable in a highly communicated, 4 months hacking challenge!

With the state-full nature of it, you simply develop, and you don't need to mess with stateless related issues... just like you develop apps for the desktop, all the components are there... Surprisingly enough, it’s even more scalable then standard web, supporting many hundreds of users per single server and up-scales easily to a web farm.

The fact is that a very large number (>35,000) of multi screens complex, data centric application were coded using this framework saving up to 90% of the initially budgeted project which was based on other verity of web development platforms including PHP (real market feedbacks).

Don't use it to develop websites, editors, media/streaming and games but it's certainly the best platform out there for enterprise application development.
Left by Itzik Spitzen on Nov 16, 2010 6:17 PM

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