Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Hello World Ajax style

For past couple of weeks i was fiddling around with a host of new technologies including ASP.NET 2.0, ASP.NET Ajax, WCF, Smart clients all due to various project requirements. Instead of fiddling around with all at once I narroed it a bit to two technologies which are making waves at the mement. Ajax and WCF.

Ajax has been in use since a long time back. I remember it using few years back. But the way it has been improving and the support it is getting from different vendors is improving day by day. So we have the Microsoft version of it which is called ASP.NET Ajax. During the earlier times people would have to code using javascript and XmlHTTP object to do asynchronous processing. That was the earlies for of Ajax.

With Ajax boom, google started with the gmail with a bang. All others follwed thereafter. Almost all the major email service providers like hotmail, rediffmail and yahoomail have implemented ajax functionalities in their web mail.

Sometime back when I started reading about Ajax I had tried the sample application which makes a call to the web service but it did not work. Recently while going through a How DO I video on site I came across a video which did the same task. And this time around by adding a attribute to the service I got my first Ajax appliaction working.

Last week I had attended a seminar at Microsoft and a representative of Infragistics had demonstrated use of a web grid which was fetching data asynchronously on paging as well as scroll of the grid. That was an indication of the things to look for in future. Almost everywhere you can hear or feel the ajax buzz. Google maps is using it extensively, you have google suggest drop down in the google bar in the browser suggesting few interesting topics for you. There is an offering similar to google maps from Microsoft which they are palnning to launch in a grand way.

Few years back I had not imagined that people would be able to make a call to webservice using client side javascript. With ajax all this is a reality. A single line of code is all that you need as compared to a page full of XmlHttp and Soap messages that were required to achieve the same with ASP 3.0.

Another release of Microsoft is the .NET Framework 3.0 which is bundeled with features like Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) and not WWF :) and finally there is cardspace. instead of me trying to explain about these fundoo names it will be better for interested folks to have a look at the following.

As far as developing next generation applications using .NET technologies and tools is concerned there is lots in store for the developers. The ever developing developer community is ready to wrasel with the WW's of the Windows :)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Smart Clients

There are too many keywords floating around these days like Ajax, WCF, WPF and many more. While I was going through the basics of ASP.NET 2.0 and Ajax something struck me unknowingly. Out of no where people around me started talking about SmartClients. As usual I dived into this genre of application development with lots of enthusiasm. With a bit of googling around I found few links which I feel like sharing with others who might be interested in knowing more about the same.

Smart clients are basically Windows applications which are deployed on a centrally located web server but can take advantages of loca resources of the client. The traditional problem of deploying a windows application on each and every cleint is overcome using this methodology. Any updates to the application are deployed on the server and the cleint can update itself. Visual studio 2005 has built in support for this type of deployment model which they call ClickOnce deployment.

Among many other benifits that the smart clients offer is the offline databases which allows occasinally connected clients to sync up with the centralised database server. So without wasting too much of blog space here are few links that I found interesting

Looks like I have got at least week filled with lots of reading and hands on things to become bit smart at developing smart clients :)

Till I start showing off my smartness, happy programming and as always hope this is of some help.