Architecture best practise

Discussion in 'ASP .Net' started by Rich, Jun 30, 2006.

  1. Rich

    Rich Guest

    Hi,

    I would welcome any opinions on the best approach to developing a web
    app in order to meet the following requirements:

    a) the user interface can be easily styled by a graphic designer.
    b) the content pages can be embedded in other apps if needed (E.g.
    Outlook).

    My personal view (being heavily biased to ASP.Net) is to make full use
    of all the MS controls, master pages, skins & themes etc. We also
    currently use the NetAdvantage toolkit which has all the nice Ajax
    features built in.

    However, we have been given external advice (somewhat old ASP biased)
    to avoid all but the basic controls and stick to HTML where possible.
    I.e. a designer gives us what is essentially an HTML page and we hook
    the code to it.

    The other bit of somewhat odd advise was that 'web sites with
    applications behind them are old fashioned'.

    Our current web app is written in ASP.Net 1.1 and sits on top of a set
    of core business objects. It's a bit ugly looking (which is why our
    directors have sought external advise) but does what is in effect quite
    a complex job very well. I am, however, coming under presure to recode
    it as what amounts to an old ASP app using framesets and lots of pure
    HTML.

    Any thoughts, opions, suggestions welcome.

    Rich.
     
    Rich, Jun 30, 2006
    #1
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  2. Hello Rich,

    "Rich" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hi,
    >
    > I would welcome any opinions on the best approach to developing a web
    > app in order to meet the following requirements:
    >
    > a) the user interface can be easily styled by a graphic designer.
    > b) the content pages can be embedded in other apps if needed (E.g.
    > Outlook).
    >
    > My personal view (being heavily biased to ASP.Net) is to make full use
    > of all the MS controls, master pages, skins & themes etc. We also
    > currently use the NetAdvantage toolkit which has all the nice Ajax
    > features built in.
    >
    > However, we have been given external advice (somewhat old ASP biased)
    > to avoid all but the basic controls and stick to HTML where possible.
    > I.e. a designer gives us what is essentially an HTML page and we hook
    > the code to it.
    >
    > The other bit of somewhat odd advise was that 'web sites with
    > applications behind them are old fashioned'.
    >
    > Our current web app is written in ASP.Net 1.1 and sits on top of a set
    > of core business objects. It's a bit ugly looking (which is why our
    > directors have sought external advise) but does what is in effect quite
    > a complex job very well. I am, however, coming under presure to recode
    > it as what amounts to an old ASP app using framesets and lots of pure
    > HTML.
    >
    > Any thoughts, opions, suggestions welcome.
    >
    > Rich.
    >



    first thought: fire your consultants. They are idiots.

    Why do you want to hire graphic designers who cannot work within the .Net
    framework? ASP.Net pages with CodeBehinds are pretty close to pure HTML
    already. You should have no problem creating a wire-frame page in ASP.Net
    with codebehinds (the default in Visual Studio) and giving the page to a
    graphic designer.

    Graphic designers who don't know Javascript... now THAT'S old fashioned.
    These days, designers are better at Javascript programming, by an order of
    magnitude over the past, especially with the advent of
    Ajax/JSON/REST/Mashups.

    In fact, interview your consultants. Ask them about REST. Ask about
    mashups. Ask about web 2.0. If they are clueless (and it sounds like they
    would be), then can them. Even better, put together a little sting. Prep
    your managers with concerns that the consultants are feeding out of date
    information and that, if they don't mind, you'd like to find out what they
    think of some modern technologies. Bring articles from CIO and Business
    Week on web 2.0. Then set the consultants up in a meeting with your bosses.
    Ask them about these things.

    That should end the discussion.

    Your consultants are fools.

    BTW: ASP.Net pages can easily be hosted in Outlook.

    --
    --- Nick Malik [Microsoft]
    Enterprise Architect
    MCSD, CFPS, Certified Scrummaster
    http://blogs.msdn.com/nickmalik

    Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this forum are my own, and not
    representative of my employer.
    I do not answer questions on behalf of my employer. I'm just a
    programmer helping programmers.
    --
     
    Nick Malik [Microsoft], Jun 30, 2006
    #2
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  3. Rich

    Rich Guest

    Nick,

    Thanks for the reply.
    My thoughts entirely! (although I couldn't possibly use the word 'fool'
    in connection with friends of the boss of course).
     
    Rich, Jun 30, 2006
    #3
  4. Rich

    Rich Guest

    An update...

    Our directors have been convinced to farm out our web development to an
    external company. Although it's a weight off my back (sparse
    requirements documentation and short timescales) the example of how it
    is now going to be implemented took me back to the eighties :(

    The new developers use (if that is the right word) classic ASP and code
    using notepad. The ASP page itself is pure 100% VBScript (no markup)
    and any HTML is templated in a separate text file. The page loads the
    template into a string and substitutes values in place of tokens and
    then does a response.write. Localization? - simple just substitute
    different values in the script (case statements). Folder secuirty? -
    what's that all about? Events? - What?

    The notion is, apparently, that the UI should be completely separate
    from the code (ASP.Net?) so that HTML designers can specify and amend
    it. I threw in references to Ajax, REST, Mashups and Framesets and got
    dismissive blank looks - except for framsets which are obviously the
    future :)

    The interesting thing will be seing how they will interface a VBScript
    into our object model which is pure .NET. Something tells me a set of
    COM wrappers is going to be requested - yuk!

    Rich.
     
    Rich, Jul 10, 2006
    #4
  5. i'm sure they will get it to work. and that's what keeps programmers
    employed - maintenance!

    --
    ________________________
    Warm regards,
    Alvin Bruney [MVP ASP.NET]

    [Shameless Author plug]
    Professional VSTO.NET - Wrox/Wiley
    The O.W.C. Black Book with .NET
    www.lulu.com/owc, Amazon
    Blog: http://www.msmvps.com/blogs/alvin
    -------------------------------------------------------


    "Rich" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > An update...
    >
    > Our directors have been convinced to farm out our web development to an
    > external company. Although it's a weight off my back (sparse
    > requirements documentation and short timescales) the example of how it
    > is now going to be implemented took me back to the eighties :(
    >
    > The new developers use (if that is the right word) classic ASP and code
    > using notepad. The ASP page itself is pure 100% VBScript (no markup)
    > and any HTML is templated in a separate text file. The page loads the
    > template into a string and substitutes values in place of tokens and
    > then does a response.write. Localization? - simple just substitute
    > different values in the script (case statements). Folder secuirty? -
    > what's that all about? Events? - What?
    >
    > The notion is, apparently, that the UI should be completely separate
    > from the code (ASP.Net?) so that HTML designers can specify and amend
    > it. I threw in references to Ajax, REST, Mashups and Framesets and got
    > dismissive blank looks - except for framsets which are obviously the
    > future :)
    >
    > The interesting thing will be seing how they will interface a VBScript
    > into our object model which is pure .NET. Something tells me a set of
    > COM wrappers is going to be requested - yuk!
    >
    > Rich.
    >
     
    Alvin Bruney [MVP], Jul 11, 2006
    #5
  6. "Rich" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > An update...
    >
    > Our directors have been convinced to farm out our web development to an
    > external company. Although it's a weight off my back (sparse
    > requirements documentation and short timescales) the example of how it
    > is now going to be implemented took me back to the eighties :(
    >
    > The new developers use (if that is the right word) classic ASP and code
    > using notepad. The ASP page itself is pure 100% VBScript (no markup)
    > and any HTML is templated in a separate text file. The page loads the
    > template into a string and substitutes values in place of tokens and
    > then does a response.write. Localization? - simple just substitute
    > different values in the script (case statements). Folder secuirty? -
    > what's that all about? Events? - What?
    >
    > The notion is, apparently, that the UI should be completely separate
    > from the code (ASP.Net?) so that HTML designers can specify and amend
    > it. I threw in references to Ajax, REST, Mashups and Framesets and got
    > dismissive blank looks - except for framsets which are obviously the
    > future :)
    >
    > The interesting thing will be seing how they will interface a VBScript
    > into our object model which is pure .NET. Something tells me a set of
    > COM wrappers is going to be requested - yuk!
    >
    > Rich.
    >


    The thing that worries me, Rich, is that your directors have lost faith in
    members of your team to solve their technology problems in a reliable and
    speedy manner. They bought this story because they didn't have a compelling
    internal story to use instead. They couldn't believe that their in-house
    folks were more 'expert' than the outside 'experts' that they hired.

    So... bigger problem than ASP Classic with templated HTML: what are you
    going to do to restore trust, faith, and confidence in you and members of
    your team? What can you do to make your manager look like an eagle and not
    a turkey?. Screw the code. That doesn't matter. What matters: have you
    /earned/ the respect of your management? If not, why not? Chart a course.
    Make a plan. Then follow it. Destination: earned respect.

    --
    --- Nick Malik [Microsoft]
    MCSD, CFPS, Certified Scrummaster
    http://blogs.msdn.com/nickmalik

    Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this forum are my own, and not
    representative of my employer.
    I do not answer questions on behalf of my employer. I'm just a
    programmer helping programmers.
    --
     
    Nick Malik [Microsoft], Jul 11, 2006
    #6
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