Bees knees of grid controls for ASP.NET


R

Rob Nicholson

Whilst the datagrid is pretty good, we're finding it's a little too
post-back intensive for some of our applications. Having come from the
native Windows client environment, the lack of client side functionality is
something frustrating.

So what's the bees knees of grids for ASP.NET? Just about to look at Studio
Enterprise from Component One which has a lot of very interesting looking
controls. But mainly interested in grid controls.

Thanks, Rob.
 
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M

Mike Ryan

Rob,

You might want to check out Infragistics--I think a lot of folks would
vote for their grid (though all third-party components seem to have
their share of drawbacks).

Or write your own. Either way, an adventure sure to thrill. ;)

- Mike
 
S

Steven Cheng[MSFT]

Hi Rob,

The too post-back intensive of the asp.net grid control is due to the
fundamental of the web application (such as asp.net, asp , jsp...). In web
page since the clientside use webbrowser to retrieve page from remote site
and display locally, there is no persistent connection between client and
server, all communication is stateless request/response based. So generally
it's hard to make stateful interactive UI like those in winform(desktop
app). However, asp.net provide a rich form/control based programming
framework which make the web page development much eaiser and structural,
but this is done by hidden the underlying stateless request/response, so
we'll see that most of the asp.net powerful controls such as datagrid,
calendar, need to do postback to maintain the status. Also, we can use much
more clientside scripts or browser supported behaviors to make the
clientside UI more powerful(and there does exists some 3rd party controls
providing such fucntions), but this'll make the application too dependent
on the clientside enviorment, and too "POWERFUL' client side behavior(
except those that use activex or hosted winform control) is consided not
very stable. So generally the compatibility will be the most important
point for web application.

If there're any further questions or ideas, please feel free to post here.
Thanks.

Regards,

Steven Cheng
Microsoft Online Support

Get Secure! www.microsoft.com/security
(This posting is provided "AS IS", with no warranties, and confers no
rights.)
 
R

Rob Nicholson

You might want to check out Infragistics--I think a lot of folks would
vote for their grid (though all third-party components seem to have
their share of drawbacks).

Would you care to elaborate?
Or write your own. Either way, an adventure sure to thrill. ;)

Considered that :) We've used VS FlexGrid Pro in our VB applications which
is a good grid but we end up with a wrapper around it that's probably almost
as big as the control itself.

Cheers, Rob.
 
R

Rob Nicholson

The too post-back intensive of the asp.net grid control is due to the
fundamental of the web application (such as asp.net, asp , jsp...). In web

I know, that's why I'm both a fan and non-fan of web apps :) IT support for
clients want zero-footprint installation and users want easy remote access.
We want to write neat applications. This is often at odds with functionality
requirements.
on the clientside enviorment, and too "POWERFUL' client side behavior(
except those that use activex or hosted winform control) is consided not

We're tempted to go down that route - a collection of ActiveX controls or in
fact one *huge* ActiveX control which will cover the entire IE screen but
still keep server back end functions like Crystal Reports. On some of our
complex applications, the inherent simplicity of the web page interface is
too limiting.

Cheers, Rob.
 
S

Steven Cheng[MSFT]

Hi Rob,

En, Activex controls is an approach though it still depends on the client's
security setting especiall on those xp box which installed the sp2.
Anyway, "zero-footprint installation" and "poweful client side functions"
always conflict with each other, and always make the b/s based application
developers aheadache.

BTW, what about .net's smart client? Though that'll rely on the net
framework , but it really make it easier for us to publish our app through
internet and make full use of the clientside machine's local resources.

Thanks.

Regards,

Steven Cheng
Microsoft Online Support

Get Secure! www.microsoft.com/security
(This posting is provided "AS IS", with no warranties, and confers no
rights.)
 
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R

Rob Nicholson

Anyway, "zero-footprint installation" and "poweful client side functions"

Which is the catch 22 isn't it :)
BTW, what about .net's smart client? Though that'll rely on the net
framework , but it really make it easier for us to publish our app through
internet and make full use of the clientside machine's local resources.

We're keeping an eye on that technology for the future but it's not quite
there yet in terms of acceptance by IT departments.

Cheers, Rob.
 
R

Rob Nicholson

You might want to check out Infragistics--I think a lot of folks would
vote for their grid (though all third-party components seem to have
their share of drawbacks).

I've downloaded the trial version of this and had a look at the control set.
Pretty impressive at first glance. Therefore are several other controls in
the package that are also of direct interest like the tab control and the
calendar functions. For the price, it looks great value.

Cheers, Rob.
 
M

Mike Ryan

Rob,

I think that companies want to make their products look as easy to use
as possible so often their demos and sample code don't translate well to
real-world implementation, which can make our lives more difficult.

Also, I often find that third-party controls force a particular way of
doing things, which may be impractical when combined with my first point
above.

It would take me years to duplicate all the functionality of that grid.
They've done a great job and it seems to be the most feature-rich among
those I evaluated. It just feels very brittle, though, as if somebody
could throw the JavaScript switch in their browser at any time and bring
the whole thing crashing down (but I suppose that's what we accept when
clients expect Windows-style features in Web applications!).

Obviously I'm using the Web version. From your other post I think you
may be using WinForms, so only some of the above concerns would apply.

Now that you've got the trial version, maybe consider prototyping one of
your more complicated screens--I found that very useful during my
evaluation.

- Mike
 
R

Rob Nicholson

Also, I often find that third-party controls force a particular way of
doing things, which may be impractical when combined with my first point
above.

That's what we found with VSFlexGrid Pro.
It would take me years to duplicate all the functionality of that grid.

I'm sure not year :)
They've done a great job and it seems to be the most feature-rich among
those I evaluated. It just feels very brittle, though, as if somebody
could throw the JavaScript switch in their browser at any time and bring
the whole thing crashing down (but I suppose that's what we accept when
clients expect Windows-style features in Web applications!).

I understand that - web applications always feel flaky to me. I always have
a heart skip moment after filling in a huge form and pressing SUBMIT. The
page not found error is too frequent!
Obviously I'm using the Web version. From your other post I think you
may be using WinForms, so only some of the above concerns would apply.

We'll be using the web version but in the past we've used windows clients
and 3rd party controls.
Now that you've got the trial version, maybe consider prototyping one of
your more complicated screens--I found that very useful during my
evaluation.

I'm hoping to try and us it when putting together the mockup/design
document. That will allow me to try a few real-life tests.

Cheers, Rob.
 
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