what's the best way to give our customers full control of the L&F fortheir web application



We are creating a web application to be deployed to 150 of our
customers to use as an interface to our software system. The web app
needs to be completely customizable for our customers while
maintaining functionality with the system. We want customers to be
able to modify text, add headers and footers with their company
specific information (name, logo, links to their corporate website).

When we make updates to the web app (add features and functionality),
how can we deploy it to each of our 150 customers while not blowing
away any of their modifications?

Using multiple ASPX pages with their code behind would be a problem
since our users may modify the aspx pages (which would get overwritten
with an upgrade).

One solution that we've discussed is:

1. Use the single-file page model (instead of the code behind model)
and have an aspx file for each webpage with #include statements for
the header and footer markup. This would allow the customer to create
their own custom header and footer.
2. Have all formatting of web controls contained in style sheets for
the customer to use.
3. Have resx files containing all text properties of the controls.
This would provide a way for customers to modify the viewable text of
each label, error message, textbox, etc.
4. Each aspx page will use an asp.net script to load the entire body
of the page.

Is there a better solution, one that gives the customer full control
of the L&F of the web app while still allowing us to make updates and
feature enhancements?



Peter Bromberg [C# MVP]

The way I understand it, you are actually deploying 150 separate ASP.NET
applications, one at each of your customers' facilities?

What you are *kind of* describing is a CMS - Content Management System.
There are plenty of them out there, but maybe just having one application
that you host, and setting it up so that each customer can use the CMS to
customize their "views" would be a better choice.
-- Peter
Site: http://www.eggheadcafe.com
UnBlog: http://petesbloggerama.blogspot.com
Short Urls & more: http://ittyurl.net



Peter Morris

I'd go for the web extensions (MVC) approach where you set view data. At
the least your customers can modify the CSS, if they really wish they can
also alter the views.

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