My talk on ASP.NET and modern web development

On 18th January I was speaking in an HTML5 seminar arranged by Microsoft Finland (agenda in Finnish). Although my presentation was in Finnish, you can find a short link-annotated recap of the presentation – and links to the material – here.

The material (partly in Finnish)

I also demoed WebSockets and SignalR using Microsoft’s demos from the //build conference. Paul Batum has a detailed blog post on those demos. The demos themselves are available on GitHub.

The presentation was recorded and will be available on YouTube. I’ll update this blog post with the link once the video is out.

A short recap of the presentation

I started by reminding the audience that ASP.NET is no longer equal to Web Forms, and the pain points regarding web forms are largely no more. After that, I went on to discuss the fact that HTML5 and CSS3 aren’t really server-side features, and no server-side feature can greatly affect the effort of building HTML5 apps.

imageWith that said, it was time for the first demos. I pulled up the Demo #1 (Html5DemoApp2.sln), containing a customer info form. I pointed out that MVC3, using client-side validation, already uses HTML5 data attributes to convey the validation criteria and messages. To enhance the HTML5 experience, I pulled HTML5 Editor templates from NuGet, enhancing the form with HTML5 input types. This was demoed with Firefox validating the email field properly, as well as Opera rendering the birthday field as a datepicker.

Moving on, I started talking about passing data from the server to JavaScript – a topic generally considered surprisingly difficult. I first showed Demo #2 (Html5DemoApp3.sln) with a simple ASP.NET action method returning a JSON representation of three customers, showing the JavaScript needed to render this data to the page. Then, I took a quick dive into OData, and showed how develop a customers-returning API.

imageThe last segment of the session was all about fast communication between the client and the server. I showed a few slides presenting polling, long polling and finally, WebSockets. I then went on – with some mandatory demo effects! – to show how to build a simple chat application using IIS 8 and Visual Studio 11. Further on, I discussed how the abstraction level of websocket communications can be raised by leveraging the SignalR library.

For the conclusion, I reminded the audience that Microsoft developers can no longer afford to live in their private closed confines. Microsoft has opened up by supporting open source endeavors and open protocols, and developers should follow suit. Building HTML5 applications with .NET is in fact very easy – as far as the server platform can help you, the Redmondian stack pretty much does it.

January 20, 2012 · Jouni Heikniemi · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Web

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