Category: Custom controls

Silverlight at the end of the tunnel!

Don’t let the GUI get you down…

The problem with really complicated websites, is that the interface of a standard HTML based website really lets you down.

We are designing around a very powerful and very scaleable database design. In many ways it is like an Amazon-style database, but with it’s own unique twists.

The requirements for editing content on work well enough in our Site Manager, which is a full-blown Windows application with drag-drop, cut & paste etc, but trying to make the data entry usable on a website is a struggle with established technology. Even our favorite combination of ASP.NET with AJAX still feels sluggish and like we are trapped in the 90′s.

All about timing…

Just last month, Microsoft has released their Azure platform (Microsoft’s cloud computing option). This gives us the massive processing and storage potential we have been waiting for, without having to switch from our prefered C#/.Net combination to Python or another language.

Microsoft’s answer to flash, Silverlight, is now in a stable usuable state with the release of Silverlight 2. The power of Silverlight is in putting desktop-app functionality into a web-browser. The down-side is Silverlight’s current browser support (only about 4 main browsers can run it as of this writing).

What now?

Now we have the necessary “possibilities” covered, we are currently buried up to our necks in Silverlight reference materials and code samples to see how practical it is to turn our crazy ideas into reality.

We can’t find the exact third-party controls we need for, but we have seen enough of what is possible with Silverlight to know we can build our own… One component in particular that we are building for will have such broad appeal that we will likely offer it as a component for other developers. That one should appear publicly in the next few weeks.

Anyway, as I like to say, that website won’t write itself, so I must get back to cutting code.

Keep a lookup for new announcements from us over the Xmas period!

Free Krypton Toolkit!

A complete set of Free .Net user controls

If you work with .Net and want to develop professional and “really cool looking” user interfaces, give the Krypton Toolkit a try.

We now use it as standard in all our .Net Windows applications to give that extra touch of magic!

Free user controls for Windows Forms

The Krypton toolkit provides a huge set of controls that you can simply drag and drop into your own .Net Windows applications. Features include:

  • Free for commercial use
  • Source code available
  • Full documentation
  • Sample code included
  • Office 2007 palettes
  • Create your own color palettes

WordPress Themes