Web Developer 2008

CIOL Bureau
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NEW DELHI, INDIA : In this article, we will be discussing what new we can do with Web Developer 2008, which is one of the components of Visual Studio 2008. The new .NET 3.5 framework ships with Visual Studio 2008 and even with Web Developer 2008.


The good thing about this framework is its out-of-the box support for ASP.NET AJAX, which was previously not there . Along with that it has enhanced support for Language Integrated Query i.e. LINQ. Iit also includes intellesense support for Visual Studio 2008 and in Web Developer for ECMAScript i.e. JScripts. Apart from these new server controls, types and client-side scripts are also added to help you in building AJAX enabled websites. A whole new merge tool is added which merges precompiled assemblies for deployment and release management. With the webpage design window of the latest release, you can work in source-view, design-view or even split-view in which you can view the source code and design on the same window.

Here, we will show two different things that one can do with: by using the multi-targeting option and the 'List View' control in the .NET 3.5 framework and Web Developer 2008 component.

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Applies To: ASP.NET developer

NET 3.5 framework and Multi target

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Using the multi-targeting option a developer can customize his/her applications to run on a specific .NET framework version. For example, if you are going to deploy a Web project on a server, which supports.NET 2.0 only then Web Developer 2008 provides you with an option using which you can build your website specifically for .NET 2.0 framework. Further during the development of your website it won't show the control which does not have .NET 2.0 support; the IDE will automatically update its compilers and feature set, hence saving you from the trouble of choosing the right control.

To understand how to specify which .NET framework should be used, let's consider an example: Click on the File > New website, then select the ASP.NET website templates, select which language you will be using and specify the name of the website. Let the name be 'demo1' and then click on the 'Ok' button. As the default layout of the new website gets loaded, right-click on the root folder which you can find under the 'Solution explorer' window of the 'demo1' website and select the option 'property pages'. You can even simply go to the View menu and then select the 'property pages' option. This will open a new window; on the left you can view three different options: References, Build and Start options. Select the Build option, there you will find the 'Target Framework' option, now specify the framework version you want to use and click on 'Ok'. Finally your IDE is ready to be used in your desired framework. Moreover, if you go to 'Add references' under the website menu, you will notice that .NET class assemblies which are not supported by the current framework will be greyed.

With the new .NET 3.5 framework, you also get support for Web protocol to build WCF services like AJAX, RSS, REST etc.

List View in .NET 3.5

First question, which comes to everyone's mind is that why to use List-view to display data from the database if there is already a control called Data grid to do so? Well, the reason is that using the List-view control you can control the layout of the data that will be displayed on your webpage. It can also be described as a mixture of data grid control and repeater.

For implementing the List-view control, build a new ASP.NET website as specified earlier. Now drag and drop the list view control on to your webpage, which will be found under the Data section from the Toolbox. Select the List View from the design view of your web page; expand the list view for more option. From the 'Choose Data Source' drop-down text box select the 'New Data Source' option. In the 'Choose data type' window select 'Database' and specify an ID for the data source. In the next step, specify which connection List-view should use. If you don't have one then click on the 'New Connection' button, the 'Add connection' window will pop up. Cclick on the 'Change' data source and select Oracle database and hit the 'Ok' button. Now in the server name field specify where the Oracle server is running; in our case it is the local machine, so we specify 'localhost'. In username and password field specify the necessary content and click on 'Ok' . Click on 'Next' to proceed. In the next step it asks you that whether you want to save the connection string or not. It is better to save it as it can be used later. Select the desired table and the columns you want to display in the List-view and click on the Finish button. To test your website click on 'Start Debugging', this can be found under 'debug' menu. View it in the Web browser, it will show you whole of the data in grid format, so how to change the layout? Expand the List-view option in the design-view and click on the configure List view option. A window which shows different options for configuration will open. The configuration options are: give list of layout option such as title, bulleted list, flow, etc. Another option is, i.e. 'Enable paging', if you've large amount of data which is difficult to be displayed on a single page, then with the help of this option you can break the data and display that in multiple pages. You can also notice with this new developing tool you hardly need to write any code.

WThe list view control is visible but whenever a previous framework is chosen only the controls supported by that version are displayed With the 'Enable paging' option, the date can be displayed on multiple pages rather than a single page; quite useful when you've huge amount of data to be displayed