Been a while

Wow, it’s been a while. I was just busy with coding work that pays the bills.

Anyway, EntityUI has been in progress also. I launched, which is a site that I built using EntityUI and its conecpts.

However, the programming world changes very quickly. Since I started on EntityUI, a lot has changed. Apparently a lot of people think about the MVVM pattern 🙂 and they have come up with some excellent tools.

We now have knockout, and it’s awesome. ASP .Net Web Forms Controls are also pretty much dead (and for good reasons), so there is no point in building a Farmework for that platform.

So what does this mean for EntityUI? Well, its absolutely not dead! It’s actually all good news. I now plan to use knockout to implement what I wanted to achieve to start with, which is Rapid Application Development.

I’m working on a C# project with knockout, jQuery and bootstrap which will be a Rapid Application Development and Deployment platform for ASP .Net. Stay tuned for some code soon!

Started project on CodePlex

The first draft of source code demonstrating how this idea will work is now published to CodePlex.

Here is the link:

Basically what it shows is that you write your class, then with a few lines of code, you can have your UI rendered! Here is the code that does renders the UI:

    ' Instantiate School Class with Events
    Protected WithEvents Departments As New EntityUI(Of Department)

    Protected Sub Page_Load(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Me.Load

        ' Example on how to use EntityUI to automatically Render Input control


    End Sub

And thats pretty much it to render UI. Of course, this is just a first draft, and it doesn’t provide full functionality, but it’s a start.

Again, basically what EntityUI does is that it goes through the Class Properties, and renders a control for you based on each Property.

Here is how it looks like when you run it:

EntityUI in action
EntityUI in action

What is EntityUI?

Welcome to EntityUI.

EntityUI is basically an idea to be able to create User Interface in ASP .Net applications using Code First approcah. I think most programmers would agree that CRUD and Basic UI Interface is the most annoying and repetitive part of application design, especially for Business Applications. It is definitely for me.

Microsoft has been trying to address this for, well, forever and they come up with semi-decent tools. They have the GridView or FormView render the UI, and the CRUD quickly gets written with SQLDataSource. It’s awesome and works really well if you are going to throw a quick page and never maintain it, but it doesn’t work so well with real applications, with a well-designed tiered framework. Then we got Dynamic Controls, and the latest effort seems to be LightSwitch. I have a different idea on how to render UI, and I believe it’s simpler as it starts with the Class the developer writes, and it will be extremely flexible.

The ideal thing for me would be to write my class, and then just say .Save or .Load or .Render, and it should happen automagically. This is the idea behind EntityUI.

I had orginally started with the Save and Load design, but then Microsoft released Entity Framework 4.1 that introduced the Code First Approach, and it somewhat takes care of the CRUD. Believe it or not, I had a very similar design in mind. Anyway, they beat me to it, and since that’s available, I wanted to start on the UI part, which will give the developers a similar tool. The way it will work is that using the properties of a class, the EntityUI Framework will create the User Interface.

I have started a project, and I will post some code shortly. Also, since I work full time, I don’t have a lot of extra to spend on this. If anyone is interested, and wants to help out, please do write to me.