Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Developing With Web App Factory

User feedback has brought about further enhancements to the Web App Factory code generator project for ASP.NET/AJAX available with Code On Time generator.

  • Code generation of a Web App Factory project will now conclude with an automatic rebuild of the solution.
  • If the solution has been rebuilt successfully then the project home page will be loaded in the default web browser.
  • If the solution has failed to compile then Visual Studio/Visual Web Developer Express will be started. The project will be automatically rebuild to show the error messages in IDE of your development tool.
  • Similar sequence of “rebuild and start a browser if success” or “rebuild and show Visual Studio if failure” is executed when user selects browse action next to the project name on the start page of the code generator.

The change will significantly simplify development when code formulas, code expressions, and custom code is incorporated in the project. If an error is introduced then there will be no way of missing the problem thanks to the latest enhancements.

Web App Factory projects are implemented as a solution with a class library and web application project. Changes to themes, new code files, changes in the target .NET Framework of the project, and other such modifications may result in erroneous references in the solution and project files.

The code generator will frequently try to preserve the previous changes making an assumption that user will take care of correcting any inconsistencies. The effort is made to pick up any new files in the project folders to update the solution projects. If you are well under way in your development process then there should be few situations when such updating of the project files will cause problems. The new compilation mode will automate the detection of problems and will not mask them by launching the website with the last known “good” build of the application, which was happening in the previous releases of the code generator.

If you would like to try various features of the code generator then a sample Web Site Factory project may be a better choice than Web App Factory project. Web Site Factory projects do not require a project file and are easily handling changes to the project configuration.

We recommend creating Web Site Factory projects unless a solution with web application project is requirement. Both, Web Site Factory and Web App Factory produce functionally identical web applications.

Bug Fixes

Several fixes were introduced to correct the following issues:

  • Business Objects were generated with compilation errors when the first field of the primary key is string and the number of fields in the corresponding table was less or equal to four.
  • Symbol “single quote” in navigation menu title or description was causing the runtime error which led to the failure of the page to render correctly.
  • Auto Complete lookup style has been failing to render when lookup field has the type of “String” and there is no alias field.
  • Web App Factory projects failed to compile when a dedicated login page has been enabled.
  • User Name and User ID lookup styles were not working.
  • “Read Roles” defined on a field level in Designer Spreadsheet were not transferred to the baseline application .
  • Lookup details were not working with Web App Factory projects.

Web App Factory projects can be deployed to Windows 2008 servers without any known issues.

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