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WinDev Forum
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Peter Holemans, Allard, Ericus, Arie, PETER ZHOU

Using asp.net and webdev 21

Startbeitrag von PETER ZHOU am 12.02.2017 05:44


Anyone can provide some summary points between these 2 development platform?




Hi Peter,

There's a lot to talk about when comparing both but the baseline is that they're two things of a complete different league...
In short:

  • Webdev is stuck at the level of the first versions of ASP.Net in the early 2000's. Let me explain: ASP.Net started of with ASP.Net forms. A way of developing web pages and sites according to a paradigm that easily was understood by classic Windows (Forms) developers. Soon it proved that this gave way too little control over the generated HTML and the speed of adapting to new standards, frameworks and paradigms. Although ASP.NET forms are still fully supported by Microsoft, this road was abandoned mostly by the mid 2000's in favour of more modern and more flexible web development paradigms that allow full control over the generated html and the ease of use of external frameworks like bootstrap.
  • Microsoft open sourced its .NET (and .asp) technology in 2015 in .Net Core, including ASP.Net Core, MVC .Net Core (Model View Controller), Entity Framework .Net Core, ...
  • ASP.NET in its current form is extremely powerful and flexible which makes it also pretty complex at first to bring all the pieces together. But the main paradigm called 'Convention' over 'Configuration' means that once you learned the conventions you become very productive very fast.
  • Combining asp.net with mvc and the entity framework allows you to build a data driven web app in no time as all the scaffolding is done for you. The use of native bootstrap (and thus responsive design) is included automatically and works out of the box.
  • The use of the 'razor' syntax is something really powerful as it let's you mix and match html with C#.
  • Front-end development can easily be segregated to have it developed by a front-end expert while focusing on the backend logic. Something that is nearly impossible in WebDev as it tries to imitate old-style windows forms development and tries the developer to be an expert in everything (which is impossible these days).
  • WebDev is very proprietary with limited control over the generated html and the use of its own closed proprietary js libraries used for loopers, tables, etc... This makes it near to impossible to program against them out of javascript. Something that is certainly not the case with asp.
  • You'll find millions of resources, add-ons, templates, ... on the subject compared to almost none for WebDev
  • NuGet is an immense and wonderful resource base that integrates from within the IDE (Visual Studio). (=GitHub of .Net)
  • .Net Core is multi-platform
  • Integrates perfectly with Azure (Windows & Linux)
  • The fact that the main website of PCSoft is not built with WebDev tells me enough
  • I can continue for a while if you want...

ASP.NET has a pretty steep learning curve in the beginning but hey, see it as brain gymnastics. You'll certainly see the benefits of an open, widely used platform with millions of resources later on compared to a closed proprietary platform that lacks control on the generated pages/html and inclusion of standardized frameworks like bootstrap. PCSoft is trying to develop a proprietary bootstrap clone themselves into a half-baked 'responsive design' template instead of reusing or hooking into the global standard itself.

If you want to have a (simplified and very accessible) taste of what asp.net in combination with MVC or the entity framework can do for you I can recommend these books and resources:

Disclaimer: As I stated in an earlier post, we're currently actively abandoning WebDev and WinDev Mobile but will continue to use WinDev for specific solutions where it really can shine from time to time.

If you just want to have a simple database driven development platform that can produce native applications for Windows, OSX, iOS and some web you may look as well at FileMaker as an alternative for WB/WM.

Just my insights of course...


Peter Holemans

von Peter Holemans - am 13.02.2017 12:34
Great story Peter and I totally agree.

I will not leave WB directly, since it does it's job in most of the smaller projects I have.

But I already decided to use ASP.NET for one of my next new projects. As you said, the learning curve will be the biggest challenge to overcome. I guess you prefer MVC over webforms?

I'd like to add the SyncFusion controls which are available in a free community license too, like Visual Studio itself. You will get a ton of controls from a simple editbox to a scheduler control and more, like a complete report platform. Have a look at their demos and you will be blown away.

BTW this topic is not synced to the official pcsoft forum, which is not so strange of course. Most probably we are marked as bad guys in their CRM now :eek:

von Arie - am 14.02.2017 10:35
Hallo Peter/Arie

Is there a way to combine ASP.NET and Webdev i.e. import a .NET assembly and work with it?

I am also trying to utilise the Syncfusion components from within WebDev but I tried JavaScript. I could display the spreadsheet control but cannot populate it with data received via a webservice call.

Thanks in advance

Ericus Steyn

von Ericus - am 31.08.2017 14:28
Hi Ericus,

I wish you all the luck, but it's imho like trying to make an airplane out of a boat.

I guess getting something like that to work will take the same amount of time as learning asp.net core (with mvc and ef) and out of the box front end components like the ones from Syncfusion or Telerik or any other provider. If you look at the C# asp samples you'll see that the (open) engine does the binding of the data in the view source code (.cshtml) using the razor syntax. I don't think you can simply translate this behaviour to the black box page generator engine of WB.

And then there's the worst part: you are completely on your own...
No support from PCSoft, nor from this community as it'll be likely you're the only one that's trying to achieve this kind of stuff and no guarantee it will work with any WB update PCS comes up within the future and for which there are no workarounds because its internals are as fortified and closed as Alcatraz once was.

If you want to do something in asp.net core (mvc) you could jumpstart to the illimited free courses you can find on the web.
Close to the source is the one from Microsoft called Channel 9: asp.net core learning path
But if you look around you'll find many other stuff...
asp.net landing page

Recently got a real good view on html5 and css3 from one of the courses of Bob Tabor (from www.devu.com).
You can find many of his courses as well on Channel 9 here .

The html5 and css3 course can be found here .

A basic understanding of this will become more and more important as future fat client gui's are moving to html5 and css3 as well (look at Windows Universal Applications) as it is already the case for many mobile app gui's behind the scenes.

I'm not sure it is an option or something you may want to do to get a fully working spreadsheet control into your website but it might give you a starting point should you consider it.

Just my 2 cents,

Peter Holemans

von Peter Holemans - am 31.08.2017 16:12

Hmm I think webdev is great and not comparable with filemaker at all !!! Webdev can be setup to be used by thousands of users Filemaker (500 )and you have to purchase them!!!

SyncFusion controls can be added with the new control. ( version 22) Then with jsontovariant an variant to json communication can be setup.
Adding a control like the gant chart is very easy. However I have not spent a lot of time on the rest , haha but prospects are great.
I think pcsoft has done a great thing by adding this kind of functionality. Not adding extra fancy native controls but adding a way to tap into the opensource world. And If your revenue is under 1 million then SyncFusion controls are FREE!!
Do your coding in easy wlanguage and Leave Front office to the experts. This way of working opens the way of adding your own API as well . Since you are coding in 3 tier way.

For me it is important to get things done quickly. I have to have a big advantage on competition. Webdev is great. The SCM is great ,deployment is fantastic !! I spent quite some time on it to figger out how to get the VPS and webdev etc. running and it is great. For instants adding stuff to a running site etc. etc.
But I guess it all depends on what you need to build. ASp has way more control but I do not need that. I takes a huge lurning curve . I do not need that .
And a lot of people do not need that as well. Look at the upcoming low code platforms, there almost everything but the business logic is managed by the platform. But in return they can make apps in days !!

I think webdev is nicely positioned in between full control and low code . And for me it works.


von Allard - am 03.09.2017 22:30
Hey Allard,

It looks like you can help Ericus.
Here's his original question:
Ericus Steyn
Hallo Peter/Arie

Is there a way to combine ASP.NET and Webdev i.e. import a .NET assembly and work with it?

I am also trying to utilise the Syncfusion components from within WebDev but I tried JavaScript. I could display the spreadsheet control but cannot populate it with data received via a webservice call.

Thanks in advance

Ericus Steyn

He tries to integrate the Syncfusion components with WebDev. More specifically the Spreadsheet Control. Based on your explanation this must be something you have already easily achieved in WebDev or that at least must be piece of cake when reading your comments. Although I'm integrating these controls in asp .net core currently which works like a charm I would still be interested in how easy it is in WebDev to integrate and bind e.g. the spreadsheet control to backend data, utilising all the control methods and events and keeping in mind as well that you have absolutely no control over the generated html in WebDev.

Looking forward to be enlightend here ;-)

I am sure Ericus can achieve something similar in WebDev to feed the spreadsheet control by getting data into the browser via a webservice call (json) or so and feeding it from there with javascript. But what's the advantage of WebDev in that case? You still will have to write additionally all your receiving event handlers and routings from scratch. I don't see it in this case but I may be missing something here that I must have overseen...

The whole asp framework for exemple allows you to bind your frontend even in rest mode (~=awp) to the model and that is also the case for the Syncfusion controls in asp mode. This can imho simply not be achieved with WebDev. Certainly not with the same ease...

Just my 2 cents,

Peter Holemans

von Peter Holemans - am 04.09.2017 19:24
Hi Peter.
- He will need version 22 . Since the control is onley available in Webdev 22. And one needs to use jsontovarriant and varianttoJson.
- Indeed the syncfusion javascript should be used

Yes you have to write event handlers.

Why Use webdev:
Well the reason why use webdev is that I onley need a view of the componants. Moast of the things I Need I have already done with native webdev. I need the ganttchart and indeed with event handlers the control need be set. Control is good enough since the Webdev control wil place the whole thing nicely into your design. With the settings in code you can control how you want the syncfusion control to be have.
Spreadsheet I think is a big challenge since it is complex.

I responded to your bashing of webdev comparing it to FileMaker. In my opinion No comparison at all.

I am willing to share stuff about the gantt chart, when Im going to work on that. For the spreadsheet an sorry I do not have time for that



von Allard - am 06.09.2017 00:06
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