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CodeFluent Entities Roadmap: Support of the Web Platform

Our plan concerning web support in general with CodeFluent Entities have slightly changed.

The first important decision we have taken over the last months has been to not deliver a new ASP.NET “web part” producer. Although we think the technology behind ASP.NET Web Parts is absolutely great, we have been in fact quite disappointed by the general lack of interest from the worldwide community in this area.

Please note we already provide a “web part” oriented producer, the SharePoint Web Part producer. Web Parts in the SharePoint world are much more natural and standard (and somehow mandatory) so we think we add a great value here and will continue to support and enhance this producer. More on this here: SharePoint Web Parts Producer.

Now, that does not mean we do not invest in the “web” area at all. Here is a recap of what you have already in the product:

  • The generated BOM is fully compatible with ASP.NET control architecture, that allow support of DetailsView, FormView, GridView, Repeater, ObjectDatasource and other standard or 3rd party components.
  • The runtime is equipped with a number of runtime components that ease a zero-code-behind (data binding, validation, etc.), fully declarative development approach (BooleanControl, CompareControl, etc.)
  • Automatic JSON / REST support has been added to the Service Model Producer (starting with Build 603). It allows you to leverage all WCF capabilities, as well as web servers (IIS, Cassini/WebDev) zero-config features (System.ServiceModel.Activation.WebServiceHostFactory support). It also allows full mobile devices (android, iOS, Windows Phone, etc.) connectivity and interoperability support through WCF.
  • WebControls and WebSite producers shipped today can be use to easily generate backoffice/admin sites.

And for the future, our plan is to start shipping this year a brand new ASP.NET producer 2.0:

  • It will be the primary way to build backoffice/admin web sites in a mouse click.
  • It will support multiple site templates. We plan to ship 3 initial templates:
    • Ajax (JQuery + JqGrid + Json/Rest),
    • ASP.NET WebForms.
  • JSON and REST technologies will be automatically supported quite easily, with the help of new Service Object Model producer JSON features (this will be demonstrated with the Ajax template).
  • We will add a meta object model to the runtime assembly to be able to manipulate BOM entities at runtime. Early versions of these classes are shipped starting with build 603 (ProjectDescriptor, EntityDescriptor, etc.).
  • We will add entity-oriented web controls to the runtime web assembly to facilitate web developments. Early versions of these classes are shipped starting with build 603 (EntityDataSource, EntityDropDownList, etc.).
  • It will also supports Platform Independent Forms (PIF). PIF is a technology we have introduced in CodeFluent Entities with the SharePoint Web Part Producer, and enhanced recently. The Modeler supports the creation and modification of PI forms. The new web producer will generate ASP.NET artifacts (.ascx) from these.

Concerning the WebSite, and WebControls producers that are shipped today, they are considered obsolete but still can be used. To be more precise:

  • We will fix reported bugs (unexpected exceptions thrown at model, or generation or runtime).
  • we don’t add any feature to those
  • when the ASP.NET producer V2.0 will be available, we will continue to ship the former one during 1 year, after that, it will be removed from the product.
    Please note the WebService V1 (ASMX) producer is also considered obsolete (for actually quite a time). We recommend our users to use the Service Object Model producer which is much more powerful, supports all CodeFluent Entities features and leverages WCF.

BTW: our roadmap (http://www.codefluententities.com/roadmap.aspx) has been updated recently, reflecting these changes.

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