What a hectic couple of last months we have had with the Simply Energy New Products project team. Quite a few work weekends and lots of things learned. That was our first serious test of becoming famous with the MS ASP.NET MVC framework.  It passed very well. In conjunction with the very extensive use of jquery and its various plug-ins it helped us to deliver a fast, crispy looking web site with some very intense business logic.

Particularly interesting from technical point of view were the following:

  • ASP.NET MVC + jquery may be considered a significant shift from classic ASP.NET development paradigm. It requires new skill and a fresh look at the way we develop .net based web sites.
  • By heavy use of jquery we achieved a substantial shift of business logic from server side to client side, from c# to jscript. It doesn’t look as an achievement at first sight, but in reality it is – client browser became “live” instead of being static as usually happens and this in our view dramatically improves the user experience.
  • We use a special technique to compress and gzip jscript files before delivering to the browser. According to our tests it gave size benefits up to 5 times and browser visually loads files faster. We have added a special flavour to this technique by dynamically changing urls to compressed files if there have been code changes made, thus ensuring that the only version of js browser can get is the latest.
  • jquery + ajax + json were used to deliver rich server side form validation rules to the client browser. For the user it seamlessly looks as a client validation, but in reality it’s not – the approach works very well in all cases we needed to use it in.
  • A custom RequireSSL action attribute has been developed to enforce SSL for certain pages according to the environment the web site is hosted on.
  • log4net logging framework has been used for logging instead of “MS Enterprise Libraries Logging” and we don’t regret it. We’ve had quite a few issues with Enterprise Libraries on previous projects and log4net didn’t let us down.

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