Announcing Web Client bundles


For some time we’ve been all quiet on the Web Client team front. Today, we broke that silence and shipped the Contextual Autocomplete Guidance Bundle. This is the first of several new deliverables we will be releasing as part of Web Client vNext. As they ship, you’ll be able to find them in our Bundle Catalog.

autocomplete_bundle_large

We will follow up more about the strategy behind bundles in the near future. For now suffice it to say that the bundle is the product of a significant effort within Web Client to rethink how we deliver guidance. This effort is driven based on the multitude of feedback that we have received from the community and from our advisory board. 

Within this bundle you’ll find guidance on enhancing the UI responsiveness of your Web Applications through utilizing ASP.NET AJAX to provide Contextual Autocomplete functionality. This guidance is applicable for both WCSF and standard ASP.NET non-WCSF based solutions.

Using the ContextSensitiveAutocompleteExtender included in the bundle means that your application can dynamically provide users a list of suggestions that are retrieved from a web service without doing a full postback. This list is filtered based on both the characters the user has typed, and additional context gathered from other related controls on the page. The result is a more fluid experience that requires less clicking and page transitions.

Within the Autocomplete bundle, you will find the following:

  • AutoComplete QuickStart: source code to demonstrate the Contextual AutoComplete functionality
  • PostalCode Web Service: source code to demonstrate calling a web service from the AutoComplete QuickStart
  • AJAXControlToolkit.WCSFExtensions.dll: Contains the ContextSensitiveAutoCompleteExtender
  • Acceptance Tests: Manual tests that can be executed to walk you through the Quickstart functionality.
  • Documentation: Documentation explaining Autocomplete, AJAX Patterns, the Quickstart, and how to use the extender.

What you won’t find in this bundle is:

  • An MSI. The bundle ships as a simple zip with no installer required
  • A Guidance Package.
  • Dependency on CWAB, PageFlow, etc. Nothing we’re doing here is dependent on the existing factory assets.
  • Database scripts. The Quickstart mocks out the database using a serialized XML dataset.

This does not in any way we mean we won’t be creating Guidance Packages, or that CWAB is dead, by no means. As a matter of fact we are working on Guidance Packages and enhancements to CWAB as we speak. However, in order to keep the bundles simple, we’re planning to ship a separate Blocks bundle that contains enhancements to CWAB, and a separate Guidance Package bundle that contains recipes around those enhancements.

For more details on the additional bundles, check out Mike’s great post and keep checking Blaine’s blog. Also check out the Autocomplete bundle FAQ.

In summary, we’ve worked hard to design the bundle to be extremely easy to consume and evaluate. We expect you to be up and running within minutes! If you don’t believe me, go check out David’s post.

Now the disclaimer :). Because this is a new way of delivering guidance for us we expect we may still have a few hiccups and refining work to do. Don’t be bashful as all this work is for you. Please let us know what you think about the bundles, how useful they are, and how you’d like to see them evolve.

Now go download the bits here 🙂

Comments (8)

  1. Travis Laborde says:

    Web Client Bundle?  What is that?

    Isn’t the browser the web client?

  2. As you may know, p&p is in our lives to provide us (the developer community) with guidance for different

  3. I have not been blogging much recently since I have been leading the Client team here at patterns &

  4. gblock says:

    @Travis

    Bundle is a term that we are using (for now) for a small package of guidance around a specific theme. In this case the theme is Autocomplete for the bundle we just released.

    Thanks

  5. A few days ago I downloaded the last WCSF drop and I started to play again with the Guidance Package.

  6. The last 24 hrs have been a blogothon of queued overdue posts, this one is LONG overdue. With the recent

  7. We’ve been busy getting more guidance packaged up and out the door. If you haven’t been keeping up to

  8. Everyone should find one or more of the following interesting and/or useful. ASP.NET Session State Partitioning