Jef Claes

On software and life

15 Feb 2010

Webforms lessons learned the hard way (Part 2)

If you missed part 1, you can find it here.

Use the built-in goodies

ASP.NET Webforms has a lot of good stuff built into it. Do your homework before you start building the next big Webforms thing! A perfect example of this is ASP.NET Membership. ASP.NET provides an out-of-box membership solution. I’ve seen people who were to lazy to do some research or thought they could do better and ended up with a solution which put its doors wide open to people with bad intentions.

When a feature doesn’t exactly match your needs, try extending it. The ASP.NET team are artists as it comes to writing solid extensible frameworks. I’d like to point to ASP.NET Membership again. You can write your own provider which integrates with ASP.NET seamlessly.

Move as much as possible away from your page

Separating the domain and persistence away from your presentation logic positively affects the quality of your page and code-behind in so many ways.

One of the big drawbacks of Webforms is that testing your pages isn’t easy. That’s why it’s important to keep the quantity of code in the code-behind as low as possible. Code outside your presentation logic can easily be covered using unittests.

Dividing your web application in multiple layers also makes the code in the page and page-behind easier to grasp (encapsulation etc..).

Let others do it for you

Because most of the ASP.NET Server controls are easy to extend, there a lot of third party control vendors out there.

I’ve only been using the Telerik RadControls for a few months now, and using this control suite, made my life so much easier.1000$ might look like a big investment, but you can’t believe how many time it has saved me. Especially the RadGrid control is a great time-saver. Binding a list of objects to a RadGrid, and finding out sorting, paging,.. just works is awesome.

What are some of your Webforms lessons learned the hard way?