Reviews

Review: Professional Validation and More

Professional Validation and More 2.0.1
starting at $50
PeterBlum.com
www.peterblum.com

As you all know by now, .NET is a huge undertaking. Microsoft rethought everything from compilers to languages to frameworks to the way that Web applications work when they put out .NET 1.0. So perhaps it was inevitable that some of the corners were less thought out that others.

A case in point is validation in ASP.NET applications. Don't get me wrong; the ability to apply both client- and server-side validation to Web applications has saved my bacon a few times. But Microsoft's validation controls are somewhat basic, and don't address a wide variety of scenarios. Fortuantely, there's a better way to fix this than writing your own validation code: invest some money and buy this package.

For starters, the transition from using Microsoft's controls to using PVAM is seamless. There's a utility to convert any existing pages to use the new controls, and it works. Once you have the new framework in place, you can proceed to wallow in the rich set of control choices here. Among the ones you'll find:

  • E-mail address validation
  • Data type validation
  • Difference validation (are two values within a specified distance?)
  • More flexible RegEx validation than Microsoft's
  • Credit card validation
  • Check mark validation

There is a ton more flexibility here, though, because of all the ways that things interact. For example, you can combine multiple conditions into a single error message. You can set up groups of validations that apply to different submit controls. You can change the state of page elements, on the client side, in response to user clicks (hide or show controls, for example). You can use masked input controls for integers, decimals, and currency. There's even a string-lookup system to handle localization issues.

In addition to all of this power, the documentation is fabulous, with clear installation instructions and good examples of how everything fits together. There's design mode support for both Visual Studio and WebMatrix. It took me a while to have a project that required me to deal with validation in serious depth, but now that I've tried this package I'll never go back to Microsoft's free controls for the purpose. If you're building ASP.NET applications, you owe it to your customers to take a look at this.

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy has been developing software for a quarter-century now, and writing about it for nearly as long. He walked away from a .NET development career in 2006 and has been a happy Rails user ever since. Mike blogs at A Fresh Cup.

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