New Component Suite for Windows, ASP.NET AJAX Apps

ComponentOne today released the latest version of its drag-and-drop tools suite for Windows, Web, mobile, and ASP.NET AJAX applications. ComponentOne Studio Enterprise 2007 adds four new calendar and scheduling components: Schedule for .NET, Calendar for .NET, WebSchedule for ASP.NET, and WebCalendar for ASP.NET.

Philadelphia-based ComponentOne's flagship product is one of the industry's largest sets of visual components specifically designed to extend the capabilities of Microsoft's Visual Studio 2005. Studio Enterprise targets all layers of development including data, presentation, reporting, and transformation with more than 200 components.

The new components are designed to allow developers to build an Office Outlook 2007-style scheduling application with virtually no coding, says ComponentOne's managing director Gustavo Eydelsteyn. Thanks to a built-in data layer that manages appointments and other supporting data automatically, developers are able simply to drag and drop the components onto a form, he explains.

Both the .NET and ASP.NET versions of the product include this built-in data management layer. They also support day, week, work week, and month data views in one control, Office 2007-style AutoFormats, and Outlook-style appointments with recurrence and reminders. Specific to the ASP.NET version is a rich client-side object model, no-code AJAX support, and full support for Microsoft's ASP.NET 1.0 AJAX Framework. The ComponentOne ASP.NET components are compatible with ASP.NET AJAX Extensions 1.0 and the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit, and they can be placed in ASP.NET AJAX UpdatePanel to develop ASP.NET AJAX-enabled applications without the need to understand the underlying concepts of the AJAX technique, the company says.

ComponentOne was among the first toolmakers to support ASP.NET AJAX (formerly known as ATLAS) with a server-side component, which the company released late last year. Microsoft's implementation of AJAX (asynchronous JavaScript and XML) is a free framework for building rich, interactive Web applications. It provides a set of extensions to ASP.NET 2.0 and a client-side JavaScript library for writing Web apps using AJAX techniques.

Microsoft's ASP.NET AJAX is providing the Microsoft developer community with a ready path to AJAX, says Ron Schmelzer, senior analyst and founder of ZapThink because it leverages much of the technology for asynchronous distributed computing that they already know. It also allows organizations not only to build distributed applications using browser-based technologies, but to migrate their client-server apps to a richer browser environment.

"What Microsoft brings to the table is the millions of .NET and VB developers who are very familiar with the Microsoft environment," Schmelzer says, "but need to be brought into the AJAX fold."

The new ComponentOne release includes two new features for the company's lightweight, AJAX-enabled WebGrid: banded headers, which are multilevel column headers designed to allow developers to insert a hierarchical structure within grid columns; and virtual scrolling, which is a built-in AJAX feature designed to load data from the server on demand automatically.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at [email protected].