BUILD Conference: Windows 8 and HTML 5 does not effect your ASP.NET #bldwin

16 September 2011

DevExpress @ Build

HTML 5 in Windows 8 will not effect your ASP.NET development. Why?

ASP.NET == Web Server

ASP.NET is a server technology. ASP.NET gives you the broadest reach by creating HTML websites that can be viewed on any platform or device that has a web browser.

HTML 5 on Windows 8 == Client

The new Metro UI for Windows 8 looks very slick for tablet devices. Not only can you write apps for it using traditional client languages, but you can also write those apps in HTML 5 + JavaScript. Those apps use the WinRT run-time to take advantage of the local device resources such as the camera, and you get that slick Windows 8 Metro UI look automatically.

Even though the app may be written in HTML 5 + JavaScript, since it uses the WinRT run-time, it will only run on a Windows 8 machine. It is a true client app, not a browser app.

So if you're on ASP.NET now then have no fear because Windows 8 does not really affect you. Instead, it's an added bonus that you can use your skills as a web developer to make native Windows 8 apps using HTML 5 and JavaScript. Or ASP.NET to make slick websites.


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10 comment(s)
Mateus Lopes

Affects only silverlight and WPF.

Is it only me who did not like it?

16 September, 2011
Sigurd Decroos

Sorry to say, I'm happy I haven't invested a lot of time in WPF and SL. I prefer to spend time in classic WinForms and ASP.Net (HTML 5) over the last years.

Now DX has shown some new love for WinForms (Gantt and so), I'm more than happy. And guess what, my complete ERP WinForms app works 100% on Windows 8 already. Thx DX!

16 September, 2011
Haaron Gonzalez

Thanks for blog this, you just help me convince some team members.

16 September, 2011
Richard Sisson

So what is the final word on the future of the .net framework/C#/Winforms with respect to Windows 8? I've seen so many mixed comments.

17 September, 2011
Mark Harby

I really wouldn't start getting into a froth about Windows 8, I think it looks great and will move Microsoft in the right direction with mobile and tablet devices, however, can I assume that the majority of devs in these forums are developing LOB apps for commercial clients ?

Do you really believe you will be able to convince your commercial users to throw away their monitors and buy touch enabled simply to allow them to shuffle tiles around to select the accounts package or the CRM system. Call me old fashioned but I will get laughed out of the building if I try and sell this concept as progress.

Please don't get me wrong, I love the iPad and love how Windows 8 'Metro' looks and works, but it's not going to bring an awful lot to the table when processing 100's of insurance claims or purchase invoices each day.

We were told WinForms was dead 10? years ago when WPF was first launched (can't remember exactly so forgive me). I've said in these forums before, developing apps with VS2010 and DevExpress WinForms controls brings real-world, solid, beautiful looking apps to the client desktop and allows me to develop them on-time and under budget.

I think the real sadness here is for the likes of DevExpress who invest god knows how much in trying to keep up with all of the different streams and technologies coming out of Redmond (and from Borland). Just think where WinForms and APS.NET controls would be today if all that effort had gone into them (I am so pleased the Gantt chart has been done, I will never use it but it will reduce the posts through these blogs and forums massively, you know who you are ;-))

Microsoft have had to make this move for all the reasons we know, they will not (and cannot) ignore the millions of real-world commercial users and applications already out there, if they did then people just wouldn't buy Windows 8.

Just one last thing then I'll stop ranting on, I know we have to embrace 'touch' and the demo's I've seen in these blogs from DevExpress are impressive but lets not lose site of how we earn a living and what our customers really need for their businesses, most of my clients still see Facebook has a waste of staff resource, they need good, reliable applications that allow them to go about their business in the most reliable and efficient manner and I'm afraid that still means 1. keyboard 2. mouse and no number 3.

I wonder how many of the 450 million Windows 7 PC's and 4?? million XP/Vista PC's are running in commercial environments. How many of the 400 million 'Windows 8 Ready' devices are sat on desks in offices ?

Just some of the thoughts going through my mind over the last couple of days, thank you for listening.

Mark Harby

Nottingham. UK

17 September, 2011
Sigurd Decroos

@Mark: I totally agree with you. Half of my customers are going for terminal services (or Citrix), the other half keep their own local servers. We are a littlebit pushing web portal stuff but that's it. Sure the customers like fancy stuff, as long as it doesn't take speed or ease-of-use away. The docking possibilities and skins from DX offer more than enough for 99% of our users.

17 September, 2011

@Mark, I disagree. I think the only reason why Win32 / COM based apps are still supported is that Microsoft simply can't turn their backs on hundreds of thousands developpers all around the world who invested major time and money on it.

I don't think this technology is cheaper or more reliable than WPF in any way. In fact, I find reusing XAML code a lot, LOT easier than Winform controls. Databinding is far easier too, and doing rich, interactive UIs outside of grids and treeviews patterns doesn't make you want to commit suicide. :)

Granted, the "classic" user environment is here to stay. Your example with insurance claims and invoices is a perfect one, and I would also add popular professionnal apps such as Photoshop, AutoCAD or Visual Studio. While I perfectly can imagine this kind of apps being made with WPF (VS2010 actually is), I can't imagine them running in a Metro environment.

However, I certainly won't acknowledge that there's no room for mobile and touchscreen technologies in the corporate world. There's a lot of companies, including mine, who needs real-time inventory tracking systems and quick access to information from anywhere. Here, employees working on the production floor uses Windows Mobile based Symbian scan devices, with our very own .NET CF based app on it, to track products and operations statuses. Also, my boss uses his iPhone to look at sales reports, shipping schedule and employee absenses.

No offenses, but I would be laughed at too if I'd tell them to carry laptops around. :)

Really, I think Windows 8 brings a lot of new possibilities for developpers who wished Apple's iDevices wouldn't require to learn Objective-C to develop on.

19 September, 2011

Woops, I said Symbian, but I really meant SymBOL (from Motorola)! Sorry about that. :)

19 September, 2011
Sigurd Decroos

@Crono: you're right that apps reach beyond the desktop environment. But the good old backoffice is here to stay IMO. We use hundreds of Windows Mobile devices to gather information and store it in a big SQL Server database. The configuration, follow-up, reporting and management happen in the backoffice which look 'refreshing' thx to the skins from DevExpress.

I think it is perfectly possible to make a front-end in Metro style for fancy charts and reports. But everyday business stuff only in Metro style, nah, I don't think so.

19 September, 2011
Mark Harby

@Crono: I'm not sure you have disagreed with me, as mentioned in my post, I love and fully support the mobile / tablet / iPad experience, I'm just not convinced about a 'Metro' style interface on a business desktop, it's just not necessary (IMHO).

I think the WinForms / WPF / Silverlight is easier argument is one for the pub and few pints of the right stuff, but on a serious matter, we still have a couple of really large VB6 / SQL2000 applications in the field that we need to support. The client will not pay for a re-write for a new shiny app that does the same but with 'managed' code, and I know that one day these will bite us. Support for todays .NET apps will need to be in the O/S for quite some time yet.

To agree with you on a good point, we are quite excited about having a mobile platform to develop on that doesn't require the horrid path offered by Apple, the hardware is excellent but XCode / Object-C / iStore combination is extremely painful.

... and my favourite part about Windows 8 ... (almost) instant on.

20 September, 2011

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