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Don't JUMP to .net

By petergatzios ·
I can't find a simple, straightforward answer as to why I should move away from the technology I'm using and go to .NET. This site http://msdn.microsoft.com/vjsharp/jump/default.aspx let's me know HOW but not WHY. Well, they do give one reason, so I could take advantage of xml. (Which I can do anyway). But here's what I'm using my technology to design http://www.iokio.com/myff/gm_used_2_door/ .
Technology will come, and technology will go. Why should I consider this .net framework as having any more staying power than let's say "the video phone"?
p.s. btw, to me it seems like PASSPORT is losing ground. Maybe chalk this one up as well?

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Depends on the technology you're using

by e1-2wdq-nnqb-snwg In reply to Don't JUMP to .net

If you're using flash, it might not be worthwhile. Same for Dreamweaver if the web-site is very content-intensive and does not have much of a "business application" aspect to it.

ASP.NET is a "run, don't walk" change from ASP, and many other text/code-intensive methods of dynamic web page generation. It excels at business applications, especially complex ones that might have been done a few years ago as a Windows (non-browser) application.

Windows stuff is still the way to go for very rich user interfaces, such as drag and drop, but forms and such can usually be done with ASP.NET, including treeviews and tabs. Third-party controls for those items as well as menus make development fairly easy.

People who find ASP.NET hard to use effectively are usually public content website designers, while former windows application developers find it a very productive platform (not as easy as windows where desktop caching is available, but still very productive).

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Best of both worlds?

by petergatzios In reply to Depends on the technology ...

From reading this and the other posts there seems to be agreement on investing along with Microsoft when it comes to future proofing either your application or your employment. You just have to stay current and this is the latest flavour of the day. I remember when a client tried to move their mainframe business logic to a browser back in '98. The integration with the authentication engine (RACF)and JAVA almost killed the whole project because it took almost ten seconds for authentication to occur. What a nightmare but Java was the future for everyone that wanted a more open standard than IE specific integration. (Could the last person at Netscape please turn off the lights).
So, I suppose now it might get into a religious discussion of open standards, integration and my personal favorite "best in class development environment". To which I've learned that this last one depends entirely on the spacer (the person between the chair and the screen). :)
So, it looks like I'm going to look into this .net more seriously. Anyone have a "Coles Notes" to .net?

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RAD Development

by CQ_West In reply to Don't JUMP to .net

The biggest advantage that I've discovered for implementing and developing against the .NET platform is the ability to quickly develop functional and robust applications. .NET is a framework that you can use to bring rapid development of systems together.

If you are using VB, the new VB.NET encompasses some very powerful new OO (Object Oriented) programming. No longer is VB the inferior language.

The biggest advantage that I have been able to find is in the development of enterprise class applications. The .NET framework takes care of alot of the plumbing so you no longer have to worry about it -- however, if you want to build the plumbing yourself, there is still plenty of flexibility to do that.

You mention XML as one of the reasons mentioned. To say that XML is the only reason encompasses a whole library of functionality. The new ADO.NET is XML enabled, allowing you to model data in memory with constraints and relationships enforced. The dataset offers some very powerful functionality when combined with a data adapter. A complete database update or loading of table data can be performed by the execution of a single command.

Overall, the framework is focused on allowing a developer to deliver fully functioning applications in less time than previous development systems.

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"Than previous development systems"....from Microsoft?

by petergatzios In reply to RAD Development

Let me declare up front that I'm not a big fan of MS. As a business I think they are a great example to emulate and aspire to. As a technology company they really have struggled to "play with the big boys" and only recently developed applications that can handle millions of transactions per second. I know they also get hammered for security but it's important. And I imagine if any other company had the same amount of attention their software would be proven just as vulnerable. But when you're number one you can't be as good as the next guy, you need to be better, much much better. And MS has proven that they are not. Just ask Bill every time he does a live demo.
If you're invested in MS skills than keep going. Nobody has the "best" tools so why not stick with what you know. As for .net masking the complexity of the lower level plumbing, well...you then have to accept that the folks at MS have done a skillful and efficient job. Maybe it's snobbish to say this, but MS is still a desktop company, a much better desktop compamy than ten years ago but it's not a teraflops player. (64 bit software anyone?) But maybe that's not a bad thing given that 80% of the world is only interested in browser based interfaces and email. :)

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Novice Wanna Be's

by CQ_West In reply to "Than previous developmen ...

I appreciate that you indicated you are not a fan of MS up front. It helps me to better understand your perspective.

One of the big pushes from Microsoft lately has been the development of smart client applications. The idea is to have the richness of a desktop application and still the connectivity of a browser based system.

Also, Microsoft is working to build 64-bit versions of their software so that developers can utilize the features and speed of this new architecture.

The problem with much of Microsoft software is that it is almost too easy to use. This allows for people who have not developed solid design patterns and practices to develop software that "works". While the software works, it may not make use of the best patterns and therefore is riddled with bugs.

Some other operating systems and development platforms are almost seen as elitest by many developers. Compare the number of Linux Developers and then the developers that use Visual Studio (or some Microsoft Platform) and you'll see a stark difference. Many of the Linux developers have special training that allows them to leverage the O/S and development platform properly, while anyone that can write a "Hello World" application in Visual Studio calls themselves a developer.

I have much of my training the the Microsoft World, but I'm finding that anyone who has developed good design strategies can implement solutions that work on a host of platforms. (Just look at the gaming industry).

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Microsoft staking the future on it

by itsfantastic In reply to Don't JUMP to .net

One of your concerns seems to be that the technology may disappear as quickly as it arrived - while possible it's highly unlikely, since Microsoft are basing so many of their own products on the technology and including it as core parts of operating systems and other server infrastructure.

As for why should you move away - there is no definitive answer to the question. If the technology you're using now is allowing you to do what you want then why move to something else? If you need to do things you haven't done before then that may be the time to move.

It definately is a very powerful technology and is worthwhile investing time and money into learning and using, but it has its pitfalls like everything else.

If you're looking at doing anything with web services - either building or consuming - then .Net is streets ahead of anything else at the moment...but they're catching up.

Finally - IMHO you should use whatever is the best technology for the job, and not get hung up on using only one technology versus another

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ASP .Net 2.0 very nice as "host language" for xslt and web-services

by xquery In reply to Microsoft staking the fut ...

almost any kind of job in web-based application related with xml-xslt transformations (get xml request -> get params -> make some calls to web-services -> put xml and some params to related xslt -> apply interaction logic layer -> apply design layer -> apply device dependency layer -> perform output as xml (xhtml, wap) or pdf and so on

in conjunction with MS SQL 2005 (with robust support of XML) ASP .Net 2.0 is great tool for orchestrating web-services into web-pages (just look for example at XsltCompiledTransform)

don`t compare present - better compare future, at least near future :)

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so it's not about .net, it's about XML?

by petergatzios In reply to ASP .Net 2.0 very nice as ...

So, web services are what's important and not the way we get there? I would agree with that if the XML standard(s) ever get sorted. In the end the customer doesn't care what the back end is or where the source was compiled. As long as they can quickly get what they want they will keep coming back. The frustration is with the people who have to serve up the result set. Which reminds me, what ever happened to JINI (another promising standard that never got out of diaper stage). Hopefully XML will make it to the teenage years.

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Thanks for the informed opinion

by petergatzios In reply to Microsoft staking the fut ...

Cameron, sound advice. As for web services, I am using them now and I am sure that a customer will come along that will want to integrate to whatever they use so I just have to ensure my aplication calls can be executed. Ah, the beauty of standards, so many to choose from.

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It's the infrastructure, (not so) stupid!

by mwaser In reply to Don't JUMP to .net

Not jumping to .NET is like sticking with BetaMax.

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