New Book: Ext.NET Web Application Development

Ext.NET Web Application Development by Anup ShahThe book Ext.NET Web Application Development has just recently been published by Packt Publishing.

A guide to building Rich Internet Applications with Ext.NET using ASP.NET Web Forms and ASP.NET MVC

The technical editors were the entire Ext.NET team (@Daniil, @Vladimir & @geoffrey.mcgill) so it could not get any better! As a result, this book will have many tips and techniques not yet mentioned elsewhere.

As far as we are aware, this is the first book on Ext.NET, so it was an honour to be asked to write it.

About the book

The book provides an overview of Ext.NET 2 covering major areas and features of Ext.NET and also empowers the reader to know how to find out more details when needed.

If you are an ASP.NET developer looking to incorporate Ext.NET and Ext JS into your application then this book is for you.

You will find tips and code samples in addition to discussions about features not discussed elsewhere.

With over 400 pages, this book will help you:

  • Understand how Ext.NET and Ext JS fit together to help create applications with seamless server side integration
  • Learn how to organize controls and layouts to create highly interactive UIs with the richness of desktop-like applications
  • Understand the different AJAX options available to interact with the server and choose the techniques that suit your needs
  • Know the various options to represent and model data, locally or remotely, and reuse them where needed
  • Learn how to build sophisticated grids, trees, and other AJAX-based components that interact with the server efficiently
  • Gain confidence in extending components and creating plugins for reusability and maintainability
  • Create user-friendly forms with rich and custom client and server side validation
  • Learn how to troubleshoot your applications
Tips are scattered throughout the book.
Tips are scattered throughout the book.
Code samples are supported with numerous screenshots.
Code samples are supported with numerous screenshots.

Chapter overviews

Here’s a summary of what each chapter contains:

Chapter 1, Getting Started with Ext.NET, provides an overview of what Ext.NET is and how it is related to Ext JS and ASP.NET. In addition, this chapter covers how you can obtain and set up your development environment ready for Ext.NET development.

Chapter 2, Ext.NET Controls Overview, introduces various types of controls available in Ext.NET. Using the Button control, we introduce many concepts common throughout the Ext.NET control suite. We also look at how client-side and server-side events can be set up. This chapter also introduces other more common components including Panels, Toolbars, Menus, Windows, and Tooltips. We also get a glimpse of some of the complex UIs that are possible by reusing these components.

Chapter 3, Layout with Ext.NET, covers the numerous layout options available in Ext.NET to help you organize your web applications. Topics covered include the Viewport, and specific layouts such as Border, Accordion, Fit, HBox, VBox, and more.

Chapter 4, AJAX with Ext.NET, looks at the powerful AJAX options Ext.NET supports. We cover the powerful DirectEvents and DirectMethods features, as well as AJAX options specific to certain controls. This is a powerful chapter that lays the foundation for slick and usable applications that are responsive to user interactions.

Chapter 5, Working with Data, looks at the powerful data handling techniques available in Ext.NET. We cover XTemplates, which allows you to define HTML templates to bind data to, and we explain the Stores, Models, and Proxies architecture that allows for powerful data-binding reuse across many Ext.NET components. The ComboBox and DataView are introduced as examples of controls that reuse this architecture.

Chapter 6, Introducing GridPanels, covers the popular and highly sophisticated GridPanel control. It is another control that reuses the Stores, Models, and Proxies architecture, but is given its own chapter. We look at various features of the GridPanel such as paging, filtering, sorting, grouping, column summaries, row expanding, and selection models. We also look at how grid editing can be enabled, including in-line grid editing at the row or cell level. As large as this chapter is, there are many other GridPanel capabilities that we have not been able to fit into this book, so many links to further examples and resources are also provided.

Chapter 7, Forms and Validation, looks at the numerous form controls available in Ext. NET, how to lay them out, and how to enable client and remote validation. We also look at how custom validators can be created. Lastly, we also see how Ext.NET’s data-binding capabilities can also be reused with forms.

Chapter 8, Trees and Tabs with Ext.NET, introduces the popular TreePanel and TabPanel controls. Due to limited space in the book, we cannot cover all the sophisticated possibilities that these controls offer, but we do provide an overview of how tree nodes can be loaded asynchronously and how to reuse the Store, Models, and Proxies architecture to bind data to trees. We also look at various ways TabPanels can be configured, including how to load content on-demand using various AJAX techniques supported by Ext.NET.

Chapter 9, Extending Ext.NET Controls – Custom Controls and Plugins, is perhaps the most powerful chapter in this book. It shows you how to extend Ext.NET controls in a variety of ways to support both ASP.NET Web Forms and ASP.NET MVC Razor templates, enabling you to create highly reusable components. Most of the chapter looks at how controls can be extended, but we also look at how you can use the available plugin mechanisms to reuse functionality across different types of components.

Chapter 10, Troubleshooting and Debugging, looks at how to debug your Ext.NET applications. In particular, we look at how to enable debug versions of Ext.NET and Ext JS JavaScript and what tools to use for cross-browser troubleshooting. This chapter also provides important tips on how to request help in the Ext.NET forums in a way that will increase your chances of receiving a quick response.

My personal favorite is chapter 9. Not only did I learn a lot myself when putting it together, I think it is also one of the most important; I wish I knew this about 3 or 4 years ago as it would have helped make my own apps even more reusable. For me it is worth getting the book for this chapter alone!

About the author

I’ve been a web developer since 1997. In 2007 or 2008 I shifted focus from public-facing sites to web-based lines of business applications. While the techologies were the same, the emphasis was different. More JavaScript, AJAX and componentisation was needed as we were creating a shrink-wrapped product.

Frustrated with the toolset I was using at the time, I searched for components that integrated with ASP.NET but also gave me full control on the client side when needed. I came across an early version of Ext.NET. It was great because it had just the right layout components I needed (the BorderLayout was what drew me in!) and it integrated with the powerful client side JavaScript framework, Ext JS. The components were far richer than YUI or jQuery UI, and very quickly we started to incorporate the framework into our product.

I’ve been immensely productive using Ext.NET. The powerful AJAX framework and flexible component architecture has helped us drive our product forward even more making it both responsive and highly usable.

So when Packt Publishing approached me to write a book on Ext.NET it was hard to resist. I hope the book helps provide some useful insights and guidance to creating Ext.NET-based web applications.

You can find me on the Ext.NET Forums (user name “anup“) or on my web site:


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