Today I was working on a small ASP.NET control that allows searching Active Directory from a popup in the browser. My first attempt was of course fully serverside, but two things made this attempt fail. First, for whatever reason a postback did open a new browser window if fired from a popup and secondly, the flashing of the page was particularly annoying. I didn't even bother researching the first problem, the second one made me decide to start working clientside.
a try (found via Chris Sells
). A little document reading and 30 minutes later the basic stuff worked. I found that the real issue I now have to solve it doing the document dynamics right, not the client/server integration.
I just became a little bigger fan of Ajax.
Ever since IBF was announced I was rather enthusiastic about it. The whole idea of seamlessly integrating BackOffice Systems into Office, the home of tens of millions of users just seems a great idea and huge possibility for productivity improvement. The only problem I had with it every time I looked at it is that it is so darn complex to get something simple done. Even in IBF 1.5 , following the steps to create and publish a (one!) smart tag is to hard to handle. Now today I saw this video
from the Channel 9 team interviewing Catherine Heller and she writes a smart tag in seconds using VSTO 2005 (it's somewhere around the 30 minutes).
I know that VSTO doesn't bring the notion of entities, views, actions etc. that IBF does and I do think that distinction is a great idea, but you have to have a good reason to choose IBF and invest something like 4 hours into building a smarttag when you can do the same with VSTO in 30 minutes (times are completely my estimates and therefore inaccurate!). I think IBF will only stay interesting in very few cases, unless someone very quickly integrates it with VSTO2005. What do you think? Am I to quickly abandoning IBF?