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Microsoft Does It Again - Released Today: The ASP.NET Starter Kits Betas

  • By Bradley L. Jones
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The following is an overview of the features of each kit:

The ASP.NET Community Starter Kit

This is a Web based community site that includes modules that may be customized for a portal-type application. Features include:

  • Content publishing
    • Post stories and discuss
    • Photo album
    • Rate content
  • Community
    • Voting
    • Publish content as a Web service
    • Incorporate other content via RSS news feeds
  • Other features
    • User and Role management
    • Skins to customize look and feel of the site

The Time Tracker Starter Kit

This demonstrates how to build a line-of-business ASP.NET application to track time worked on projects

  • Create Projects
    • Define project name and description
    • Create tasks categories
  • Create and Track Tasks
    • Log work completed
    • Track time spent each day
  • Create Reports
    • Track overall progress
    • Track time spent in each area

Click here for larger image

The Reports Starter Kit

This demonstrates a simple data reporting solution for displaying multiple views on data, creating charts, and rendering any type of data in a Web application.

  • Master - details tables
  • Graphing/chart creation
  • Column sorting
  • Updatable report data
  • Page break control when printing
  • Running totals

The Commerce Starter Kit

This kit is based on the IBuySpy Store sample. It demonstrates an e-commerce storefront application complete with shopping cart, product catalog, and a Web service to submit orders.

  • Product Catalog
    • Product descriptions, photos and reviews
    • Search by product name/category
    • "Also bought" and "Popular items" features
  • Instant Order Web Service
    • Submit orders from any application
  • Other features
    • User accounts
  • Shopping cart

The ASP.NET Portal Starter Kit

This kit is based on the IBuySpy Portal sample. It demonstrates how you can use ASP.NET and the .NET Framework to build a dynamic portal application.

  • 10 basic portal modules for common types of content
  • A "pluggable" framework that is simple to extend with custom portal modules
  • Online administration of portal layout, content and security
  • XML based definition of portal layout
  • Roles-based security for viewing content, editing content, and administering the portal
  • Full mobile support using the ASP.NET Mobile Controls

In Conclusion

Each of these kits seems to be fully functioning. They are not perfect. I encountered a few errors when running and customizing them. But then, they are betas.

With these kits, I expect that .NET developers will be able to build fully functioning — professional quality — Web sites in hours. Customized sites will take a little longer; however the amount of time was just greatly reduced if you use these kits.

I know of one project that I've been involved with for our local .NET user group that will be starting over today. The ASP.NET Community Starter Kit provides everything that the developers of this project had been working to build. This includes security and customization features. We need only apply our templates, click a few settings, and change a bit of text in order to be up and running with a professional site! By starting over with the ASP.NET Community Starter Kit, this is one project that just moved ahead of schedule!

We asked ASP.NET product manager, Shawn Nandi, a few questions about the ASP.NET Starter Kits. This Q&A can be found at http://www.developer.com/net/asp/article.php/1582581.

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This article was originally published on February 11, 2003

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