Introduction to CodeCharge StudioAdd Comment
<span class=wboxheado>Introduction</span><br> <b>CodeCharge Studio</b> is a new product from <a class="wbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.yessoftware.com">YesSoftware Inc</a>, that helps generate database driven Web Applications in a RAD manner. CodeCharge Studio delivers the speed of code generation integrated with a full featured, powerful IDE. You can quickly generate dynamic, bug-free web sites in ASP, JSP, PHP, Perl, ColdFusion, ASP.NET. And then edit and customize your applications using the Studio's powerful code editors. <br> What really makes Code Charge Studio a useful product is the fact that it cut's down development time significantly while still producing good quality code. <br> The core focus of my article will remain on the ASP.NET capabilities of this tool.<p>The three key points that make CodeCharge Studio an ideal tool are listed below :-</p> <p><span class=wboxhead>1) Application Creation in CodeCharge Studio</span><br> If you look at database driven web pages from a higher level, your pages generally perform only 2 kind of activities :-<br> <br> 1) They collect some information from the user and then on the server-side do some processing and add / update / delete that information into the database. <br> <br> 2) Just display information from the database to the user.<br> <br> You applications logic is then built around this basic functionality performed by the pages i.e. what action to perform with the user data, how to validate the data, show selected information to selected users etc.<br> CodeCharge Studio uses this concept and provides you with <b>Builders</b> (Wizards), that help you easily perform these two fundamental functionality. CodeCharge Studio lets you use <b>Record Builders</b> and <b>Grid Builders</b> which perform the above mentioned functions.</p> <p>Generally, while creating a new application you first create some database connection classes, then write logic to retrieve the required data from the database and pass it to the user interface, then place multiple controls on the page or use rich controls like a DataGrid / DataList / Repeater etc, fine-tune their properties, write some data binding, sorting, paging methods etc etc etc...<br> In short the process of creating a simple data bound page is quite exhausting, if you intend to created a layered applications then your worries increase.<br> <br> In CodeCharge Studio there is a fundamental shift from how you generally build database driven web applications. You create a a new page, use the appropriate builder and make a few clicks and once you finish the Builder's your page is ready. All the mundane things like creating database access classes, laying out controls, setting their appropriate properties, field validation, writing sorting and paging procedures are all automatically done for you by CodeCharge Studio!!<br> And mind you this does not mean that CodeCharge Studio churn's out some boiler plate code that you will have to sit hours customizing later, the <i>Builders</i> have a lot of customizations options, hence if needed you can customize things to the minute details.<br> Just imagine the amount of productivity gain you get by just focusing on building the functionality of your application!</p> <p><span class=wboxhead>2) Application Architecture in CodeCharge Studio</span><br> CodeCharge Studio generates layered applications based on the best practices recommended by Microsoft. At the very base is the database access layer which is specific to the type of Managed Provider you use, CodeCharge Studio currently supports SQL, OleDb and ODBC Managed providers distributed by Microsoft. All interaction with the database passes through this data access layer. Above this there are separate data provider classes for each page / user control you create which manages all the interaction between the User Interface and the data access layer. Finally, there are the code-behind ASP.NET pages / user controls, which act as the User Interface for your web applications.<br> Building such applications manually is a Herculean task!! Such an application architecture increases the scalability and manageability of your application.</p> <p><span class=wboxhead>3) Designing of Web Pages in CodeCharge Studio</span><br> One of the biggest problems since ASP.NET has been released is the lack of good designing support for ASP.NET pages. Visual Studio.NET's editors provider very limited support and have recently become famous for their notoriety of disappearing/messing HTML which has lead to many people even stop using the VS.NET editor for designing their pages. The second offering is Macromedia's Dreamweaver MX which has native support for ASP.NET pages, but it does not support Code Behind pages.</p> <p>CodeCharge Studio, deals with this problem is a different manner, it creates a template page (plain HTML) for each ASP.NET page you create. You can edit this page directly in CodeCharge's editor or the product also provides a plug-in for MS FrontPage which enables you to directly start editing the template pages in FrontPage. Also since the template is in plain HTML you can configure CodeCharge to use any of your favorite HTML editor like Dreamweaver, Adobe GoLive etc. to edit the template. Once you finish making changes to the template page, CodeCharge Studio synchronizes these changes back into your ASP.NET web page. This way you can continue to benefit from the investments you have made of time and money in existing web page editors.</p> <p>Another point is that usually companies have two teams working on a web application, one team looks after the coding and the second team looks after the designing of the page. <br> ASP.NET has made a good effort to separate the User Interface from the Code, but from a functional point of view, you need to train your web designing team to understand the notion of server controls. The ASP.NET server controls like DataGrid, DataList, Repeater etc. have their own properties and templates for styling which are beyond the understanding of an average web designer. Hence many times the coding teams have to sit and look into designing the applications. Which certainly is a waste of their time and they might not even be good at it!<br> <br> The CodeCharge Studio's HTML templates exposes simple HTML elements in place of complex controls. The design teams are already equipped to work with HTML controls, hence the usage of Code Charge Studio simplifies the creation and designing of complex web pages.</p> <p><span class=wboxheado>Give it a Try!</span><br> I am sure the above discussion would have certainly got you excited about the new tool. So what are you waiting for give it a try, download your evaluation copy from <br> [ <a class="wbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.CodeCharge.com/download">www.CodeCharge.com/download</a>].<br> For more information on the features and pricing of the product check out the follow link <br> [ <a class="wbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.CodeCharge.com/studio">www.CodeCharge.com/studio</a> ]</p> <p>In further articles in this series we will see how to build applications with CodeCharge Studio. So stay tuned!!