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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A few more of my favorite things ...

The other day, I listed a few of my favorite things, but did you think I would really end at the dialogue component in Alpha Five Version 11?

I'd love to dedicate a post just to Clifton, or maybe the game of cricket, but for now, I'm going to move on to our summary of my favorite features in Version 11's grid component.

The first feature I'm excited about is the alternate views for the Web Grid. The tabular and columnar views of a grid convey a lot of information, but the human eye is much more sensitive to shapes and colors than it is to variations in text.

So we thought that with an alternate view of a grid, you could display the same information in a way that will really grab the user. For example, if it's geographical information, the best display might be a map. If it's scheduling information, the best display might be a calendar.

The Web Grid named layouts are the second feature worth mentioning. With named layouts, you can design multiple arrangements for a grid that depend on the client device and browser. For example, the default layout for a grid might display a table of 10 columns of data and 15 rows, with a detail view displayed below the table. This is appropriate for a large desktop browser screen.

The tablet layout for that same grid might display a table of one column and 10 rows, but must include a "more" button below, and a detail view displayed to the right of the table. The smartphone layout for the grid might display two columns of data, and slide in a panel with the detail view on demand.

Next on my list is the Web Grid's geographical search. This will let you use a map control in the search part of a grid to enter points for a polygon search, or to specify the center point and radius to conduct a radius search.

To use this geographical search, your SQL database must support geography types, and your grid must be based on a query that includes a geographical field. You'll also need to include the geographical field in your search part, and set the control to a map.

And finally, the last item on my list of favorite things (for now), is the Web Grid stored procedures, and how it is now possible to base a grid on a stored procedure.

This allows for much more of the computation in a Web application to be shifted from the Web server to the SQL database, leading to significantly higher performance as the database server can prepare stored procedures when they are committed. This will avoid repeating SQL parsing and query optimization for every Web transaction.

Make sure to stay tuned in to our feature peeks in Version 11 to see more of my favorite things!


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