Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Webservices, MS Ajax, and Safari

.NET Webservice
I finally wrote a webservice that will go into production usage when the beta site launches: AddressLookup.  It reads ZIP code/city/state information from an Access database and returns it.  This webservice will get implemented in various areas of the site to do things like auto-populate the city and state when you enter in your zip.  Expect to see it on the Application Packet Request page and the like.

Embrace, extend, extinguish mmm?  Microsoft apparently released an update for .NET Framework 2.0 (included with 3.0 and above) which adds AJAX support (returning JSON for Javascript) for .NET Webservices.  Since I was mainly looking at utilizing my newly minted webservice on the client-side this was something I was all ears for.  After some fiddling with the web.config I had "MS AJAX" running on the webserver.  I don't know why Microsoft feels the need to make everything their own.  The oddest part is how it appears that MS attempted to set it up so that one could program an AJAX (client-side javascript partial page updates) completely from Visual Studio or Visual Web Developer without ever writing a line of Javascript.  :/ 

I like:
  • That the AJAX addition on the webservice takes care of serializing to JSON for me in the same way the normal webservice automatically serializes to XML
  • That the service auto-generates a client-side proxy class which handles the JSON and returns it in the custom formatted type that I specified in the .NET webservice
  • That MS isn't ignoring client-side development in their web development system
  • That it doesn't use vbscript
I don't like:
  • Anything that starts with "asp:Script"
  • Why can't I just access the JSON webservice straight, using my own Javascript framework instead of important a redundant ".NET client side framework"?  I don't need Sys.Whatever on my pages.  Really.
[[ I had typed up a review of initial thoughts regarding Safari for Windows, but apparently when you use the less than or greater than signs in a blogger post, the auto-draft save totally drops out half of your post, thinking it's HTML of some sort... ]]

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