Dropthings – my open source Web 2.0 Ajax Portal has gone through a technology overhauling. Previously it was built using ASP.NET AJAX, a little bit of Workflow Foundation and Linq to SQL. Now Dropthings boasts full jQuery front-end combined with ASP.NET AJAX
UpdatePanel, Silverlight widget, full Workflow Foundation implementation on the business layer, 100% Linq to SQL Compiled Queries on the data access layer, Dependency Injection and Inversion of Control (IoC) using Microsoft Enterprise Library 4.1 and Unity. It also has a ASP.NET AJAX Web Test framework that makes it real easy to write Web Tests that simulates real user actions on AJAX web pages. This article will walk you through the challenges in getting these new technologies to work in an ASP.NET website and how performance, scalability, extensibility and maintainability has significantly improved by the new technologies. Dropthings has been licensed for commercial use by prominent companies including BT Business, Intel, Microsoft IS, Denmark Government portal for Citizens; Startups like Limead and many more. So, this is serious stuff! There’s a very cool open source implementation of Dropthings framework available at National University of Singapore portal.
Warning before you read this article: There’s a codeproject article that explains how this portal was built at the very first attempt, and then a feature rich version of this portal is explained in my book. This article shows you the newest technology implementations introduced in the latest version, for example, how drag-drop was implemented using jQuery. If you want to get a background on this portal, I suggest you read the book or earlier article first and then read this article. But if you are already expert on portal technologies and well versed in .NET 3.5, and you want to learn some quick tips - just read this article.
Get the source code
Latest source code is hosted at Google code:
There’s a CodePlex site for documentation and issue tracking:
You will need Visual Studio 2008 Team Suite with Service Pack 1 and Silverlight 2 SDK in order to run all the projects. If you have only Visual Studio 2008 Professional, then you will have to remove the Dropthings.Test project.
New features introduced
Dropthings new release has the following features: