Developing an ASP.NET AJAX Server Centric Based Mini Blog System - Part 3
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by Xianzhong Zhu
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Key Techniques Summarization

Before delving into the construction of the system, let us enumerate the key techniques leveraged in this blog system.

·         A simple two-tier architecture

·         ASP.NET 2.0/3.5 components, such as GridView, FormView, DataList, SQLDataSource, Master Page, SiteMapPath

·         The main ASP.NET AJAX server-side controls, such as ScriptManager, UpdatePanel

·         ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit controls, such as CalendarExtender, ModalPopupExtender, NoBot, PasswordStrength, PopupControlExtender, TextboxWatermarkExtender, ToggleButtonExtender

·         URL rewrite technique

Altogether, during the course of authoring the mini blog sample website, I tried to leverage ASP.NET 2.0 controls. As for the AJAX technique, it is probably well-known that the ASP.NET AJAX server-centric programming is mainly centering on the ScriptManager and UpdatePanel controls. ScriptManager serves as the control center of the client side while UpdatePanel is used to achieve the partial update of a web page in the asynchronous way. What is more, as for ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit, it is a set of ASP.NET server components and controls which help to extend the functionalities of the original ASP.NET server counterparts. Joyfully, most of the extenders are pretty easy to useeven with no coding. On the other hand, due to the features of our sample applications, only a small number of the extenders were put into use.

Concerning the URL rewriting (also redirection) technique, it is a long story. So I will only say a few words about it.

URL rewriting is a most powerful technique available to control the URL presented to the user, as well as to maintain websites' permalinks. It is very important to most website content owners that their links remain permanent, hence "permalink." As a protocol, HTTP provides two ways to alert the browser: the first is a temporary redirect, or 302, and the second is a permanent redirect, or 301.

In ASP.NET v2.0, a new URL mapping technique comes into being to simplify the URL rewriting programming by introducing a new urlMappings configuration element into file web.config. Therefore, what you need to do is add a new entry to web.config to achieve the aim of redirecting a url. The following gives a simple sample for mapping a URL.

Listing 8

<urlMappings enabled="true">
  <add url="~/Articles/AspDotNet/UrlRewriting"
  mappedUrl="~/Articles.aspx?cat=1&id=16" />

The url attribute is what the user sees and the mappedUrl attribute describes the actual requested page. In the preceding urlMappings element, imagine that there is an articles page that dynamically returns articles based on category and article identifier. The url shows the preferred user interface, but the mappedUrl attribute shows the actual page and parameters that will be requested.

Regrettably, you cannot use regular expressions in the urlMappings configuration element introduced by ASP.NET 2.0.

In this sample, we used URL rewriting to organize required information into a logical hierarchy or to mask query string parameters, all of which were achieved by a great tool URLRewriter.dll written by Scott Mitchell. You can download this tool from here.

For detailed implementation, please refer to the contents in file web.config and I highly recommend you also refer to Scott Mitchell's article on MSDN.

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User Comments

Title: wholesale shoes   
Name: wholesale shoes
Date: 2010-04-06 11:45:38 PM
Wow, thanks for the insightful post. I look forward to reading more from you.
Title: missing file   
Name: Jim Arthur
Date: 2008-08-11 6:53:33 PM
I am getting a page not found when I try to download the sample application. Great article and would much appreciate having the sample

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