Implementing Dynamic Web Interfaces Using XSLT
page 1 of 4
Published: 16 Mar 2009
Unedited - Community Contributed
Abstract
Web applications are dynamic; many requiring unique content and interfaces for each user. There are a myriad of ways to take user content out of a database and present it in a browser. This article focuses on the different ways we can perform this with ASP.NET and why Gil chose XSLT for his own web product.
by Gil Shabat
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Introduction

Web applications are dynamic- many requiring unique content and interfaces for each user.  There are a myriad of ways to take user content out of a database and present it in a browser.  This article is for IT management and development staff and it focuses on the different ways web applications can display dynamic content in ASP.Net, why we chose XSLT to for our own product, and finally a look at our technical implementation.


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User Comments

Title: Question   
Name: Pravin
Date: 2009-05-22 3:14:32 AM
Comment:
Excellent article, But can you please tell in this approach will it be the best if performance is the key of the project. Thank you.
Title: Excellent Article   
Name: Daniella
Date: 2009-04-07 4:17:05 AM
Comment:
This way is my favorite way to display data from database and xml. I just love xslt :)
Title: Is there any download of this project available.Please reply   
Name: Mohammad hussain
Date: 2009-04-03 5:43:44 AM
Comment:
Is there any download of this project available.Please reply me back on mohd786hussain@yahoo.co.in
Title: Dynamic Web Interfaces Using XSLT   
Name: HoyaBaptiste
Date: 2009-03-18 5:15:55 AM
Comment:
@Morten - You can do equally bad thing with controls. I have found XSLT more flexible especially in situations that would require nested repeaters.

FYI, to separate layers, you can put XHTML in a template (VIEW) (*.html) file and "bind" data (MODEL) as xml with the template using xslt. In this scenario, xslt is the data binding "glue" replacing xml "tokens" in xhtml with data from XML. Implemented this way, XSLT driven "views" can prove maintainable and easy to understand... once you see the pattern.

@Johnny - There are some Math functions you can do in XSLT. You can pass in values and objects (properties and methods must return simple types). For example, from an ASP.NET you could pass a UserPrincipal / UserIdentity and check "IsInRole" within your transform to "show/hide" a region of html.
Title: Maintenance hell   
Name: Morten
Date: 2009-03-18 3:32:39 AM
Comment:
If you wish to go down this road of creating user interface via xslt, _be sure you document your work_! I myself recently faced maintenance hell when I had to take a project like this over from a guy who quit his job. He had documented next to nothing, and bear in mind xslt is not a markup you would read line by line, off the bat. It _will_ take a long time to get acquainted with this code and markup, certainly as long as it took to write it in the first place if there's no documentation covering it.
Title: Good article   
Name: Johnny
Date: 2009-03-18 12:02:39 AM
Comment:
This article is really useful for developers and anyone wanna build a flexible dynamic website.
But i wonder, if i wanna do somthing like calculate, check...data before displaying to user, how can i do with this approach?
Title: Provide references   
Name: Sirish
Date: 2009-03-17 10:32:31 AM
Comment:
Please provide references to different classes used in the code.

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