Co-op Highlights 15

This is my last post for this semester, but not my last post ever.  I will be continuing to post regularly on topics and research as I run into things.  I also plan to use this website as a portfolio to highlight different projects I have been involved in and code that I have written.

I found this great website in the course of research about Google Charts API.  This is going to be key in the next week as I work to enhance the Google Charts running on my capstone project, also known as VARI.  As of last week, I was able to add a rough chart based on a basic array.  This article from Dot Net Fox talks about binding data from a SQL database, which is exactly what I’d like to do.  My goal with VARI is to show several different charts, but I am still exploring what those will be.  I’d love to show a stacked bar chart or a pie chart showing the different portions that make up the total (the number of children, students, sites, and main auditorium numbers totaling the overall weekend number), for example.  I’d also like to show some sort of year at-a-glance bar chart by location.  I believe there is a way to add a dynamic data control with Google Charts, so that a user could choose a date range and choose a location, and then see a chart based on that input.  I have not found a good resource out on the internet for this yet though.

In my research over the last couple of weeks, I also found this article that talks about the advantages and disadvantages of using SQL DataSource, LINQ to SQL, and EntityDataFramework.  This was helpful and it seems that there is no clear ‘right’ answer to the question.  The last sentence of the article sums it up well:

“But remember, you can also mix the use of different DataSources in your WebForms, using the most appropriate choice for the task in-hand.”

Use the most appropriate tool for the job.

Another great web article that I found talks about using MVC and WebForms in the same project.  And, that’s what I’m attempting to do with VARI, my capstone project.  I created everything in MVC with Razor view, and then have added a couple of WebForms pages to show the reporting elements.  I’m not sure if it’s the very best way to do it, but it does seem to be working fine.  From what I can tell, there are good things about both MVC and WebForms.  I anticipate the next generation of MVC to incorporate a little more WebForms-like pieces OR WebForms incorporating a little more of the MVC-like pieces – it reminds me of the Reeses Peanut Butter Cup commercial – “who put their chocolate in my peanut butter?” vs. “who put their peanut butter in my chocolate?”  Once both people taste the final product, they both love it!  I could be totally wrong (since there’s a lot I don’t know!), but it feels like this is the direction things are moving.