.NET RIA Services

Flex\Flash\AIR vs Silverlight: conquering the land of RIA

We live in interesting times. Rich UI web application development with next generation user interfaces are in increasing demand, and so the great RIA war rages on, with Adobe and Microsoft as major players competing for market prevalence. The competition can be beneficial, as it forces both companies to deliver new versions of their products more quickly, and with increasingly impressive features. This competition, however, also has downsides. It forces companies to rush and sometimes deliver features in raw and incomplete form. They often focus more on new features than on polishing the existing ones. As a result, the changes occur so rapidly that keeping up with the latest developments is nearly impossible. That is why new articles comparing and contrasting the current state of their systems are always useful. Indeed, many such articles have been written before (for example this one or this one), but they quickly become outdated and occasionally fail to include an important topic.

.NET RIA Services: intermediate model validation.

I'm not the first person firmly believing that validation should be mostly entity-based, not UI control-based. It's the object who must tell the system what kind of values should its field accept, user interface should only display this info. Microsoft Enterprise Library Validation Block was a serious step in the right direction, but uniform handling of data-based validation exceptions in user interface required quite a bit of custom coding there - just to make your UI know that the data was invalid.

Now, with validation attributes in System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotations namespace uniformly supported both in Silverlight (through .NET RIA Services) and in ASP.NET Dynamic Data, Microsoft makes even more serious step in supporting entity-based validation.

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