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Webforms vs. Winforms Decision

P: n/a
I have a windows application written in Visual Basic 6.0 that is going
to be redeveloped in dotNET. We are trying to decide if we should
deploy using Webforms or Winforms and I need advice from someone who is
not on my team.

The VB 6.0 application is used by approximately 100 users. All users
reside in-house. There is an existing external website that will use
some of the same components but the two applications are separate.

The VB 6.0 application is backed by SQL Server. Users view data,
update, delete data via the front end. The data is all real time.

We are considering using Webforms for a few reasons. The industry
seems to be headed towards web development. If the user's desktop
applications move to webforms, we want our application to mimic the
applications they use most often. I am thinking of the Office Suite of
applications, Outlook, etc. I have been told by a colleague (who is
very biased) that Microsoft is going to move all of their desktop
applications to the web. Webforms are much easier to deploy than
Winforms (especially since we will be using VS 2003 not 2005. Our 2.0
framework won't be delivered to the web servers in time for VS 2005).

I have been told by another colleague that this is not a true statement
and that we should stay with Winforms. We would not have to manage
state if we used Winforms. We would probably have a richer UI,
although our application is not flashy (or Flashy).

The team is made up of mostly VB developers. We have a couple of people
who are web developers and one person with .NET experience. The rest
of us will be learning .NET.

Can anyone give me some advice or tell me how to base my decision?

I appreciate it very much.

Feb 8 '06 #1
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4 Replies


P: n/a
If you use Winforms, you begin having a deployment problem. You either have
to have everyone update their machine everytime you update the application,
or you have to use ClickOnce. Depending on how complicated your application
and deployment scenario would be, clickonce may or may not be an option. You
will need to make sure your users have .NET 2.0 installed (clickonce can do
this for you, I believe). Because this is an internal application only and
will not be redistributed, it may be easier to implement this.

In general yes, winforms is going to have a far richer UI. If you use
webforms and the asp.net web controls that come with asp.net, your UI is not
going to be 1/10th of what a windows UI would be. You can either ditch the
asp.net web controls and write your own that rely heavily on javascript to
provide a rich user experience - but that is a lot of work, of course.

I'm not sure there is one right answer. Each approach really has its
advantages and disadvantages. As long as your business logic is kept out of
the UI layer, you should be able to change your mind later on.

"3Cooks" <3C****@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:11**********************@g47g2000cwa.googlegr oups.com...
I have a windows application written in Visual Basic 6.0 that is going
to be redeveloped in dotNET. We are trying to decide if we should
deploy using Webforms or Winforms and I need advice from someone who is
not on my team.

The VB 6.0 application is used by approximately 100 users. All users
reside in-house. There is an existing external website that will use
some of the same components but the two applications are separate.

The VB 6.0 application is backed by SQL Server. Users view data,
update, delete data via the front end. The data is all real time.

We are considering using Webforms for a few reasons. The industry
seems to be headed towards web development. If the user's desktop
applications move to webforms, we want our application to mimic the
applications they use most often. I am thinking of the Office Suite of
applications, Outlook, etc. I have been told by a colleague (who is
very biased) that Microsoft is going to move all of their desktop
applications to the web. Webforms are much easier to deploy than
Winforms (especially since we will be using VS 2003 not 2005. Our 2.0
framework won't be delivered to the web servers in time for VS 2005).

I have been told by another colleague that this is not a true statement
and that we should stay with Winforms. We would not have to manage
state if we used Winforms. We would probably have a richer UI,
although our application is not flashy (or Flashy).

The team is made up of mostly VB developers. We have a couple of people
who are web developers and one person with .NET experience. The rest
of us will be learning .NET.

Can anyone give me some advice or tell me how to base my decision?

I appreciate it very much.

Feb 8 '06 #2

P: n/a
I am a developer in a very similar situation. We use HTML VB6 VB.NET
C#.NET and SQL for the data layer. If I were starting over, I would
use Winforms for anything inside of the firewall, and webforms outside.
If you use no touch deploy from an intranet web server, there are no
install hassles. Outside the firewall, trust and liability are bigger
issues. The exception is simple stuff I write new webforms for, so
they can be linked to directly if the user wants to. If it is
complicated, I always use winforms.

When I No touch deploy, I set it up like this.
In the c:\inetpub\wwwroot I create a folder named MyApp
I put default.htm in that folder with the needed instructions.
I tell them that they need dot net framework
They need mdac 2.6 or higher (I need it you may not)
They need to grant trust to my intranet web server.(there are web pages
showing how to do this)

I link to the MyApp.exe file that also lives in that directory.

That is the end of my deployment.

Feb 9 '06 #3

P: n/a
You can do A LOT more using WinForm and you can do it a lot faster and a lot
easier.

If you move to the world of web development be warned -- it's a MESS!!
Nothing like what your used to in VB6. If you know all your users (or a
majority) are running a Windows OS, then WinForms is the way you want to go.
You can also opt for ClickOnce which makes deployment easy and centralized
(basically all the benefits of web development plus the ease of use and
power of windows forms).

There is a LONG learning curve going from VB6 ot VS 2005 WebForms -- you
WILL need to learn JavaScript as there are still things that are simple in
WinForms that you can't easily do in WebForms. You "might" be able to avoid
JavaScript pending the complexity of your current applications, but more
likely you'll need to know JavaScript.

Basically if you go with WebForms you have to learn the following:
HTML
JavaScript
CSS
IIS configurations
Web deployment and setup (watch out for .NET 1.1 and .NET 2.0 on the same
web server)
VB.NET
and many other concepts dealing specifically with Web development.
oh, and the controls are NOT direct one to one ports from WinForms to
WebForms -- they are very different

If you go with WinForms and ClickOnce you learn:
VB.NET
ClickOnce deployment

Rob.

"3Cooks" <3C****@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:11**********************@g47g2000cwa.googlegr oups.com...
I have a windows application written in Visual Basic 6.0 that is going
to be redeveloped in dotNET. We are trying to decide if we should
deploy using Webforms or Winforms and I need advice from someone who is
not on my team.

The VB 6.0 application is used by approximately 100 users. All users
reside in-house. There is an existing external website that will use
some of the same components but the two applications are separate.

The VB 6.0 application is backed by SQL Server. Users view data,
update, delete data via the front end. The data is all real time.

We are considering using Webforms for a few reasons. The industry
seems to be headed towards web development. If the user's desktop
applications move to webforms, we want our application to mimic the
applications they use most often. I am thinking of the Office Suite of
applications, Outlook, etc. I have been told by a colleague (who is
very biased) that Microsoft is going to move all of their desktop
applications to the web. Webforms are much easier to deploy than
Winforms (especially since we will be using VS 2003 not 2005. Our 2.0
framework won't be delivered to the web servers in time for VS 2005).

I have been told by another colleague that this is not a true statement
and that we should stay with Winforms. We would not have to manage
state if we used Winforms. We would probably have a richer UI,
although our application is not flashy (or Flashy).

The team is made up of mostly VB developers. We have a couple of people
who are web developers and one person with .NET experience. The rest
of us will be learning .NET.

Can anyone give me some advice or tell me how to base my decision?

I appreciate it very much.

Feb 9 '06 #4

P: n/a
3Cooks,

Because you want from outside your organisations. What you write is for me a
trend that I know from about 5 years or longer ago.

In that time there where not that huge security problems as there are now.

You think probably now, that is not important for me, because we are on an
IntraNet. Wrong, you users use probably as well Internet and therefore the
browser should be managed on every workplace to keep the security from your
application seperated from the rest.

For the rest is it for me the same as others have written. The clickonce
deployment will give you probably much less work than managing (and keep it
save) those browsers. The winforms applications are easier to create, while
the users will be much hapier with those.

A mixing format if you want to use your applications as well outside your
organisation is winforms with webservices.

I hope that this gives an idea

Cor

Feb 9 '06 #5

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