Customize Web Applicaction for Multiple Clients

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Thread: Customize Web Applicaction for Multiple Clients

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Default Customize Web Applicaction for Multiple Clients

    this is possibly more of a conceptual question, but I&#039;m seeking opinions on how to solve this particular problem. i&#039;ve done this before using regular asp and com, but i&#039;m new to .NET and I&#039;m thinking that there are probably many new tools available for this purpose.<BR><BR>Anyway, the scenerio is that we have a simple web application. However, we have several hundred domain names that all go to the same physical location on the server. (one codebase for all domain names). We want to be able to customize the look and feel of the application for each domain.<BR><BR>I know how to obtain the host name and store data for each unique domain name - that&#039;s not the question. I&#039;m wondering if any of you have any strategies for making web apps where the visual design is totally customizable and supports unlimited clients.<BR><BR>Right now i&#039;m considering having the web application simply output XML and each domain will have it&#039;s own XSLT template or something. I can think of less elegant techniques where the appliation would fly in html template files, or template data from a database. Also, it needs to be more than just changing a few table colors, logos and what-not. The layout needs to be very flexible.<BR><BR>I&#039;m wondering if .NET has some features especially suited for this purpose. regardless, how might you tackle this problem? i&#039;m not looking for a bunch of code, rather just some suggestions for a strategy.<BR><BR>

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Default 4 types of re-usable code

    there are 4 types of re-usable code in<BR>1.) .ascx files, which create visual output modules that can be shared by many pages. these files can assemble elements from many system resources, and their appearance can also be controled by css files. therefore, you can give users fine-grain control over appearance without letting them into the ascx file<BR>2.) code-behind files with the .vb or .cs file extensions. these can be attached to either aspx or ascx files<BR>3.) compiled dll files that contain all the code-behind for a domain in a single file<BR>4.) custom server controls, which are kind of like ascx files except that they are compiled, and they are designed to be used across many domains as your requirements describe.<BR><BR>the right solution for you depends on how "quick and dirty" you need it to be. you would need a book to learn how to develop a custom server control, and it requires a lot of code to manage viewstate features that we take for granted with the pre-written server controls.<BR><BR>perhaps a quicker solution for you is to put the heavy work of your control in a single .vb or .cs file that is shared across all the apps in your domain. then you can create a simple .ascx file that calles the shared .vb file, and that lets a css file control its visual parameters. then, make a copy of the ascx file and put it in a protected folder in every domain. do not allow anyone to edit that ascx file, but do allow them control over their own copy of the css file that their copy of the ascx file references. this gives them visual control over the control without messing with your ascx file, and it keeps you from needing to delve too far into custom server control development before you are ready.<BR><BR>later, when you need to change the ascx files in all those hundreds of domains, you can change a copy in a test domain and then use the system.ip namespace&#039;s classes to automatically update every copy of the ascx file across all the domains. so managing hundreds of redundant files in this situation is not too much complexity as long as you do it programatically.

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