From ASP.NET WebForms to modern web technologies

Zdravko Kolev / Tuesday, March 15, 2016

You may have come across articles about the end of support for ASP.NET WebForms and how you should consider to start using ASP.NET MVC over ASP.NET WebForms. This topic is about components from each of the ASP.NET framework programming models, or to be more concrete, why you would consider using Ignite UI based grid widgets over the Aikido based grid controls.

Before we go further, I wanted to let you know that we’re not comparing the two Microsoft’s web application framework models. Below you will read about the main differences between them, but keep in mind that each can be “the best choice” for a particular solution depending on the requirements of the application and the skills of the team members involved. You can build great apps with either and bad apps with either.

How Aikido grids work?

Like all WebForms controls, our Aikido Grids are server-based controls. All of the core features like Cell/Row editing, Sorting, Filtering, Virtual Scrolling, Paging and Active cell changing (Activation) require postback to the server to be performed in order to sync state between the client and server, and to retrieve (operate with) the data which will be rendered in the grid. While we have used everything at our disposal to guarantee outstanding performance for our ASP.NET Grids, the sole requirement of constant postbacks and maintaining the entire control’s state between client and server, can easily become a bandwidth or performance problem with very complex forms.

The goal of this topic is not to drive you away from the Aikido grids, instead we want to show you another perspective on how to implement, present and manipulate tabular data, with modern web technologies.

Why choose the Ignite UI grids?

With Ignite UI you can create new generation, modern, client framework based on jQuery UI. Its whole lifecycle is on the client-side, which makes it independent from server-side technology, and also is very important when comes to large and demanding apps. Ignite UI grids are built with performance as a core feature and all its features makes it super simple to use and maintain.

Let me highlight some of them:

  • Support binding to various types of data sources including JSON, XML, HTML tables, WebAPI/RESTful services, JSONP, Arrays and OData combined (example)
  • Adds features like local and remote sorting and filtering, codeless.
  • Column hiding, resizing, summaries, fixing, grouping, templating, multi-column headers, sorting, unbound columns, or with one word Column Management Features (example)
  • Easy to use selection features (example)
  • Multiple templating engine integrations (example)
  • Cell Merging (example)
  • Easy export to excel (example)
  • Responsive Web Design mode (RWD) (example)
  • js support (example)
  • Angular JS support (example)
  • Virtualization (fixed and continuous) (example)
  • Append Rows on Demand feature (example)
  • Displays data in a tree-like tabular structure, not only in hierarchical data with multiple levels and layouts (example)


While using any of the Ignite UI grids, alone in html page or in MVC project, you will notice the full control over the HTML, RESTful services, routing features, extensible and maintainable project architecture, reduced page size, parallel development support and extensibility.

You should also keep in mind that ASP.NET Web Forms is not going to be part of ASP.NET 5 (ASP.NET Core 1.0). You will be able to continue build Web Forms apps in VS2015 by targeting the .NET 4.6 framework, however, Web Forms apps cannot take advantage of any of the new features of ASP.NET 5. None of this is certain, though.

Currently, one of the certain things is that the jQuery JavaScript library has become one of the most widely-used JavaScript libraries. jQuery’s browser abstraction layer along with the built-in DOM query engine make the library a solid platform for constructing UI components and controls. Built on top of the jQuery core, the jQuery UI library provides widgets and interactions for designing highly interactive and responsive web user interfaces.


MVC vs. WebForms, A Clear Loser Emerging

Using IgniteUI and ASP.NET MVC