Thursday, November 30, 2006

Anthem.NET

I've been working with the Anthem package for a while and it still blows me away. Anthem.NET is a web project that does exactly what Microsoft should have done when they first started out with ASP.NET.


What is Anthem?

Anthem is an open source project from web developer Jason Diamonds written in C#, Javascript and ASP.NET. The project contains numerous webcomponents pretty much like the ASP.NET framework except these controls are AJAX enabled.


How does it work?

Anthem relies heavily on callbacks in stead of postbacks. It uses Javascript to send the page wievstate to the .aspx page and does this AJAX-style in stead of refreshing the whole page on every component change. After callback, the Anthem components refreshes some of its inner html and values.

The Anthem way of exchanging data to and from the server makes little or no inpact on the code behind or the ASP.NET script. As a programmer, you still write your codebehind and your html and use components as you would the .NET way.


Is this something for me?

Anthem is still in an alpha stage. As with other open source projects and in the spirit of web 2.0, it could be stuck in beta mode for years to come. Documentation is also lacking or non-existant, so you better have some time available.

Also, Anthem doesn't come right out of the box, as you have to create a solution, import the right project files, compile and import the .dll into the Visual Studio toolbox. Not that hard, but yes - it's one of those small time consuming tasks.


You can find Anthem.NET on SourceForge and this adress:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/anthem-dot-net



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