ASPRunner.net beats ASPMaker.net
You will find a number of products at xlinesoft.com
whether you prefer php, .NET, or Classic ASP. In the upcoming review to be featured here I will be reviewing ASPRunner.net - many will find product will meet their needs and surpass their expectations. Support is good and fast. The program has many features and yet is pretty easy to learn and use.
3/25/2016 - In a head to head competition with ASPMaker.net from hkvstore.com I am declaring ASPRunner.net the Winner! Both products have good and prompt technical support. Both have good features - although I found ASPRunner.net made it easier to implement those features, mapping for example. Both offer a mobile interface and I have to say in this one area I almost lean towards ASPMaker.net which includes a responsive page design using Bootstrap while ASPRunner.net provides a mobile interface via an optional template. In fact, if you consider cost alone in deciding on these two developer tools you would most likely settle on ASPMaker.net - price was not the deciding factor in my evaluation.
- ASPMaker.net version 12 costs $199
- ASPRunner.net version 8.1 costs $499 - plus an additional $49 for the mobile template
I found the ability to quickly create an application that worked first time, everytime and then customize the generated application was much easier with Xlinesoft's ASPRunner.net than with Hkvstore's ASPMaker.net
The first thing you will notice after creating a project based on an existing database with ASPRunner.net is the diagram that is created as you select tables from your database with the relationships automatically detected. This same screen has buttons to allow the creation of reports, charts and dashboards. Yes dashboards, which can include graphs, lists, single record views, and even Maps!
The next step in the process allows you to customize the table by easily ordering on one or more columns, filter on one or more conditions and then switch to a view to show the SQL Statement you have visually designed and then see live Results of the query.
You can next easily choose the pages to create on a table by table basis and also customize those pages. In the next screen shot you can see options for customizing the list style page settings.
While some developers may use the Inline Add and Edit pages I most often uncheck those options.
I especially like the option to scroll the table data. This feature keeps column headings in place as you scroll down viewing more rows than can be displayed on the screen without scrolling. I also like the abillity to set add, edit and view pages as pop up pages.
More information will be added to this review so check back periodically.
Two of the features that I found very easy to setup with ASPRunner.net - not so easy with ASPMaker - are the Mapping Features and Language Translations. It was using the label editor (translation) that prompted me to take a better look at the visual designer feature. Let me explain that. What may take only a few letters in English may take many more characters in another language, like German for instance. Now if you have chosen a design that put labels to the left of the field like below:
First Name: John
Last Name: Doe
When ASPRunner.net translates this to German your label text may be much longer. The first thing I did was use the Visual Design features to make more space between the Label and Text box. This was not the best solution. It turns out the easiest thing to do was to set up the labels on top of the data like below:
Simple solution. Now since I brought up the label editor I will share another lesson learned. ASPRunner.net will let you import and export label values. Pretty cool! You could then have someone else provide you translations in a spreadsheet - saved as .CSV file - then import that file and boom! Your web pages are translated. I used Babelfish and Google Translate myself, and with a little effort got pretty easy translation from English to German, French and Spanish. While I was out it however, I also decided to add translation for Arabic. However, when importing from the CSV file my Arabic labels got transalted into ??? ????? ?????? and so on. The reason has to do with Unidcode. Bottom line is if you are translating Arabic or similar languages you will need to do your translating in the Label Editor rather than importing from CSV. What does the result look like? See screen shots below:
April 1, 2016
It seems that these days there is a more frequent need or desire to include mapping features in software of all types. I found that adding this capability is very easy to do with ASPRUnner.net and again, I did not find it as easy to do the same things in ASPMaker. In my experience I found it easy to add a map to an individual record and display the map when viewing the record with ASPRUnner.net and also with their dashboard feature I found it just as easy to display a map for any number of records. Some screen shots follow, but first it may be worth mentioning that your database will need to include fields for lattitude and longitude. I recently inherited a database and found that fields were provided for lattitude and longitude but these were given a field type of text rather than a decimal type of field. Needless to say that just won't work. Again if you have created a database and started to create a web applciation using ASPRunner.net but neglected to add these two important fields you can let ASPRunner.net do that for you.
You have the option in setting up the mapping features to use Google, Bing or Street Maps. The next screen shot shows the mapping settings for the Project.
NOTE: While ASPRunner.net will let you add Lattitude and Longitude fields "on the fly" I suggest adding a text field named something like Map to us to show the Map when viewing the record.
When you click on the ... next to field you have options for Editing and Viewing. In most cases the defaults will be fine, but as far as mapping you want to have one field to show the map.
The next screen shows the result of the little effort spent setting up mapping using ASPRunner.net.
But wait! There's more. In order to display multiple locations on a single map you use a dashboard, choose the settings as before and then you can choose to show as clusters or as a heat map.
The next screen shows starting to set up the map for multiple locations.
The next screen shot shows the result with a little extra set up . The map is displayed with a grid of the records below. Clicking the View icon next to a record pops up a view of the individual record.
Another feature in ASPRunner.net that I found lacking in ASPMaker.net is the ease of creating filters like the ones in the next screen shot. Now both programs make it easy to include simple and advanced search functions in your .net applications, but Xlinesoft makes it easy to implement filtering capabilities that your users may find very helpful. Like many of the features in ASPRunner.net it is easy to miss out on added capabilities because you can generate so much functionality just by using clicking through the tabs.
The screen shot above is from a simple help desk application I created. I was pleasantly surprised to see that you can easily filter on any field type. Date type fields have several options and in addition to using a slider control or drop down date picker ASPRunner.net let's you easily include interval based filtering. But wait ... there's more. You can also include record counts for each so that you can provide a count for each type or category, or date range in a filter.
Have I left anything out? Yes. There are many times you want to include logins with security settings in your applications. For example, you may want customers to be able to login and submit support requests - but only their own requests. Staff members on the other hand, should have access to all requests from all customers. You might also want to create a special security setting for "the boss". This would give permission to let a person only view - not change requests - but for all customers. ASPrunner.net makes this almost trivial.
I will not go through the how to do it in this review, but the next few screen shots can show the end results I was able to create using the Dynamic security settings.
The above screen shot shows permissions for a Default (in my example, customer) group. The next screen shot shows permissions for Staff members (admin group).
The bottom line, as far as I am concerned, is AspRunner.net from Xlinesoft.com
fills the void left by IronSpeed Designer and is a superior product to ASPMaker.net from Hkvstore.com
- I will soon begin my review of ASPMaker.net so check back to see what I have to say about that program soon.