Wednesday, December 19, 2012

XVideoRental real world application (RWA) – The overview

XAF knowledge base is really rich and in our Support Center you can find solutions for all common business problems. Moreover our community project www.expandframework.com has tones of reusable solutions, we collected a few of them and applied them to the video rent business. The demo is available with 12.2.4 version of our Suite and can be found in the same folder with the other amazing XAF demos!

XAF is a framework that provides the tools that a developer needs for building business solutions.

  1. A state of the art multi layered configuration system – The Application Model.
  2. A robust and flexible Security System that can be used to protect our data and control the auto generation of the UI based on Role permissions
  3. Its own reflection system (TypesInfo)– with amazingly simple ways to do what .NET does not offer eg. Runtime members, dynamic attributes etc.
  4. A well designed architecture to guide you where you should put your code. Moreover a very flexible modularization for structuring and further supporting any solution.
  5. WinForms/ASP.NET integration for a large number of our components
  6. Rich documentation and a click and run SDK!

XVideoRental is a real world application (RWA). It is designed as a clone of our WinForms VideoRent application and demos only a small part of XAF capabilities. XAF provides the tools/architecture to do extraordinary things so we have followed a (no code)/(design at runtime) approach!. We recommend you to open the legacy Winforms demo and XVideoRental side by side and compare how much faster and richer is XAF development versus the traditional one. Moreover take a look at this help document that extensively compares traditional vs XAF development.

  1. XVideoRental uses a mechanism to serialize classes into Application Model and control them further from there! Therefore minimizes the learning curve since it is based on your existing component knowledge. (see this blog)
  2. It is a modeling rather than development technic. In addition allows further modeling at runtime since XAF already provides a runtime model editor.
  3. Implementations are collected from our usual places (Support Center / Code Central) / www.expandframework.com.

The XVideoRental demo has three projects:

Common.Win

This is a library (not XAF module) and contains 95% of the code needed to model the VideoRental business! As a library can be reused from all domains and not only for video rental business. By extending the model as discussed in Dressing up our classes – Date with a model tonight! it is possible to create an abstract mechanism and control any class/component from there. Since all business operations can be modeled, the library contains controllers like NetIncomeController, TopObjectController that map to the real world meanings and can be applied to any domain. The XAF Application Model serves as an abstraction from technology and business specifics. This module is assembled by collecting the classes/implementations from our Support Center and from our community project www.expandframework.com.

XVideoRental.Module.Win

References Common.Win library and simple initializes the required classes/controllers by deriving from the abstract implementation of Common.Win library. However even if it is possible to “model” any behavior sometimes technical depth must be considered. Therefore in the project you will find a small number of video rental specific classes. In this project you can also find the model differences for this business domain.

XVideoRental.Win

This is the application project and contains no code. Only a few default configurations like module and security registrations.

In the next post we are going to discuss the steps involved in building this application. I remind you again that all code functionality is borrowed from our community, this means that code / ideas really belong to you! We welcome more of your contributions and ideas to build even more wonderful applications. Please explore this demo and we are waiting for your feedback in order to blog more about features that interest you.

A similar version can found in our community project www.expandframework.com. This version has exactly the same functionality as the original demo. However it references directly the eXpand framework so the Common.Win project does not exist nor the initialization of the controllers in the XVideoRental.Module.Win.

We are looking forward for your feedback and contributions in order to make this demo even more powerful! In its current state, a developer can replace before lunch all the business objects with objects of a different business domain then package the application and go to customer and continue development there, at runtime! The final goal as developers is to build such configurable applications that business users can use and modify and shift this weight of our backs. XAF provides all the tools for this and this demo is a proof for this!

Bellow is a short video that shows this demo. You can find about two more dozen of images of this demo in our FB group

PS: A thanks to everybody that already provided feedback and reported issues with this demo. We already provided a newer version with improved performance and you can find it here. For posts related to the XVideoRental demo please subscribe to to the XVideoRental tag

Happy XAFing!

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