I read about the Data Application Block yesterday and was intrigued, although for the life of me I cannot remember where I read about it originally to pass along some credit. So I checked it out and it is very nice and all, but alas my project uses Oracle not SQL Server. Initially I thought about porting it to Oracle, but I figured that it has already been done. So I did a little Googling and voila!, Microsoft themselves had already done the work in the Nile 3.0 demo application. Sadly, it was in C# and my current project is using Oracle and VB.Net. So now I am back to porting.
We are migrating an ASP app to ASP.Net, but not all at one time as my business customers within the company won’t pay for that kind of time all at once. So we are migrating piece-by-piece as we develop new functions within the app. Our plan is to develop all new pages using .Net, and convert classic ASP pages as we have to touch them due to new development. To get the remaining pages converted, we are just going to squeeze them in as often as possible along with the new development, mostly on a one or two at a time basis. So probably of the next 6-12 months the ASP and ASP.Net applications will coexist and appear to the users to be one application.
Right now, we have done what we considered the basic conversion necessary to implement our plan:
- Convert the login process to .Net. We are using Forms authentication since users are checked from our own database. We may migrate this to LDAP sometime in the future. My company uses Novell Netware for network login and GroupWise for email. I would love to hear from anyone who has a web app that can create appointments in GroupWise!!
- Move frequently used Session variables to cookies. Luckily, we were not using lots of Session variables in the classic ASP. We encrypt all the data written to the cookies so spoofing is harder. We are currently not a web farm, but that is also in our future so the Session variables need to go anyway.
- Create a common time-out scheme between the applications using a cookie. The ASP app times out after 35 minutes of inactivity for what the HR folks call “security“, as the app contains lots of personal information about both employees and non-employees.
- Convert common functions to .Net (like checking user roles, encryption, database access, search engine, etc.)
- Convert ASP includes for page structure into .ascx files.
Of course, none of this has gone into production yet (sigh…). It is on the test sever and hopefully will roll out by the end of the month.