Easy Insert with ASP.NET 2.0

Using ASP.NET 2.0 makes inserting information from web user interfaces to a database a snap. Based on the 3-tier software architecture paradigm, an explanation and example of how to accomplish this task is below. The example will start with a simple data model you can use to insert the sample data. Next, there will be a proposed interface design to support the database. An example of how the ASP.NET code behind the interface can be set up to handle the data pass and lastly, a single line of code written to execute the passing of data from the ASP layer to the database.

First, construct a simple database using some ADO compatible database software such as MS SQL or Access. For the purpose of our example we will construct a model based on the following design.

Name Text
Age Integer
Gender Integer

Next, create an interface to support the data model. This example uses Visual Basic as the programming code by which the data insert operation is executed. Similar results may be accomplished using another language such as C#. A text box control is suggested for the name field. A populated drop-down list is suggested for age, and a radio button list is suggested for the gender field. Also, a button should be added for the end-user to click as a trigger to perform the actual insert.

Don’t forget to add a SQL DataSource Control; configure it to include insert capabilities in advanced mode and include all the fields from the database. An example could look like:

<form id="form1" runat="server">
    <asp:TextBox ID="TextBox1" runat="server"></asp:TextBox>
    <asp:DropDownList ID="DropDownList1" runat="server">
        <asp:ListItem Text="18-25" Value="0" />
        <asp:ListItem Text="26-32" Value="1" />
        <asp:ListItem Text="33-40" Value="2" />
    <asp:RadioButtonList ID="RadioButtonList1" runat="server">
        <asp:ListItem Text="Male" Value="0"></asp:ListItem>
        <asp:ListItem Text="Female" Value="1"></asp:ListItem>

Now, in the ASP.NET interface layer, assign the appropriate parameters to the appropriate fields.

<asp:SqlDataSource ID="SqlDataSource1" runat="server">
        <asp:ControlParameter Name="Name" ControlID="TextBox1"
            PropertyName="Text" Type="Char" />
        <asp:ControlParameter Name="Age" ControlID="DropDownList1"
            PropertyName="SelectedValue" Type="Int32" />
        <asp:ControlParameter Name="Gender" ControlID="RadioButtonList1"
            PropertyName="SelectedValue" Type="Int32" />

This code observes the contents of the controls named in the ControlID tags and points them in the direction of the database’s ControlParameter Name which specifies where in the database the information should go. Of course, data types are specified in Type and PropertyName is the control property from which the information should be extracted.

Now, here comes the fun part – a single line of Visual Basic to handle the pass from ASP.NET to the database. Simply double-click the button created in the user-interface, and add this line:


If all went as intended, the project executes and the user should be able to type in their name to the text box on the interface, select their age from the drop down list, select their gender from the radio buttons, click to submit and (voila!) the information is inserted into the database build from the initial data model.

This is one example of how more advanced versions of ASP.NET reduce development time. The ease with which data-driven applications may be constructed using these tools and supporting technologies is a testament to rapid application development techniques as they are applied to the web.

Computer Programming for Kids

Many students don’t get the chance to take a computer science class until high school or even college…a missed opportunity for our younger children. While it’s easy to see the importance of teaching kids how to use a computer, it might be just as valuable to teach them how to program. Not only does it show them what’s happening inside their computer and how computers communicate but it also teaches our kids other important skills like; math, logic and problem solving.

Microsoft has come up with a solution that is fun and educational for younger kids. Microsoft Kodu Game Lab is a visual programming language designed for the newer generations. Most IT types will enjoy the simplicity on the surface and the potential for advanced logic if desired.

Excellent tutorials teach the basics of logic and how to program several different characters to interact with their environment. You can teach small children how to program a Kodu, Rover, cycle or other objects to move with keyboard controls that can be customized easily.

One starts with a customizable world where the geography can be created with grade-school friendly tools. Then some sort of character is placed into the scene and programmed with a “When-Do” (If-Then) language that youngsters understand. Right click the character and click “Program” and a dialog gives a line “When + Do +” where the plus sign is clicked to add to the statement. When a Kodu “sees” an apple, it moves toward it, eats it, moves away from it, or whatever. Adding counters for apples eaten can be displayed in a choice of colors to keep score until a certain number is reached or a count-down timer ends the game.

For more advanced play, Kodu’s can interact with each other and non-player characters can follow programmable pathways until something comes into their space and they shoot at it (if desired). Heat-seeking missiles can be programmed to chase you around the corner in a highly entertaining fashion. Your Kodu can be programmed to glow orange when something sees you or a button can create countermeasures in hopes the enemy will destroy the decoy.

If they want to move past Microsoft Kodu Game Lab, they can start programming with Microsoft XNA. Kodu Game Lab can be programmed entirely from an X-Box with an X-Box controller, mouse and keyboard. The possibilities, and learning potential, are limitless if one is both creative and proficient.

If they decide to continue learning as a student, Microsoft Dreamspark continues where Kodu ends.

Here, they can choose from many Microsoft Technologies and download free, full versions of Microsoft Visual Studio Professional 2012, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio and many more. Also available (free) on Dreamspark are training and certification tools such as Pluralsight, Microsoft Virtual Academy, Free Microsoft Press e-books and certification programs.

If successful, your child can learn important academic skills and  possibly gain a love for programming and logic.





Pasadena Pacers iPhone App

Pasadena Pacers iPhone App - Main Menu

The Pasadena Pacers is the oldest running club in the San Gabriel Valley.  The Pacers iPhone App features…

Interval Timer

Our easy to use interval timer aides runners during workouts by alerting with a sound and vibration when your next interval should begin.  Times can be custom set and switched on the fly.


Sign-up Sheets

Check all current Pacers sign-up sheet opportunities and sign up to volunteer right from your iPhone.



Download on the App Store



Posted in iOS

Top 6 Reasons Why You Should Build a Windows 8 App

By: Jason Carter

Windows 8 is an odd OS.
I’m not talking about the initial “Who moved my cheese?” shock of the new user interface.  You get used to it.  After the initial week or two of daily usage, you learn to be just as productive as before.
No, what I’m talking about is Windows Store apps.  Windows Store apps are the full-screen apps that launch from your Start Screen tiles when you first log in to Windows 8.

I like Windows Store apps, even though the full-screen experience can be a bit disorienting when you are used to the Windows desktop. The name Windows Store is a bit of a misnomer, because the apps in the store don’t have any actual windows.  Even after several months of Windows 8 being my primary OS, I still get a bit of vertigo every time I enter full-screen land.

However, the design and typography of full-screen mode makes for a beautiful experience, especially when reading articles.  And I expect that once I replace my laptop with a device that has a touch screen, the touch-friendliness will be even more appreciated.

In fact, the only gripe I have about Windows Store apps is that there aren’t more of them.
So here is my unabashed plug why You the Company® and You the Individual Developer® should build your own Windows Store apps.

1. Huge Windows Market Share
Even though Windows Store apps run on Windows 8 tablets, they also run on PCs.  This is way different from the fragmented worlds of Apple iOS and Mac OS X.

Windows Store apps don’t have to rely on the sales of Windows tablets or phones to be successful.  Windows already constitutes over 90% market share of all desktop OSs, and over 70%-80% of all device OSs, including mobile!

And while Windows 8 is still a new operating system, it is already selling well and achieved significant buy-in from hardware manufacturers and even the US Department of Defense. Trust me, it will sell, and will attain market dominance in the next three years.

2. Portability
From a consumer standpoint, I like to have access to my apps on whatever machine I’m using. Windows Store apps run natively on both Windows 8 PCs and tablets, without having to wait a year for a company to come out with mobile version of its software.

From an economics standpoint, Windows Store apps are great, because you just develop the code once, and then you automatically get access to markets for both Windows 8 PCs and tablets.

From the standpoint of a developer, I like being able to develop something once and be done.  With software, less code not only means less work, but it also means fewer bugs.

With a well-engineered software package that separates the user interface design from the code that does the heavy lifting, you can use the Shared Core feature of Windows Phone 8 to get your Windows Store app to run on Windows Phone 8 with just a little extra UI design work.

And if portability is really your thing, you can use Portable Class Libraries to share your core code with normal .NET applications (including ASP.NET, Windows Forms, and Windows Presentation Foundation programs), Silverlight, Windows Phone 7, and even the Xbox 360.

3. Standing Out
The first thing most people do once they understand how apps work on the Windows 8 Start Screen is open the Store app and start poking around.

Right now, the Windows Store is so new that many of the big name companies haven’t yet ported their mobile apps to it.

While this is disappointing from a consumer perspective, this presents smaller businesses and individual developers with amazing opportunities to establish their own branding with fewer competitors.

4. Enterprise-Friendly
Windows Store apps are just full of misnomers.  Not only do they not have windows, but you don’t even need to distribute them through the Store.

Microsoft System Center 2012 and Windows Intune come with a feature called the Self-Service Portal, which enables businesses to develop their own private Windows Store line of business apps, and then deploy them in-house without ever touching the Windows Store.

The Self-Service Portal also allows you to personalize which apps are available to which user groups, lock down apps on stolen or lost devices, and even revoke privileges to apps entirely once employees leave the company.

As an added bonus, there is no premium account fee for distributing in-house apps to Windows 8 Enterprise devices on your domain.  Apple charges $299 for the privilege of bypassing their store.

5. Worldwide Marketplace
Windows enjoys almost universal market share in the world’s emerging markets of Asia and South America, where the post-PC age is still hampered by economics and infrastructure. Windows 7 has achieved rapid adoption there, so Windows 8 should have little trouble being accepted as well.

Windows Store apps are perfect for reaching lucrative world markets, since the Windows Store is already available in over 120 countries worldwide.

6. Individual Developers Pay Less
Individual developers pay only $49/year for an account that can distribute apps to both Windows 8 tablets and PCs.

While this can seem like a lot of money to tinkerers used to the one-time Google Play store fee of $25 for developing Android apps, it is still much better than the Apple developer account fee of $99/year for iOS and $99/year more for OS X.

It is easy to justify $4/month for the right to publish your software to the ecosystem that is on the start screen of every Windows 8 device out there.  Since Windows 8 sold over 60 million licenses in the first month and a half it was out, it shouldn’t take long before the cost-to-audience ratio for Windows 8 becomes more lucrative than for Apple iOS.

So now you have all the reasons you need to justify making a Windows 8 Store app.  Do it.  Do it now.

About our Author: Jason Carter is a Microsoft-certified senior software developer with DLS Software Studios and a lover of all things geeky.  He spends most of his free time reading, tinkering with new technology, and playing games. He is a father, a husband, a former Peace Corps volunteer, a gardener, a back country outdoors-man, and a black-belt in Bujinkan budo taijutsu.

Your Online Store Needs Magento

With the proliferation of e-commerce stores, the online shopping experience is targeted to  become more user-friendly to overcome the limitation of a shopper’s tactile experience in the store. With the plethora of e-commerce solutions, businesses stepping into the digital realm have to choose a platform that provides a streamlined and flawless user experience in their e-shop. Magento is one such e-commerce solution that has managed to surface with a reputation of being a reliable solution.

Numbers Show It All
According to a survey conducted by Ahead Works based on Alexa top 1 million stores, Magento is the most popular e-commerce platform with a 31.4% market share, followed by Zen Cart with 13% and Virtuemart with 12.1%. Magento continues to remain in power as the most fashionable platform because of the flexibility and customization that come with its open-source nature. It’s fair to say that the advantages the platform brings, results in high traffic to Magento-based online stores.

Want More Proof?
Both Obama and Romney used Magento e-commerce platform for their campaigns during the Presidential Election season of 2012. Back in 2008, social media made an entry into politics and in 2012, it was time for e-commerce political fundraising. Both Obama and Romney campaigns made use of the Magento e-commerce platform, although they each used it differently to capitalize on their supporters.

Obama initiated the ‘Runway to Win’ campaign where he joined hands with the fashion industry to launch limited edition clothing accessories from top American designers. Even Michelle Obama managed to support the online campaign so much that it became a part of the Democratic National Convention. On the other hand, Romney together with Groove Commerce integrated social networking with the e-store. A campaign was initiated on Facebook to drive traffic to the online store which was quite successful as more than 13,000 people rushed to claim the coupon in three days. It is expected that in fours years down the road, e-commerce political fundraising campaigns will be very critical to achieve election milestones.

Why You Should Adopt Magento?
In simple words, Magento is a flexible and scalable e-commerce solution to help your business flourish and reach the heights of success.

  • Opening up multiple e-stores? You can handle them all from a single administrative panel with a few clicks.
  • Get your stores to have any look and feel you desire with customizable themes.
  • Make maximum use of advanced features such as multiple images of a product, zoom-in capability, and product reviews to enhance shopper experience.
  • Use Google Analytics to track the success of your online store.
  • Introduce marketing initiatives such as up-sell and cross-sell to boost product sales.
  • Order easily using edit, create, view, and fulfill orders from the admin interface.

Our Magento experts can help you make the best use of the Magento e-commerce software for your business. Contact us today to discuss your project!

What is Responsive Web Design?

Technological innovations are happening faster than ever before, changing how and when consumers view the web. With many players in the market and the variety of products available, consumers are able to view web content in an almost unlimited amount of ways.  Screen sizes and resolutions area always changing, so creating a website to target each change is not a practical solution. What is the solution? Responsive Web Design!

So what is Responsive Web Design?
Well… it’s a particular kind of web design which responds to the user’s device. Sites built using the Responsive Web Design (RWD) approach give the user the best viewing experience, from reading to navigation, across a wide range of devices.

It works by sending out “Media Queries” to judge a user’s device and then adjusts flexible images and fluid grids to fit it. This technique has become a popular web design trend because developers can now create just one site for the multiple numbers of devices and screens out there.

Any Future Use?
Seeing the present trends with tablet and smart phone purchases, this is the future of web design.  As Ethan Marcotte, creator and author of Responsive Web Design explains, “Now more than ever, we’re designing work meant to be viewed along a gradient of different experiences. Responsive web design offers us a way forward, finally allowing us to ‘design for the ebb and flow of things.’”

Check out the collection of responsive web design layouts here for some creative inspiration!

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DLS Software Studios has continually grown it's highly experienced team of software engineers and designers. We have built a good track record of realizing and fulfilling the needs and visions of our clients. Case Study