Using jQuery validation with ASP.NET WebForms

AJAX, ASP.NET, jQuery, UI By . Updated November 24, 2009

Validation Sticker

You’ve probably noticed that Jörn Zaefferer’s jQuery validation plugin has been gaining momentum in the ASP.NET community lately. Between Microsoft’s implied endorsement via ASP.NET MVC 2.0 integration and the plugin’s recent inclusion on the Microsoft AJAX CDN, adoption is only increasing. Unfortunately for those who don’t or can’t use ASP.NET MVC yet, using the validation plugin within WebForms applications can be tricky.

Because the WebForms Postback model requires that the entire page be contained within a single form element, form submissions that shouldn’t trigger validation are likely. ASP.NET’s built-in validation controls solve this with ValidationGroups and the CausesValidation property, but that doesn’t help if you’d prefer to use the jQuery validation plugin.

However, there are a couple relatively easy workarounds that make it possible to use the jQuery validation plugin on WebForms pages, without re-architecting the page or its forms. In this post, I’ll show you why the WebForms page structure is a problem, how to make jQuery validation work with it, and an example of implementing those workarounds.

Note: I want to preface this by saying that you should never rely entirely on client-side validation. The jQuery validation plugin can be a great replacement for the client-side part of the ASP.NET Validators, but it is not a complete replacement on its own. Use responsibly!

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Highslide JS .NET v4.1.5

ASP.NET, Highslide, UI By . Posted August 25, 2009

Though the version number only inched up 0.0.1 with this release, it brings quite a few new features; most of them in response to your requests. I can’t include every request, but I will continue to improve the control based on your feedback, so keep them coming.

Changes in v4.1.5 include:

  • Updated the base Highslide JS library to v4.1.5.
  • Updated the embedded CSS to the latest version bundled with Highslide JS. This fixes the issue with the transparent/blank bar during enlargement if a caption is set.
  • A few internal improvements that should make it work more reliably in some situations.

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Get early access to ASP.NET AJAX in Action, Second Edition

AJAX, ASP.NET, JavaScript, Reading By . Updated August 21, 2009

The book cover of ASP.NET AJAX in Action, 2nd EditionIf you’ve been reading long, you might remember that I’ve been a fan of ASP.NET AJAX in Action since the original was published. By avoiding heavy reliance on drag ‘n drop methodologies, the Manning book leaves readers with a deeper understanding of the framework.

Without understanding the underlying mechanisms well, developing successful solutions is as much a function of luck as it is skill; especially when it comes to debugging and maintenance. So, I think a comprehensive book like this is absolutely essential.

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Simplify calling ASP.NET AJAX services from jQuery

AJAX, ASP.NET, JavaScript, jQuery By . Posted July 21, 2009

As jQuery’s popularity in the .NET community has risen over the past year, one recurring theme I’ve seen is the desire to refactor away the details of using it to call ASP.NET AJAX services. Whether through helper function or specialized jQuery plugin, I’ve seen numerous methods proposed and/or in use.

Personally, the syntax never bothered me. The contentType parameter is ugly, but I have a Visual Studio code snippet for the $.ajax call and rarely think about it.

That came to an end earlier this year, when I started using dataFilter. I needed to isolate my code from the “.d” issue, and wanted to take advantage of browser-native JSON parsing in Firefox 3.5 and IE8, which required a bulky dataFilter.

Repeating that entire callback function in every $.ajax call was not acceptable. So, I was happy to learn that jQuery provides an excellent solution for consolidating settings to be used in multiple instances of $.ajax.

In this post, I’ll show you how to use that consolidation feature, and exactly how I am now using that to more simply call ASP.NET AJAX services with jQuery.

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Improving jQuery’s JSON performance and security

AJAX, ASP.NET, JavaScript, jQuery By . Posted July 7, 2009

When you’re working with JSON, performance and security are often opposing, yet equally important concerns. One of these areas of contention is handling the JSON strings returned by a server. Most JavaScript libraries do a great job of abstracting away the details, but the underlying process has long been a frustrating exercise in compromise.

On one hand, eval() is the fastest widely available method, but it is not safe.

On the other hand, textual JSON parsers written in JavaScript may be much safer, but are dramatically slower. In client-side situations, where milliseconds count, such a large performance overhead is typically too prohibitive to accept.

Recently, an exciting new alternative has emerged: browser-native JSON parsing. Integrating JSON parsing as part of the browser’s implementation of JavaScript allows for using the more secure parsing method, and even provides performance faster than eval() offers.

To take advantage of that, this post will show you how to detect whether or not a browser supports native JSON parsing, and how to force jQuery to use browser-native parsing in its $.ajax calls when it is available.

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Never worry about ASP.NET AJAX’s .d again

AJAX, ASP.NET, JavaScript, jQuery By . Updated August 2, 2009

When I recently received this message from a frustrated reader:

After hours and hours of slamming my head into the desk it turns out it was the darn "d" in the response. My home computer is on .NET 2.0 and my work computer is on 3.5. Jimminie Christmas!

I realized that the “.d” introduced in ASP.NET AJAX 3.5’s JSON responses is still all too common a stumbling block when calling ASP.NET AJAX services through a library such as jQuery. In fact, with jQuery’s popularity among ASP.NET developers on the rise, this appears to have become an even more frequent problem.

Since a lot of people are having trouble with it, I want to share one method you can use to completely isolate your code from the problem. If you bake this into an $.ajax() code snippet or otherwise use it as a template for calling ASP.NET AJAX services in jQuery, you should never have to think or worry about the “.d” again.

In this post, I will show you how to detect the “.d” and how you can completely isolate your $.ajax success handler from it.

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Hear me talk about jQuery on the Polymorphic Podcast

ASP.NET, JavaScript, jQuery By . Posted June 20, 2009

As a longtime listener myself, I was eager when Craig asked me to come on the Polymorphic Podcast to talk about jQuery. I’ve always enjoyed how he doesn’t shy away from talking about HTML and JavaScript, which is still too uncommon in the .NET world.

With that in mind, I knew we’d be able to have a great conversation about jQuery and the concerns that ASP.NET developers run into when using it. I really enjoyed recording the show, and think it turned out pretty well. I hope you’ll enjoy it too:

Polymorphic Podcast: jQuery Secrets with Dave Ward

If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend subscribing to Craig’s podcast. There are some real gems in his previous shows too, so check those out as well.

11 keystrokes that made my jQuery selector run 10x faster

ASP.NET, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Performance By . Updated June 30, 2010

As an ASP.NET developer working on the client-side, one problem you’ll encounter is how to reference the HTML elements that ASP.NET web controls generate. All too often, you find yourself wasting time trying to reference TextBox1, when the element is actually rendered as ctl00_panel1_wizard1_TextBox1.

Much has been written about this, including a post of my own, so I won’t go into detail about many of the workarounds. Instead, I want to take a closer look at the performance drawbacks of one popular solution: the [attribute$=value] selector.

By specifying id as the attribute in this selector, you can avoid ASP.NET’s ClientID issues completely. No matter what the framework prefixes your rendered elements with, they still “end with” the ID you specify at design time. This makes the “ends with” selector a convenient alternative to injecting a control’s ClientID property via angle-brackets.

However, are we trading performance for this convenience? If so, how much?

When Craig Shoemaker asked that question while interviewing me for an upcoming episode of Polymorphic Podcast, I realized I didn’t know the answer as clearly as I’d like. So, I decided to do a bit of benchmarking.

In this post, I’ll share the results of that benchmarking, and show you one way to significantly improve the performance of this convenient selector.

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Highslide JS .NET v4.1.4

ASP.NET, Highslide, UI By . Posted June 3, 2009

A new version of Highslide JS .NET is available today. Nothing major has changed in the .NET control, but the newer Highslide JS version includes several bug fixes, compatibility improvements, and performance benefits.

To eliminate one common source of confusion, I’ve decided to begin versioning Highslide JS .NET based on the version of Highslide JS embedded within the the control. For example, since this release is v4.1.4, it contains v4.1.4 of Highslide.

Changes in v4.1.4 include:

  • Updated embedded Highslide JS script version to 4.1.4. You can see what has changed in that on the Highslide.com changelog page.
  • Added ControlBarPosition property to the HighslideManager, which allows you to position the enlargement’s control bar in any corner of the image.
  • Added several properties (ControlBarPreviousTitle, ControlBarNextTitle, ControlBarMoveTitle, and ControlBarCloseTitle) to control title attributes of links rendered in the control bar. Useful for localization.

As always, the free download is available on the Highslide JS .NET project page.

What ASP.NET developers should know about jQuery

AJAX, ASP.NET, JavaScript, jQuery By . Updated May 19, 2011

As much as I enjoyed attending MIX09 this year, it wasn’t a difficult decision when Karsten asked me to write an article for the MIX Online site.

Reading this here, there’s a good chance the article is targeted below the amount of jQuery expertise you already have. However, it’s been brought to my attention that some readers have found it useful for sending to their more JavaScript-phobic coworkers.

So, I decided that it’s worth mentioning here after all:

It’s hard to believe that JavaScript is already well over a decade old. Often relegated to marginal tasks in its early years, JavaScript has grown to become a pillar of modern web development. With the current popularity of DHTML and AJAX, it can be difficult to find a site that doesn’t use JavaScript anymore. One of the driving forces behind JavaScript’s newfound popularity is a proliferation of JavaScript frameworks, such as jQuery.

 

Why?

Click here to continue reading this article on the MIX Online site »