Cookieless user data storage using HTML5 Web Storage API

Web Storage

A while back I started writing about HTML5 and wrote “a brief guide to the enhancements and new features of HTML5” as well as more detailed articles about “HTML5 Video“, drawing using the “HTML5 Canvas” and “HTML5 Canvas Animation” and also one about scaleable vector graphics (SVG) with examples using HTML5. This follows on from those subjects with an article dedicated to the “HTML5 Web Storage API”. There are two new types of web storage that are now available to web developers in HTML5 for both local and session storage. However, before I can cover the Web Storage API, I think it’s best to cover what there was before HTML5

Working with charts in Excel powered ASP.NET websites

Web Charts

Personally, I think Microsoft Excel charts are powerful and look quite good so in this article, we will use SpreadsheetGear to connect to a workbook and fetch a chart as an image to display on an APS.NET web page. Obviously websites could use a charting library or define their own chart like images using the data generated from Excel but in this example we will get the image of a chart that is generated in Excel. This article is part of a set on using SpreadsheetGear to include the power of Microsoft Excel behind your website. This article does not cover the basics of using SpreadsheetGear so if you are

Working with macro functions in Excel powered ASP.NET websites

Macro Enabled

In this article, we will use SpreadsheetGear to connect to a macro-enabled workbook that has one user-defined macro function and we will attach a class to the SpreadsheetGear object to replace that function at runtime. This is not just a feature of SpreadsheetGear as middle-wear between a website or application and a Microsoft Excel workbook will not support macros but some of them such as SpreadsheetGear will allow you some way of redefing them. We will populate the initial page values of an ASP.NET website from a spreadsheet, make changes to those values on the website and get the results from a macro-enabled workbook. The workbook uses a custom function

How to build Microsoft Excel powered ASP.NET websites

How to build Microsoft Excel powered ASP.NET websites

Microsoft Excel provides easy to use and very good (in my opinion) functionality for most business applications and with its charting capabilities and extensibility through Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) and data links to other storage applications it gives you a powerful tool at your fingertips on your desktop or laptop. That is great if you are with your client or don’t mind sending them your Workbook to use on their machines but it’s not very practical if you want to protect your intellectual property or view on different devices such as tablets or smart phones. Sharing your tools online legitimately has always been a challenge but using various components

Creating and using scalable vector graphics on the web


This article is about Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) on your web pages. I would have classed it as a HTML 5 tutorial but it is not strictly speaking to do with HTML 5 although it does use HTML to display the images. An SVG is a file that has been written in XML and contains all of the information needed to draw the image on the screen in text. This way the browser knows exactly how to re-scale it depending on the viewing area so there is no loss of quality when viewing on a small or large screen. You can of course create graphics using the HTML 5 Canvas

Animation example using the HTML 5 Canvas


Following on from my article Getting started with HTML5 canvas, this short article adds another example of what you can do. If you haven’t already done so, it is worth revisiting my previous article to get familiar with the terms and Canvas setup. This article shows you that animation on the HTML 5 Canvas is really quite simple. The example here moves a small box around the screen and changes its direction and colour when it hits the boundary of the canvas. As there is not much to it so this brief article will include the full code, a couple of screenshots and explain what is happening. HTML 5 Code

Streamlining application development requirements

Under Construction

It has been some time but this article follows on from my previous article about breaking an application development project into several phases; introducing phases to an application development project. In this article I will cover how to break the phase or whole project (if it is small enough not to require breaking down into phases), estimating the amount of work and prioritising the order of that work. First up, the project or phase needs to be broken up into tasks that can be described by no more than three sentences. Usually, if it takes more than that to describe the functionality then these tasks need to be broken down

Getting started with HTML5 canvas


A while back I gave an HTML5 overview with the intention of writing more about each of those areas. So this is one of those and is dedicated to the HTML5 canvas. It is quite long as I wanted to cover as many features as I could in the one article. As the canvas relies on JavaScript, I’ll also cover that as well as the basics you need for the HTML5 page structure. The HTML5 canvas allows you to specify a portion of a web page that you can draw directly on using JavaScript. You can still use your server side code to populate the values of the canvas so

Preparing to move your Excel modeller into a web application

Excel To Web

Over the years I’ve seen some really great modellers that have been built using Microsoft Excel. I also get told quite often that it would be great if these modellers could be delivered online. Of course you can share them online with other Excel users either by email or by using a download link on a website, but quite often these modellers contain code and users don’t always trust macro-enabled workbooks. What, of course, they really want is to deliver the same Excel experience online and so they have two choices which we’ll cover here. There are places that can take a workbook and with a few modifications deliver it

Introducing phases to an application development project

Under Construction

I wanted to write about some of the ways application development has changed over the years. In this first article, I will cover the phasing of application development against more traditional delivery approaches such as waterfall and agile. It covers the reasons why you and your application development effort should be adopting a phased approach too and I will follow up with more articles on refining this approach. There is nothing actually wrong with the waterfall or agile approaches if you have the right environment to make them work. This article is about how to get the requestor’s input during a traditional waterfall project by introducing phases to the overall