My company is doing some R&D on what it would take to create a database driven ASP .NET form designer for our current product. If the concept can be proven then the next step would to pursue the creation of the full system which would be a very large project for the developer who can do it.
What we are looking for is a way to allow users to create forms in ASP .NET by clicking on a "Design" button after which they can interact with objects via a toolbar and drag/drop the objects onto the page and move them around. Just like Visual Studio does except that it would be done right on the webpage and it would not be as powerful as VS.
Here is an example of a form designer that works like I would like:
[url removed, login to view]
Since this project is a proof of concept I will keep it simple. I only want the following 2 components:
when you go into edit mode you should be able to add new labels/text boxes via a toolkit. Once drawn on the form you should be able to move the objects, resize them and edit the following properties of each:
Label - Component Name, Caption
TextBox - Component Name, Binding (field in the table that this component reads/writes data to).
You should be able to create new forms and give them a name and a Data Source. For this concept the Data Source will just be the name of a single Table.
Also need a simple menu bar to browse records:
Previous,Next,Save,Delete, (also has design button on it)
The final part is that the design of the form must be stored in a database, so we need a Form Engine that will Render and Save form definitions.
When you create a new form the form definition will be stored in a table with the following columns:
ID - row id
Name - name of the form
DataSource - table that drives the data of the form
Height - height of the form
Width - width of the form
The components are saved to this table:
ID - row Id
FormID - id of the form the components go onto
Type - type of the component (right now either 1 for label, or 2 for TextBox)
Height - height of the component
Width - width of the component
DataSource - field its bound to if applicable (only TextBox would use this field)
Caption - text on the component if applicable (only Label would use this field)
When a form is browsed to the look of the form is loaded from the table structure above and rendered for the user.
If this concept can be proven then we will expand the scope of the project greatly and award the developer with that very large project.
See attached file for an example of what Design Mode would look like.
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