Employee Info Starter Kit: Project Mission

Posted by Mohammad Ashraful Alam on Geeks with Blogs See other posts from Geeks with Blogs or by Mohammad Ashraful Alam
Published on Thu, 17 Mar 2011 21:32:44 GMT Indexed on 2011/03/18 0:11 UTC
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Employee Info Starter Kit is an open source ASP.NET project template that is intended to address different types of real world challenges faced by web application developers when performing common CRUD operations. Using a single database table ‘Employee’, it illustrates how to utilize Microsoft ASP.NET 4.0, Entity Framework 4.0 and Visual Studio 2010 effectively in that context.

Employee Info Starter Kit is highly influenced by the concept ‘Pareto Principle’ or 80-20 rule. where it is targeted to enable a web developer to gain 80% productivity with 20% of effort with respect to learning curve and production.


User Stories

The user end functionalities of this starter kit are pretty simple and straight forward that are focused in to perform CRUD operation on employee records as described below.

  • Creating a new employee record
  • Read existing employee record
  • Update an existing employee record
  • Delete existing employee records

Key Technology Areas

  • ASP.NET 4.0
  • Entity Framework 4.0
  • T-4 Template
  • Visual Studio 2010

Architectural Objective

There is no universal architecture which can be considered as the best for all sorts of applications around the world. Based on requirements, constraints, environment, application architecture can differ from one to another. Trade-off factors are one of the important considerations while deciding a particular architectural solution.

Employee Info Starter Kit is highly influenced by the concept ‘Pareto Principle’ or 80-20 rule, where it is targeted to enable a web developer to gain 80% productivity with 20% of effort with respect to learning curve and production.

“Productivity” as the architectural objective typically also includes other trade-off factors as well as, such as testability, flexibility, performance etc. Fortunately Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 and Visual Studio 2010 includes lots of great features that have been implemented cleverly in this project to reduce these trade-off factors in the minimum level.

Why Employee Info Starter Kit is Not a Framework?

Application frameworks are really great for productivity, some of which are really unavoidable in this modern age. However relying too many frameworks may overkill a project, as frameworks are typically designed to serve wide range of different usage and are less customizable or editable. On the other hand having implementation patterns can be useful for developers, as it enables them to adjust application on demand. Employee Info Starter Kit provides hundreds of “connected” snippets and implementation patterns to demonstrate problem solutions in actual production environment. It also includes Visual Studio T-4 templates that generate thousands lines of data access and business logic layer repetitive codes in literally few seconds on the fly, which are fully mock testable due to language support for partial methods and latest support for mock testing in Entity Framework.

Why Employee Info Starter Kit is Different than Other Open-source Web Applications?

Software development is one of the rapid growing industries around the globe, where the technology is being updated very frequently to adapt greater challenges over time. There are literally thousands of community web sites, blogs and forums that are dedicated to provide support to adapt new technologies. While some are really great to enable learning new technologies quickly, in most cases they are either too “simple and brief” to be used in real world scenarios or too “complex and detailed” which are typically focused to achieve a product goal (such as CMS, e-Commerce etc) from "end user" perspective and have a long duration learning curve with respect to the corresponding technology. Employee Info Starter Kit, as a web project, is basically "developer" oriented which actually considers a hybrid approach as “simple and detailed”, where a simple domain has been considered to intentionally illustrate most of the architectural and implementation challenges faced by web application developers so that anyone can dive into deep into the corresponding new technology or concept quickly.


Since its first release by 2008 in MSDN Code Gallery, Employee Info Starter Kit gained a huge popularity in ASP.NET community and had 1, 50,000+ downloads afterwards. Being encouraged with this great response, we have a strong commitment for the community to provide support for it with respect to latest technologies continuously.

Currently hosted in Codeplex, this community driven project is planned to have a wide range of individual editions, each of which will be focused on a selected application architecture, framework or platform, such as ASP.NET Webform, ASP.NET Dynamic Data, ASP.NET MVC, jQuery Ajax (RIA), Silverlight (RIA), Azure Service Platform (Cloud), Visual Studio Automated Test etc. See here for full list of current and future editions.

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