ASP.NET MVC 4 WebApi with Backbone.js on Azure

Session Details - Boston Code Camp 18 - October 2012

Submitted by: Jeff Whelpley

Time: 2:50 PM – 4:00 PM, Saturday, October 20, 2012
Location: One Mem Drive, Commons (Enter on 11)
Tags: Architecture , Async , Client Development , Cloud , HTML5 , JavaScript , JavaScript MVC , MVC , REST , WebAPI , Windows Azure

When I worked at Wells Fargo, there was an odd reaction from our business users when we finally converted an ancient mainframe system to a web application. Some people welcomed the change, but a rather large number of people absolutely hated it. They didn't even give the new website a chance. In their view the website was slow and didn't react to their actions in the same way as the old terminal screen. At the time I sort of brushed them off as just being "old", but in retrospect...THEY WERE RIGHT! Most web applications, especially ones developed internally within larger companies are dog slow. The issue goes beyond typical server side optimization techniques. The problem is that without JavaScript, every action of the user requires a post back to the server in order to get a reaction. While people have learned over time to throw some spaghetti JavaScript code on their pages to help alleviate this problem somewhat, most people do not exploit the power of JavaScript as much as they should.

I recently created an app that uses ASP.NET MVC to serve up the server-side pages (i.e. for search engines and the initial client side template), RESTful services through ASP.NET WebApi and a Backbone.js single page app for all non-search engine user functionality. All of this is deployed on Azure. It is crazy fast and provides a great user experience.