Thursday, April 22, 2010

Best jQuery Libraries, Plug-Ins and Controls

Worried About The Loss Of ASP.NET Controls in MVC? Don’t Be

If you are hesitant of moving to ASP.NET MVC because you are worried about losing all of the awesome ASP.NET controls that you are so used to using, don’t be. Wonderful client side controls already exist to replace most, if not all, of the most used ASP.NET controls (and these controls provide a MUCH BETTER user experience.)

First off, if you are looking for an excellent jQuery book I HIGHLY recommend jQuery in Action

Here are the best jQuery libraries, plug-ins and controls that I have found to date.

What is a CDN (Content Delivery Network)?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content_delivery_network

jQuery

The best client site Javascript library to date. Client side development without jQuery just doesn’t make sense.

Information, Documentation & Download http://jquery.com/
Google CDN http://code.google.com/apis/ajaxlibs/documentation/index.html#jquery
Microsoft CDN http://www.asp.net/ajaxlibrary/cdn.ashx

jQueryUI

Excellent user interface controls, interactions and effects that are built on top of the jQuery framework. Provides themes for customized look and feel and out of the box excellent user experience.

  • Calendar control
  • Dialog / Modal control
  • Tab control
  • Accordion control
  • Animation effects
  • Draggable / Droppable interaction
  • Much, much, much more….

Information, Documentation & Download http://jqueryui.com/
Google CDN http://code.google.com/apis/ajaxlibs/documentation/index.html#jqueryUI

Date.js

Sweet library that makes working with dates on the client side infinitely easier. Great for date calculations, date ranges and date validation.

  • Text date references; ‘last week’ will return the date for 7 days ago
  • ‘yesterday’ returns yesterday’s date
  • Date.parse('1 month ago').moveToFirstDayOfMonth() returns the first day of last month
  • Much, much more…

Information, Documentation & Download http://www.datejs.com/

Validity Validation Plug In

The jQuery Validity plug-in is an extremely flexible, lightweight and easy to use validation library. You can validate anything on the fly in any instance. It doesn’t require a form or anything else, just setup the validation rules (there are a bunch of common validations built in) and go.

Information, Documentation & Download http://validity.thatscaptaintoyou.com/

DateRangePicker

The DateRangePicker plug-in from the Filament Group is an awesome little user experience element that makes selecting dates so much nicer. You can select predefined dates or date ranges easily (such as last week, last month, yesterday, etc.) and is the best user experience have seen selecting a date range.

Information, Documentation & Download http://www.filamentgroup.com/lab/date_range_picker_using_jquery_ui_16_and_jquery_ui_css_framework/

jQuery Tools

jQuery Tools is an excellent library of user interface elements. It is fairly lightweight and can add some very nice user experience elements to your applications.

  • Tooltips
  • Overlays
  • Scrollable Galleries
  • Flash Embedding

Information, Documentation & Download http://flowplayer.org/tools/index.html

jqGrid

Ah jqGrid, how I love thee jqGrid. This little beauty is a wonderful Gridview alternative in ASP.NET MVC. I wrote up an overview of using it here: http://www.schnieds.com/2010/01/gridview-in-aspnet-mvc.html

Information, Documentation & Download http://www.trirand.com/blog/

jQuery Templates

jQuery Templates are a way to accomplish DataBinding in ASP.NET MVC. Basically you pre-define some HTML elements and then when the page is rendering you use a jQuery AJAX call to get some data from the server, create instances of the HTML elements, populate the values and then append the items into the DOM. jQuery Templates makes this process very easy. Here is a nice tutorial on using this plug-in: http://publicityson.blogspot.com/2009/11/dynamic-content-using-html-templates.html

Information, Documentation & Download http://plugins.jquery.com/project/jquerytemplate

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