ClassApps: In A Class By Itself


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Last time we reviewed ClassApps' SelectSurvey, a .NET version was in its infancy, the server application was still based on ASP, and the company only had one other server product. For the last four years, ClassApps has spawned three server products out of specific business functionality needed in SelectSurvey.

ClassApps' key market differentiation has always been its source code. Originally written in ASP, the source code is now fully rewritten in C#. Version 3 is extremely easy to use and manage.

Administrators are going to find SelectSurvey.Net 3 far more robust than its ASP counterpart. However, the management interface has not dramatically changed in the last four years, with a few key exceptions -- slightly improved template section, great administration tools, email lists and an embedded reporting engine.

In addition to the well-written code in this survey application server, the administration tools just place the product over the top. Many competitors only provide partial functionality and often embed critical features in runtime code

SelectSurvey.Net comes with cool administration tools to test SMTP settings, database connections, data validation, kiosk based administration, and a feature that generates XML data for Crystal Xcelsius.

ClassApps added many new respondent options in design mode. The new surveys have a lot of granularity regarding access levels. For instance, you can create surveys that can accept multiple responses but require users to login to a Website. You also can create surveys that users can resume if they stop in filling them in midstream. Kiosk type surveys will delete cookies when users complete them.

SelectSurvey.Net now integrates with Active Directory and LDAP and provides general end user management features. Users can be separated into groups, but that's about it. Internal management functionality is still the same.

In addition for its support of Microsoft Access, SelectSurvey.Net supports Oracle, SQL Server and Postgres. ClassApps developers abstracted and simplified the data access layer so that even novice users could connect to a supported database in seconds. Once you add a connection string with the proper parameters and security access, SelectSurvey.Net takes over and does the rest. It's that simple.

Survey responses no longer need to be exported to text files, so that the data could be analyzed with Excel's graphs and charts. SelectSurvey.Net's report section provides some graphical views of survey data.

Ultimately, what makes SelectSurvey.Net customizable is its source code. The code is well designed and properly segmented into logical tiers. Developers can literally integrate the application server into a framework or a complete application.

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