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JavaScript MVC in DNN Part 3 - Views/Templates with knockoutJS and AngularJS

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Creator: host   7/14/2015 5:27:02 AM    Author: Daniel Mettler   Source: http://www.dnnsoftware.com/community-blog/cid/155097/javascript-mvc-13--viewstemplates-with-knockoutjs-and-angularjs   Views: 2647    0    0  
Module develop Dnn development DNN 8 JavaScript MVC

This is part 3 of my short series about JavaScript MVC Frameworks. It will show you some examples of templates with MVC-Frameworks, which basically contain the HTML and placeholders where the data is added. If you haven't already read part 1 & 2, I would highly recommend it.

Let's just get started!



I like going directly for real-life examples and then filling in some theory as we go along. So I will start with some real templates, and then explain how they work. To do this, I will be using 5 different templating methods - tokens, razor, jQuery, knockoutJS and AngularJS.


The resulting output for the end user will look like this:

...and will look like this for the editing user, with hovering edit-buttons:


You can see a live demo of the solution here.

Install this tutorial to experiment on your own

I've packaged this entire lesson as a DNN App so that you can experience it directly on your system. Just install 2sxc as instructed here and download the JS-API/JSON-App from here.


Let's begin with the Token template

As you can see, it's very simple and trivial. A few placeholders [Content:Question] and [Content.Answer], a <repeat> section + some header placeholders [ListContent:Title= and [ListContent:Content]


This is the Razor Template

As you all know, the Razor-version is plain HTML with @Variable placeholders. And of course I can add more complex logic as c# code wherever I want to - which is very powerful, but requires server rendering. This is great for SEO-optimized HTML.


A basic jQuery Template

...and the required code to bind it:

The code above basically manually assembles a string and inserts it into the DIV. Not exciting, but good to understand. You shouldn't do it like this though :).


A basic knockoutJS Template

As you can see - it looks very, very simple. It's also easy to understand. What's missing here is the binding code, connecting the JSON-data to the template it looks as follows:


The way this works is part of one of the next blogs - I just included it for completeness.


The same basic AngularJS template

This is the same template when using AngularJS. Again it's very simple to use and read - just the syntax is a bit different.

Below is the binding code. It's a bit more complex than knockoutJS - but for very good reasons that I'll explain in the future: 

This will be explained more in detail - again just included for completeness.


The Binding-Code

As you are probably aware, the Tokens and Razor bindings happen automatically, because 2sxc does it for you. So the binding-mechanisms are very generic and trivial; using knockoutJS and AngularJS will require a bit more work. But it's mostly copy-paste from one project to the other - so the overhead is minimal. But you will be awarded with a slick, fast UI that's infinitely adaptable :).


Try it yourself!

Go ahead, download the app, have fun.


Summing it up

You have many options - but they are all reasonably easy when doing simple stuff, and all get more complex when you need more features. In reality, AngularJS needs a bit a bit more complex, but scales much, much better. And the complexity has good reasons - like security (the $sce in the code). We'll learn more about that in the future.

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