Recommendations for Implementing Complex ASP.NET Grid with AJAX Functionality

I’m considering going at this myself because my requirements are particular and highly customized:

  • The grid is bound to a collection of complicated objects, each of which may contain child and grandchild objects. Depending on data and context, the template’d cells vary from TextBoxes to ComboBoxes to Calendars to a combination of controls.
  • TextBox cells have Google-style auto-complete functionality. Also each TextBox cell can expand into a small TreeView pane that allows hierarchy-navigating selection of a value should auto-complete be insufficient.
  • Values from other controls can be drag-and-dropped into cells.
  • Columns are re-sizable and re-orderable. Clicking their headers sorts data.
  • All of the above is AJAX / client-side / Web 2.0 of course.

Has anyone built anything similar from scratch? Or used an effective tool to accomplish this goal? How well would Telerik meet my specs? Is it right to have the hunch that something this specific is best done by taking a Microsoft GridView and extending it myself?

Thanks for your two cents.


Um Rails, with buckets of JQuery UI? If I was building that, I would want to stick tight close to the HTML and CSS. Probably not the answer you were looking for…

I would be thinking a ListView and a custom control (or usercontrol) for cell content, especially if the cells are to exhibit the same or similar behavior or may be partially driven by the available data.

Telerik controls may indeed be a good starting point. They do have some very good support for composability/templating. Don’t expect them to carry you all the way, though.

Thanks, gold. Think I’ll lay off the Rails. I know what you mean by wanting lots of manual control though.

I appreciate the ListView tip, honey.