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Building an ASP.NET App: John's DVD Catalog - Part 1: The Idea

by John Peterson

Introduction

Here's the plan in a nutshell... to build as ASP.NET application to manage my DVD collection. Now let me back up and explain that I'm not crazy and why this is actually a good idea.

I was surfing the site looking for typos, out of date info, etc. when it occurred to me that while we have tons of code and articles, we have very few complete applications for you to look at and the last one I remember writing is so old I can't remember when I wrote it! Most everything on the site can be covered in one page of code or maybe two at the most. This is good because it allows you to easily take that code, modify it to your needs, and post it on your server. On the other hand, you never get to see how the parts of an application interact with each other, why shared functions and reusable code are a good idea, or even how to combine the different parts in the first place. So I decided something needed to be done and this is my plan.

I'm sure I'm not alone in this, but I've been bitten by the DVD bug. While I probably don't need a database to manage my DVDs, it seemed like an interesting topic around which to build a database and sample application and since I just said that I really don't need it, that must mean that the number is still manageable enough so that typing them all in won't be too much of a pain.

What I Want

I have a decent idea of what I want my DVD catalog to include:

  • basic film information like title, release date, etc.
  • cover image
  • film genre (action/drama/comedy/tv series/etc.)
  • search capability
  • an area for comments so I can write myself notes (like who I loaned the movie to)
  • date purchased? / price paid?

It might also include little things like a rating system so visitors can rate my movies or a way for the most often viewed ones to be highlighted or even an area for visitor reviews, but lets take this one step at a time.

I'm planning on making this a three-tier app (at least logically ... physically it'll probably all run on the same box). I'm planning on using VB for the code and SQL Server for the backend. I'll probably publish it in stages as we complete them. Beyond that we're open to suggestions.

What You Want

Here's where your job comes in... what would you guys like to see? Since this is going to be an ongoing ASP 101 project I figured that we should get your input while we're still in the project requirements phase... so this is your chance to tell us what you want the app to do. Send in your ideas and we'll try and get them included.

Stay Tuned

That's all for now... over the next week or so we'll compile a list of your ideas and get started on a list of application features and the overall goals for the project. After that we'll work out a basic timeline and get started on building my (or should I say your) DVD Catalog.

The Feedback

People have asked if they could see the feedback to see if it would help spark new ideas so here you go.

View some of the feedback we've gotten so far.

Project Links

Building an ASP.NET App: John's DVD Catalog
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