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TabStrip
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Albert Shenker
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Albert Shenker asked on 19 Nov 2008, 06:24 PM
I am developing a web app and was hoping to get some architecture advice. This application has 4 primary tabs and each tab has 2-5 sub-tabs. Each sub tab will represent a page of content that includes various contols (grids, trees, etc.). I am trying to figure out the best way to architect the use of these tabs in order to create the best possible performance and user experience.

Option 1: I can have a single web page and use the tabstrip conrol and multipage to display all the pages. To improve performance, I can load the pageviews and their content dynamically. 

    Pros: This will limit the initial loading time of the applicatoin as only the default sub-tab page will be loaded. Subsequent loadings can be done with Ajax to prevent postbacks. After a page has been loaded the first time, subsequent clicks to it will be almost instantaneous and they would be handled by the client-side abilities of the tabstrip.

    Cons: Each time a new sub-tab page is loaded, the viewstate will grow. So, each time I do something on one of the pages, it will require the loading of the viewstate for other pages which have nothing to do with what is going on on that particular page. Also, I have found that getting dynamically loaded controls to funciton well in more complext scenarios to be quite challenging.

Option 2: I can use the tabstrip and subtabs to load each page in a container, such as as splitter pane.
    
    Pros: Each page will be loaded from scratch, so the viewstate wil only be loaded for the particular page being displayed. Because each page will be loaded individually, the operation of the controls within them will be simpler (ie they won't depend on dynamic loading)

    Cons: Each loading of the pages will require the same amount of time since they will be loaded from scratch upon clicking on the tabstrip. Also, there will be no "memory". For instance if I change the sort order of a grid on one of the pages, and click to another page, when I click back, the grid will be re-initialized, because the page wil be loaded from scratch.

I'm not sure I can think of any other architectures off the top of my head as alternatives. Any advice about these or any others would be appreciated!

No answers yet. Maybe you can help?

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