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I decided to post this because I wan't to share this information that I have gathered during my investation about ASPNET WebParts last 2007. Maybe this will be useful for those who are using ASPNET WebParts in ASPNET 2.0.


Basically this information shows the difference between the Standard WebParts that shipped in ASP.NET 2.0, ASPNET Futures and My Custom WebPart with Custom Verbs.


* Allows cross browser drag and drop capability (can be moved between WebZones)

* Ajax enabled

                                        Findings and Comparison



Standard Webparts

ASPNET Futures Webparts

Custom Webparts with added Custom Verbs

Main Objectives for both browsers

Drag and drop capability in different browsers

NO, IE browser only


NO, IE browser only


But Can move webparts in firefox without drag and drop functionality


Drag and drop capability in inside updatepanel control

YES but in IE browser only


YES but in IE browser only


But Can move webparts without drag and drop functionality


Display of Drop down Verb Menu  in different BROWSERS

NO, IE browser only

NO, IE browser only

YES, But it does not render properly in Firefox



Standard webparts are those normal webparts in aspnet 2.0. It is design to create personalized and customized page. It also used to create portal frameworks as well, but standard webparts has the following limitations below:

*      Standard webparts drag and drop functionality does not work properly in Firefox browser with or without updatepanel. Full functionality of standard webparts will work properly in IE browser only.
*      Webparts DropDown Verb Menu will not be displayed in Firefox browser.

Our aim is that our page should be in AJAX enabled,but in order to achieved this, we should use ASPNET AJA UpdatePanel Control in order to eliminate those flickers occurred when the page refreshes. The main problem is that, if we are going to place those webparts inside an updatepanel control, the drag and drop functionality won’t work at all in Firefox browser.



Figure 1. Standard Webparts with Update Panel in IE browser

-In IE browser, you can drag and drop webparts inside the updatepanel control without flicker.



Figure 2 - Standard Webparts with Updatepanel in Firefox browser

-In Firefox browser, you cannot drag and drop webparts with or without updatepanel. If you try to drag the webparts in a certain zone, it will just highlighted the text as what you have seen in the figure above.





Aspnet futures webparts are designed so that the drag and drop functionalities in Firefox browser will work properly. The main differences between this and the standard webparts are:

                         * Drag and drop capability are supported in both IE and Firefox browser, where as in Standard Webparts drag and drop capibilty is only supported in IE browser.

                         *If I placed aspnet futures webparts inside an updatepanel control ,the drag and drop functionality won’t work properly in both IE and firefox browser.


Figure 3 - Aspnet Futures Webparts without Update panel control

-As what you can see, we can drag and drop webparts in a certain WebZone, but when you do that, it will produce a flicker to the whole page because AFW does not support AJAX Update panel control.



Figure 4 - Aspnet Futures without updatepanel in Firefox browser

-This time you can drag and drop webparts in firefox but without updatpanel, because If we placed webparts inside updatepanel then the drag and drop functionality will not work.

-As well as in IE browser when you drag and drop webparts between WebZone, the page will produce flicker because it does not support the ASPNET AJAX UpdatePanel.


This means that the ASPNET Futures are still not Stable with ASPNET 2.0 version.


According to ASPNET Team that “The current version of the AJAX Futures has a bug when using WebParts inside an UpdatePanel. We are investigating and this will be fixed in a later release of the AJAX Futures”



Note: To get things working in all browsers including the cross browser drag-and-drop feature then you would need to use Visual studio 2008 / VWD 2008 with latest version of the Microsoft ASPNET Futures (AJAX Control Toolkit 3.5).. see this post for more info: Ajax Enabled WebParts and FireFox Drag and Drop



      As expected, Standard Webparts can be extended, we can even override the classes that molds webparts. Since we can extend standard webparts, I have created a custom WebpartZone with Added verbs so that we can move webparts in Firefox browser without drag and drop functionality. However Firebox browser does not recognize Webpart Verb Menu.   Webpart Verb Menu is where the option resides, like the minimize, close and so on. See figure below for a better look:


For details please see:

Enhanced Custom WebPartZone with Custom Move Option Verbs in ASP.NET 2.0 




Figure 7-Custom Webparts in IE

Those options will allow you to move webparts from left, right, up or down instead of drag and drop.We can also use the drag and drop functionality of webparts if you like, means that we can do both functionalities in IE browser.





Figure 8 - Custom Webparts in Firefox

  •  As what you have seen, firefox browser does not recognize those Menu Verbs that’s why the verbs are rendered in that horizonal layout. But you can still move webparts in different WebZones without the drag and drop functionality
  • Does not support drag and drop functionalty.

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Posted on Monday, June 1, 2009 6:27 PM ASP.NET , WebParts | Back to top

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