The first major update for We Are Wearside since it’s initial launch last month. With this release, which I’ve called version 1.1, sees the introduction of the players encyclopedia including simple search functionality and embedded commenting system. The update also consisted of additional social media integration with Facebook and Twitter and support for the new Twitter Cards.
The player encyclopedia is made up of only three physical pages – one for searching all players, one to list the current squad, and one to display player information. All player data is stored in a SQL Server database which is entered by the client using the data management program that I developed in conjunction with the website. After generating object-relational mapping (ORM) code using Microsoft’s ADO.NET Entity Framework (EF), a custom built data access layer (DAL) allows the code-behind pages to query the object model entities. Using a combination of ASP.NET server controls such as ListViews, the objects are simply bound to the controls and tweaked accordingly.
Other additional aspects added with this release included the ability for users to search for players by name. LINQ (Language-Integrated Query) was used as a method of filter player entities from the returned collection and although this is not the most sufficient way of searching a relational database, it was the quickest to implement which meant more development time could better spent on other features. The commenting system used for player profile pages was the same as blog post pages due to already having existing knowledge and previous experience of implementation but also to keep a consistent similarity for user interaction. Finally the APIs of both Twitter and Facebook were used more in more depth than before, using more specific data so pages could be individually shared rather than at a site wide level, and also to include more rich content such as support for Twitter Cards.
Plans are already in motion for the development of the next update to both the data management application and the website. I’m not going to say what users should be expecting but what I will say is that it will involve expanding the structure of the relational database, a more advanced and index based searching system, and a lot more site content.