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what technologie to use? Ajax, Silverlight, Visual WebGUI, etc?

Ok, I need to create an Intranet at my job that will interogate a lot our DB to get client information, produce invoices, generate reports, etc.

I want it to be of course accessible throught a browser and i would like to have to possibility to use LINQ for DB communications.

I've been looking over a few solution of developement.

I started with asp.net ajax, i do find it kinda easy to understand and to code. The only hard part is the layout of the pages that doesn't always show the same behavior from one browser to the other.
But i wanted more of a desktop like applications with nice datagrids and stuff like this.

I also found Visual WebGUI which is a framework use to build desktop like web applications. It uses AJAX and we can create silverlight app with having to learn how to use SilverLight or asp.net ajax.
This framework looks incredible since you "supposed" to be able to create a Silverlight app and a desktop app with the same project.
But sadly the current version since to be very buggy.

And for silverlight, this technologies is really new to me but I'm interested in learning how to use it.

I would like to have my application to be more desktop style but i'm not stuck with that.. I would like to know the opinion of some expert regardins those technologies and other technologies that would be good for my project.
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SESIT
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SESIT
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2 Solutions
 
Darksied9Commented:
Have you thought about a professional CRM solution?  Most of them come made to do that...
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silemoneCommented:
ok...quick note:  asp.net ajax is browser independent, meaning it works well in firefox, ie7, etc.  so the layout of your pages most likely had to do with your style sheets...

also, to be quite honest learning aspnet ajax by putting together a project will be great for your learning how to use that framework.  I would like to also recomment the Anthem framework if they have a 3.0 - 3.5 version because it uses pure ajax with aspnet controls...meaning every control has ajax capabilities without the need for extenders.  It's an awesome framework and it's free.

Silverlight is the wave of the future so I would go with that actually so you can keep up with technology and the xaml standards they have.  The only considerations to keep in mind:  1)  let your managers know your time lines which will include learning the technology since you are unfamiliar with some of the frameworks and 2) how much effort and time are you willing to invest.    

Anyway, sounds like you're going to have a great learning experience, so have fun and good luck.
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silemoneCommented:
Darkseid has a great suggestion also....a crm, template solution...only thing, i'm sure they will be expensive, but your company will save a lot of time...
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Darksied9Commented:
Time, it's all about time.  Microsoft CRM is actually not bad, fully webable, integrates with Sharepoint and Dynamics.  If you have an EA agreement, the price is not bad either.
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SESITAuthor Commented:
I would agree about a CRM solution, but we're a software company so we need to be learning new technologies as they come out and this would be a great opportunity to be learning it.

We might be losing time this way, but we gain a lot more with new knowledge. I'll continue this research on the subjects.

I've already created a test project for asp.net ajax to learn how to use it and it's pretty simple to understand.
I'll try to do the same for silverlight.
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SESITAuthor Commented:
I'm wondering where i can get some silverlight controls (free or not too expensive)?

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