I am looking for a good framework / solution to (quickly) build a simple BackOffice application that manages application data.

In our current situation the application data will be accessed mainly through WCF Services, but some customer requirements will have to access data directly.

Solution requirements

  • Microsoft .Net framework
  • Simple: easy to build simple forms and overviews to navigate and manipulate the data.
  • Extensible: possible to easily extend the functionality with custom code.
  • No excessive customization: should not have to strip down / hack the framework for use.
  • Model: Must be able to use a domain- / service model (instead of a data-model).
  • Authorization: Means to implement and manage user- / data authorization.
  • Support: must follow industry standards that will be supported in the future.
    • Note: This would ease the search for developers.

Options investigated

  1. AngularJS: good framework, but still have to build a lot from scratch.
  2. Umbraco CMS: it's a CMS, would probably need a lot of customization to connect the service-bus.
  3. LightSwitch: probably the fastest way to develop the application, but no standard so limited support and not future proof.
  4. ASP.NET Dynamic Data: for power users maybe, but just too simple for use as a BackOffice.

Current best options

Nr 1: AngularJS SPA Template

This seems to be a good starting point. A lot of out-of-the box functionality to set-up a simple application that manages data. Apart from a promising framework you will have to start from scratch, so maybe there are options that can accelerate development without an overhead of functionality you will never use. Are there good authorization options / modules available or would this be a custom implementation?

Nr 2: Umbraco CMS 7 (also AngularJS)

I've been reading about this, but will this be as easy as they say it is? And, what would be the benefit over the AngularJS SPA Template? Somebody pointed out the integrated user / authorization management system, but I don't know if this will actually be easy to use for data authorization. It would not be favourable to have to strip down and customize too much. Also, Umbraco 7 was released only a year ago, so not a lot of information / expertise (support) seems to be available.

I don't have the feeling that we have found the golden egg yet. Is there nothing in between starting from scratch and a cumbersome solution like LightSwitch?


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