Put On Your Thinking Caps


By David Riggs


It s never too early to plan ahead. Whether you re charged with building a new Web storefront, making travel arrangements for a much anticipated family vacation to DisneyWorld, or coordinating an annual readers choice ballot, you could pay dearly if you don t have a plan.


Everybody plans differently. I like checklists. It s not that I m absentminded I just like to be able to confirm each task, each item for which I m responsible. Camera? Check. Sunscreen? Check. Hotel reservations for the same two mid-winter weeks that everyone else is out of school? Um, er, ... there s sure to be something available at this late date, isn t there? Believe me, it pays to plan ahead you ve got a much better chance at keeping everybody happy.


Granted, you can t please all the people all the time, but I do like to try. For instance, take our annual readers choice ballot. Last year I got several suggestions for worthy, albeit tardy, ballot entries after we reported the results. There were several very disappointed companies out there. After all, for many vendors these types of ballots offer a chance to validate their work and justify the long hours spent developing, testing, and marketing their products. And they get bragging rights for a year, the use of the winner s logo for promotional materials, and, and ... well, the validation is what s most coveted. And it falls to you, the readers of asp.netPRO, to show them your appreciation and recognition for a job well done.


I know, I know: The balloting won t start for a couple of months, but it seems prudent to issue a quick heads up sooner rather than later. This way there shouldn t be any reason why a product is not listed on this year s ballot.


First, let s review the ground rules. The criteria for entry are simple: The product must be useful to an ASP.NET developer in a direct way, and it must be a commercial product, i.e. it cannot be freeware or open source. Products are categorized as follows: Add-in, Charting & Graphics Tool, Chat Application, Code Editor, Communications Tool, Community Resource, Component Set, Content Management System, e-Commerce Package, E-mail Control, Forum Application, Grid, Hosting Service, IDE, Navigation Control, Online Editor, Polling Tool, Printing/Reporting Tool, Project Management/Defect Tracking, Scheduling/Calendar Tool, Security Tool, Testing/QA Tool, Training, and Utility.


And yes, not every tool fits neatly into one of these categories. So offer me viable suggestions for the ones you think are too tightly, and inappropriately, crammed into our pigeon holes. (If you need to refresh your memory, check out last year s winners and top finishers.)


So here s your chance to plan ahead. Think about the products and services that make your ASP.NET development easier, more efficient, more profitable, maybe even more fun. Then drop me a quick e-mail citing the product name, company name, and category you d like to see it in I ll start a list.


Thanks for reading.


David Riggs is editor-in-chief of asp.netPRO and its companion e-newsletter, asp.netNOW. Reach him at mailto:[email protected].




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