Many years ago, when I first began to learn .NET, a colleague told me that his project manager once made the claim that anytime you go to develop a software component in the .NET framework, make sure Microsoft hasn’t already developed it. This was around the time of transition from ASP to ASP.NET, and the .NET Framework represented this mass of new components and potential opportunity for us. There was so much to learn about the framework that, in a lot of scenarios, it did meet our development needs. While the framework wasn’t the “Swiss army knife” for every situation, it certainly achieved what it was supposed to: the building blocks for developers to develop great code rapidly.
1. Easy to Use and Easy to Learn
A co-worker of mine recently started to use jQuery, and was able to utilize it in a very short period of time. jQuery is very easy to learn because it does so much in a few statements. The documentation on jquery.com is very good, and the huge online community and samples can help you get through the rest.
2. Code Minimalization and Readability
JQuery performs very well, regardless of whether we are talking about DOM traversal, its UI components, or even its animation capabilities. A friend of mine raved over the drag-and-drop feature, and how jQuery can do so much so quickly with two simple method calls generated from two script files.
4. AJAX Support
jQuery can invoke the same server-side objects from the client that the ASP.NET AJAX framework can. jQuery can call web services, load contents from user controls, and inject them into web forms, or invoke action methods in MVC and replace/swap part of the UI with a rendered partial view.
5. Plugins and Extensibility
There is a jQuery plugins section on the website with thousands of third-party plugins developed over the years. In addition, some developers have posted their add-ons on their personal sites and not within jquery.com. To paraphrase an adage from Apple, “There’s a plugin for that.”
Plugins are becoming more advanced, too. For example, recently I ran into the Full Calendar plugin (http://arshaw.com/fullcalendar/), a client-side scheduling component that functions a lot like the Telerik RadScheduler control. Although the jQuery equivalent is not quite as powerful, it does have a lot of features, and possibly provides a company with an alternative to purchasing a product, when the company is trying to stay ahead in this economic time.
6. Business Application Support
As the world moves toward Web 2.0, an open web, and rich client-side development, jQuery is another tool, the Swiss army knife if you will, that developers need to stay ahead of the game.