– Sweet ASP.NET MVC 1.0 + jQuery Application

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

You may have noticed this blog has been awfully quiet in the past couple of months.  That’s because I’ve been working on a neat side project with a couple of other developers.  Today, we’d like to submit our project to the ASP.NET community to get some feedback. The site is called  You can check it out here:

What we’re trying to create with WorkGrabber is something like the eBay of local service contractors. In an nutshell, when you post a job, you’re bringing the entire project directly to contractors in detail. You can upload photos and videos as well as answer questions and interact with contractors while keeping your information private.  You can review bids from local contractors and accept the one that you like the most.  You can read more about the features of WorkGrabber on the WorkGrabber blog. In this post, I want to focus more on the technology we used to create it.

We started developing WorkGrabber during the earlier releases of ASP.NET MVC although we were pretty sure we weren’t going to release it until the first RTM. It gave us more time to beta test the site with friends and family before releasing it into the wild. Here’s a breakdown of some of the tools we used.

WorkGrabber is built on top of ASP.NET MVC 1.0. Not a whole lot changed in the past couple releases of MVC so upgrading was fairly simple. The data access code is developed mostly using LINQ to SQL with a SQL 2005 database. jQuery is used throughout the site to create some cool visual effects. For example, we used jQuery Tag Suggestion plugin to create this neat auto-suggest tagging feature for when you’re posting a job.

 tag samples

Throughout WorkGrabber, we use the jQuery Facebox plugin to create really cool modal windows.  The modal windows themselves are ViewUserControls which are rendered back to the client.  Here’s an example:

 facebox sample

The majority of images are hosted by ImageShack and the galleries use the jQuery lightBox plugin to create a really neat modal effect.  So much is built into this jQuery plugins that they really make client side development a blast.

 photo gallery

I plan to post more about the internals of WorkGrabber in later posts.  I’d love to hear some of your feedback.  If you have a project on your “honey-do” list that you keep putting off, try posting it on WorkGrabber to get some free local contractor bids.

Try posting a job and let me know what you think in the comments here.


  1. Cool site! Where can I download the source code? Is it open source?

  2. cowgaR says:

    “Sorry, an error occurred while processing your request.”

    but otherwise, sweet mate!
    hope too much Javascript won’t kill the app, I find it annoying sometimes (hate modal windows ;-)

  3. MikeBosch says:

    @cowgaR Yeah a little embarrassing to say the least. Turns out my web host was doing some upgrade and it brought down the SQL sever. All better now!

  4. hugeonion says:

    Nice site Mike — I hope it takes off for you.

    Can you shed some light on your hosting provider? I am going to be working on a site soon that I would like to use MVC and am trying to select a provider that hosts MVC sites with SQL backends (don’t really want to do the dedicated server thing).

    Any suggestions?

  5. MikeBosch says:

    @hugeonion I’m using Reply

  • Shyju says:

    Kindly guide us how to use ASP.NET MVC with jQuery to develop rich internet applications

  • http:// says:

    Hi Mike,
    really nice to hear that you are going to put this project for everyone. I tell you something, I am working on a site similar to in mvc. I copied some idea from workgrabber/stackoverflow etc. its not online yet, but will soon be available and want to make the codes public. Would love to get the code reviewed by experts like you.


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