I recently came to the conclusion that I needed a MUCH better starter project for building ASP.NET MVC applications. You see, I’m not a designer. I just don’t have those skills. I can make things look good in my head, but I can’t translate that to Photoshop and then to CSS attributes. Then one day I stumbled upon Twitter’s Bootstrap project, which is a free, open source CSS/JS framework/library that has literally everything you need to build a quality, production ready application (from a design perspective). It’s by far the most exciting project for me in a long time, as it fills the huge void and weakness that I have in building good-looking stylesheets from scratch. Then, this past week I found CodeFirstMembership – an open source membership provider, similar to the ASP.NET .mdf file in the default starter projects, but that is written using EntityFramework Code First. This…this was huge. So I decided to begin to curate all these technologies in to an ASP.NET MVC starter project to end all starter projects (ya know, if you plan to go live very soon after you start and expect folks to not throw up when they see your site).
One of the best ways to learn how to code well is to read code and write it (imagine that!). Luckily, with Visual Studio, Microsoft has graced us with tons of Starter Kits that are free to use. Starter Kits are pre-packaged project templates that are usually completed websites that you can build on top of or read to learn from. Now, with WebMatrix and its integration with Visual Studio, you have even more ways to get started fast on your side projects with tons of open source applications to learn about MVC, OAuth, and more. However, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a starter kit for a tier-based pricing model Software as a Service (SaaS) web application. With the rise of cloud computing platforms like Microsoft’s Azure, and SaaS, it’s always beneficial to know how to scale a solution not only from a technical aspect, but from a consumer aspect as well. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a starter kit for SaaS applications?