Web app: Multi window navigation


I like to rewrite my desktop application as cgi web app. (+/- 8 function specific windows)
The desktop app has a menu bar and can load multi windows at the same time.
For example: Your are editing an order in screen one, during that edit, you take a phonecall and search for details in an other order in screen 2

I’m thinking about what is the best way to handle many pages (Screens / windows) in a web app.
How do you handle multiple pages and where to put the navigiation:

  1. Do you load a new page for every single screen?
    if so… do you switch between your screens by a dashboard or menu?
    are you using a static header with a menubar, toolbar or button to your dashboard?

  2. Do you load a main page with some navigation buttons and show/hide some inside placed containercontrols for filling the page specific content.

  3. Does your app have a static secuence for showing the pages (like a wizard).
    Screen1 opens screen 2, screen2 opens screen3 …

  4. Do you load each page in a tabstrip, so you can switch between them

  5. else…

What is the best way to do?

Best regards,

Pretty much all of the methods you list in 1, 2 & 4 have been used. It just depends on your skill, the number and complexity of the pages, whether you need a uniform “header” or “toolbar” across all pages, etc. But many have found that using a single page and swapping webcontainers as needed does perform better (including myself).

As to needing another “window” to perform a lookup function without losing your current place, you can always launch a separate instance of the app in another browser tab or window. You can use a cookie to determine if they’re already logged in so they don’t have to deal with that. You could probably even provide a button that launched another instance, passing any relevant information.