Apps Microsoft

Online Photo Albums made easy

As with any other user with digital cameras, I too have built over the years tons of Digital photographs. Now for the last 1 year, after my Son was born, the photos have increased by leaps. After downloading from the camera I keep them organized in Folders (Family, son, Travel, Business, Friends, Presentations & Venkatarangan). When I last counted, the Photos folder on my laptop was about 1.8GB!.

The problem I have is not with storage – with the ever decreasing cost of Hard-disks, this is not a problem. The problem is on sharing this with my friends.

Since I have my own domain and web server space, I didn’t opt for any of the online paid/free photo services that offer you to upload and build your own digital photo albums. This includes MSN Photos, Snapfish, Kodak’s oFoto & Yahoo Photos!

In the early years, I was using Microsoft FrontPage to create my albums (using FP’s Templates) and upload my photo albums. This had two drawbacks, I should have FrontPage Server Extensions on my server (which my Admin strongly doesn’t approve) and the other was the template was looking very old. Even with Frontpage 2003, Microsoft hasn’t updated the template. So it was time to move on…

Microsoft Fotovison Sample

Microsoft Fotovison Sample

After several searches, I found a near perfect solution for my problem. It was Microsoft FotoVision. FotoVision is not a commercial product, but a free sample with Source from Microsoft. The application demonstrates the best practices for building a good Windows Smart Client Application.

FotoVision-2

There are three modules to this application:
1)One which runs on the desktop that allows to edit/modify your photos and organize them into Albums.
2)A very similar one to above, but one which runs in Microsoft Pocket PC and Windows CE Devices
3)The third is an ASP.NET Web Application that accepts your photo albums from the client application and displays them online in neat Albums format.

Once you have set up the Web Application, which is a simple XCOPY Deployment, permission setting and running an EXE in the web server to set up your password, you are ready. Just fire up the Client application and start playing with your new photo albums and publishing them with a single button press. While I am writing this, I came across Jalbum, let me give it a try and post on how I think it compares with FotoVision.

Before I end this, I suggest you also visit Photo Basics at MSN.com, for some easy articles on taking good photographs.