Bulk Image Uploading

I’ve decided that I want to be able to allow my users to upload more then 1 image at a time. I wanted to find a solution that wasn’t overly complicated and that I could easily interface into my already existing Java framework. I’ve come up with 4 options.

Option #1:
Use an applet. Now this may seem like a good idea at first but applets can be complicated and I needed additional information to be submitted with my images. I didn’t want to spend hours customizing a solution in Java using Swing.

Option #2:
Use some cryptic (Action something) Microsoft technology that only works in ASP and internet explorer. I don’t even want to begin on discussing the perils of that decision.

Option #3:
Use a flash component. Again while this might seem like a good solution, modifying a flash component to meet my needs is as difficult as option #1.

Option #4:
Use a Javascript plugin. This is the quickest implementation, however you will only be able to select one image at a time every time a user clicks on the browse button.

There are 3 very good options here, the Microsoft one is an extremely terrible idea and should not be attempted. Option #1 and #3 are the most user friendly options but they would require a lot of customization, and a user would be forced to accept a security certificate every time they wanted to upload a file since the software would have to access the users hard disk. Not all web users may be trusting enough to do this. Option #4 is not as aesthetic as the other options and a user would be forced to choose one file at a time, instead of being able select multiple files. A preview would also not be available for every upload, unless the file was pre uploaded to the server but that isn’t a very useful feature. It is possible to do a preview in Internet Explorer by uploading the image to IE’s temporary memory but that doesn’t help me with other browsers.

After looking around to see what the big players in the industry are doing, I’ve decided that the best solution is the go with option #4 and eventually offer options #1 or #3 in the future and give users the option to use either. I use JQuery as my JavaScript framework so naturally it would be in my best interest to attempt to find a JQuery plugin. After looking around I have found the JQuery Multiple File Upload Plugin. It’s a very easy plugin to use and it supports a maximum or infinite amount of files. A demo can be seen at the above link.

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