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Posts Tagged ‘ASP.NET’

When it comes to browser compatibility, this is my favorite tool…

One of my biggest frustrations with developing web applications is the need to deal with old and clunky browsers. I find that one of my least favorite exercises is being forced to support browsers that aren’t what I would call modern. Well, I tried several tools to help me in this process and found that two different ones became my favorite.

One of the pains with working with these different browsers is that you either need to manually install every type you need or you need older machines that still have the version running for you.

I looked at Expression Web 4 Super Preview and found that although the interface was nice and did allow me to see some differences, it was 100% accurate as to what I would see in the real browser.  I found this interesting and frustrating at the same time.  It also only allowed me to test the various versions of Internet Explorer.

Here is a screen shot of Expression Web 4 Super Preview:

 

I do like the interface and what it tries to offer but I found that it wasn’t the best choice as far as rendering accuracy.

Which now leads me to my new best friend!  I discovered a service that allows you to use your desktop applications anywhere.  I now use Spoon.net as my first line of defense when it comes to testing across multiple versions of IE or whatever browser you may need.  Here is a screen show of their page:

Here is a screen show of what I am currently using just like above but now with the ability to run IE 7 and IE 8 side by side without performing any installations manually:

 

You can configure your own applications that you wish to access.  Here is a screen shot of some of the browsers that are provided:

 

I can launch both IE7 and IE8 side by side.  I also have IE9 as my main browser so this gives me the ability to test all three versions that I care about.

Here is what IE7 looks like when launched:

 

As you can see, this is just what you would expect from IE7.  Now let’s see IE8:

 

 

Again, no surprises here.  What I really like about this service is that I can access it from any computer and perform my testing as I need without the need to configure my computer.

It does cost a little but it is well worth the price to know that your web applications will look sharp across any browser version and more.  This service allows you to have more than just browsers to access from anywhere.

Hope this helps…

 

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ASP.NET MVC4 and WebAPI

I had a great time Tuesday night speaking at the Greenville Spartanburg Developers Guild.  Thanks to all who came out to the presentation!

Here are the slides and sample code:

Slides and Sample code

Hope you enjoy…

ASP.NET MVC4 and WebAPI

I will be speaking Tuesday, May 15 at the Greenville Spartanburg Developers Guild in Greenville, SC on ASP.NET MVC4 and Web API.

Here is my presentation summary:

Microsoft likes big stacks! Look at Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) or, better yet, Windows Communication Foundation (WCF). With either of these “foundations”, you start out a noob and you come out the other side a freak’in Ph.D in Quantum Physics. It doesn’t have to be that hard! There has to be a better way.

Well, Microsoft has been definitely been going the right direction. If you have followed any of the work on the WCF Web API, then you know how awesome this stuff is. This is its new home but you can still self host just like you could before. We are talking about a Web API that is heavily Convention-Over-Configuration based! Gone are the days of looking through a myriad of documentation as to how to setup your web.config file. Those days are over and you will be surprised at how nice the new stack is.

Look forward to seeing you there!

ASP.NET MVC4 and WebAPI

I had a great time speaking to the WNC Developers Guild and the Triad Developers Guild and the Columbia Enterprise Developers Guild. Here are the slides and code samples.

Slides and Code Samples

Thanks to all who came out and showed up!

ASP.NET MVC4 and Web API

March 15, 2012 1 comment

I will be speaking this evening, March 15 at the WNC .NET Developers Guild in Asheville, NC on ASP.NET MVC4 and Web API. I will also be doing the same presentation on Thursday, March 22 at the Triad Developers Guild in Greensboro, NC and also on Wednesday, April 11 at the Columbia Enterprise Developers Guild in Columbia, SC.

Here is my presentation summary:

Microsoft likes big stacks! Look at Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) or, better yet, Windows Communication Foundation (WCF). With either of these “foundations”, you start out a noob and you come out the other side a freak’in Ph.D in Quantum Physics. It doesn’t have to be that hard! There has to be a better way.

Well, Microsoft has been definitely been going the right direction. If you have followed any of the work on the WCF Web API, then you know how awesome this stuff is. This is its new home but you can still self host just like you could before. We are talking about a Web API that is heavily Convention-Over-Configuration based! Gone are the days of looking through a myriad of documentation as to how to setup your web.config file. Those days are over and you will be surprised at how nice the new stack is.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Gofer – Silverlight

January 4, 2012 9 comments

In our last post, we used Gofer in a Console application and got data from a SQL Server database as well as creating the database from our domain model. Today, we are going to be doing the same thing but we will be doing this with Silverlight.

First, start by create a new Silverlight 5 application.

Make sure that you do NOT enable WCF RIA Services!

Next, we are going to setup of the web project first and then move over to the Silverlight project once we are done. Let’s start with getting Gofer from NuGet. Right-click on your References folder and select Manage NuGet Packages. Next, type in “Gofer” as your search criteria. Select Gofer.Sample as your choice. This package comes with the Gofer library as well as with some helper files to make testing this easier.

Gofer.Sample has a dependency on SwitchBlade and ValueInjecter.

SwitchBlade is another package that I wrote that allows you to host Razor templates outside of ASP.NET and IIS. I will be covering SwitchBlade in a future post.

ValueInjecter is a package like AutoMapper but much more convention-based and easier.

We are also going to need to use Ninject as our DI/IOC container. We will use NuGet to install this package as well:

Finally, we will need the WCF Web API from NuGet as well:

Moving on from adding all of our packages, you will also notice that you have two new template folders for your CRUD and DDL operations. You can modify these templates to shape how you want your SQL code to look when it is used by Gofer.

You will also notice two new files:

Domain.cs – This file represents a sample domain model. It is very similar to what you would see from a Northwind with some slight modifications.

TestDriver.cs – This file is a test driver class that allows us to test Gofer. We will be using a Silverlight version of this file instead. DELETE this file from the project as we do not need it.

Next, let’s add a Global.asax file to the project and modify as shown below:

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Web;
using System.Web.Security;
using System.Web.SessionState;

using System.Web.Routing;
using Microsoft.ApplicationServer.Http;
using Ninject;
using Domain;
using Gofer;

namespace GoferSilverlight.Web
{
    public class Global : System.Web.HttpApplication
    {
        public const string NAMESPACE = "Domain";
        public Func<Type,bool> PREDICATE = x => x.Namespace == NAMESPACE;

        protected void Application_Start(object sender, EventArgs e)
        {
            RouteTable.Routes.SetDefaultHttpConfiguration(new WebApiConfiguration()
            {
                CreateInstance = (serviceType, context, request) => CreateInstance(serviceType),
                EnableTestClient = true
            });

            RouteTable.Routes.MapServiceRouteForAssemblyOf<Customers>(PREDICATE);
        }

        private object CreateInstance(Type serviceType)
        {
            object result = null;
            IKernel kernel = new StandardKernel();
            try
            {
                // The following is a sample entry for using the MapServiceRoute method:
                // RouteTable.Routes.MapServiceRoute<GoferService<Customers>>("Customer");
                // Hence the reason we need to pull the generic type from the GoferService.
                var genericType = serviceType.GetGenericArguments().FirstOrDefault();
                SchemaRules rules = GetRules(genericType);
                kernel.Bind(serviceType).ToSelf().WithConstructorArgument("rules", rules);
                result = kernel.Get(serviceType);
            }
            catch { }

            return result;
        }

        #region Rules

        private SchemaRules GetRules(Type type)
        {
            var result = new SchemaRules();
            result.AssemblyOf(type)
                .ShouldMap(PREDICATE)
                .GetSchema();

            result.PerformMigration = true;
            result.ForceNewMigration = false;

            return result;
        }

        #endregion

    };
}

UPDATE: I added a Fun<Type,bool> predicate so you could easily add your own logic for both the “RouteTable.Routes.MapServiceRouteForAssemblyOf<Customers>(PREDICATE)” and the .ShouldMap(PREDICATE) calls.

If you are curious as to what is going on here, please refer to my post Building a Generic Service using WCF Web API – Part II as it walks you through all of these steps.

One thing to point out here is that we are using the same SchemaRules class.

SchemaRules – This tells the Gofer engine what conventions to use for its data access. There is a ton that you can override with this class and we will take a look at that in a later post but this is the bare minimum that you need to get going. Also, you will see two properties that tell the engine whether or not to perform a migration as well as force the migration, meaning that it will drop the database and recreate it if necessary.

There is one last change that you need to put in place before we can test our service. We will need to modify the Web.config. The following is a sample Web.config that you can pattern against for yourself:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<!--
  For more information on how to configure your ASP.NET application, please visit
  http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=169433
  -->
<configuration>
  <appSettings>
    <add key="DB_NAME" value="Example" />

    <add key="DDL_ConnectionString" value="Provider=SQLOLEDB;Server=(local);Database=master;Integrated Security=SSPI;" />
    <add key="DDL_DatabaseType" value="4" />

    <add key="ConnectionString" value="Data Source=(local);Initial Catalog=Example;Integrated Security=SSPI;" />
    <add key="DatabaseType" value="3" />

    <add key="TemplatePath" value="C:\Users\Matt\Documents\visual studio 2010\Projects\GoferSilverlight\GoferSilverlight.Web\CRUD_Templates" />
    <add key="DDL_TemplatePath" value="C:\Users\Matt\Documents\visual studio 2010\Projects\GoferSilverlight\GoferSilverlight.Web\DDL_Templates" />
  </appSettings>

  <system.web>
    <compilation debug="true" targetFramework="4.0" />
  </system.web>
  <system.serviceModel>
    <serviceHostingEnvironment aspNetCompatibilityEnabled="true" />
  </system.serviceModel>
</configuration>

If we run the application, you will see a blank screen but we can still test our service:

I am using the database that I tested with the previous post. Therefore, I knew I had at least one record in the Customers table. Based on the results of the service, I can see that I am getting back a good JSON response.

Ok, our service is ready, now let’s shift gears and see what we must do to test this on the Silverlight side.

We want to share our domain for both the client and server. Right-click your Silverlight project and select “Add | Existing Item…”. Navigate to the web project and select the Domain.cs file and click the down arrow to “Add As Link”. This will give us the domain model definition in our Silverlight project.

Next, let’s add our Gofer.Silverlight package from NuGet. Right-click on the References folder and select Manage NuGet Packages. Next, type in “Gofer” as your search criteria. Select Gofer.Silverlight as your choice.

Gofer.Silverlight has a dependency on Async CTP and HTTP Contrib which are provided as part of the install.

Async CTP is a library that helps make asynchronous programming easier.

Http Contrib is a library that helps make calling the WCF Web API easier from clients such as Silverlight.

You will also notice that a “readme.txt” file added to the project. If you open the file, you will see the you need to add the following code snippet to the constructor of your App.xaml.cs file:

HttpWebRequest.RegisterPrefix("http://", WebRequestCreator.ClientHttp);
HttpWebRequest.RegisterPrefix("https://", WebRequestCreator.ClientHttp);

I wrote a blog post here when I ran into some strange issues trying to test my services for PUT and DELETE behaviors.

Okay, let’s add the following TestDriver.cs class to the Silverlight project:

using System;
using System.Net;
using System.Windows;
using System.Windows.Controls;
using System.Windows.Documents;
using System.Windows.Ink;
using System.Windows.Input;
using System.Windows.Media;
using System.Windows.Media.Animation;
using System.Windows.Shapes;

using Gofer.DataAccess;
using Domain;

namespace GoferSilverlight
{
    public class TestDriver
    {
        public void Run()
        {
            var repo = new SilverlightRepository("Customers");
            var cust = new Customers()
            {
                CompanyName = "Bubba's Repair",
                ContactName = "Billy Bob",
                ContactTitle = "Owner",
                Address = "100 Pecan Street",
                City = "Columbia",
                PostalCode = "29661",
                Country = "USA",
                Phone = "(803) 836-1212",
                Fax = "(803) 836-1213"
            };
            repo.Create<Customers>(cust,
                (item) =>
                {
                    if (item == null)
                    {
                        // Handle data here....
                    }
                },
                (error) =>
                {
                    if (error == null)
                    {
                        // Handle error here....
                    }
                }
            );            
        }
    };
}

As you can see, this is very similar to what we used in the Console application but all calls are asynchronous and I also wanted to have a unique callback for success and errors. If the database did not exist, you could run this just like the Console code and a new database would be created as long as you had the PerformMigration property set to “true” in your Global.asax.cs file.

The final step to get this to work is to add the following code to the constructor of your MainPage.xaml.cs file:

TestDriver td = new TestDriver();
td.Run();

If you add a couple breakpoints as shown below, you should be ready to run the application:

When the debugger hits your breakpoint, you should see something similar to the following:

That’s it! This may seem like a lot of moving pieces to get this working but once you get in the groove, you will see that this is so much easier than dealing with proxies and hidden code generated files from Visual Studio. I personally really like this approach and I look forward to getting your response as well.

In the next couple of posts, I will be digging deeper into to Gofer as a whole to show you everything that you can do.

Gofer – Console

January 3, 2012 1 comment

By now, I am sure that you are tired of reading and just want to play with whatever I have been talking about. Well, that is exactly what we are doing to do.

First, start by creating a new Console Application. Next we are going to access my libraries using NuGet. Right-click on your References folder and select Manage NuGet Packages. Next, type in “Gofer” as your search criteria. Select Gofer.Sample as your choice. This package comes with the Gofer library as well as with some helper files to make testing this easier.

Gofer.Sample has a dependency on SwitchBlade and ValueInjecter.

SwitchBlade is another package that I wrote that allows you to host Razor templates outside of ASP.NET and IIS. I will be covering SwitchBlade in a future post.

ValueInjecter is a package like AutoMapper but much more convention-based and easier.

You will also notice that you have two new template folders for your CRUD and DDL operations. You can modify these templates to shape how you want your SQL code to look when it is used by Gofer.

You will also notice two new files:

Domain.cs – This file represents a sample domain model. It is very similar to what you would see from a Northwind with some slight modifications.

TestDriver.cs – This file is a test driver class that allows us to test Gofer.

In your Program.cs file, add the following code snippet to your Main method:

TestDriver td = new TestDriver();
td.Run();

Here is what the TestDriver class looks like:

public class TestDriver
{
    public void Run()
    {
        SchemaRules rules = new SchemaRules();
        rules.AssemblyOf<Customers>()
            .ShouldMap(x => x.Namespace == "Domain")
            .GetSchema();

        rules.PerformMigration = true;
        rules.ForceNewMigration = true;

        var repo = new Repository<Customers>(rules);
        var cust = new Customers() {
                CompanyName = "Bubba's Repair",
                ContactName = "Billy Bob",
                ContactTitle = "Owner",
                Address = "100 Pecan Street",
                City = "Columbia",
                PostalCode = "29661",
                Country = "USA",
                Phone = "(803) 836-1212",
                Fax = "(803) 836-1213"
        };
        var id = repo.Insert(cust);
        var ds = repo.Get().ToList();

        Console.WriteLine("Press any key to exit...");
        Console.ReadKey();
    }
};

As you can see, we are using two main classes from Gofer: SchemaRules and Repository.

SchemaRules – This tells the Gofer engine what conventions to use for its data access. There is a ton that you can override with this class and we will take a look at that in a later post but this is the bare minimum that you need to get going. Also, you will see two properties that tell the engine whether or not to perform a migration as well as force the migration, meaning that it will drop the database and recreate it if necessary.

Repository – This is our data access class that facilitates getting data from the Gofer engine.

There is one last change that you need to put in place before you continue. The package will have also provided you with an App.config that you will need to complete. The following is a sample App.config that you can pattern against for yourself:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<configuration>
  <appSettings>
    <add key="DB_NAME" value="Example" />

    <add key="DDL_ConnectionString" value="Provider=SQLOLEDB;Server=(local);Database=master;Integrated Security=SSPI;" />
    <add key="DDL_DatabaseType" value="4" />

    <add key="ConnectionString" value="Data Source=(local);Initial Catalog=Example;Integrated Security=SSPI;" />
    <add key="DatabaseType" value="3" />

    <add key="TemplatePath" value="C:\Users\Matt\Documents\Visual Studio 2010\Projects\GoferConsole\GoferConsole\CRUD_Templates" />
    <add key="DDL_TemplatePath" value="C:\Users\Matt\Documents\Visual Studio 2010\Projects\GoferConsole\GoferConsole\DDL_Templates" />
  </appSettings>
</configuration>

I used the name “Example” for the name of the database we will be using for data access. There are two connection strings since we will have one for our data access as well as one for our creation statements. You will see two different DatabaseType values you can leave for now. We will go into how you can go against any back-end system in a future post. Finally, there are two paths for the CRUD and DDL templates. Make sure that you update the paths to the directory where these folders are located on your machine.

If you run your application and you left PerformMigration to true, Gofer will create the database for you. It will then try and insert a new record and the pull all records from the Customers table.

NOTE: I did need to change my project type from the Client Profile to the full .NET 4 Framework.

Here is one last tidbit, if you put a break point after your insert statement, you can access a SqlTrace property on the Repository instance. This will show you what was executed and any error messages coming back from SQL Server. This is really helpful especially when you are migrating changes over to the database. Gofer does this automatically when you have the PerformMigration property set to true.

In my next post, I will be basically doing the same thing but using Gofer over the web for Silverlight without any need for a proxy! My main goal for Gofer is simplicity and allowing us to get back to focusing on our business rules and domain models. Gofer has a lot of extensibility and we will be going into this in future posts as well.

If you start playing with this, remember that it is the tip of the iceberg and I will be going into more depth on multiple levels. Hope you like…