Tag: .NET

Programmer tools 2011

List of programmer tools

I have re-installed the PC and I have been taken notice of what tools I have on the system now:

  1. Magic Disc – can mount .iso files ( for  2 )
  2. Visual Studio – must have for a easy developing path
  3. Sql Server 2008 – primary database for me
  4. 7-zip  – archiver
  5. Firefox ( plus addons, see below)
  6. Smtp4dev – to see messages
  7. AspNetMVC3ToolsUpdateSetup
  8. FreeCommander –  dual panels for windows explorer
  9. Foxit reader – pdf viewer
  10. Notepad ++ ( with hex addon)
  11. Winmerge – files/ folders difference
  12. Clean project – archive solution
  13. SqlSearch from RedGate – fast search after names
  14. SSMS tools – record every operation you do in sql server
  15. EntityFramework41  – code first development
  16. XUnit – automated testing + samples  to do BDD style
  17. SSCERuntime_x86-ENU –SqlCompact provider. Works with EF4.1
  18. SqlCe40Toolbox – SqlCompact viewer
  19. NuGet.Tools.vsix – Nuget is awesome!
  20. ImgBurn  – burn cd-s
  21. consolas font  – see  1 and l ?
  22. LogParser  – never know when you need to parse some files
  23. Moq  – mocking tool
  24. PreviewHandlerPack  -see c# code in preview window
  25. Regulator and Regulazy – regular expression helpers
  26. StringTemplate.NET  – templating generator. Maybe replaced by razor ?
  27. NLog –  logging tool. Log4Net was pretty unreliable in .NET 4
  28. FileHelpers – reading writing text data.
  29. Tcmdwincearm – Total Commander for mobile. Free.
  30. Jquery and Jquery UI.
  31. DataTables – html tables supports sorting , filtering, others.
  32. Windows Live Essential – blogging fast.
  33. InsertFilePlugin – Live writer extension to insert files to upload.
  34. OfficeOpenXMLPart4-MarkupLanguageReference  – markup for Office XML. Used with StringTemplate
  35. SharpZipLib – knows how to zip multiple files.
  36. AutoFixture – generating sample data
  37. HtmlAgilityPack – parsing web pages
  38. T4MVC – get rid of magic names for controllers, actions
  39. Itextsharp – save as pdf
  40. Ninject – DI provider
  41. Hudson – continous integration
  42. AutoMapper  – transferring data between DAL and BLL
  43. Selenium – testing web interfaces
  44. Svn  -source control
  45. MVC Contrib – pages list and more
  46. Msbuildtask from tigris – build make it easy
  47. Psr – help made easy in Windows 7
  48. Firefox addons here

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/collections/ignatandrei/ignatandrei/

For every tool search for it . The first link will give you all details.

You can have as pdf here:List of programmer tools 2011

path.combine idiosyncrasies

I have this small program :

var s = Path.Combine(@"E:\andrei", UnknownVar);
Console.WriteLine(Directory.GetFiles(s).FirstOrDefault());

In what conditions , if I have an “C:\andrei” folder with a single file , the output will be the name of the file ?
And where you want to be aware of this behaviour ?
Hint : The output is : \andrei\New Text Document.txt

Find the Error

This code was written by me, in a late night moment, when copy paste seems the best option
It started this way :

public string ImportFeed(string URL)
        {
            string ret = "";
            XmlDocument xd = new XmlDocument();
            xd.Load(URL);            
            for(int i=0;i<xd.ChildNodes.Count;i++)
            {
                ret += xd.ChildNodes[i].Name;
            }
            return ret;
            
        }

So far , nothing special. Just open the url, read into an XML , return first nodes. Then I wanted more – next nodes. Nothing easier – why bother with recursion or proper variable names ? Just copy and paste :

public string ImportFeed(string URL)
        {
            string ret = "";
            XmlDocument xd = new XmlDocument();
            xd.Load(URL);            
            for(int i=0;i<xd.ChildNodes.Count;i++)
            {
                ret += xd.ChildNodes[i].Name;
                for (int j = 0; i < xd.ChildNodes[i].ChildNodes.Count; j++)
                {
                    ret += xd.ChildNodes[i].ChildNodes[j].Name;
                }
            }
            return ret;
            
        }

Could you spot the error ?
Hint : I have discovered after 10 seconds …but not looking at the code…

TT files – generate enum from database

Many times you will program against a table that contains something like an enum , like Status( open=1 , close=2, sent=3, approved=4 )  .

It is peculiar to wrote those status as text in the other tables – and you do not like also to have update their codes in the C# (VB.NET) code source each time you will add another one.

Rather , it is convenient to auto-generate from database at once.

But how to do it in Visual Studio ? The answer is .tt files – the files that generates also POCO

So here it is my own template for such enum from database .

To use ,unzip, add to your project that contains the edmx and do what is says below- and you will see as many  .cs file as tables want to put.

<#
//*********************************************************
//
//    NO Copyright .Use at your own risk.
//    Please modify :
//    1) the names of tables to generate enums : string nameforenum
//    2) the connection to the database : string connectionstring
//    3) the name of the model : string inputFile
//    Then save the file and you will have an enum …
//*********************************************************
#>

GenerateEnum

C# quiz

Fast small quiz for sunny afternoon :
What is writing at the console those lines : ( please do not use a compiler) :


            decimal? v = 100;
            Console.WriteLine(v);
            decimal? x = null;
            x += v.Value;
            Console.WriteLine(x);

My standard way to work with dropdown box in ASP.NET MVC – 2 steps (or 3 if you want to add long description)

I have written a small post about dropdownlist template in ASP.NET MVC here : http://msprogrammer.serviciipeweb.ro/2010/05/30/mvc-helper-templates/

I think that the dropdownlist should be explained more – aand the example will be :

First, let’s say we have Employee and Department. And we have Employee that has a field, named IDDepartment.

When edit/create a user we want to display a dropdownlist for Department in order for the user to choose the department.

Step 1 : obtain from database a list of departments and transform into List<KeyValuePair<string,string>>  – where the first string is DepartmentID and the second is Department Name.

Let’s say there is a method to do that : deptList.Values

Step 2 : display into the aspx/ascx file with List_KVP template

<%: Html.EditorFor(model => model.deptList.Values, “List_KVP”, “IDDepartment”, new { SelectedValue = Model.emp.IDDepartment })%>

Here is the weak part: the “IDDepartment” is not strongly typed. You can transform that …but it requires writing another extension. However, when you modify the code for

SelectedValue = Model.emp.IDDepartment

it is right nearby…

For reference, here is the List_KVP.ascx

<%@ Control Language="C#" Inherits="System.Web.Mvc.ViewUserControl<List<System.Collections.Generic.KeyValuePair<string,string>>>" %>
<%
    string Val = "",style="";
    if(ViewData.Values != null && ViewData.Values.Count > 0)
    {
        Val = (ViewData["SelectedValue"]??"").ToString();
        style = (ViewData["Style"] ?? "").ToString();
    }
    if (style.Length > 0)
    {

    }
    var id=ViewData.TemplateInfo.GetFullHtmlFieldId("") ;
    id = id + "";
    %>

<select id="<%:id %>" name="<%:ViewData.TemplateInfo.GetFullHtmlFieldName("") %>" style="<%: style %>">
    <% foreach (var val in Model)
       { %>
            <option  value='<%: val.Key %>' <%:(val.Key == Val)?"selected=selected":"" %>><%: val.Value %></option>
    <%} %>
</select>
<% if(Model.Exists(x=>x.Key ==Val) )
{
       %>
       <script type="text/javascript">
   $(document).ready(function () {

       $('#<%:id  %>').change();
   }     );
      </script>
      <%
}
    %>

Oh, and if you ask how to add a description , nothing more simple :
Step1 : add to dropdown an onchange event : onchange=’javascript:funcDepartmentRetrieve(this)”
Step 2: create a java script function that retrieves the long description from the id

 <script type="text/javascript">
         <%: Html.JavaScriptFind( Model.deptList.LongDescriptionValues, "funcDepartmentLong","notfoundDepartment") %>
        </script>
  

Step 3 : Mix the 2 javascript functions

For your reference, the code for JavaScriptFind is

 public static MvcHtmlString JavaScriptFind(this HtmlHelper hh, ICollection<KeyValuePair<string,string>> values, string Name, string NotFound)
        {
            string s = "function " + Name + "(value){  switch(value){";
            string ret = "case '{0}' : return '{1}';" + Environment.NewLine;
            foreach (var item in values)
            {
                //TODO : compensate for '
                s += string.Format(ret, item.Key, item.Value);
            };
            s += string.Format("default : return '{0}' ;//+ value;"  + Environment.NewLine, NotFound);
            s += "};";//switch
            s += "}";//function
            return MvcHtmlString.Create(s);
        }

ASP.NET MVC pass data from a view to master

One of recurring questions in MVC is how to share data between views and master. The question must be reformulated : how to share data between ACTION and master.

The short answer is : Model of the View returned from Action have to put some data to the Model of the Master

The long answer here in 4 steps

Step 1: ensuring error.aspx page works fine

a)copy \Views\Shared\Site.Master into siteerror.master( the error.aspx inherits from a specialized model)

b) change in \Views\Shared\Error.aspx

<%@ Page Language="C#" MasterPageFile="~/Views/Shared/Site.Master" Inherits="System.Web.Mvc.ViewPage<System.Web.Mvc.HandleErrorInfo>" %>

to

<%@ Page Language="C#" MasterPageFile="~/Views/Shared/SiteError.Master" Inherits="System.Web.Mvc.ViewPage<System.Web.Mvc.HandleErrorInfo>" %>

Step 2 : make the master strongly typed :

add a ModelMaster class

public class ModelMaster
{
public ModelMaster()
{
DataFromAction = "default data";
}
public string DataFromAction { get; set; }
}
 

and display this data to the html of \Views\Shared\Site.Master

<%@ Master Language="C#" Inherits="System.Web.Mvc.ViewMasterPage<MasterDataFromAction.Models.ModelMaster>" %>

//code

<h1>This is data shared from View : <%= Model.DataFromAction%></h1>

Step 3. Make the action return a strongly typed view. We will make , for example, the Index action from Home controller.

Add the ViewModelIndex class

public class ViewModelIndex :ModelMaster
{
public ViewModelIndex()
: base()
{
base.DataFromAction = "data from index";
}
}

and modify controller action and view

First Index action in \Controllers\HomeController.cs

public ActionResult Index()
{
ViewData["Message"] = "Welcome to ASP.NET MVC!";
ViewModelIndex vmi = new ViewModelIndex();
vmi.DataFromAction = "here comes data from index action";
return View(vmi);
}
 

Then the view :

<%@ Page Language="C#" MasterPageFile="~/Views/Shared/Site.Master" Inherits="System.Web.Mvc.ViewPage<MasterDataFromAction.Models.ViewModelIndex>" %>

The result is here :

When do you do this things? The sooner, the better 😉

Please find attached the project

ASP.NET MVC editing fast a property

There are some moments when you want to fast edit a property ( like a status or a name) and you do not want to load the entire “Edit” form for this.More, you are in an edit formula and do not want to add a form.

So here is the solution in ASP.NET MVC  with jquery-1.4.2.min , jquery-ui-1.8.1.custom.min for a modal dialog and some controllers. The most difficult were the javascript, so I let to the final.

We will be editing the name for an employee in 4 steps.The most difficult to understand is the step 4(javascript) , however, it can be re-used with any other object- so you can put it in a common js file.

Step 1

create a view for editing the name , named FastEditEmp


<%@ Control Language="C#" Inherits="System.Web.Mvc.ViewUserControl<BusinessLogic.Employee>" %>
<!-- edit inline the name -->
<%= Html.HiddenFor(Model=>Model.ID) %>
<%= Html.LabelFor(model=>model.Name) %>
<%= Html.EditorFor(model=>model.Name) %>

Step 2

Create the controllers and verify it works – at least the get  action .


public ActionResult FastEditEmp(int id)
 {
 var emp=EmployeeList.LoadFromID(id);
 return View(emp);
 }
 [HttpPost]
 public ActionResult FastEditEmp(BusinessLogic.Employee emp)
 {
 try
 {

 var dbid = EmployeeList.LoadFromID(emp.ID);
 UpdateModel(dbid);
 dbid.Save();
 return new JsonResult() { Data = new { ok = true, message = "succes" } };

 }
 catch (Exception ex)
 {
 //TODO : log
 return new JsonResult() { Data = new { ok = false, message = "error : " + ex.Message } };

 }
 }

Step 3
Create the hyperlink to edit the name of an employee (emp) :

<a href=’javascript:EditModal(<%= emp.ID%>,”<%=Url.Action(“FastEditEmp”,new {id=emp.ID}) %>”)’>Edit name</a>

Step 4

This is the most difficult one, the javascript. However, more of the code is common no matter what you want to edit fast modal :


var wait = '<%= ResolveUrl("~/Content/Images/wait.gif") %>';
function EditModal(empID,url)
{
// load a please wait dialog
 var $dialog1 = $('<div></div>')
 .html("Loading data <br /> <img src='" + wait + "'></img>")
 .dialog({ autoOpen: false,
 title: 'please wait'
 });
 $dialog1.dialog('open');
// so the please wait dialog was shown to the user. Now load the content of the action specified in url
 $.get(url,
 {
 ID: empID
 },
 function(txt) {

 var $dialog = $('#dialog');
 $dialog.html('');
 $dialog.html(txt)
 .dialog({
 autoOpen: false,
 title: 'Edit',
 modal: true,
 show: 'blind',
 hide: 'explode',
 closeOnEscape: false,
 buttons: {

 "Close": function() {
//just cleanup - no saving
 var allInputs = $(":input:not(:button)");
 var ser = allInputs.serialize();
 allInputs.remove();
 allInputs.empty();
 $(this).dialog("close");
 $(this).dialog('destroy');

 },
 "Save": function() {
//now saving data : serializing and posting
 var allInputs = $(":input:not(:button)");
 var ser = allInputs.serialize();
 allInputs.remove();
 allInputs.empty();

 window.alert(ser); -- debug mode
 $(this).dialog('close');
 $(this).dialog('destroy');
//saving data by posting to same url!
 $.post(url,
 ser,
 function(text) {
 $(this).dialog("close");
 $(this).dialog('destroy');
 if (text.ok) {

 window.alert("Saved - you can change here the display id with jquery");
 window.location.reload(true);
 }
 else {
 window.alert(text.message);
 }

 }
 );

 }

 }

 });

 $dialog1.dialog('close');//closing the wait dialog
 $dialog.dialog('open'); // show main editing dialog
 });

}

 </script>

As always, please find here the saving modal files. Please execute first the emp.sql file, then modify the connection string into the web.config .

Asp.NET MVC and DOS – re-using the ViewModels

(Please read first : http://msprogrammer.serviciipeweb.ro/2010/03/29/asp-net-mvc-orm-and-viewmodels/ )

One of the biggest challenges in programming was write once- GUI everywhere ( Ok, ORM impedance mismatch is another story)

I mean by that re-using the logic from an application in another application. ASP.NET MVC , with the commitment to strongly viewmodels, make me think that it will be now easier to transfer the viewmodels to an console application.

Let’s see the usual Employee-Department and creation.

First the Database :

Then the ViewModel for creating an employeeand for list of employees


public class ViewModelEmployee
 {
 public static DepartmentList ListOfDepartments
 {
 get
 {
 //TODO : put this into cache to not load every time
 DepartmentList dl = new DepartmentList();
 dl.Load();
 return dl;
 }
 }
 }
 public class ViewModelEmployeeCreate : ViewModelEmployee
 {
 public Employee emp = new Employee();

 public static void SaveNew(Employee emp)
 {
 emp.SaveNew();
 }
 }
 public class ViewModelEmployeeList : ViewModelEmployee
 {
 public EmployeeList employees;
 public void Load()
 {
 employees = new EmployeeList();
 employees.Load();
 }
 }

And now the magic :

ASP.NET MVC DOS

[HttpPost]
 public ActionResult Create(Employee emp,long DepartmentID)
 {
 try
 {

 emp.Department = new Department() { ID = DepartmentID };
 ViewModelEmployeeCreate.SaveNew(emp);

 return RedirectToAction("Index");
 }
 catch(Exception ex)
 {
 ModelState.AddModelError("", ex.Message);
 return View(new ViewModelEmployeeCreate(){emp=emp});
 }
 }


Console.WriteLine("choose department");
 var listdep=ViewModelEmployee.ListOfDepartments;
 foreach (var item in listdep)
 {
 Console.WriteLine(item.ID + ")" + item.Name);

 }
 string s=Console.ReadLine();
 long DepartmentID;
 if (!long.TryParse(s, out DepartmentID))
 {
 Console.WriteLine("exit : not a long :" + s);
 return;
 }
 if (!listdep.Exists(item => item.ID == DepartmentID))
 {
 Console.WriteLine("not a valid id:" + s);
 return;
 }
 Employee emp = new Employee();
 emp.Department = new Department() { ID = DepartmentID };
 Console.Write("employee name ?");
 emp.Name= Console.ReadLine();
 ViewModelEmployeeCreate.SaveNew(emp);

Now for listing employees:

ASP.NET MVC DOS
public ActionResult Index()
        {
            ViewModelEmployeeList vmel = new ViewModelEmployeeList();
            vmel.Load();
            return View(vmel);
        }

  ViewModelEmployeeList vmel = new ViewModelEmployeeList();
            vmel.Load();
            foreach (var item in vmel.employees)
            {
                Console.WriteLine(item.Name);
            }

As you can see , the codes are really similar ( although the console application is filled with first verification and the MVC is not )

Please download the application from testaddropdownlist

To install : run the emp.sql file, change in the app.config/web.config the connection string to point to the real database/sql server.

Summary : This simple application shows how to re-use ViewModels from an ASP.NET MVC and a DOS Console Application

Homework : Add  WindowsForms application and do the same.

EF , automatic history of table and T4 files (TT files)

Usually the data of the tables should be tracking for who modified it.

Think about inserting/updating/deleting an employee :   you must know who did those actions and when. So you create another table, identically as structure, and you add another 3 fields , such as [ModifiedDate](when), [ModifiedBy](who), [ModifiedType] (what : insert, update, delete).

There are several methods to do it :

  1. from database :
  2. from programming code  – every time you modify an object, you remember to modify the history object with appropiate data.

The drawback with the database approach is that you can not retrieve who done the modifications ( usually the applications connect under a single account and have a roles table)

The drawback with the programming approach is that the programmer must REMEMBER doing so…If he does not(and does not wrote tests for history), you are stuck…

In the following I propose an automatically history – that maps convention over configuration in my template, but it is easy for you to modify.

The solution works with Entity Framework 4.0 and, for more easily spearation of concerns , with POCO generators.

Let’s say you have the following tables :

database diagram

As you see we have a Employee and a employee_history, an Department and Department_history

The conventions are:

the history table name = “object” table name  +  “_history” suffix

the history table fields = “object” table name  fields +[ModifiedDate], [ModifiedBy], [ModifiedType]

(if you change those conventions , please change the modelhistory.tt file)

If you want to see in action , please  download code history and do the following
1. create database tests
2. run history.sql
3. run project
4. if necessay, re-create the model1.edmx with the same name and replace the console application app.config with the new connection string

After works, please add any fields to department table  and to department_history table(same field names/type) .  Re-compile the application and modify the new field in department. You will see the modifications in the department_history table.

Ok,now how we do the magic :

We create two new tt file that points to the model.edmx .

The first one ModelHistory.tt , takes care of  creating the constructor for history entities by taking a parameter from the original entity :

public Department_History(Department original):this()
{
this.IDDepartment=original.IDDepartment;
this.Name=original.Name;
}

How it do this magic ? Simple : the ModelHistory.tt recognize the model and history in the name of tables:

</pre>
string inputFile = @"Model1.edmx";
string History = "_History";
<pre>

then it generate code for constructor :

	#>
		public <#=code.Escape(entity)#>():base()
		{
		}
		public <#=code.Escape(entity)#>(<#=NameEntityOriginal #> original):this()
		{
		<#
	foreach (EdmProperty edmProperty in entityOriginal.Properties.Where(p => p.TypeUsage.EdmType is PrimitiveType && p.DeclaringType == entityOriginal))
	{
		#>
				this.<#= code.Escape(edmProperty.Name) #>=original.<#= code.Escape(edmProperty.Name) #>;
		<#

	}
	#>
		}
	<#
</pre>

Ok, and then how to create the history entity ? I wish that the POCO template has had an event “Database saving” – but the only thing I can have is SaveChanges from the ObjectContext – so I create a new ObjectContext , derived from the default one that comes with the project, and creates a new history object :


public override int SaveChanges(SaveOptions options)
{
this.DetectChanges();
DateTime dtModified=DateTime.Now;
string UserModified=clsUser.UserName;
foreach (ObjectStateEntry ose in this.ObjectStateManager.GetObjectStateEntries(EntityState.Added | EntityState.Deleted | EntityState.Modified))
{

//could do this way too
//if (ose.Entity != null && ose.Entity.GetType() == typeof(...))
//{
//}
if (ose.Entity != null)
{
string NameType=ose.EntitySet.ElementType.Name;

switch(NameType)
{

case "Department":
var itemDepartment_History = new Department_History(ose.Entity as Department);
//if compile error here, that means you keep tracking
//of which modified with another properties
//please modify the tt accordingly
itemDepartment_History.ModifiedType= ose.State.ToString();
itemDepartment_History.ModifiedDate= dtModified;
itemDepartment_History.ModifiedBy= UserModified;
base.Department_History.AddObject(itemDepartment_History);
break;

case "Employee":
var itemEmployee_History = new Employee_History(ose.Entity as Employee);
//if compile error here, that means you keep tracking
//of which modified with another properties
//please modify the tt accordingly
itemEmployee_History.ModifiedType= ose.State.ToString();
itemEmployee_History.ModifiedDate= dtModified;
itemEmployee_History.ModifiedBy= UserModified;
base.Employee_History.AddObject(itemEmployee_History);
break;

}
}
}

return base.SaveChanges(options);
}

Now all is ready and I made a console application for testing manually (ok, should make a NUnit / MSTest / xUnit )

 using (var ctx = new testsEntitiesHistory())
            {
                var dep = new Department();
                dep.Name = "IT";
                ctx.Departments.AddObject(dep);
                ctx.SaveChanges();
                id = dep.IDDepartment;
            }
            using (var ctx = new testsEntitiesHistory())
            {
                var dep = ctx.Departments.Where(depart => depart.IDDepartment == id).FirstOrDefault();
                dep.Name = "Information tehnology";
                ctx.SaveChanges();
                //
            }
            using (var ctx = new testsEntitiesHistory())
            {
                var dep = ctx.Departments.Where(depart => depart.IDDepartment == id).FirstOrDefault();
                ctx.Departments.DeleteObject(dep);
                ctx.SaveChanges();

            }
            using (var ctx = new testsEntitiesHistory())
            {
                foreach (var dephist in ctx.Department_History)
                {
                    Console.WriteLine("Found {0} with state {1}", dephist.Name,dephist.ModifiedType);
                }
            }

And the output is :

history saving
automatically saving history department

Now you can add more tables to the edmx or change the fields – all is done automatically when compiling

If you want to see in action , please download code history

Update : for another way to do it( generating trigger and tables ) please see : http://msprogrammer.serviciipeweb.ro/2010/09/27/generating-history-trigger-with-ef-edmx-and-tt-files/