calendar_today 16 May 2010 09:59
Displaying the first n characters of a block of text on a page without chopping words off halfway through is a common requirement. There are a number of ways to achieve this, but here's an extension method that you might find useful.
calendar_today 03 May 2010 23:36
Managing shopping carts using Sessions is the source of much confusion for beginners to ASP.NET. This article looks at how to do this so that items can be added and removed by customers easily before they commit to their purchase.
calendar_today 19 April 2010 22:24
People often post questions to the forums at www.asp.net asking what they need to learn to become an accomplished ASP.NET Web Developer. Answers vary, but tend to focus on learning the framework and a bit of SQL, along with finding your way around Visual Web Developer, or if you can afford it, Visual Studio. My answer tends to consist of the same list of items:
calendar_today 29 March 2010 22:17
The MVC 2.0 Framework was finally RTM'd on March 11th 2010, so I took the opportunity to update my Contact Manager application with some of its new features. While the focus of this article is validating the Model using DataAnnotations, I also touch on one or two other new features in the latest release.
calendar_today 22 February 2010 21:53
It seems that the whole world (and Margate) is having its say on which is better - MVC or Web Forms. Scott Guthrie posted his views on technical debates in general, and then contributed his thoughts on MVC v. Web Forms. Ian Cooper has an interesting contribution to make to the debate too. Rob Conery (formerly of Microsoft) posted probably the most linked to opinion on the matter. (There - I've just added another link...) A lot of other blog posts around scream that MVC is better because its better. One even tries to posit the notion that some kind of score card approach can help you decide.
calendar_today 21 February 2010 08:21
Pretty much every sample application that illustrates ASP.NET MVC uses Linq To SQL or the Entity Framework as the data access method. I've seen a number of questions posted to the forums at www.asp.net asking if there are any alternatives, and indeed there are. This article will look at using plain ADO.NET within a data access layer to provide dynamic content to a typical small CRUD application.
calendar_today 10 February 2010 07:28
The most recent addition to my Cheat Sheets features details of all the Exceptions that can be found in the most commonly used assemblies within ASP.NET development. Compiling this information was an interesting challenge. I could have simply copy-pasted from MSDN, but that would have been extremely tedious. Instead, I ended up with a blend of Linq to XML, Reflection, a dash of Regex and the Global Assembly Cache Tool - gacutil.exe. Here's the full story.
calendar_today 07 February 2010 17:19
Here's a list of Exceptions that can be found in the assemblies which are most commonly used in ASP.NET development. Ideally, you should be as specific as possible when catching or throwing Exceptions. The more specific you are, the less work the CLR has to do in locating the appropriate catch block, and the more informative your error messages are, which should help speed up identifying the source of any problems.
calendar_today 30 January 2010 22:22
A frequent requirement for ASP.NET developers is to schedule tasks at regular intervals. This can include site maintenance tasks, like cleaning up old files, emailing newsletters on a schedule etc. This article examines one easy option for managing tasks like these without having to configure external tools, and discusses a couple of alternatives.
calendar_today 07 January 2010 21:27
DropDownLists in ASP.NET MVC seem to cause a fair amount of confusion to developers fresh from Web Forms World. This article looks to provide you with all (well, most) of what you need to know to get your DropDownLists working in ASP.NET MVC.
calendar_today 25 December 2009 22:31
Have you ever noticed an unusually high number of requests in your web server log files for image files? It may well be that someone is linking to your images from their own site, and basically stealing your bandwidth. Here's how to implement a custom RouteHandler within an ASP.NET MVC application to prevent people leeching your images.
calendar_today 21 December 2009 22:29
If you come to ASP.NET MVC from a purely ASP.NET Web Forms background, one of the first things you are likely to notice is that all those nice easy Server Controls have disappeared. One of those is the FileUpload, and its absence seems to cause a few problems. This article looks at how to upload files to the server in an MVC world, and how to get them back from the server to the user again.
calendar_today 12 December 2009 10:31
Some one posted a comment to one of my articles the other day. It appears that they had had little success in adapting some code I had posted in the article to their application. They included this phrase in their comment: "Please advice me, it is urgent".
calendar_today 06 December 2009 19:46
Should you store files and images in the database or the filesystem in an ASP.NET application? With SQL Server this is a dilemma, with both approaches having their pros and cons. When it comes to Access, the decision is much easier to make. Because an Access database is restricted to 2Gb, it makes more sense to store files in the file system. However, sometimes, you may not have the choice. If you have to use the database, here's how.
calendar_today 25 November 2009 09:09
When it comes to protecting files from unauthorised downloading, the vast majority of articles offer solutions that involve mapping common file types (.pdf, .txt, .doc etc) to ASP.NET within Internet Information Services. However, often in a shared hosting environment, you don't have access to IIS and the hosting company will not agree to providing such mappings for you, so what do you do?
calendar_today 23 November 2009 22:26
If you are new to web development and choose ASP.NET Web Forms as your starting point, you may be forgiven for not understanding how ASP.NET works, and what its role is. This article covers the basics which should help you discover your limits.
calendar_today 28 October 2009 15:49
I reviewed an ASP.NET Architecture and Design book recently. It was OK. I felt it was a bit thin, and didn't cover topics beyond beginner level. Then I got sent a review copy of another book: Professional Enterprise .NET. Having read it, this is the book that the previous book should want to be when it grows up.
calendar_today 26 October 2009 22:30
If you have a Google Analytics account, you can use the Data Export API provided by Google to access your visitor stats, and retrieve them for use elsewhere. Here's how to display some stats in ASP.NET.
calendar_today 11 October 2009 18:36
Back in the day, when I began to get interested in ASP.NET application architecture and design, I spent hours hunting for a book that would explain all I needed to know. I wanted one that focused on ASP.NET, with its special demands, rather than a general .NET development book. I wanted a book that would explain what layers and tiers were, and how I should separate code out to make it more scalable and reusable. I wanted a book that would explain how I could take my skills to the next level. I couldn't find one. There was a big gap in the market. Vivek Thakur has attempted to fill this gap, with this apty named title: ASP.NET 3.5 Application Architecture and Design.
calendar_today 10 October 2009 22:46
As you delve more into ASP.NET MVC you start to come across a whole new way of doing things that Web Forms development didn't really expose you to. Inversion of Control (IoC) and Dependency Injection (DI) are two phrases that crop up a lot in the MVC space. So what are they all about? And should you care?