# Monday, 16 January 2012

I will be talking about ASP.NET MVC4 and jQuery Mobile at Visual Studio Live! Las Vegas in March.

Reach the Mobile Masses With ASP.NET MVC 4 and jQuery Mobile

Creating web applications that will target multiple devices and platforms has become the web developers Holy Grail. Simple HTML pages render without issue no matter what browser or device they are viewed on but who codes simple HTML pages? What happens when you have a business need to hit all mobile platforms?

You don't have to writes hundreds of lines of code to make this happen! In this talk Keith will show how using the latest version of ASP.NET MVC, MVC4, and JQuery you can develop web applications that target iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone 7, and even Blackberry and not have to code and style each platform separately.

You will learn:

  • How to make your site "viewable" on most user platforms with minimal effort.
  • How to make your site as usable on all mobile platforms as it is on the desktop browser.
  • How to do all of this without writing code to target each mobile platform independently.

If you register with my special speaker priority code: VLSPK6 you will save $500 off!

Visual Studio Live Las Vegas

Mirage Resort & Casino

March 26-30, 2012

Event web site: http://vslive.com/lasvegas

Twitter: http://twitter.com/vslive - #vslive

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com – Search “vslive”

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com - - JOIN “vslive” GROUP

Visual Studio Live is five days of practical, Microsoft-supported training for developers to help solve your tough .NET development challenges. You'll find how-to advice and the tips and tricks that you'll be ready to implement as soon as you get back to the office. Our expert faculty - including many Microsoft instructors - makes each session interactive so you can discuss your particular development roadblocks and come away with actionable solutions.

Visual Studio Live Las Vegas offers in-depth training in:

  • Cloud Computing
  • Cross Platform Mobile
  • Data Management
  • HTML5
  • Silverlight / WPF
  • Visual Studio 2010+/.NET 4+
  • Web
  • Windows 8/WinRT
  • Windows Phone 7

Visual Studio Live Las Vegas – Expert Solutions for .NET Developers

posted on Monday, 16 January 2012 14:35:00 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Comments [3]
# Monday, 09 January 2012

The most requested feature for Entity Framework has been Enum support for a very long time.  At TechEd this year it was announced that Enums would be supported in the next version of the Entity Framework and in June the Entity Framework June CTP was released with Enum support as well some other enhancements.

In the past I dealt with Entity Framework not supporting Enum by having an int property on my model that represented the Enum’s id.  My model also had a property of the Enum type that was marked as ignored so that EF did not try create a database column for the property.  The setter of the property would set the Enum id field and the getter would convert the Enum id field to the Enum type and return it.  If you are confused by that statement, like me, see the code below.

  1. public class Model {
  3.         public long ModelId { get; set; }
  5.         [Required]
  6.         [StringLength(50)]
  7.         public string Name { get; set; }
  9.         [Required]
  10.         public int Year { get; set; }
  12.         [Required]
  13.         public decimal BasePrice { get; set; }
  15.         public int EngineLocation { get; set; }
  17.         public EngineLocationType EngineLocationType {
  18.             get { return (EngineLocationType) EngineLocation; }
  19.             set { EngineLocation = (int) value; }
  20.         }
  22.         #region << Navigation Properties >>
  24.         public long ManufacturerId { get; set; }
  25.         public virtual Manufacturer Manufacturer { get; set; }
  27.         public virtual IList<Engine> AvailableEngines { get; set; }
  29.         #endregion
  31.     }
  1. public class DataContext : DbContext {
  3.         public DataContext() : base("name=EFCodeFirst") {}
  5.         public IDbSet<Manufacturer> Manufacturers { get; set; }
  6.         public IDbSet<Model> Models { get; set; }
  7.         public IDbSet<Engine> Engines { get; set; }
  9.         protected override void OnModelCreating(DbModelBuilder modelBuilder) {
  10.             modelBuilder.Conventions.Remove<PluralizingTableNameConvention>();
  11.             modelBuilder.Entity<Model>().Ignore(x => x.EngineLocationType);
  12.             modelBuilder.Entity<Model>().HasMany(x => x.AvailableEngines).WithMany(x => x.AvailableOn).Map(x => x.MapLeftKey("ModelId").MapRightKey("EngineId").ToTable("ModelEngine"));
  13.             base.OnModelCreating(modelBuilder);
  14.         }
  15.     }

This gets the job done and really isn’t that messy, but with the new Enum support in the June CTP I can make things cleaner.  To make use of the new Enum support all I have to do is declare a property of EngineLocationType in my model and EF will make all the connections for me.

  1. public class Model {
  3.         public long ModelId { get; set; }
  5.         [Required]
  6.         [StringLength(50)]
  7.         public string Name { get; set; }
  9.         [Required]
  10.         public int Year { get; set; }
  12.         [Required]
  13.         public decimal BasePrice { get; set; }
  15.         public EngineLocationType EngineLocation { get; set; }
  17.         #region << Relationships >>
  19.         public long ManufacturerId { get; set; }
  20.         public virtual Manufacturer Manufacturer { get; set; }
  22.         public virtual IList<Engine> AvailableEngines { get; set; }
  24.         #endregion
  27.     }

So that is the new EF Enum support.  The only issue I have with the implementation is that ideally I would like to be able to have an EngineLocationType table in my database that Entity Framework would create and populate based on my Enum definition and assign a foreign key relationship to EngineLocation on my Model entity.  That would make the entire process complete and architecturally sound IMHO.

If you are looking for a code download this is part of the Entity Framework Code First Demo that I did in a previous blog post and the code is available on GitHub.

posted on Monday, 09 January 2012 08:18:40 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Comments [3]
# Monday, 12 December 2011

Integration Testing is a necessary evil that often gets overlooked or is implemented, ran once, and then not maintained.  The reasoning behind this is that by definition Integration Testing relies on external resources that are often outside of our control and some times completely hands off.  Also these external resources are in constant use by a large number of people making whatever resource the external systems are serving very volatile.  In this post I am going to focus on the most common external resource; the Database.

Integration Testing when you have a Database as an external resource can be a nightmare.  First off you need to have access to the database.  Once that is accomplished you need to have elevated access to the database in order to run scripts.  Scripts you say?  Yes scripts!  Scripts that can put the database in an expected state every time you run the Integration Tests.  Oh, yeah then you have to make sure that the script is run.

Luckily if you are using Entity Framework Code First you more than likely already have elevated access to the Database and are probably running a local instance of SQL Server on your dev box that you are in control of.  But in the typical scenario you would still have to write the SQL Scripts, which if you are like me you don’t enjoy, and then you have to make sure they are run and that they don’t impact the data that you use to manually UI test your application…we all have that one piece of data that rely on…don’t deny it!

So how does EF Code First help me with this overwhelming problem?

All example code is from my EFCodeFirstDemo.

Seeded Data:

In Entity Framework Code First you are given the ability to hook into the database generation process and seed the database with relevant data for testing.  The best part about this is that you do it all using your POCO domain entities and LINQ to Entities…NO SQL SCRIPTS!  WOOT!

The first step in the process is to create a custom data context initializer that implements an implementation IDatabaseInitializer.

  1. public class TestDataContextInitializer : DropCreateDatabaseIfModelChanges<DataContext> {}

The next step is to override the Seed method that hooks into the generation of the database.

  1. protected override void Seed(DataContext context) {
  2.     base.Seed(context);
  3. }

Finally you can use this Seed method to build up your test data and populate the database either every time your model changes (DropCreateDatabaseIfModelChanges) or if you choose every time you spin up a new session that accesses the database (DropCreateDatabaseAlways), I don’t recommend the latter.

In the code below I am building up object graphs using my standard POCO entities and LINQ to Entities.

  1. public class TestDataContextInitializer : DropCreateDatabaseIfModelChanges<DataContext> {
  3.     private Manufacturer _astonMartin;
  4.     private Model _astonMartinDB9;
  5.     private Engine _astonMartinV12;
  6.     private Model _astonMartinV12Vantage;
  7.     private Manufacturer _ferrari;
  8.     private Model _ferrari458Italia;
  9.     private Model _ferrariScaglietti;
  10.     private Engine _ferrariV12;
  11.     private Engine _ferrariV8;
  12.     private Manufacturer _lamborghini;
  13.     private Model _lamborghiniAventador;
  14.     private Model _lamborghiniGallardo;
  15.     private Engine _lamborghiniV10;
  16.     private Engine _lamborghiniV12;
  17.     private Manufacturer _porsche;
  18.     private Model _porsche911GT2R2;
  19.     private Engine _porscheStraight6;
  21.     protected override void Seed(DataContext context) {
  22.         SeedManufacturer(context);
  23.         SeedEngine(context);
  24.         SeedModel(context);
  25.         base.Seed(context);
  26.     }
  28.     private void SeedManufacturer(DataContext context) {
  29.         _ferrari = new Manufacturer {Name = "Ferrari", Country = "Italy"};
  30.         _lamborghini = new Manufacturer {Name = "Lamborghini", Country = "Italy"};
  31.         _astonMartin = new Manufacturer {Name = "Aston Martin", Country = "United Kingdom"};
  32.         _porsche = new Manufacturer {Name = "Porsche", Country = "Germany"};
  33.         _ferrari.Location = DbGeography.Parse("POINT(44.53244    10.86412)");
  34.         _lamborghini.Location = DbGeography.Parse("POINT (44.65934    11.12693)");
  35.         _astonMartin.Location = DbGeography.Parse("POINT (52.18708    -1.48351)");
  36.         _porsche.Location = DbGeography.Parse("POINT (48.83498    9.15231)");
  37.         new List<Manufacturer> {_ferrari, _lamborghini, _astonMartin, _porsche}.ForEach(x => context.Manufacturers.Add(x));
  38.     }
  40.     private void SeedEngine(DataContext context) {
  41.         _astonMartinV12 = new Engine {Name = "6.0L V12", BreakHorsepower = 510, NumberOfCylinders = 12, Liters = 6.0m};
  42.         _ferrariV8 = new Engine {Name = "5.4L V8", BreakHorsepower = 570, NumberOfCylinders = 8, Liters = 5.4m};
  43.         _ferrariV12 = new Engine {Name = "5.7L V12", BreakHorsepower = 532, NumberOfCylinders = 12, Liters = 5.7m};
  44.         _lamborghiniV10 = new Engine {Name = "5.2L V10", BreakHorsepower = 562, NumberOfCylinders = 10, Liters = 5.2m};
  45.         _lamborghiniV12 = new Engine {Name = "6.5L V12", BreakHorsepower = 700, NumberOfCylinders = 12, Liters = 6.5m};
  46.         _lamborghiniV12 = new Engine {Name = "6.5L V12", BreakHorsepower = 700, NumberOfCylinders = 12, Liters = 6.5m};
  47.         _porscheStraight6 = new Engine {Name = "3.6L Straight 6", BreakHorsepower = 620, NumberOfCylinders = 6, Liters = 3.6m};
  48.         new List<Engine> {_astonMartinV12, _ferrariV8, _ferrariV12, _lamborghiniV10, _lamborghiniV12, _porscheStraight6}.ForEach(x => context.Engines.Add(x));
  49.     }
  51.     private void SeedModel(DataContext context) {
  52.         _ferrari458Italia = new Model {Name = "458 Italia", BasePrice = 220000, Year = 2012, Manufacturer = _ferrari, AvailableEngines = new List<Engine> {_ferrariV8, _ferrariV12}, EngineLocation = EngineLocationType.Mid};
  53.         _ferrariScaglietti = new Model {Name = "Scaglietti", BasePrice = 313000, Year = 2012, Manufacturer = _ferrari, AvailableEngines = new List<Engine> {_ferrariV12}, EngineLocation = EngineLocationType.Front};
  54.         _lamborghiniGallardo = new Model {Name = "Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera", BasePrice = 237600, Year = 2012, Manufacturer = _lamborghini, AvailableEngines = new List<Engine> {_lamborghiniV10}, EngineLocation = EngineLocationType.Mid};
  55.         _lamborghiniAventador = new Model {Name = "Aventador LP 700-4", BasePrice = 387000, Year = 2012, Manufacturer = _lamborghini, AvailableEngines = new List<Engine> {_lamborghiniV12}, EngineLocation = EngineLocationType.Mid};
  56.         _astonMartinDB9 = new Model {Name = "DB9", BasePrice = 185000, Year = 2012, Manufacturer = _astonMartin, AvailableEngines = new List<Engine> {_astonMartinV12}, EngineLocation = EngineLocationType.Front};
  57.         _astonMartinV12Vantage = new Model {Name = "V12 Vantage", BasePrice = 180000, Year = 2012, Manufacturer = _astonMartin, AvailableEngines = new List<Engine> {_astonMartinV12}, EngineLocation = EngineLocationType.Mid};
  58.         _porsche911GT2R2 = new Model {Name = "911 GT2 R2", BasePrice = 245000, Year = 2012, Manufacturer = _porsche, AvailableEngines = new List<Engine> {_porscheStraight6}, EngineLocation = EngineLocationType.Rear};
  59.         new List<Model> {_ferrari458Italia, _ferrariScaglietti, _lamborghiniAventador, _lamborghiniGallardo, _astonMartinDB9, _astonMartinV12Vantage, _porsche911GT2R2}.ForEach(x => context.Models.Add(x));
  60.     }
  61. }

The result of this process is that every time my database is dropped and recreated it is also seeded with test data. 

I know what your saying…”But I don’t use the same data for manually walking through my UI that I would use for Integration Testing!”  Luckily I can easily specify a different Connection String and Database Initializer to use when running my Integration Tests.

The first thing you have to do is modify the connection string in the AppConfig of your Integration Test project to use a different initial catalog.  As you can see all I did was suffix mine with “_TEST”…clever I know!  This is going to setup a new database for you that will only be used for testing.

  1. <connectionStrings>
  2.     <add name="EFCodeFirst" connectionString="Data Source=(local);Initial Catalog=EFCodeFirst_TEST;Integrated Security=True;MultipleActiveResultSets=True;" providerName="System.Data.SqlClient"/>
  3.   connectionStrings>

Next you need to tell EF what Database Initializer to use.  This can be accomplished two ways.  The first way is to explicitly set it in code.  In the example below I am doing this in the ClassInitialize of my Integration Test class.

  1. [ClassInitialize]
  2. public static void ClassInitialize(TestContext context) {
  3.     Database.SetInitializer(new TestDataContextInitializer());
  4. }

The second way is to set it configure it in the App/Web Config.

  1. <appSettings>
  2.     <add key="DatabaseInitializerForType EFCodeFirst.DataContext.DataContext, EFCodeFirst" value="EFCodeFirst.DataContext.TestDataContextInitializer, EFCodeFirst" />
  3.   appSettings>
That’s it!  Now you have a separate Database instance just for Integration Testing that will always contain the clean fresh data that is required to exercise your Integration Test suite.  Better yet, every developer that runs your Integration Tests will also have this data and everything will just work.
posted on Monday, 12 December 2011 09:25:24 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Comments [2]
# Monday, 05 December 2011

Configuration of Entity Framework Code First is a necessary evil and you have to admit is a very well designed user friendly process.  But, in typical Microsoft fashion, the EF developers have given us more than one way to perform this configuration.

  1. Fluent API
    1. Fluent expression based configuration
    2. Performed during the OnModelCreating process of the DbContext.
    3. Allows for complex configurations that are not possible via Attribute based configuration
      Fluent Configuration
      1. protected override void OnModelCreating(DbModelBuilder modelBuilder) {
      2.     modelBuilder.Conventions.Remove<PluralizingTableNameConvention>();
      3.     modelBuilder.Entity<Model>().HasMany(x => x.AvailableEngines)
      4.         .WithMany(x => x.AvailableOn)
      5.         .Map(x => x.MapLeftKey("ModelId")
      6.         .MapRightKey("EngineId")
      7.         .ToTable("ModelEngine"));
      8.     modelBuilder.Entity<Model>().Ignore(x => x.SomeDerivedProperty);
      9.     base.OnModelCreating(modelBuilder);
      10. }

  2. Attributes
    1. Attribute based configuration
    2. Performed directly on the Domain Model Class/Property being configured
    3. Allows the non-EF specific attributes to be used in other pieces of your application
    4. Allows validation of your Model at any time
      Attribute Configuration
      1. public class Manufacturer {
      3.     public long ManufacturerId { get; set; }
      5.     [StringLength(40)]
      6.     [Required]
      7.     public string Name { get; set; }
      9.     [Required]
      10.     [StringLength(40)]
      11.     public string Country { get; set; }
      13.     [Required]
      14.     public DbGeography Location { get; set; }
      16.     #region << Relationships >>
      18.     public virtual IList<Model> Models { get; set; }
      20.     #endregion
      22. }


So…When do you use which!?

Use Fluent Configuration When:

  • Configuration is being done solely to make the database behave correctly.
  • Configuration has no effect on the design and/or behavior of your Domain Model.
  • Examples:
    • Specifying the database table the Domain Model is to be mapped to
    • Specifying the database table column the Domain Model Field is to be mapped to
    • Ignoring a Domain Model Field
    • Configuring the keys and table names for relationships not able to be picked up by EF

Use Attribute Configuration When:

  • Configuration solely applies to your Domain Model.
  • Configuration has no effect on the design and/or behavior of your Database.
  • Examples:
    • Making a field Required
    • Validating a field (String length, Range, etc.)
  • Also…Don’t forget that for the most part these Attributes are not EF specific and can be used in the UI with MVC.
posted on Monday, 05 December 2011 08:53:57 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Monday, 28 November 2011

The jQuery Accordion control is great for creating rich interactive HTML menus.  I used it in a recent project where I wanted “Home” to be the top menu option.  I Googled around and wasn’t able to find a way to have a menu item with no children link to some URL.  So I played around for a bit and came up this solution. 

  1. $(function() {
  2.     $("#navigationMenu").accordion({ autoHeight: false });
  3.     $('#homeNavMenu').find('a').click(function() { window.location = '/'; });
  4. });
posted on Monday, 28 November 2011 09:52:57 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Comments [0]