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Preview: Westwind Article Archive

Westwind Article Archive



West Wind Technologies Article Archive for .Net, Windows and Visual FoxPro developers.



 



A first look at ASP.NET SignalR

Wed, 22 May 2013 07:00:00 GMT

Last month I finally had a chance to use SignalR in a live project for the first time, and I've been impressed by what this technology offers to .NET developers. It's easy to use and provides rich real-time two way messaging between client and server applications, as well as the ability to broadcast message to all connected clients. This is technology that offers many opportunities to rethink of what we can build with Web applications today.



An ASP.NET WebAPI Basic Authentication Filter

Sat, 20 Apr 2013 07:00:00 GMT

Security is a requirement in most Web applications and ASP.NET WebApi is no exception. Recently I needed to implement user based security in a WebApi application that's easily accessible from a variety of clients and the request was specifically for Basic Authentication support. In this article I describe a simple AuthorizationFilter based implementation of Basic Authentication for ASP.NET WebApi.



Using plUpload to upload Files with ASP.NET

Tue, 12 Mar 2013 07:00:00 GMT

plUpload is a popular client side multi-file upload component that works with JavaScript to upload files to a server elegantly. In this article I describe a small ASP.NET library that abstracts the server side processing of uploaded files with an ASP.NET HTTP handler and demonstrates putting it all together with a small Image Upload sample Web page.



Building a better .NET Application Configuration Class

Fri, 28 Dec 2012 07:00:00 GMT

Application configuration is a key feature for application customization and adaptability and .NET provides some fairly decent built-in support for configuration management. Personally however I prefer a code-first approach to configuration management and so I've long ago created a custom component to handle configuration using strongly typed .NET classes that can read and write configuration data from various data stores. In this article I describe the built-in features in .NET and then demonstrate the Westwind ApplicationConfiguration component to show how configuration management in your apps can be even easier.



Creating a Dynamic DataReader for easier Property Access

Mon, 3 Dec 2012 07:00:00 GMT

How do you display editable time values in Web applications? While date display has a pretty clear UI choice with date pickers, visual time picking isn't very efficient. In this post I show a keyboard based alternative to navigating and entering time (and date values) values using hotkeys hooked up through a jQuery plugin.



Using JSON.NET for dynamic JSON parsing

Mon, 5 Nov 2012 07:00:00 GMT

Parsing JSON dynamically rather than statically serializing into objects is becoming much more common with today's applications consuming many services of varying complexity. Sometimes you don't need to map an entire API, but only need to parse a few items out of a larger JSON response. Using JSON.NET and JObject,JArray,JValue makes it very easy to dynamically parse and read JSON data at runtime and manipulate it in a variety of different ways. Here's how.



An Introduction to ASP.NET Web API

Thu, 1 Nov 2012 07:00:00 GMT

This article is a practical introduction and hands on overview of ASP.NET Web API. From the basics of setting up a new API Controller to calling the service via AJAX calls to handling errors, dealing with model binding this article serves as tour of the core features of Web API by example.



.NET HTML Sanitation for rich HTML Input

Thu, 19 Jul 2012 07:00:00 GMT

Securing HTML input from users in Web applications is a thorny subject, but there are not many good solutions out there for .NET. In this article I describe an HTML sanitation scenario and a custom solution I used to allow posting of relatively rich HTML on a Web site.



Accessing Spatial Data with SQL Server and Entity Framework 5.0

Wed, 20 Jun 2012 07:00:00 GMT

Spatial data has been available for a while in SQL Server, but if you wanted to use it with Entiry Framework you had to jump through some hoops. In this article I show how basic SQL Spatial data works and then how you can utilize the new features in EF 5.0 and later to directly access spatial data using your CodeFirst models.



Rendering ASP.NET MVC Views to String

Wed, 30 May 2012 07:00:00 GMT

Creating templated text output that's not tied to the HTTP output stream is a frequent requirement in many applications. Rendering confirmation emails, password resets, validations and notifications all generate text through templates that require string or stream output that doesn't get sent to HTTP. In this article I show a few helpers that make it easy to create string output from MVC Views.



Web Browser Control ? Specifying the IE Version

Mon, 21 May 2012 07:00:00 GMT

The Web Browser control's default rendering mode is not very standards compliant - it's stuck in IE 7 quirks mode which is less than ideal for any HTML preview operations. It also fails to display the latest CSS and HTML 5 enhancements of IE 9. Luckily there's a workaround via some registry hacks that you can add to make your application render the Web Browser control using a specific version of IE.



Creating JSONP Formatter for ASP.NET Web API

Mon, 2 Apr 2012 07:00:00 GMT

Web API doesn't include native JSONP support, but it's pretty easy to create a custom formatter that handles this task. Here's how to create a JsonpFormatter and hook it up as well as a short review of how JSONP works.



Custom ASP.NET Routing to an HttpHandler

Wed, 28 Mar 2012 07:00:00 GMT

Routing support in ASP.NET 4.0 has been vastly improved, but custom routing still involves a fairly complex process of creating RouteHandlers and mapping requests properly. In this post I show an example of how to create custom routes automatically via Attribute route mapping for Http Handler endpoints



Tag in ASP.NET" rel="nofollow" rel="nofollow">Creating a dynamic, extensible C# Expando Object

Tue, 6 Mar 2012 07:00:00 GMT

Upload controls in HTML are a pain, but HTML5 at least allows for multiple files to selected from the file picker to effectively upload multiple files from a single control. Here's how you use the HTML5 control and how you handle receiving the files in ASP.NET.



Custom ASP.NET Routing to an HttpHandler

Tue, 28 Feb 2012 07:00:00 GMT

Routing support in ASP.NET 4.0 has been vastly improved, but custom routing still involves a fairly complex process of creating RouteHandlers and mapping requests properly. In this post I show an example of how to create custom routes automatically via Attribute route mapping for Http Handler endpoints



Debugging Application_Start and Module Initialization with IIS and Visual Studio

Thu, 15 Dec 2011 07:00:00 GMT

If you're running the full version of IIS and you try to debug your Web application's startup code in Application_Start you might have found that you can't debug this code as the debugger doesn't break there. Here's why and some easy ways you can work around this limitation.



A Key Code Checker for DOM Keyboard Events

Tue, 6 Dec 2011 07:00:00 GMT

Handling keyboard input events in JavaScript can be tricky when you need to deal with key codes. There are browser difference and different behaviors for various key events. Here's a refresher on how keyboard events work in JavaScript and a utility that lets you test key strokes and their resulting key codes in the various events available.



jQuery Time Entry with Time Navigation Keys

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 07:00:00 GMT

How do you display editable time values in Web applications? While date display has a pretty clear UI choice with date pickers, visual time picking isn't very efficient. In this post I show a keyboard based alternative to navigating and entering time (and date values) values using hotkeys hooked up through a jQuery plugin.



An Xml Serializable PropertyBag Dictionary Class for .NET

Wed, 9 Nov 2011 07:00:00 GMT

.NET includes many Dictionary related types but serialization of Dictionaries leaves a lot to be desired. In this post I show how to create a serializable PropertyBag class that makes it easy to XmlSerialize arbitrary key/value pairs into XML and back.



Create Side by Side registrationless COM Manifests with Visual Studio

Wed, 9 Nov 2011 07:00:00 GMT

Registrationless COM makes it possible to run COM components without registry configuration making for an xCopy deployable solution. The process is not terribly difficult but not easy to debug if something goes wrong. Here's how you can use registrationless COM in your apps.



Using the West Wind Web Toolkit to set up AJAX and REST Services

Sat, 5 Nov 2011 07:00:00 GMT

In this post I describe how to use the West Wind Web Toolkit to create an AJAX/REST service that can serve data to a JavaScript applications with a few short steps. Then we'll look at ways to access the server side code with simple jQuery/JavaScript code and the ajaxCallMethod() helper.



Creating a dynamic, extensible C# Expando Object

Mon, 30 May 2011 07:00:00 GMT

Dynamic types in .NET make it very easy to create custom types in .NET. In this article we'll look at using a custom dynamic type that can extend an existing type at runtime with dynamic properties and methods.



A jQuery Plug-in to monitor Html Element CSS Changes

Tue, 22 Feb 2011 07:00:00 GMT

Ever have the need to monitor movement of elements in an HTML document via JavaScript? Unfortunatey there are no events that fire if HTML elements are moved around the document either via dragging or by programmatic location changes. As a workaround I created a jQuery CSS monitoring plugin that fires event when a given CSS property changes.



Hosting the Razor Engine for Templating in Non-Web Applications

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 07:00:00 GMT

Microsoft's new Razor View Engine is now available with WebMatrix and MVC 3 and the good news is that the engine can be easily and efficiently hosted in non-Web applications. In this article I'll discuss a library that makes it easy to embed Razor based templating into your own applications and in the process describe how Razor hosting works.



Making Sense of ASP.NET Paths

Sat, 2 Jan 2010 07:00:00 GMT

ASP.NET includes a plethora of functions and utilities to retrieve information about the current requests and paths in general. So much so that it's often hard to remember exactly which path property or method you are actually looking for. This article summarizes many of the paths and path related operations that are available in ASP.NET.



A free standing ASP.NET Pager Web Control

Fri, 18 Dec 2009 07:00:00 GMT

ASP.NET includes several controls that support paging but they vary fairly drastically for different controls and can't be controlled purely by assignment. This article discusses the shortcomings of native paging in ASP.NET and introduces a free standing pager control that is generic and works without dependencies on DataSource or other specific ASP.NET controls and provides SEO friendly navigation.



Capturing and Transforming ASP.NET Output with Response.Filter

Fri, 13 Nov 2009 07:00:00 GMT

Capturing ASP.NET response output can be done in a variety of ways. In this article I discuss how you can use a Response.Filter to capture output and transform it using a simple class that provides event hooks to make it easy to capture and transform output generically



Integrating OpenID in an ASP.NET MVC Application using DotNetOpenAuth

Fri, 18 Sep 2009 07:00:00 GMT

OpenId is a single sign on technology getting more popular and with it come requests to integrate it into Web sites as a user authentication mechanism. In this post I'll give an overview of what OpenId is, how it works and demonstrate implementing it in an MVC Web application using the DotNetOpenAuth toolkit including a detailed walk through of the integration code.



Making jQuery Calls to WCF/ASMX with a ServiceProxy Client

Thu, 10 Sep 2009 07:00:00 GMT

This article describes a self-contained mechanism for calling WCF/ASMX services using only the jQuery client library and a small bit of custom code by providing a reusable ServiceProxy class that makes calling service methods as easy as a single method call.



WPF Localization Guidance

Wed, 1 Jul 2009 07:00:00 GMT

This article introduces the core localization features in the .NET framework relevant for WPF as well as specific localization approaches supported for WPF. Covered are the static and rigid approach using LocBaml as well as a couple of approaches using a Resx markup extension or using a more Windows Forms based approach using attached properties. This article is hosted on the CodePlex site as a downloadable Microsoft Word document.



Creating Visual Studio Project Templates from your Web Projects

Mon, 27 Apr 2009 07:00:00 GMT

Visual Studio provides an easy way to create project templates from an existing project and this makes it real easy to create custom project types that are tailored to the way that you work.