Using KnockoutJS with SignalR in ASP.NET MVC

KnockoutJS is a MVVM implementation for JavaScript written by Steve Sanderson, in my opinion the author of the best ASP.NET MVC textbooks available. Simply put it lets you bind a JavaScript object model to your HTML UI using a Read more

A MongoDB Tutorial using C# and ASP.NET MVC

In this post I'm going to create a simple ASP.NET MVC website for a simple blog that uses MongoDB and the offical 10gen C# driver. MongoDB is no NOSQL database that stores information as Binary JSON (BSON) in documents. I Read more

Linq To SQL Tutorial

Check out some of my other Linq to SQL posts: EntityBase Inheritance Modifiers with SQLMetal Linq to SQL with WCF Services Linq to SQL Framework (Repository/Business wrapper) ObjectDataSource binding with server side paging and sorting Load Options Generic Framework using reflection This is a basic tutorial for Read more

Linq lambda expression IEqualityComparer for IEnumerable.Distinct and Except

Posted on by Joe in C#, Linq | 3 Comments

One of the things that annoys me with the IEnumerable.Distinct method is that it has no overload allowing you to give a lambda expression to specify a particular property to perform the distinction, you have to give an IEqualityComparer.

I did a quick Google search and found this post. The guy here provides the following LambdaComparer class:

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ASP.NET MVC Textbox with characters remaining HtmlHelper extension method

Posted on by Joe in C#, JavaScript, MVC | 5 Comments

Here is a couple of HtmlHelper extension methods, CharactersRemainingTextBoxFor and CharactersRemainingTextAreaFor which render a textbox/textarea with a span tag that displays the number of characters remaining.  They also include the JavaScript to make this work, and to limit the number of characters entered in the textarea. The maximum limit comes from the model by using the StringLengthAttribute.

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How to get the time difference between two DateTimes using C#

Posted on by Joe in C# | 3 Comments

Here’s a quick an easy way to show the time difference between two DateTime objects using C#.

The DateTime structure has an overridden subtract operator which return a TimeSpan object when subtracting two DateTimes:

public static TimeSpan operator -(DateTime d1, DateTime d2);

You can then use this TimeSpan to get the amount of time between each DateTime:


DateTime fromDate = DateTime.Now.AddDays(-1).AddMinutes(-10).AddSeconds(-20);
DateTime toDate = DateTime.Now;
TimeSpan timeSpan = toDate - fromDate;

string timeString =
    string.Format(
        "{0:00}:{1:00}:{2:00}",
        (timeSpan.Days * 24) + timeSpan.Hours,
        timeSpan.Minutes,
        timeSpan.Seconds
    );

In the above example I’m comparing a date in the past to the current date. This could be useful for working out the total amount of time that has passed since something has happened.

I’m then using the Hours, Minutes and Seconds properties of the TimeSpan to format a string displaying the amount of time. If the hours goes over 24 then the Days property is used, so for my hours I’m also adding on the number of days multiplied by 24.

Convert a comma separated string of numbers to an integer array using C#

Posted on by Joe in C#, Linq | 1 Comment

Today I needed to convert a comma separated string of numbers in an integer array. Here is how you can do it in one line using Linq:

string csv = "1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34";
int[] numbers = csv.Split(',').Select(n => int.Parse(n)).ToArray();

Creating a Composite Server Control with ASP.NET

Posted on by Joe in ASP.NET, C# | 14 Comments

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When creating web applications with ASP.NET developers will usually create User Controls or Custom Server Controls. User Controls have the ASCX extension and allow developers to group together ASP.NET controls and functionality into a reusable control. Custom Controls are a bit more complex and require the developer to define the html that the control generates as well as all it’s functionality. It is also possible to add child ASP.NET controls to a Server Control and have the control render those child control and maintain their viewstate with little work. 

In .NET 2.0 the abstract CompositeControl class was introduced, which is derived from WebControl but also uses the interfaces INamingContainer, which makes sure all child controls have a unique ID, and ICompositeControlDesignerAccessor which is used to allow the control to render the control automatically at design time based on the child controls. The CompositeControl also ensures that child controls are always created which saves using the EnsureChildControls method that many Custom Control developers will be familiar with. 

In this post I’ll explain how to create a simple Composite Custom Control and how to customise the HTML that it renders. 

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Linq to XML Tutorial

Posted on by Joe in ASP.NET, C#, Linq, XML | 46 Comments

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This is an introduction to Linq to XML showing how to read, insert, update and delete from an XML file.

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Using jQuery to make ajax calls to an ASMX web service using ASP.NET

Posted on by Joe in Ajax, ASP.NET, C#, JavaScript, jQuery | 17 Comments

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Making ajax calls to an ASP.NET web service using jQuery is too easy.  In this post I’ll explain how to do it!

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JSON Serialization using the DataContractJsonSerializer and C#

Posted on by Joe in ASP.NET, C#, JavaScript | 4 Comments

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Previously I’d done JSON serialization using the JavaScriptSerializer which is part of AJAX Extensions 1.0, but this is now obsolete.

.NET 3.5 introduced the DataContractJsonSerializer class.  The class sits in the System.Runtime.Serialization.Json namespace which is curiously hidden away in the System.ServiceModel.Web assembly.

The DataContractJsonSerializer can serialize a class that contains the Serializable attribute or any class defined as a DataContract.

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Escape curly braces when using String.Format or StringBuilder.AppendFormat

Posted on by Joe in C#, JavaScript | 2 Comments

I was using the StringBuilder to create a JSON string which included an array and therefore curly braces, but I got an exception as curly braces are used to define the parameters for the format.

sb.AppendFormat("{\"Forename\":\"{0}\",\"Surname\":\"{1}\"}", person.Forename, person.Surname);

At first I tried adding a backslash which is used to escape the quotation mark but this didn’t work, so I tried the double character trick but adding two curly braces which seems to do the job.

sb.AppendFormat("{{\"Forename\":\"{0}\",\"Surname\":\"{1}\"}}", person.Forename, person.Surname);

Linq to SQL Tutorial – Linq to SQL Generic Framework using reflection

Posted on by Joe in ASP.NET, C#, Linq | 1 Comment

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In a previous post; Base Repository/Business Logic wrapper, I talked about a basic Linq to SQL Framework I created. I then extended it in my ObjectDataSource binding with paging and sorting post to show how to use it with the ObjectDataSource.

The problem was that although it worked quite nicely for getting all records and getting by ID, if I wanted to perform any specific filtering I had to create a derived repository class with a specific method for each query.

In this post I’ll explain how I have extended this framework using reflection to allow filtering on multiple columns without having to created separate repository objects.

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