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  • How can I convert a timestamp to a user-friendly time string

    - by Steve Neal
    I want to be able to present "today" and "yesterday" for recent dates in my application. I've got a date formatter in use currently to show dates (retrieved from data records) and will keep using this for anything more than a couple of days old. I just really like the way the SMS app in the iPhone shows dates for recent messages and would like to emulate this. The time-stamps that I have to work with are generated on a server that the phone downloads the data records from. All times are therefore generated at UTC (i.e. GMT) time. I've been fiddling about with this for a while the solutions I've devised just seem horribly long-winded. Can anyone suggest how to implement a method that could do this? Cheers - Steve.

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  • Tech Germs – Tis the Season [Infographic]

    - by Asian Angel
    Think the tech and household items you work with or use on a daily basis are clean? Then think again. View a Larger Version of the Infographic Tech Germs [infographic] – Blog Post [via Elinor Mills] How to See What Web Sites Your Computer is Secretly Connecting To HTG Explains: When Do You Need to Update Your Drivers? How to Make the Kindle Fire Silk Browser *Actually* Fast!

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  • Customized Web Development Services

    Choosing between a web development company and a professional web development company is like choosing a rose from a bunch of thorns. In generic sense, every web development company offers elementary... [Author: Adam Mills - Web Design and Development - April 02, 2010]

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  • ArchBeat Top 10 for November 18-24, 2012

    - by Bob Rhubart
    The Top 10 most popular items shared on the OTN ArchBeat Facebook page for the week of November 18-24, 2012. One-Stop Shop for over 200 On-Demand Oracle Webcasts Webcasts can be a great way to get information about Oracle products without having to go cross-eyed reading yet another document off your computer screen. Oracle's new Webcast Center offers selectable filtering to make it easy to get to the information you want. Yes, you have to register to gain access, but that process is quick, and with over 200 webcasts to choose from you know you'll find useful content. Oracle SOA Suite 11g PS 5 introduces BPEL with conditional correlation for aggregation scenarios | Lucas Jellema An extensive, detailed technical post from Oracle ACE Director Lucas Jellema. Oracle Utilities Application Framework V4.2.0.0.0 Released | Anthony Shorten Principal Product Manager Anthony Shorten shares an overview of the changes implemented in the new release. Fault Handling and Prevention - Part 1 | Guido Schmutz and Ronald van Luttikhuizen In this technical article, part one of a four part series, Oracle ACE Directors Guido Schmutz and Ronald van Luttikhuizen guide you through an introduction to fault handling in a service-oriented environment using Oracle SOA Suite and Oracle Service Bus. Oracle BPM Process Accelerators and process excellence | Andrew Richards "Process Accelerators are ready-to-deploy solutions based on best practices to simplify process management requirements," says Capgemini's Andrew Richards. "They are considered to be 'product grade,' meaning they have been designed; engineered, documented and tested by Oracle themselves to a level that they can be deployed as-is for a solution to a problem or extended as appropriate for a particular scenario." Videos: Getting Started with Java Embedded | The Java Source Interested in Java Embedded? You'll want to check out these videos provided Tori Weildt, including interviews with Oracle's James Allen and Kevin Smith, recorded at ARM TechCon. JPA SQL and Fetching tuning ( EclipseLink ) | Edwin Biemond Oracle ACE Edwin Biemond's post illustrates how to "use the department and employee entity of the HR Oracle demo schema to explain the JPA options you have to control the SQL statements and the JPA relation Fetching." Devoxx 2012 Trip Report - clouds and sunshine | Markus Eisele Oracle ACE Director Markus Eisele shares an extensive and entertaining account of his experience at Devoxx 2012. Towards Ultra-Reusability for ADF - Adaptive Bindings | Duncan Mills "The task flow mechanism embodies one of the key value propositions of the ADF Framework," says Duncan Mills. "However, what if we could do more? How could we make task flows even more re-usable than they are today?" As you might expect, Duncan has answers for those questions. Java Specification Requests in Numbers | Markus Eisele Oracle ACE Director Markus Eisele shares some interesting data culled from the Java Community Process site. Thought for the Day "You can't have great software without a great team, and most software teams behave like dysfunctional families." — Jim McCarthy Source: SoftwareQuotes.com

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  • Oracle ADF PMs are UKOUG Conference 2012

    - by Grant Ronald
    Next week we'll have a (what is a collection of PM's called, flock? gaggle?) of ADF Product Managers attending the UKOUG conference in Birmingham.  Myself, Frank Nimphius, Chris Muir, Susan Duncan, Frederic Desbiens and Duncan Mills will all be attending.  We'll be covering a range of sessions and if you have any questions you'd like to ask about Oracle tools development, technical questions, migration, Forms to ADF, futures, mobile, anything!, then come up and say hi.

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  • ILMerge - Unresolved assembly reference not allowed: System.Core

    - by Steve Michelotti
    ILMerge is a utility which allows you the merge multiple .NET assemblies into a single binary assembly more for convenient distribution. Recently we ran into problems when attempting to use ILMerge on a .NET 4 project. We received the error message: An exception occurred during merging: Unresolved assembly reference not allowed: System.Core.     at System.Compiler.Ir2md.GetAssemblyRefIndex(AssemblyNode assembly)     at System.Compiler.Ir2md.GetTypeRefIndex(TypeNode type)     at System.Compiler.Ir2md.VisitReferencedType(TypeNode type)     at System.Compiler.Ir2md.GetMemberRefIndex(Member m)     at System.Compiler.Ir2md.PopulateCustomAttributeTable()     at System.Compiler.Ir2md.SetupMetadataWriter(String debugSymbolsLocation)     at System.Compiler.Ir2md.WritePE(Module module, String debugSymbolsLocation, BinaryWriter writer)     at System.Compiler.Writer.WritePE(String location, Boolean writeDebugSymbols, Module module, Boolean delaySign, String keyFileName, String keyName)     at System.Compiler.Writer.WritePE(CompilerParameters compilerParameters, Module module)     at ILMerging.ILMerge.Merge()     at ILMerging.ILMerge.Main(String[] args) It turns out that this issue is caused by ILMerge.exe not being able to find the .NET 4 framework by default. The answer was ultimately found here. You either have to use the /lib option to point to your .NET 4 framework directory (e.g., “C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v4.0.30319” or “C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319”) or just use an ILMerge.exe.config file that looks like this: 1: <configuration> 2: <startup useLegacyV2RuntimeActivationPolicy="true"> 3: <requiredRuntime safemode="true" imageVersion="v4.0.30319" version="v4.0.30319"/> 4: </startup> 5: </configuration> This was able to successfully resolve my issue.

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  • Version Assemblies with TFS 2010 Continuous Integration

    - by Steve Michelotti
    When I first heard that TFS 2010 had moved to Workflow Foundation for Team Build, I was *extremely* skeptical. I’ve loved MSBuild and didn’t quite understand the reasons for this change. In fact, given that I’ve been exclusively using Cruise Control for Continuous Integration (CI) for the last 5+ years of my career, I was skeptical of TFS for CI in general. However, after going through the learning process for TFS 2010 recently, I’m starting to become a believer. I’m also starting to see some of the benefits with Workflow Foundation for the overall processing because it gives you constructs not available in MSBuild such as parallel tasks, better control flow constructs, and a slightly better customization story. The first customization I had to make to the build process was to version the assemblies of my solution. This is not new. In fact, I’d recommend reading Mike Fourie’s well known post on Versioning Code in TFS before you get started. This post describes several foundational aspects of versioning assemblies regardless of your version of TFS. The main points are: 1) don’t use source control operations for your version file, 2) use a schema like <Major>.<Minor>.<IncrementalNumber>.0, and 3) do not keep AssemblyVersion and AssemblyFileVersion in sync. To do this in TFS 2010, the best post I’ve found has been Jim Lamb’s post of building a custom TFS 2010 workflow activity. Overall, this post is excellent but the primary issue I have with it is that the assembly version numbers produced are based in a date and look like this: “2010.5.15.1”. This is definitely not what I want. I want to be able to communicate to the developers and stakeholders that we are producing the “1.1 release” or “1.2 release” – which would have an assembly version number of “1.1.317.0” for example. In this post, I’ll walk through the process of customizing the assembly version number based on this method – customizing the concepts in Lamb’s post to suit my needs. I’ll also be combining this with the concepts of Fourie’s post – particularly with regards to the standards around how to version the assemblies. The first thing I’ll do is add a file called SolutionAssemblyVersionInfo.cs to the root of my solution that looks like this: 1: using System; 2: using System.Reflection; 3: [assembly: AssemblyVersion("1.1.0.0")] 4: [assembly: AssemblyFileVersion("1.1.0.0")] I’ll then add that file as a Visual Studio link file to each project in my solution by right-clicking the project, “Add – Existing Item…” then when I click the SolutionAssemblyVersionInfo.cs file, making sure I “Add As Link”: Now the Solution Explorer will show our file. We can see that it’s a “link” file because of the black arrow in the icon within all our projects. Of course you’ll need to remove the AssemblyVersion and AssemblyFileVersion attributes from the AssemblyInfo.cs files to avoid the duplicate attributes since they now leave in the SolutionAssemblyVersionInfo.cs file. This is an extremely common technique so that all the projects in our solution can be versioned as a unit. At this point, we’re ready to write our custom activity. The primary consideration is that I want the developer and/or tech lead to be able to easily be in control of the Major.Minor and then I want the CI process to add the third number with a unique incremental number. We’ll leave the fourth position always “0” for now – it’s held in reserve in case the day ever comes where we need to do an emergency patch to Production based on a branched version.   Writing the Custom Workflow Activity Similar to Lamb’s post, I’m going to write two custom workflow activities. The “outer” activity (a xaml activity) will be pretty straight forward. It will check if the solution version file exists in the solution root and, if so, delegate the replacement of version to the AssemblyVersionInfo activity which is a CodeActivity highlighted in red below:   Notice that the arguments of this activity are the “solutionVersionFile” and “tfsBuildNumber” which will be passed in. The tfsBuildNumber passed in will look something like this: “CI_MyApplication.4” and we’ll need to grab the “4” (i.e., the incremental revision number) and put that in the third position. Then we’ll need to honor whatever was specified for Major.Minor in the SolutionAssemblyVersionInfo.cs file. For example, if the SolutionAssemblyVersionInfo.cs file had “1.1.0.0” for the AssemblyVersion (as shown in the first code block near the beginning of this post), then we want to resulting file to have “1.1.4.0”. Before we do anything, let’s put together a unit test for all this so we can know if we get it right: 1: [TestMethod] 2: public void Assembly_version_should_be_parsed_correctly_from_build_name() 3: { 4: // arrange 5: const string versionFile = "SolutionAssemblyVersionInfo.cs"; 6: WriteTestVersionFile(versionFile); 7: var activity = new VersionAssemblies(); 8: var arguments = new Dictionary<string, object> { 9: { "tfsBuildNumber", "CI_MyApplication.4"}, 10: { "solutionVersionFile", versionFile} 11: }; 12:   13: // act 14: var result = WorkflowInvoker.Invoke(activity, arguments); 15:   16: // assert 17: Assert.AreEqual("1.2.4.0", (string)result["newAssemblyFileVersion"]); 18: var lines = File.ReadAllLines(versionFile); 19: Assert.IsTrue(lines.Contains("[assembly: AssemblyVersion(\"1.2.0.0\")]")); 20: Assert.IsTrue(lines.Contains("[assembly: AssemblyFileVersion(\"1.2.4.0\")]")); 21: } 22: 23: private void WriteTestVersionFile(string versionFile) 24: { 25: var fileContents = "using System.Reflection;\n" + 26: "[assembly: AssemblyVersion(\"1.2.0.0\")]\n" + 27: "[assembly: AssemblyFileVersion(\"1.2.0.0\")]"; 28: File.WriteAllText(versionFile, fileContents); 29: }   At this point, the code for our AssemblyVersion activity is pretty straight forward: 1: [BuildActivity(HostEnvironmentOption.Agent)] 2: public class AssemblyVersionInfo : CodeActivity 3: { 4: [RequiredArgument] 5: public InArgument<string> FileName { get; set; } 6:   7: [RequiredArgument] 8: public InArgument<string> TfsBuildNumber { get; set; } 9:   10: public OutArgument<string> NewAssemblyFileVersion { get; set; } 11:   12: protected override void Execute(CodeActivityContext context) 13: { 14: var solutionVersionFile = this.FileName.Get(context); 15: 16: // Ensure that the file is writeable 17: var fileAttributes = File.GetAttributes(solutionVersionFile); 18: File.SetAttributes(solutionVersionFile, fileAttributes & ~FileAttributes.ReadOnly); 19:   20: // Prepare assembly versions 21: var majorMinor = GetAssemblyMajorMinorVersionBasedOnExisting(solutionVersionFile); 22: var newBuildNumber = GetNewBuildNumber(this.TfsBuildNumber.Get(context)); 23: var newAssemblyVersion = string.Format("{0}.{1}.0.0", majorMinor.Item1, majorMinor.Item2); 24: var newAssemblyFileVersion = string.Format("{0}.{1}.{2}.0", majorMinor.Item1, majorMinor.Item2, newBuildNumber); 25: this.NewAssemblyFileVersion.Set(context, newAssemblyFileVersion); 26:   27: // Perform the actual replacement 28: var contents = this.GetFileContents(newAssemblyVersion, newAssemblyFileVersion); 29: File.WriteAllText(solutionVersionFile, contents); 30:   31: // Restore the file's original attributes 32: File.SetAttributes(solutionVersionFile, fileAttributes); 33: } 34:   35: #region Private Methods 36:   37: private string GetFileContents(string newAssemblyVersion, string newAssemblyFileVersion) 38: { 39: var cs = new StringBuilder(); 40: cs.AppendLine("using System.Reflection;"); 41: cs.AppendFormat("[assembly: AssemblyVersion(\"{0}\")]", newAssemblyVersion); 42: cs.AppendLine(); 43: cs.AppendFormat("[assembly: AssemblyFileVersion(\"{0}\")]", newAssemblyFileVersion); 44: return cs.ToString(); 45: } 46:   47: private Tuple<string, string> GetAssemblyMajorMinorVersionBasedOnExisting(string filePath) 48: { 49: var lines = File.ReadAllLines(filePath); 50: var versionLine = lines.Where(x => x.Contains("AssemblyVersion")).FirstOrDefault(); 51:   52: if (versionLine == null) 53: { 54: throw new InvalidOperationException("File does not contain [assembly: AssemblyVersion] attribute"); 55: } 56:   57: return ExtractMajorMinor(versionLine); 58: } 59:   60: private static Tuple<string, string> ExtractMajorMinor(string versionLine) 61: { 62: var firstQuote = versionLine.IndexOf('"') + 1; 63: var secondQuote = versionLine.IndexOf('"', firstQuote); 64: var version = versionLine.Substring(firstQuote, secondQuote - firstQuote); 65: var versionParts = version.Split('.'); 66: return new Tuple<string, string>(versionParts[0], versionParts[1]); 67: } 68:   69: private string GetNewBuildNumber(string buildName) 70: { 71: return buildName.Substring(buildName.LastIndexOf(".") + 1); 72: } 73:   74: #endregion 75: }   At this point the final step is to incorporate this activity into the overall build template. Make a copy of the DefaultTempate.xaml – we’ll call it DefaultTemplateWithVersioning.xaml. Before the build and labeling happens, drag the VersionAssemblies activity in. Then set the LabelName variable to “BuildDetail.BuildDefinition.Name + "-" + newAssemblyFileVersion since the newAssemblyFileVersion was produced by our activity.   Configuring CI Once you add your solution to source control, you can configure CI with the build definition window as shown here. The main difference is that we’ll change the Process tab to reflect a different build number format and choose our custom build process file:   When the build completes, we’ll see the name of our project with the unique revision number:   If we look at the detailed build log for the latest build, we’ll see the label being created with our custom task:     We can now look at the history labels in TFS and see the project name with the labels (the Assignment activity I added to the workflow):   Finally, if we look at the physical assemblies that are produced, we can right-click on any assembly in Windows Explorer and see the assembly version in its properties:   Full Traceability We now have full traceability for our code. There will never be a question of what code was deployed to Production. You can always see the assembly version in the properties of the physical assembly. That can be traced back to a label in TFS where the unique revision number matches. The label in TFS gives you the complete snapshot of the code in your source control repository at the time the code was built. This type of process for full traceability has been used for many years for CI – in fact, I’ve done similar things with CCNet and SVN for quite some time. This is simply the TFS implementation of that pattern. The new features that TFS 2010 give you to make these types of customizations in your build process are quite easy once you get over the initial curve.

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  • MVC Portable Areas Enhancement &ndash; Embedded Resource Controller

    - by Steve Michelotti
    MvcContrib contains a feature called Portable Areas which I’ve recently blogged about. In short, portable areas provide a way to distribute MVC binary components as simple .NET assemblies where the aspx/ascx files are actually compiled into the assembly as embedded resources. This is an extremely cool feature but once you start building robust portable areas, you’ll also want to be able to access other external files like css and javascript.  After my recent post suggesting portable areas be expanded to include other embedded resources, Eric Hexter asked me if I’d like to contribute the code to MvcContrib (which of course I did!). Embedded resources are stored in a case-sensitive way in .NET assemblies and the existing embedded view engine inside MvcContrib already took this into account. Obviously, we’d want the same case sensitivity handling to be taken into account for any embedded resource so my job consisted of 1) adding the Embedded Resource Controller, and 2) a little refactor to extract the logic that deals with embedded resources so that the embedded view engine and the embedded resource controller could both leverage it and, therefore, keep the code DRY. The embedded resource controller targets these scenarios: External image files that are referenced in an <img> tag External files referenced like css or JavaScript files Image files referenced inside css files Embedded Resources Walkthrough This post will describe a walkthrough of using the embedded resource controller in your portable areas to include the scenarios outlined above. I will build a trivial “Quick Links” widget to illustrate the concepts. The portable area registration is the starting point for all portable areas. The MvcContrib.PortableAreas.EmbeddedResourceController is optional functionality – you must opt-in if you want to use it.  To do this, you simply “register” it by providing a route in your area registration that uses it like this: 1: context.MapRoute("ResourceRoute", "quicklinks/resource/{resourceName}", 2: new { controller = "EmbeddedResource", action = "Index" }, 3: new string[] { "MvcContrib.PortableAreas" }); First, notice that I can specify any route I want (e.g., “quicklinks/resources/…”).  Second, notice that I need to include the “MvcContrib.PortableAreas” namespace as the fourth parameter so that the framework is able to find the EmbeddedResourceController at runtime. The handling of embedded views and embedded resources have now been merged.  Therefore, the call to: 1: RegisterTheViewsInTheEmmeddedViewEngine(GetType()); has now been removed (breaking change).  It has been replaced with: 1: RegisterAreaEmbeddedResources(); Other than that, the portable area registration remains unchanged. The solution structure for the static files in my portable area looks like this: I’ve got a css file in a folder called “Content” as well as a couple of image files in a folder called “images”. To reference these in my aspx/ascx code, all of have to do is this: 1: <link href="<%= Url.Resource("Content.QuickLinks.css") %>" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" /> 2: <img src="<%= Url.Resource("images.globe.png") %>" /> This results in the following HTML mark up: 1: <link href="/quicklinks/resource/Content.QuickLinks.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" /> 2: <img src="/quicklinks/resource/images.globe.png" /> The Url.Resource() method is now included in MvcContrib as well. Make sure you import the “MvcContrib” namespace in your views. Next, I have to following html to render the quick links: 1: <ul class="links"> 2: <li><a href="http://www.google.com">Google</a></li> 3: <li><a href="http://www.bing.com">Bing</a></li> 4: <li><a href="http://www.yahoo.com">Yahoo</a></li> 5: </ul> Notice the <ul> tag has a class called “links”. This is defined inside my QuickLinks.css file and looks like this: 1: ul.links li 2: { 3: background: url(/quicklinks/resource/images.navigation.png) left 4px no-repeat; 4: padding-left: 20px; 5: margin-bottom: 4px; 6: } On line 3 we’re able to refer to the url for the background property. As a final note, although we already have complete control over the location of the embedded resources inside the assembly, what if we also want control over the physical URL routes as well. This point was raised by John Nelson in this post. This has been taken into account as well. For example, suppose you want your physical url to look like this: 1: <img src="/quicklinks/images/globe.png" /> instead of the same corresponding URL shown above (i.e., “/quicklinks/resources/images.globe.png”). You can do this easily by specifying another route for it which includes a “resourcePath” parameter that is pre-pended. Here is the complete code for the area registration with the custom route for the images shown on lines 9-11: 1: public class QuickLinksRegistration : PortableAreaRegistration 2: { 3: public override void RegisterArea(System.Web.Mvc.AreaRegistrationContext context, IApplicationBus bus) 4: { 5: context.MapRoute("ResourceRoute", "quicklinks/resource/{resourceName}", 6: new { controller = "EmbeddedResource", action = "Index" }, 7: new string[] { "MvcContrib.PortableAreas" }); 8:   9: context.MapRoute("ResourceImageRoute", "quicklinks/images/{resourceName}", 10: new { controller = "EmbeddedResource", action = "Index", resourcePath = "images" }, 11: new string[] { "MvcContrib.PortableAreas" }); 12:   13: context.MapRoute("quicklink", "quicklinks/{controller}/{action}", 14: new {controller = "links", action = "index"}); 15:   16: this.RegisterAreaEmbeddedResources(); 17: } 18:   19: public override string AreaName 20: { 21: get 22: { 23: return "QuickLinks"; 24: } 25: } 26: } The Quick Links portable area results in the following requests (including custom route formats): The complete code for this post is now included in the Portable Areas sample solution in the latest MvcContrib source code. You can get the latest code now.  Portable Areas open up exciting new possibilities for MVC development!

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  • Dynamic connection for LINQ to SQL DataContext

    - by Steve Clements
    If for some reason you need to specify a specific connection string for a DataContext, you can of course pass the connection string when you initialise you DataContext object.  A common scenario could be a dev/test/stage/live connection string, but in my case its for either a live or archive database.   I however want the connection string to be handled by the DataContext, there are probably lots of different reasons someone would want to do this…but here are mine. I want the same connection string for all instances of DataContext, but I don’t know what it is yet! I prefer the clean code and ease of not using a constructor parameter. The refactoring of using a constructor parameter could be a nightmare.   So my approach is to create a new partial class for the DataContext and handle empty constructor in there. First from within the LINQ to SQL designer I changed the connection property to None.  This will remove the empty constructor code from the auto generated designer.cs file. Right click on the .dbml file, click View Code and a file and class is created for you! You’ll see the new class created in solutions explorer and the file will open. We are going to be playing with constructors so you need to add the inheritance from System.Data.Linq.DataContext public partial class DataClasses1DataContext : System.Data.Linq.DataContext    {    }   Add the empty constructor and I have added a property that will get my connection string, you will have whatever logic you need to decide and get the connection string you require.  In my case I will be hitting a database, but I have omitted that code. public partial class DataClasses1DataContext : System.Data.Linq.DataContext {    // Connection String Keys - stored in web.config    static string LiveConnectionStringKey = "LiveConnectionString";    static string ArchiveConnectionStringKey = "ArchiveConnectionString";      protected static string ConnectionString    {       get       {          if (DoIWantToUseTheLiveConnection) {             return global::System.Configuration.ConfigurationManager.ConnectionStrings[LiveConnectionStringKey].ConnectionString;          }          else {             return global::System.Configuration.ConfigurationManager.ConnectionStrings[ArchiveConnectionStringKey].ConnectionString;          }       }    }      public DataClasses1DataContext() :       base(ConnectionString, mappingSource)    {       OnCreated();    } }   Now when I new up my DataContext, I can just leave the constructor empty and my partial class will decide which one i need to use. Nice, clean code that can be easily refractored and tested.   Share this post :

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  • MVC 2 Editor Template for Radio Buttons

    - by Steve Michelotti
    A while back I blogged about how to create an HTML Helper to produce a radio button list.  In that post, my HTML helper was “wrapping” the FluentHtml library from MvcContrib to produce the following html output (given an IEnumerable list containing the items “Foo” and “Bar”): 1: <div> 2: <input id="Name_Foo" name="Name" type="radio" value="Foo" /><label for="Name_Foo" id="Name_Foo_Label">Foo</label> 3: <input id="Name_Bar" name="Name" type="radio" value="Bar" /><label for="Name_Bar" id="Name_Bar_Label">Bar</label> 4: </div> With the release of MVC 2, we now have editor templates we can use that rely on metadata to allow us to customize our views appropriately.  For example, for the radio buttons above, we want the “id” attribute to be differentiated and unique and we want the “name” attribute to be the same across radio buttons so the buttons will be grouped together and so model binding will work appropriately. We also want the “for” attribute in the <label> element being set to correctly point to the id of the corresponding radio button.  The default behavior of the RadioButtonFor() method that comes OOTB with MVC produces the same value for the “id” and “name” attributes so this isn’t exactly what I want out the the box if I’m trying to produce the HTML mark up above. If we use an EditorTemplate, the first gotcha that we run into is that, by default, the templates just work on your view model’s property. But in this case, we *also* was the list of items to populate all the radio buttons. It turns out that the EditorFor() methods do give you a way to pass in additional data. There is an overload of the EditorFor() method where the last parameter allows you to pass an anonymous object for “extra” data that you can use in your view – it gets put on the view data dictionary: 1: <%: Html.EditorFor(m => m.Name, "RadioButtonList", new { selectList = new SelectList(new[] { "Foo", "Bar" }) })%> Now we can create a file called RadioButtonList.ascx that looks like this: 1: <%@ Control Language="C#" Inherits="System.Web.Mvc.ViewUserControl" %> 2: <% 3: var list = this.ViewData["selectList"] as SelectList; 4: %> 5: <div> 6: <% foreach (var item in list) { 7: var radioId = ViewData.TemplateInfo.GetFullHtmlFieldId(item.Value); 8: var checkedAttr = item.Selected ? "checked=\"checked\"" : string.Empty; 9: %> 10: <input type="radio" id="<%: radioId %>" name="<%: ViewData.TemplateInfo.HtmlFieldPrefix %>" value="<%: item.Value %>" <%: checkedAttr %>/> 11: <label for="<%: radioId %>"><%: item.Text %></label> 12: <% } %> 13: </div> There are several things to note about the code above. First, you can see in line #3, it’s getting the SelectList out of the view data dictionary. Then on line #7 it uses the GetFullHtmlFieldId() method from the TemplateInfo class to ensure we get unique IDs. We pass the Value to this method so that it will produce IDs like “Name_Foo” and “Name_Bar” rather than just “Name” which is our property name. However, for the “name” attribute (on line #10) we can just use the normal HtmlFieldPrefix property so that we ensure all radio buttons have the same name which corresponds to the view model’s property name. We also get to leverage the fact the a SelectListItem has a Boolean Selected property so we can set the checkedAttr variable on line #8 and use it on line #10. Finally, it’s trivial to set the correct “for” attribute for the <label> on line #11 since we already produced that value. Because the TemplateInfo class provides all the metadata for our view, we’re able to produce this view that is widely re-usable across our application. In fact, we can create a couple HTML helpers to better encapsulate this call and make it more user friendly: 1: public static MvcHtmlString RadioButtonList<TModel, TProperty>(this HtmlHelper<TModel> htmlHelper, Expression<Func<TModel, TProperty>> expression, params string[] items) 2: { 3: return htmlHelper.RadioButtonList(expression, new SelectList(items)); 4: } 5:   6: public static MvcHtmlString RadioButtonList<TModel, TProperty>(this HtmlHelper<TModel> htmlHelper, Expression<Func<TModel, TProperty>> expression, IEnumerable<SelectListItem> items) 7: { 8: var func = expression.Compile(); 9: var result = func(htmlHelper.ViewData.Model); 10: var list = new SelectList(items, "Value", "Text", result); 11: return htmlHelper.EditorFor(expression, "RadioButtonList", new { selectList = list }); 12: } This allows us to simply the call like this: 1: <%: Html.RadioButtonList(m => m.Name, "Foo", "Bar" ) %> In that example, the values for the radio button are hard-coded and being passed in directly. But if you had a view model that contained a property for the collection of items you could call the second overload like this: 1: <%: Html.RadioButtonList(m => m.Name, Model.FooBarList ) %> The Editor templates introduced in MVC 2 definitely allow for much more flexible views/editors than previously available. By knowing about the features you have available to you with the TemplateInfo class, you can take these concepts and customize your editors with extreme flexibility and re-usability.

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  • Enable Automatic Code First Migrations On SQL Database in Azure Web Sites

    - by Steve Michelotti
    Now that Azure supports .NET Framework 4.5, you can use all the latest and greatest available features. A common scenario is to be able to use Entity Framework Code First Migrations with a SQL Database in Azure. Prior to Code First Migrations, Entity Framework provided database initializers. While convenient for demos and prototypes, database initializers weren’t useful for much beyond that because, if you delete and re-create your entire database when the schema changes, you lose all of your operational data. This is the void that Migrations are meant to fill. For example, if you add a column to your model, Migrations will alter the database to add the column rather than blowing away the entire database and re-creating it from scratch. Azure is becoming increasingly easier to use – especially with features like Azure Web Sites. Being able to use Entity Framework Migrations in Azure makes deployment easier than ever. In this blog post, I’ll walk through enabling Automatic Code First Migrations on Azure. I’ll use the Simple Membership provider for my example. First, we’ll create a new Azure Web site called “migrationstest” including creating a new SQL Database along with it:   Next we’ll go to the web site and download the publish profile:   In the meantime, we’ve created a new MVC 4 website in Visual Studio 2012 using the “Internet Application” template. This template is automatically configured to use the Simple Membership provider. We’ll do our initial Publish to Azure by right-clicking our project and selecting “Publish…”. From the “Publish Web” dialog, we’ll import the publish profile that we downloaded in the previous step:   Once the site is published, we’ll just click the “Register” link from the default site. Since the AccountController is decorated with the [InitializeSimpleMembership] attribute, the initializer will be called and the initial database is created.   We can verify this by connecting to our SQL Database on Azure with SQL Management Studio (after making sure that our local IP address is added to the list of Allowed IP Addresses in Azure): One interesting note is that these tables got created with the default Entity Framework initializer – which is to create the database if it doesn’t already exist. However, our database did already exist! This is because there is a new feature of Entity Framework 5 where Code First will add tables to an existing database as long as the target database doesn’t contain any of the tables from the model. At this point, it’s time to enable Migrations. We’ll open the Package Manger Console and execute the command: PM> Enable-Migrations -EnableAutomaticMigrations This will enable automatic migrations for our project. Because we used the "-EnableAutomaticMigrations” switch, it will create our Configuration class with a constructor that sets the AutomaticMigrationsEnabled property set to true: 1: public Configuration() 2: { 3: AutomaticMigrationsEnabled = true; 4: } We’ll now add our initial migration: PM> Add-Migration Initial This will create a migration class call “Initial” that contains the entire model. But we need to remove all of this code because our database already exists so we are just left with empty Up() and Down() methods. 1: public partial class Initial : DbMigration 2: { 3: public override void Up() 4: { 5: } 6: 7: public override void Down() 8: { 9: } 10: } If we don’t remove this code, we’ll get an exception the first time we attempt to run migrations that tells us: “There is already an object named 'UserProfile' in the database”. This blog post by Julie Lerman fully describes this scenario (i.e., enabling migrations on an existing database). Our next step is to add the Entity Framework initializer that will automatically use Migrations to update the database to the latest version. We will add these 2 lines of code to the Application_Start of the Global.asax: 1: Database.SetInitializer(new MigrateDatabaseToLatestVersion<UsersContext, Configuration>()); 2: new UsersContext().Database.Initialize(false); Note the Initialize() call will force the initializer to run if it has not been run before. At this point, we can publish again to make sure everything is still working as we are expecting. This time we’re going to specify in our publish profile that Code First Migrations should be executed:   Once we have re-published we can once again navigate to the Register page. At this point the database has not been changed but Migrations is now enabled on our SQL Database in Azure. We can now customize our model. Let’s add 2 new properties to the UserProfile class – Email and DateOfBirth: 1: [Table("UserProfile")] 2: public class UserProfile 3: { 4: [Key] 5: [DatabaseGeneratedAttribute(DatabaseGeneratedOption.Identity)] 6: public int UserId { get; set; } 7: public string UserName { get; set; } 8: public string Email { get; set; } 9: public DateTime DateOfBirth { get; set; } 10: } At this point all we need to do is simply re-publish. We’ll once again navigate to the Registration page and, because we had Automatic Migrations enabled, the database has been altered (*not* recreated) to add our 2 new columns. We can verify this by once again looking at SQL Management Studio:   Automatic Migrations provide a quick and easy way to keep your database in sync with your model without the worry of having to re-create your entire database and lose data. With Azure Web Sites you can set up automatic deployment with Git or TFS and automate the entire process to make it dead simple.

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  • Community Megaphone Podcast

    - by Steve Michelotti
    Last week I had the pleasure of being a guest on the Community Megaphone Podcast with Andrew Duthie and Dane Morgridge. We discussed .NET 4, C# 4, MVC 2, “geek religious wars”, and of course community. You can check out Show #5 here or directly download it. Thanks to Dane and Andrew for having me on the show!

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  • MVC Portable Areas &ndash; Web Application Projects

    - by Steve Michelotti
    This is the first post in a series related to build and deployment considerations as I’ve been exploring MVC Portable Areas: #1 – Using Web Application Project to build portable areas #2 – Conventions for deploying portable area static files #3 – Portable area static files as embedded resources Portable Areas is a relatively new feature available in MvcContrib that builds upon the new feature called Areas that was introduced in MVC 2. In short, portable areas provide a way to distribute MVC binary components as simple .NET assemblies rather than an assembly along with all the physical files for the views. At the heart of portable areas is a custom view engine that delivers the *.aspx pages by pulling them from embedded resources rather than from the physical file system. A portable area can be something as small as a tiny snippet of html that eventually gets rendered on a page, to something as large as an entire MVC web application. You should read this 4-part series to get up to speed on what portable areas are. Web Application Project In most of the posts to date, portable areas are shown being created with a simple C# class library. This is cool and it serves as an effective way to illustrate the simplicity of portable areas. However, the problem with that is that the developer loses out on the normal developer experience with the various tooling/scaffolding options that we’ve come to expect in visual studio like the ability to add controllers, views, etc. easily: I’ve had good results just using a normal web application project (rather than a class library) to develop portable areas and get the normal vs.net benefits. However, one gotcha that comes as a result is that it’s easy to forget to set the file to “Embedded Resource” every time you add a new aspx page. To mitigate this, simply add this MSBuild snippet shown below to your *.csproj file and all *.aspx, *ascx will automatically be set as embedded resources when your project compiles: 1: <Target Name="BeforeBuild"> 2: <ItemGroup> 3: <EmbeddedResource Include="**\*.aspx;**\*.ascx" /> 4: </ItemGroup> 5: </Target> Also, you should remove the Global.asax from this web application as it is not the host. Being able to have the normal tooling experience we’ve come to expect from Visual Studio makes creating portable areas quite simple. This even allows us to do things like creating a project template such as “MVC Portable Area Web Application” that would come pre-configured with routes set up in the PortableAreaRegistration and no Global.asax file.

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  • Show Notes: Architects in the Cloud

    - by Bob Rhubart
    Stephen G. Bennett and Archie Reed, the authors of Silver Clouds, Dark Linings: A Concise Guide to Cloud Computing,  discuss what’s new and what’s not so new about cloud computing, talk about how marketing hype has muddied understanding of what cloud is and what it can do, and explore other issues in the latest ArchBeat interview series. Listen to Part 1 Listen to Part 2 (December 22) Listen to Part 3 (December 29) Listen to Part 4 (January 5) Connect If you have questions, comments, or would otherwise like to interact directly with Steve or Archie, you can so through the following channels: Stephen G. Bennett Blog | Twitter | LinkedIn Archie Reed Blog | Twitter | LinkedIn Steve and Archie have also set up a Twitter account and blog specifically for their book: Twitter: @concisecloud Blog: concisecloud.com Of course, the book is available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/silverclouddarklinings Stay tuned: RSS Technorati Tags: oracle,otn,archbeat,cloud computing,podcast,. stephen bennett,archie reed del.icio.us Tags: oracle,otn,archbeat,cloud computing,podcast,. stephen bennett,archie reed

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  • The Inside View on InsideView

    - by steve.diamond
    Call me a mooch. One of my favorite things about the Sales 2.0 conference held in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago was the venue (Four Seasons Hotel) and the food. But higher on the list was the quality of companies and people who attended. Our peer and 2.0 impresario Ken Pulverman used his trusty new Kodak Zi8 to capture a medley of elevator pitches from vendors who exhibited at the conference. We had many "FOOCROD" in attendance (Friends of Oracle CRM On Demand). And we love our friends. But we particularly liked this pitch from Tom Gwynn of InsideView, showcasing the value proposition of SalesView combined with Oracle CRM On Demand.

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  • A Closer Look at the HiddenInput Attribute in MVC 2

    - by Steve Michelotti
    MVC 2 includes an attribute for model metadata called the HiddenInput attribute. The typical usage of the attribute looks like this (line #3 below): 1: public class PersonViewModel 2: { 3: [HiddenInput(DisplayValue = false)] 4: public int? Id { get; set; } 5: public string FirstName { get; set; } 6: public string LastName { get; set; } 7: } So if you displayed your PersonViewModel with Html.EditorForModel() or Html.EditorFor(m => m.Id), the framework would detect the [HiddenInput] attribute metadata and produce HTML like this: 1: <input id="Id" name="Id" type="hidden" value="21" /> This is pretty straight forward and allows an elegant way to keep the technical key for your model (e.g., a Primary Key from the database) in the HTML so that everything will be wired up correctly when the form is posted to the server and of course not displaying this value visually to the end user. However, when I was giving a recent presentation, a member of the audience asked me (quite reasonably), “When would you ever set DisplayValue equal to true when using a HiddenInput?” To which I responded, “Well, it’s an edge case. There are sometimes when…er…um…people might want to…um…display this value to the user.” It was quickly apparent to me (and I’m sure everyone else in the room) what a terrible answer this was. I realized I needed to have a much better answer here. First off, let’s look at what is produced if we change our view model to use “true” (which is equivalent to use specifying [HiddenInput] since “true” is the default) on line #3: 1: public class PersonViewModel 2: { 3: [HiddenInput(DisplayValue = true)] 4: public int? Id { get; set; } 5: public string FirstName { get; set; } 6: public string LastName { get; set; } 7: } Will produce the following HTML if rendered from Htm.EditorForModel() in your view: 1: <div class="editor-label"> 2: <label for="Id">Id</label> 3: </div> 4: <div class="editor-field"> 5: 21<input id="Id" name="Id" type="hidden" value="21" /> 6: <span class="field-validation-valid" id="Id_validationMessage"></span> 7: </div> The key is line #5. We get the text of “21” (which happened to be my DB Id in this instance) and also a hidden input element (again with “21”). So the question is, why would one want to use this? The best answer I’ve found is contained in this MVC 2 whitepaper: When a view lets users edit the ID of an object and it is necessary to display the value as well as to provide a hidden input element that contains the old ID so that it can be passed back to the controller. Well, that actually makes sense. Yes, it seems like something that would happen *rarely* but, for those instances, it would enable them easily. It’s effectively equivalent to doing this in your view: 1: <%: Html.LabelFor(m => m.Id) %> 2: <%: Model.Id %> 3: <%: Html.HiddenFor(m => m.Id) %> But it’s allowing you to specify it in metadata on your view model (and thereby take advantage of templated helpers like Html.EditorForModel() and Html.EditorFor()) rather than having to explicitly specifying everything in your view.

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  • Don't forget SQLSocial tonight with Brad

    - by simonsabin
    Don't forget there is a SQL Social event this evening with Brad M. McGehee founder of http://www.sql-server-performance.com/ and now works at Red Gate.Brad is a fascinating guy and amazingly lives in Hawaii. Can you imagine working with SQL Server and living in Hawii. How cool. We might also be graced by the one and only Steve Jones editor of SQLServerCentral.com. Steve's got a great insight into building your career and lots of the stuff that you don't often hear at usergroups so hopefully he can make it and we can discuss some of the things like what makes a good data person during the open Q&A session. Both are fellow SQL MVPs and so the evening should be good. You can still register for the event by going to http://sqlsocial.com/events.aspx. If you have any problems let me know.  

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  • What Gets Measured Gets Managed

    - by steve.diamond
    OK, so if I were to claim credit for inventing that expression, I guess I could share the mantle with Al Gore, creator of the Internet. But here's the point: How many of us acquire CRM systems without specifically benchmarking several key performance indicators across sales, marketing and service BEFORE and AFTER deployment of said system? Yes, this may sound obvious and it might provoke the, "Well of course, Diamond!" response, but is YOUR company doing this? Can you define in quantitative terms the delta across multiple parameters? I just trolled the Web site of one of my favorite sales consultancy firms, The Alexander Group. Right on their home page is a brief appeal citing the importance of benchmarking. The corresponding landing page states, "The fact that hundreds of sales executives now track how their sales forces spend time means they attach great value to understanding how much time sellers actually devote to selling." The opportunity is to extend this conversation to benchmarking the success that companies derive from the investment they make in CRM systems, i.e., to the automation side of the equation. To a certain extent, the 'game' is analogous to achieving optimal physical fitness. One may never quite get there, but beyond the 95% threshold of "excellence," she/he may be entering the realm of splitting infinitives. But at the very start, and to quote verbiage from the aforementioned Alexander Group Web page, what gets measured gets managed. And getting to that 95% level along several key indicators would be a high quality problem indeed, don't you think? Yes, this could be a "That's so 90's" conversation, but is it really?

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  • They Wrote The Book On It

    - by steve.diamond
    First of all, an apology to you all for my not posting this yesterday, when I should have. For those of you bloggers out there, you know the difference between "Save" and "Preview." But I temporarily forgot it. Nevertheless, while I'm not impressed with this mishap, I'm blown away by the initiative three of my colleagues have taken. Jeff Saenger, Tim Koehler, and Louis Peters, recently wrote a book, "Oracle CRM On Demand Deployment Guide." Not only that, they got this book PUBLISHED. These guys know their stuff. They have worked in the CRM industry for many years. And trust me, they command a lot of respect inside this organization. In the words of Louis Peters (who posted this verbiage yesterday on LinkedIn), "We've assembled all the best practices and lessons learned over the past six years working with CRM On Demand. The book covers a range of topics - working with SaaS-based applications, planning and executing a successful rollout, designing elegant and high-performing applications, and working effectively with Oracle. We even included several sample designs based on successful real-world deployments. Our main target audience is the CRM On Demand project team - sponsors, project managers, administrators, developers - really anyone planning, implementing or maintaining the application." Now these guys don't know it, but I'll be interviewing one of them and including audio excerpts of that conversation right here next Wednesday. In the meantime, if you want to learn more about successful CRM deployments in general, and working with Oracle CRM On Demand in particular, you should check out this book.

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  • AIS is hiring!

    - by Steve Michelotti
    My company, Applied Information Sciences (AIS), is currently hiring for multiple positions. AIS is growing and we have immediate needs for all levels of technologists with a focus developing on the Microsoft stack!  We are seeking .NET developers with a strong Object Oriented Foundation around the DC metro area.  Our goal is to find smart people that are technology enthusiasts and interested in staying on the bleeding edge.  If you have a passion for solving complex business problems by building flexible and scalable solutions, then we want to talk to you!  Our clients are demanding the latest technologies and we have upcoming projects using .NET 4.0, ASP.NET MVC, Silverlight 4, VS2010 with SharePoint 2010.  If you have been exposed to these technologies – great!  If not, then we will train you!  Bottom line…we want smart, capable people with a drive for success! See all of our open positions here. If you’re interested, feel free to send me a private message through my blog here.

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  • .BasePermissions enumerations options in Microsoft.SharePoint.SPRoleDefinition

    - by steve schofield
    I was trying to add a new permission level to Sharepoint 2007 and needed to know all the enumeration options.    Here is the list...  Specify one of the following enumeration values and try again. The possible enumeration values are "EmptyMask, ViewListItems, AddListItems, EditListItems, DeleteListItems, ApproveItems, OpenItems, ViewVersions, DeleteVersions, CancelCheckout, ManagePersonalViews, ManageLists, ViewFormPages, Open, ViewPages, AddAndCustomizePages, ApplyThemeAndBorder, ApplyStyleSheets, ViewUsageData, CreateSSCSite, ManageSubwebs, CreateGroups, ManagePermissions,BrowseDirectories, BrowseUserInfo, AddDelPrivateWebParts, UpdatePersonalWebParts, ManageWeb, UseClientIntegration, UseRemoteAPIs, ManageAlerts, CreateAlerts, EditMyUserInfo, EnumeratePermissions, FullMask"."

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  • MVC 3 AdditionalMetadata Attribute with ViewBag to Render Dynamic UI

    - by Steve Michelotti
    A few months ago I blogged about using Model metadata to render a dynamic UI in MVC 2. The scenario in the post was that we might have a view model where the questions are conditionally displayed and therefore a dynamic UI is needed. To recap the previous post, the solution was to use a custom attribute called [QuestionId] in conjunction with an “ApplicableQuestions” collection to identify whether each question should be displayed. This allowed me to have a view model that looked like this: 1: [UIHint("ScalarQuestion")] 2: [DisplayName("First Name")] 3: [QuestionId("NB0021")] 4: public string FirstName { get; set; } 5: 6: [UIHint("ScalarQuestion")] 7: [DisplayName("Last Name")] 8: [QuestionId("NB0022")] 9: public string LastName { get; set; } 10: 11: [UIHint("ScalarQuestion")] 12: [QuestionId("NB0023")] 13: public int Age { get; set; } 14: 15: public IEnumerable<string> ApplicableQuestions { get; set; } At the same time, I was able to avoid repetitive IF statements for every single question in my view: 1: <%: Html.EditorFor(m => m.FirstName, new { applicableQuestions = Model.ApplicableQuestions })%> 2: <%: Html.EditorFor(m => m.LastName, new { applicableQuestions = Model.ApplicableQuestions })%> 3: <%: Html.EditorFor(m => m.Age, new { applicableQuestions = Model.ApplicableQuestions })%> by creating an Editor Template called “ScalarQuestion” that encapsulated the IF statement: 1: <%@ Control Language="C#" Inherits="System.Web.Mvc.ViewUserControl" %> 2: <%@ Import Namespace="DynamicQuestions.Models" %> 3: <%@ Import Namespace="System.Linq" %> 4: <% 5: var applicableQuestions = this.ViewData["applicableQuestions"] as IEnumerable<string>; 6: var questionAttr = this.ViewData.ModelMetadata.ContainerType.GetProperty(this.ViewData.ModelMetadata.PropertyName).GetCustomAttributes(typeof(QuestionIdAttribute), true) as QuestionIdAttribute[]; 7: string questionId = null; 8: if (questionAttr.Length > 0) 9: { 10: questionId = questionAttr[0].Id; 11: } 12: if (questionId != null && applicableQuestions.Contains(questionId)) { %> 13: <div> 14: <%: Html.Label("") %> 15: <%: Html.TextBox("", this.Model)%> 16: </div> 17: <% } %> You might want to go back and read the full post in order to get the full context. MVC 3 offers a couple of new features that make this scenario more elegant to implement. The first step is to use the new [AdditionalMetadata] attribute which, so far, appears to be an under appreciated new feature of MVC 3. With this attribute, I don’t need my custom [QuestionId] attribute anymore - now I can just write my view model like this: 1: [UIHint("ScalarQuestion")] 2: [DisplayName("First Name")] 3: [AdditionalMetadata("QuestionId", "NB0021")] 4: public string FirstName { get; set; } 5:   6: [UIHint("ScalarQuestion")] 7: [DisplayName("Last Name")] 8: [AdditionalMetadata("QuestionId", "NB0022")] 9: public string LastName { get; set; } 10:   11: [UIHint("ScalarQuestion")] 12: [AdditionalMetadata("QuestionId", "NB0023")] 13: public int Age { get; set; } Thus far, the documentation seems to be pretty sparse on the AdditionalMetadata attribute. It’s buried in the Other New Features section of the MVC 3 home page and, after showing the attribute on a view model property, it just says, “This metadata is made available to any display or editor template when a product view model is rendered. It is up to you to interpret the metadata information.” But what exactly does it look like for me to “interpret the metadata information”? Well, it turns out it makes the view much easier to work with. Here is the re-implemented ScalarQuestion template updated for MVC 3 and Razor: 1: @{ 2: object questionId; 3: ViewData.ModelMetadata.AdditionalValues.TryGetValue("QuestionId", out questionId); 4: if (ViewBag.applicableQuestions.Contains((string)questionId)) { 5: <div> 6: @Html.LabelFor(m => m) 7: @Html.TextBoxFor(m => m) 8: </div> 9: } 10: } So we’ve gone from 17 lines of code (in the MVC 2 version) to about 7-8 lines of code here. The first thing to notice is that in MVC 3 we now have a property called “AdditionalValues” that hangs off of the ModelMetadata property. This is automatically populated by any [AdditionalMetadata] attributes on the property. There is no more need for me to explicitly write Reflection code to GetCustomAttributes() and then check to see if those attributes were present. I can just call TryGetValue() on the dictionary to see if they were present. Secondly, the “applicableQuestions” anonymous type that I passed in from the calling view – in MVC 3 I now have a dynamic ViewBag property where I can just “dot into” the applicableQuestions with a nicer syntax than dictionary square bracket syntax. And there’s no problems calling the Contains() method on this dynamic object because at runtime the DLR has resolved that it is a generic List<string>. At this point you might be saying that, yes the view got much nicer than the MVC 2 version, but my view model got slightly worse.  In the previous version I had a nice [QuestionId] attribute but now, with the [AdditionalMetadata] attribute, I have to type the string “QuestionId” for every single property and hope that I don’t make a typo. Well, the good news is that it’s easy to create your own attributes that can participate in the metadata’s additional values. The key is that the attribute must implement that IMetadataAware interface and populate the AdditionalValues dictionary in the OnMetadataCreated() method: 1: public class QuestionIdAttribute : Attribute, IMetadataAware 2: { 3: public string Id { get; set; } 4:   5: public QuestionIdAttribute(string id) 6: { 7: this.Id = id; 8: } 9:   10: public void OnMetadataCreated(ModelMetadata metadata) 11: { 12: metadata.AdditionalValues["QuestionId"] = this.Id; 13: } 14: } This now allows me to encapuslate my “QuestionId” string in just one place and get back to my original attribute which can be used like this: [QuestionId(“NB0021”)]. The [AdditionalMetadata] attribute is a powerful and under-appreciated new feature of MVC 3. Combined with the dynamic ViewBag property, you can do some really interesting things with your applications with less code and ceremony.

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  • Gimme Gimme Gimme!

    - by steve.diamond
    Today is my birthday. And you know, there used to be a time when I dreaded birthdays. But now, as I reach my 37th year (that's my Polar Body Test age), I'm re-learning to really really appreciate being here. Now, what the heck does any of this have to do with CRM or this blog? Easy! Here is the present I would like from you. 1) Please tell us how we're doing on this blog. Do you like what you're seeing? Do you NOT like what you're seeing? Why? What types of topics would you like to see more or less of from us? Do you think we're running too much of an Oracle infomercial here? Conversely, would you like us to spend more time focusing on Oracle solutions? If so, which ones are of most interest to you? 2) Let's assume you DO like what you're seeing and reading here. Please tell a friend. Pass it on. You can write a comment below or submit a comment on our Facebook Fan page (http://facebook.com/oraclecrm). If you're an Oracle employee, please simply send me an email. And if you work here at HQ, bring me some key lime pie. And last but not least, thank you!

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  • New Wordpress posts generate 404 error.

    - by Steve
    I had a working installation of WordPress, and I recently encountered an issue where when I tried to login to the back-end, the browser would redirect to the login URL of the previous domain WordPress was installed on. I fixed this by reinstalling WordPress, and I can now login to the backend, but any new posts I make, or old posts I have generate 404 errors. Additionally, if I try to navigate to any category page, I again receive a 404 error. I have looked at the wp_posts table of my database, and the GUID field each contains the correct domain name and URL structure. What should I be checking here? Site in question.

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  • Would You Like It In Green?

    - by steve.diamond
    OK, so admittedly, this is already a TIRED and HACKNEYED term, but it applies here, so please endure the following. If you would like it in green, then yes, "We have an app for that!" In the soon-to-be-introduced next release of Oracle CRM On Demand, organizations gain unprecedented flexibility in their ability to optimize the look and feel of the Oracle CRM On Demand user interface. So if you want it in green, you can have it in green. And on this topic, I must say...our product development team seems to be taking unabashed pleasure in displaying this new color flexibility. Their demos are increasingly displaying a color palette that would make Martha Stewart hurl. And when I offer any feedback in my typically "direct" manner, they respond with, "Well Diamond, we can't show red or blue now, can we? It would just look like...everything else!" Yeah....but....but...I'm wearing a white shirt today, just like the white shirt I wore yesterday. And my wife has a fondness for "Shabby Chic," which is an interior design style deploying mostly white backdrops. Therefore, I guess I'm not the best one to critique. In all seriousness, although we'll be profiling far meatier features in the next release of Oracle CRM On Demand, this is important for organizations that want to match the look and feel of their CRM application to their corporate branding standards. Oh, and Happy St. Patrick's Day.

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