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  • .NET WebRequest.PreAuthenticate not quite what it sounds like

    - by Rick Strahl
    I’ve run into the  problem a few times now: How to pre-authenticate .NET WebRequest calls doing an HTTP call to the server – essentially send authentication credentials on the very first request instead of waiting for a server challenge first? At first glance this sound like it should be easy: The .NET WebRequest object has a PreAuthenticate property which sounds like it should force authentication credentials to be sent on the first request. Looking at the MSDN example certainly looks like it does: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.net.webrequest.preauthenticate.aspx Unfortunately the MSDN sample is wrong. As is the text of the Help topic which incorrectly leads you to believe that PreAuthenticate… wait for it - pre-authenticates. But it doesn’t allow you to set credentials that are sent on the first request. What this property actually does is quite different. It doesn’t send credentials on the first request but rather caches the credentials ONCE you have already authenticated once. Http Authentication is based on a challenge response mechanism typically where the client sends a request and the server responds with a 401 header requesting authentication. So the client sends a request like this: GET /wconnect/admin/wc.wc?_maintain~ShowStatus HTTP/1.1 Host: rasnote User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv:1.9.1.3) Gecko/20090824 Firefox/3.5.3 (.NET CLR 4.0.20506) Accept: text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,*/*;q=0.8 Accept-Language: en,de;q=0.7,en-us;q=0.3 Accept-Encoding: gzip,deflate Accept-Charset: ISO-8859-1,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q=0.7 Keep-Alive: 300 Connection: keep-alive and the server responds with: HTTP/1.1 401 Unauthorized Cache-Control: private Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8 Server: Microsoft-IIS/7.5 WWW-Authenticate: basic realm=rasnote" X-AspNet-Version: 2.0.50727 WWW-Authenticate: Negotiate WWW-Authenticate: NTLM WWW-Authenticate: Basic realm="rasnote" X-Powered-By: ASP.NET Date: Tue, 27 Oct 2009 00:58:20 GMT Content-Length: 5163 plus the actual error message body. The client then is responsible for re-sending the current request with the authentication token information provided (in this case Basic Auth): GET /wconnect/admin/wc.wc?_maintain~ShowStatus HTTP/1.1 Host: rasnote User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv:1.9.1.3) Gecko/20090824 Firefox/3.5.3 (.NET CLR 4.0.20506) Accept: text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,*/*;q=0.8 Accept-Language: en,de;q=0.7,en-us;q=0.3 Accept-Encoding: gzip,deflate Accept-Charset: ISO-8859-1,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q=0.7 Keep-Alive: 300 Connection: keep-alive Cookie: TimeTrakker=2HJ1998WH06696; WebLogCommentUser=Rick Strahl|http://www.west-wind.com/|[email protected]; WebStoreUser=b8bd0ed9 Authorization: Basic cgsf12aDpkc2ZhZG1zMA== Once the authorization info is sent the server responds with the actual page result. Now if you use WebRequest (or WebClient) the default behavior is to re-authenticate on every request that requires authorization. This means if you look in  Fiddler or some other HTTP client Proxy that captures requests you’ll see that each request re-authenticates: Here are two requests fired back to back: and you can see the 401 challenge, the 200 response for both requests. If you watch this same conversation between a browser and a server you’ll notice that the first 401 is also there but the subsequent 401 requests are not present. WebRequest.PreAuthenticate And this is precisely what the WebRequest.PreAuthenticate property does: It’s a caching mechanism that caches the connection credentials for a given domain in the active process and resends it on subsequent requests. It does not send credentials on the first request but it will cache credentials on subsequent requests after authentication has succeeded: string url = "http://rasnote/wconnect/admin/wc.wc?_maintain~ShowStatus"; HttpWebRequest req = HttpWebRequest.Create(url) as HttpWebRequest; req.PreAuthenticate = true; req.Credentials = new NetworkCredential("rick", "secret", "rasnote"); req.AuthenticationLevel = System.Net.Security.AuthenticationLevel.MutualAuthRequested; req.UserAgent = ": Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv:1.9.1.3) Gecko/20090824 Firefox/3.5.3 (.NET CLR 4.0.20506)"; WebResponse resp = req.GetResponse(); resp.Close(); req = HttpWebRequest.Create(url) as HttpWebRequest; req.PreAuthenticate = true; req.Credentials = new NetworkCredential("rstrahl", "secret", "rasnote"); req.AuthenticationLevel = System.Net.Security.AuthenticationLevel.MutualAuthRequested; req.UserAgent = ": Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv:1.9.1.3) Gecko/20090824 Firefox/3.5.3 (.NET CLR 4.0.20506)"; resp = req.GetResponse(); which results in the desired sequence: where only the first request doesn’t send credentials. This is quite useful as it saves quite a few round trips to the server – bascially it saves one auth request request for every authenticated request you make. In most scenarios I think you’d want to send these credentials this way but one downside to this is that there’s no way to log out the client. Since the client always sends the credentials once authenticated only an explicit operation ON THE SERVER can undo the credentials by forcing another login explicitly (ie. re-challenging with a forced 401 request). Forcing Basic Authentication Credentials on the first Request On a few occasions I’ve needed to send credentials on a first request – mainly to some oddball third party Web Services (why you’d want to use Basic Auth on a Web Service is beyond me – don’t ask but it’s not uncommon in my experience). This is true of certain services that are using Basic Authentication (especially some Apache based Web Services) and REQUIRE that the authentication is sent right from the first request. No challenge first. Ugly but there it is. Now the following works only with Basic Authentication because it’s pretty straight forward to create the Basic Authorization ‘token’ in code since it’s just an unencrypted encoding of the user name and password into base64. As you might guess this is totally unsecure and should only be used when using HTTPS/SSL connections (i’m not in this example so I can capture the Fiddler trace and my local machine doesn’t have a cert installed, but for production apps ALWAYS use SSL with basic auth). The idea is that you simply add the required Authorization header to the request on your own along with the authorization string that encodes the username and password: string url = "http://rasnote/wconnect/admin/wc.wc?_maintain~ShowStatus"; HttpWebRequest req = HttpWebRequest.Create(url) as HttpWebRequest; string user = "rick"; string pwd = "secret"; string domain = "www.west-wind.com"; string auth = "Basic " + Convert.ToBase64String(System.Text.Encoding.Default.GetBytes(user + ":" + pwd)); req.PreAuthenticate = true; req.AuthenticationLevel = System.Net.Security.AuthenticationLevel.MutualAuthRequested;req.Headers.Add("Authorization", auth); req.UserAgent = ": Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv:1.9.1.3) Gecko/20090824 Firefox/3.5.3 (.NET CLR 4.0.20506)"; WebResponse resp = req.GetResponse(); resp.Close(); This works and causes the request to immediately send auth information to the server. However, this only works with Basic Auth because you can actually create the authentication credentials easily on the client because it’s essentially clear text. The same doesn’t work for Windows or Digest authentication since you can’t easily create the authentication token on the client and send it to the server. Another issue with this approach is that PreAuthenticate has no effect when you manually force the authentication. As far as Web Request is concerned it never sent the authentication information so it’s not actually caching the value any longer. If you run 3 requests in a row like this: string url = "http://rasnote/wconnect/admin/wc.wc?_maintain~ShowStatus"; HttpWebRequest req = HttpWebRequest.Create(url) as HttpWebRequest; string user = "ricks"; string pwd = "secret"; string domain = "www.west-wind.com"; string auth = "Basic " + Convert.ToBase64String(System.Text.Encoding.Default.GetBytes(user + ":" + pwd)); req.PreAuthenticate = true; req.Headers.Add("Authorization", auth); req.UserAgent = ": Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv:1.9.1.3) Gecko/20090824 Firefox/3.5.3 (.NET CLR 4.0.20506)"; WebResponse resp = req.GetResponse(); resp.Close(); req = HttpWebRequest.Create(url) as HttpWebRequest; req.PreAuthenticate = true; req.Credentials = new NetworkCredential(user, pwd, domain); req.UserAgent = ": Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv:1.9.1.3) Gecko/20090824 Firefox/3.5.3 (.NET CLR 4.0.20506)"; resp = req.GetResponse(); resp.Close(); req = HttpWebRequest.Create(url) as HttpWebRequest; req.PreAuthenticate = true; req.Credentials = new NetworkCredential(user, pwd, domain); req.UserAgent = ": Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv:1.9.1.3) Gecko/20090824 Firefox/3.5.3 (.NET CLR 4.0.20506)"; resp = req.GetResponse(); you’ll find the trace looking like this: where the first request (the one we explicitly add the header to) authenticates, the second challenges, and any subsequent ones then use the PreAuthenticate credential caching. In effect you’ll end up with one extra 401 request in this scenario, which is still better than 401 challenges on each request. Getting Access to WebRequest in Classic .NET Web Service Clients If you’re running a classic .NET Web Service client (non-WCF) one issue with the above is how do you get access to the WebRequest to actually add the custom headers to do the custom Authentication described above? One easy way is to implement a partial class that allows you add headers with something like this: public partial class TaxService { protected NameValueCollection Headers = new NameValueCollection(); public void AddHttpHeader(string key, string value) { this.Headers.Add(key,value); } public void ClearHttpHeaders() { this.Headers.Clear(); } protected override WebRequest GetWebRequest(Uri uri) { HttpWebRequest request = (HttpWebRequest) base.GetWebRequest(uri); request.Headers.Add(this.Headers); return request; } } where TaxService is the name of the .NET generated proxy class. In code you can then call AddHttpHeader() anywhere to add additional headers which are sent as part of the GetWebRequest override. Nice and simple once you know where to hook it. For WCF there’s a bit more work involved by creating a message extension as described here: http://weblogs.asp.net/avnerk/archive/2006/04/26/Adding-custom-headers-to-every-WCF-call-_2D00_-a-solution.aspx. FWIW, I think that HTTP header manipulation should be readily available on any HTTP based Web Service client DIRECTLY without having to subclass or implement a special interface hook. But alas a little extra work is required in .NET to make this happen Not a Common Problem, but when it happens… This has been one of those issues that is really rare, but it’s bitten me on several occasions when dealing with oddball Web services – a couple of times in my own work interacting with various Web Services and a few times on customer projects that required interaction with credentials-first services. Since the servers determine the protocol, we don’t have a choice but to follow the protocol. Lovely following standards that implementers decide to ignore, isn’t it? :-}© Rick Strahl, West Wind Technologies, 2005-2010Posted in .NET  CSharp  Web Services  

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  • .NET HTML Sanitation for rich HTML Input

    - by Rick Strahl
    Recently I was working on updating a legacy application to MVC 4 that included free form text input. When I set up the new site my initial approach was to not allow any rich HTML input, only simple text formatting that would respect a few simple HTML commands for bold, lists etc. and automatically handles line break processing for new lines and paragraphs. This is typical for what I do with most multi-line text input in my apps and it works very well with very little development effort involved. Then the client sprung another note: Oh by the way we have a bunch of customers (real estate agents) who need to post complete HTML documents. Oh uh! There goes the simple theory. After some discussion and pleading on my part (<snicker>) to try and avoid this type of raw HTML input because of potential XSS issues, the client decided to go ahead and allow raw HTML input anyway. There has been lots of discussions on this subject on StackOverFlow (and here and here) but to after reading through some of the solutions I didn't really find anything that would work even closely for what I needed. Specifically we need to be able to allow just about any HTML markup, with the exception of script code. Remote CSS and Images need to be loaded, links need to work and so. While the 'legit' HTML posted by these agents is basic in nature it does span most of the full gamut of HTML (4). Most of the solutions XSS prevention/sanitizer solutions I found were way to aggressive and rendered the posted output unusable mostly because they tend to strip any externally loaded content. In short I needed a custom solution. I thought the best solution to this would be to use an HTML parser - in this case the Html Agility Pack - and then to run through all the HTML markup provided and remove any of the blacklisted tags and a number of attributes that are prone to JavaScript injection. There's much discussion on whether to use blacklists vs. whitelists in the discussions mentioned above, but I found that whitelists can make sense in simple scenarios where you might allow manual HTML input, but when you need to allow a larger array of HTML functionality a blacklist is probably easier to manage as the vast majority of elements and attributes could be allowed. Also white listing gets a bit more complex with HTML5 and the new proliferation of new HTML tags and most new tags generally don't affect XSS issues directly. Pure whitelisting based on elements and attributes also doesn't capture many edge cases (see some of the XSS cheat sheets listed below) so even with a white list, custom logic is still required to handle many of those edge cases. The Microsoft Web Protection Library (AntiXSS) My first thought was to check out the Microsoft AntiXSS library. Microsoft has an HTML Encoding and Sanitation library in the Microsoft Web Protection Library (formerly AntiXSS Library) on CodePlex, which provides stricter functions for whitelist encoding and sanitation. Initially I thought the Sanitation class and its static members would do the trick for me,but I found that this library is way too restrictive for my needs. Specifically the Sanitation class strips out images and links which rendered the full HTML from our real estate clients completely useless. I didn't spend much time with it, but apparently I'm not alone if feeling this library is not really useful without some way to configure operation. To give you an example of what didn't work for me with the library here's a small and simple HTML fragment that includes script, img and anchor tags. I would expect the script to be stripped and everything else to be left intact. Here's the original HTML:var value = "<b>Here</b> <script>alert('hello')</script> we go. Visit the " + "<a href='http://west-wind.com'>West Wind</a> site. " + "<img src='http://west-wind.com/images/new.gif' /> " ; and the code to sanitize it with the AntiXSS Sanitize class:@Html.Raw(Microsoft.Security.Application.Sanitizer.GetSafeHtmlFragment(value)) This produced a not so useful sanitized string: Here we go. Visit the <a>West Wind</a> site. While it removed the <script> tag (good) it also removed the href from the link and the image tag altogether (bad). In some situations this might be useful, but for most tasks I doubt this is the desired behavior. While links can contain javascript: references and images can 'broadcast' information to a server, without configuration to tell the library what to restrict this becomes useless to me. I couldn't find any way to customize the white list, nor is there code available in this 'open source' library on CodePlex. Using Html Agility Pack for HTML Parsing The WPL library wasn't going to cut it. After doing a bit of research I decided the best approach for a custom solution would be to use an HTML parser and inspect the HTML fragment/document I'm trying to import. I've used the HTML Agility Pack before for a number of apps where I needed an HTML parser without requiring an instance of a full browser like the Internet Explorer Application object which is inadequate in Web apps. In case you haven't checked out the Html Agility Pack before, it's a powerful HTML parser library that you can use from your .NET code. It provides a simple, parsable HTML DOM model to full HTML documents or HTML fragments that let you walk through each of the elements in your document. If you've used the HTML or XML DOM in a browser before you'll feel right at home with the Agility Pack. Blacklist based HTML Parsing to strip XSS Code For my purposes of HTML sanitation, the process involved is to walk the HTML document one element at a time and then check each element and attribute against a blacklist. There's quite a bit of argument of what's better: A whitelist of allowed items or a blacklist of denied items. While whitelists tend to be more secure, they also require a lot more configuration. In the case of HTML5 a whitelist could be very extensive. For what I need, I only want to ensure that no JavaScript is executed, so a blacklist includes the obvious <script> tag plus any tag that allows loading of external content including <iframe>, <object>, <embed> and <link> etc. <form>  is also excluded to avoid posting content to a different location. I also disallow <head> and <meta> tags in particular for my case, since I'm only allowing posting of HTML fragments. There is also some internal logic to exclude some attributes or attributes that include references to JavaScript or CSS expressions. The default tag blacklist reflects my use case, but is customizable and can be added to. Here's my HtmlSanitizer implementation:using System.Collections.Generic; using System.IO; using System.Xml; using HtmlAgilityPack; namespace Westwind.Web.Utilities { public class HtmlSanitizer { public HashSet<string> BlackList = new HashSet<string>() { { "script" }, { "iframe" }, { "form" }, { "object" }, { "embed" }, { "link" }, { "head" }, { "meta" } }; /// <summary> /// Cleans up an HTML string and removes HTML tags in blacklist /// </summary> /// <param name="html"></param> /// <returns></returns> public static string SanitizeHtml(string html, params string[] blackList) { var sanitizer = new HtmlSanitizer(); if (blackList != null && blackList.Length > 0) { sanitizer.BlackList.Clear(); foreach (string item in blackList) sanitizer.BlackList.Add(item); } return sanitizer.Sanitize(html); } /// <summary> /// Cleans up an HTML string by removing elements /// on the blacklist and all elements that start /// with onXXX . /// </summary> /// <param name="html"></param> /// <returns></returns> public string Sanitize(string html) { var doc = new HtmlDocument(); doc.LoadHtml(html); SanitizeHtmlNode(doc.DocumentNode); //return doc.DocumentNode.WriteTo(); string output = null; // Use an XmlTextWriter to create self-closing tags using (StringWriter sw = new StringWriter()) { XmlWriter writer = new XmlTextWriter(sw); doc.DocumentNode.WriteTo(writer); output = sw.ToString(); // strip off XML doc header if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(output)) { int at = output.IndexOf("?>"); output = output.Substring(at + 2); } writer.Close(); } doc = null; return output; } private void SanitizeHtmlNode(HtmlNode node) { if (node.NodeType == HtmlNodeType.Element) { // check for blacklist items and remove if (BlackList.Contains(node.Name)) { node.Remove(); return; } // remove CSS Expressions and embedded script links if (node.Name == "style") { if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(node.InnerText)) { if (node.InnerHtml.Contains("expression") || node.InnerHtml.Contains("javascript:")) node.ParentNode.RemoveChild(node); } } // remove script attributes if (node.HasAttributes) { for (int i = node.Attributes.Count - 1; i >= 0; i--) { HtmlAttribute currentAttribute = node.Attributes[i]; var attr = currentAttribute.Name.ToLower(); var val = currentAttribute.Value.ToLower(); span style="background: white; color: green">// remove event handlers if (attr.StartsWith("on")) node.Attributes.Remove(currentAttribute); // remove script links else if ( //(attr == "href" || attr== "src" || attr == "dynsrc" || attr == "lowsrc") && val != null && val.Contains("javascript:")) node.Attributes.Remove(currentAttribute); // Remove CSS Expressions else if (attr == "style" && val != null && val.Contains("expression") || val.Contains("javascript:") || val.Contains("vbscript:")) node.Attributes.Remove(currentAttribute); } } } // Look through child nodes recursively if (node.HasChildNodes) { for (int i = node.ChildNodes.Count - 1; i >= 0; i--) { SanitizeHtmlNode(node.ChildNodes[i]); } } } } } Please note: Use this as a starting point only for your own parsing and review the code for your specific use case! If your needs are less lenient than mine were you can you can make this much stricter by not allowing src and href attributes or CSS links if your HTML doesn't allow it. You can also check links for external URLs and disallow those - lots of options.  The code is simple enough to make it easy to extend to fit your use cases more specifically. It's also quite easy to make this code work using a WhiteList approach if you want to go that route. The code above is semi-generic for allowing full featured HTML fragments that only disallow script related content. The Sanitize method walks through each node of the document and then recursively drills into all of its children until the entire document has been traversed. Note that the code here uses an XmlTextWriter to write output - this is done to preserve XHTML style self-closing tags which are otherwise left as non-self-closing tags. The sanitizer code scans for blacklist elements and removes those elements not allowed. Note that the blacklist is configurable either in the instance class as a property or in the static method via the string parameter list. Additionally the code goes through each element's attributes and looks for a host of rules gleaned from some of the XSS cheat sheets listed at the end of the post. Clearly there are a lot more XSS vulnerabilities, but a lot of them apply to ancient browsers (IE6 and versions of Netscape) - many of these glaring holes (like CSS expressions - WTF IE?) have been removed in modern browsers. What a Pain To be honest this is NOT a piece of code that I wanted to write. I think building anything related to XSS is better left to people who have far more knowledge of the topic than I do. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a tool that worked even closely for me, or even provided a working base. For the project I was working on I had no choice and I'm sharing the code here merely as a base line to start with and potentially expand on for specific needs. It's sad that Microsoft Web Protection Library is currently such a train wreck - this is really something that should come from Microsoft as the systems vendor or possibly a third party that provides security tools. Luckily for my application we are dealing with a authenticated and validated users so the user base is fairly well known, and relatively small - this is not a wide open Internet application that's directly public facing. As I mentioned earlier in the post, if I had my way I would simply not allow this type of raw HTML input in the first place, and instead rely on a more controlled HTML input mechanism like MarkDown or even a good HTML Edit control that can provide some limits on what types of input are allowed. Alas in this case I was overridden and we had to go forward and allow *any* raw HTML posted. Sometimes I really feel sad that it's come this far - how many good applications and tools have been thwarted by fear of XSS (or worse) attacks? So many things that could be done *if* we had a more secure browser experience and didn't have to deal with every little script twerp trying to hack into Web pages and obscure browser bugs. So much time wasted building secure apps, so much time wasted by others trying to hack apps… We're a funny species - no other species manages to waste as much time, effort and resources as we humans do :-) Resources Code on GitHub Html Agility Pack XSS Cheat Sheet XSS Prevention Cheat Sheet Microsoft Web Protection Library (AntiXss) StackOverflow Links: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/341872/html-sanitizer-for-net http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2008/06/safe-html-and-xss/ http://code.google.com/p/subsonicforums/source/browse/trunk/SubSonic.Forums.Data/HtmlScrubber.cs?r=61© Rick Strahl, West Wind Technologies, 2005-2012Posted in Security  HTML  ASP.NET  JavaScript   Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); (function() { var po = document.createElement('script'); po.type = 'text/javascript'; po.async = true; po.src = 'https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s); })();

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  • A jQuery Plug-in to monitor Html Element CSS Changes

    - by Rick Strahl
    Here's a scenario I've run into on a few occasions: I need to be able to monitor certain CSS properties on an HTML element and know when that CSS element changes. The need for this arose out of wanting to build generic components that could 'attach' themselves to other objects and monitor changes on the ‘parent’ object so the dependent object can adjust itself accordingly. What I wanted to create is a jQuery plug-in that allows me to specify a list of CSS properties to monitor and have a function fire in response to any change to any of those CSS properties. The result are the .watch() and .unwatch() jQuery plug-ins. Here’s a simple example page of this plug-in that demonstrates tracking changes to an element being moved with draggable and closable behavior: http://www.west-wind.com/WestWindWebToolkit/samples/Ajax/jQueryPluginSamples/WatcherPlugin.htm Try it with different browsers – IE and FireFox use the DOM event handlers and Chrome, Safari and Opera use setInterval handlers to manage this behavior. It should work in all of them but all but IE and FireFox will show a bit of lag between the changes in the main element and the shadow. The relevant HTML for this example is this fragment of a main <div> (#notebox) and an element that is to mimic a shadow (#shadow). <div class="containercontent"> <div id="notebox" style="width: 200px; height: 150px;position: absolute; z-index: 20; padding: 20px; background-color: lightsteelblue;"> Go ahead drag me around and close me! </div> <div id="shadow" style="background-color: Gray; z-index: 19;position:absolute;display: none;"> </div> </div> The watcher plug in is then applied to the main <div> and shadow in sync with the following plug-in code: <script type="text/javascript"> $(document).ready(function () { var counter = 0; $("#notebox").watch("top,left,height,width,display,opacity", function (data, i) { var el = $(this); var sh = $("#shadow"); var propChanged = data.props[i]; var valChanged = data.vals[i]; counter++; showStatus("Prop: " + propChanged + " value: " + valChanged + " " + counter); var pos = el.position(); var w = el.outerWidth(); var h = el.outerHeight(); sh.css({ width: w, height: h, left: pos.left + 5, top: pos.top + 5, display: el.css("display"), opacity: el.css("opacity") }); }) .draggable() .closable() .css("left", 10); }); </script> When you run this page as you drag the #notebox element the #shadow element will maintain and stay pinned underneath the #notebox element effectively keeping the shadow attached to the main element. Likewise, if you hide or fadeOut() the #notebox element the shadow will also go away – show the #notebox element and the shadow also re-appears because we are assigning the display property from the parent on the shadow. Note we’re attaching the .watch() plug-in to the #notebox element and have it fire whenever top,left,height,width,opacity or display CSS properties are changed. The passed data element contains a props[] and vals[] array that holds the properties monitored and their current values. An index passed as the second parm tells you which property has changed and what its current value is (propChanged/valChanged in the code above). The rest of the watcher handler code then deals with figuring out the main element’s position and recalculating and setting the shadow’s position using the jQuery .css() function. Note that this is just an example to demonstrate the watch() behavior here – this is not the best way to create a shadow. If you’re interested in a more efficient and cleaner way to handle shadows with a plug-in check out the .shadow() plug-in in ww.jquery.js (code search for fn.shadow) which uses native CSS features when available but falls back to a tracked shadow element on browsers that don’t support it, which is how this watch() plug-in came about in the first place :-) How does it work? The plug-in works by letting the user specify a list of properties to monitor as a comma delimited string and a handler function: el.watch("top,left,height,width,display,opacity", function (data, i) {}, 100, id) You can also specify an interval (if no DOM event monitoring isn’t available in the browser) and an ID that identifies the event handler uniquely. The watch plug-in works by hooking up to DOMAttrModified in FireFox, to onPropertyChanged in Internet Explorer, or by using a timer with setInterval to handle the detection of changes for other browsers. Unfortunately WebKit doesn’t support DOMAttrModified consistently at the moment so Safari and Chrome currently have to use the slower setInterval mechanism. In response to a changed property (or a setInterval timer hit) a JavaScript handler is fired which then runs through all the properties monitored and determines if and which one has changed. The DOM events fire on all property/style changes so the intermediate plug-in handler filters only those hits we’re interested in. If one of our monitored properties has changed the specified event handler function is called along with a data object and an index that identifies the property that’s changed in the data.props/data.vals arrays. The jQuery plugin to implement this functionality looks like this: (function($){ $.fn.watch = function (props, func, interval, id) { /// <summary> /// Allows you to monitor changes in a specific /// CSS property of an element by polling the value. /// when the value changes a function is called. /// The function called is called in the context /// of the selected element (ie. this) /// </summary> /// <param name="prop" type="String">CSS Properties to watch sep. by commas</param> /// <param name="func" type="Function"> /// Function called when the value has changed. /// </param> /// <param name="interval" type="Number"> /// Optional interval for browsers that don't support DOMAttrModified or propertychange events. /// Determines the interval used for setInterval calls. /// </param> /// <param name="id" type="String">A unique ID that identifies this watch instance on this element</param> /// <returns type="jQuery" /> if (!interval) interval = 100; if (!id) id = "_watcher"; return this.each(function () { var _t = this; var el$ = $(this); var fnc = function () { __watcher.call(_t, id) }; var data = { id: id, props: props.split(","), vals: [props.split(",").length], func: func, fnc: fnc, origProps: props, interval: interval, intervalId: null }; // store initial props and values $.each(data.props, function (i) { data.vals[i] = el$.css(data.props[i]); }); el$.data(id, data); hookChange(el$, id, data); }); function hookChange(el$, id, data) { el$.each(function () { var el = $(this); if (typeof (el.get(0).onpropertychange) == "object") el.bind("propertychange." + id, data.fnc); else if ($.browser.mozilla) el.bind("DOMAttrModified." + id, data.fnc); else data.intervalId = setInterval(data.fnc, interval); }); } function __watcher(id) { var el$ = $(this); var w = el$.data(id); if (!w) return; var _t = this; if (!w.func) return; // must unbind or else unwanted recursion may occur el$.unwatch(id); var changed = false; var i = 0; for (i; i < w.props.length; i++) { var newVal = el$.css(w.props[i]); if (w.vals[i] != newVal) { w.vals[i] = newVal; changed = true; break; } } if (changed) w.func.call(_t, w, i); // rebind event hookChange(el$, id, w); } } $.fn.unwatch = function (id) { this.each(function () { var el = $(this); var data = el.data(id); try { if (typeof (this.onpropertychange) == "object") el.unbind("propertychange." + id, data.fnc); else if ($.browser.mozilla) el.unbind("DOMAttrModified." + id, data.fnc); else clearInterval(data.intervalId); } // ignore if element was already unbound catch (e) { } }); return this; } })(jQuery); Note that there’s a corresponding .unwatch() plug-in that can be used to stop monitoring properties. The ID parameter is optional both on watch() and unwatch() – a standard name is used if you don’t specify one, but it’s a good idea to use unique names for each element watched to avoid overlap in event ids especially if you’re monitoring many elements. The syntax is: $.fn.watch = function(props, func, interval, id) props A comma delimited list of CSS style properties that are to be watched for changes. If any of the specified properties changes the function specified in the second parameter is fired. func The function fired in response to a changed styles. Receives this as the element changed and an object parameter that represents the watched properties and their respective values. The first parameter is passed in this structure: { id: watcherId, props: [], vals: [], func: thisFunc, fnc: internalHandler, origProps: strPropertyListOnWatcher }; A second parameter is the index of the changed property so data.props[i] or data.vals[i] gets the property and changed value. interval The interval for setInterval() for those browsers that don't support property watching in the DOM. In milliseconds. id An optional id that identifies this watcher. Required only if multiple watchers might be hooked up to the same element. The default is _watcher if not specified. It’s been a Journey I started building this plug-in about two years ago and had to make many modifications to it in response to changes in jQuery and also in browser behaviors. I think the latest round of changes made should make this plug-in fairly future proof going forward (although I hope there will be better cross-browser change event notifications in the future). One of the big problems I ran into had to do with recursive change notifications – it looks like starting with jQuery 1.44 and later, jQuery internally modifies element properties on some calls to some .css()  property retrievals and things like outerHeight/Width(). In IE this would cause nasty lock up issues at times. In response to this I changed the code to unbind the events when the handler function is called and then rebind when it exits. This also makes user code less prone to stack overflow recursion as you can actually change properties on the base element. It also means though that if you change one of the monitors properties in the handler the watch() handler won’t fire in response – you need to resort to a setTimeout() call instead to force the code to run outside of the handler: $("#notebox") el.watch("top,left,height,width,display,opacity", function (data, i) { var el = $(this); … // this makes el changes work setTimeout(function () { el.css("top", 10) },10); }) Since I’ve built this component I’ve had a lot of good uses for it. The .shadow() fallback functionality is one of them. Resources The watch() plug-in is part of ww.jquery.js and the West Wind West Wind Web Toolkit. You’re free to use this code here or the code from the toolkit. West Wind Web Toolkit Latest version of ww.jquery.js (search for fn.watch) watch plug-in documentation © Rick Strahl, West Wind Technologies, 2005-2011Posted in ASP.NET  JavaScript  jQuery  

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  • ActiveX component can't create Object Error? Check 64 bit Status

    - by Rick Strahl
    If you're running on IIS 7 and a 64 bit operating system you might run into the following error using ASP classic or ASP.NET with COM interop. In classic ASP applications the error will show up as: ActiveX component can't create object   (Error 429) (actually without error handling the error just shows up as 500 error page) In my case the code that's been giving me problems has been a FoxPro COM object I'd been using to serve banner ads to some of my pages. The code basically looks up banners from a database table and displays them at random. The ASP classic code that uses it looks like this: <% Set banner = Server.CreateObject("wwBanner.aspBanner") banner.BannerFile = "wwsitebanners" Response.Write(banner.GetBanner(-1)) %> Originally this code had no specific error checking as above so the ASP pages just failed with 500 error pages from the Web server. To find out what the problem is this code is more useful at least for debugging: <% ON ERROR RESUME NEXT Set banner = Server.CreateObject("wwBanner.aspBanner") Response.Write(err.Number & " - " & err.Description) banner.BannerFile = "wwsitebanners" Response.Write(banner.GetBanner(-1)) %> which results in: 429 - ActiveX component can't create object which at least gives you a slight clue. In ASP.NET invoking the same COM object with code like this: <% dynamic banner = wwUtils.CreateComInstance("wwBanner.aspBanner") as dynamic; banner.cBANNERFILE = "wwsitebanners"; Response.Write(banner.getBanner(-1)); %> results in: Retrieving the COM class factory for component with CLSID {B5DCBB81-D5F5-11D2-B85E-00600889F23B} failed due to the following error: 80040154 Class not registered (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80040154 (REGDB_E_CLASSNOTREG)). The class is in fact registered though and the COM server loads fine from a command prompt or other COM client. This error can be caused by a COM server that doesn't load. It looks like a COM registration error. There are a number of traditional reasons why this error can crop up of course. The server isn't registered (run regserver32 to register a DLL server or /regserver on an EXE server) Access permissions aren't set on the COM server (Web account has to be able to read the DLL ie. Network service) The COM server fails to load during initialization ie. failing during startup One thing I always do to check for COM errors fire up the server in a COM client outside of IIS and ensure that it works there first - it's almost always easier to debug a server outside of the Web environment. In my case I tried the server in Visual FoxPro on the server with: loBanners = CREATEOBJECT("wwBanner.aspBanner") loBanners.cBannerFile = "wwsitebanners" ? loBanners.GetBanner(-1) and it worked just fine. If you don't have a full dev environment on the server you can also use VBScript do the same thing and run the .vbs file from the command prompt: Set banner = Server.CreateObject("wwBanner.aspBanner") banner.BannerFile = "wwsitebanners" MsgBox(banner.getBanner(-1)) Since this both works it tells me the server is registered and working properly. This leaves startup failures or permissions as the problem. I double checked permissions for the Application Pool and the permissions of the folder where the DLL lives and both are properly set to allow access by the Application Pool impersonated user. Just to be sure I assigned an Admin user to the Application Pool but still no go. So now what? 64 bit Servers Ahoy A couple of weeks back I had set up a few of my Application pools to 64 bit mode. My server is Server 2008 64 bit and by default Application Pools run 64 bit. Originally when I installed the server I set up most of my Application Pools to 32 bit mainly for backwards compatibility. But as more of my code migrates to 64 bit OS's I figured it'd be a good idea to see how well code runs under 64 bit code. The transition has been mostly painless. Until today when I noticed the problem with the code above when scrolling to my IIS logs and noticing a lot of 500 errors on many of my ASP classic pages. The code in question in most of these pages deals with this single simple COM object. It took a while to figure out that the problem is caused by the Application Pool running in 64 bit mode. The issue is that 32 bit COM objects (ie. my old Visual FoxPro COM component) cannot be loaded in a 64 bit Application Pool. The ASP pages using this COM component broke on the day I switched my main Application Pool into 64 bit mode but I didn't find the problem until I searched my logs for errors by pure chance. To fix this is easy enough once you know what the problem is by switching the Application Pool to Enable 32-bit Applications: Once this is done the COM objects started working correctly again. 64 bit ASP and ASP.NET with DCOM Servers This is kind of off topic, but incidentally it's possible to load 32 bit DCOM (out of process) servers from ASP.NET and ASP classic even if those applications run in 64 bit application pools. In fact, in West Wind Web Connection I use this capability to run a 64 bit ASP.NET handler that talks to a 32 bit FoxPro COM server which allows West Wind Web Connection to run in native 64 bit mode without custom configuration (which is actually quite useful). It's probably not a common usage scenario but it's good to know that you can actually access 32 bit COM objects this way from ASP.NET. For West Wind Web Connection this works out well as the DCOM interface only makes one non-chatty call to the backend server that handles all the rest of the request processing. Application Pool Isolation is your Friend For me the recent incident of failure in the classic ASP pages has just been another reminder to be very careful with moving applications to 64 bit operation. There are many little traps when switching to 64 bit that are very difficult to track and test for. I described one issue I had a couple of months ago where one of the default ASP.NET filters was loading the wrong version (32bit instead of 64bit) which was extremely difficult to track down and was caused by a very sneaky configuration switch error (basically 3 different entries for the same ISAPI filter all with different bitness settings). It took me almost a full day to track this down). Recently I've been taken to isolate individual applications into separate Application Pools rather than my past practice of combining many apps into shared AppPools. This is a good practice assuming you have enough memory to make this work. Application Pool isolate provides more modularity and allows me to selectively move applications to 64 bit. The error above came about precisely because I moved one of my most populous app pools to 64 bit and forgot about the minimal COM object use in some of my old pages. It's easy to forget. To 64bit or Not Is it worth it to move to 64 bit? Currently I'd say -not really. In my - admittedly limited - testing I don't see any significant performance increases. In fact 64 bit apps just seem to consume considerably more memory (30-50% more in my pools on average) and performance is minimally improved (less than 5% at the very best) in the load testing I've performed on a couple of sites in both modes. The only real incentive for 64 bit would be applications that require huge data spaces that exceed the 32 bit 4 gigabyte memory limit. However I have a hard time imagining an application that needs 4 gigs of memory in a single Application Pool :-). Curious to hear other opinions on benefits of 64 bit operation. © Rick Strahl, West Wind Technologies, 2005-2011Posted in COM   ASP.NET  FoxPro  

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  • Using FiddlerCore to capture HTTP Requests with .NET

    - by Rick Strahl
    Over the last few weeks I’ve been working on my Web load testing utility West Wind WebSurge. One of the key components of a load testing tool is the ability to capture URLs effectively so that you can play them back later under load. One of the options in WebSurge for capturing URLs is to use its built-in capture tool which acts as an HTTP proxy to capture any HTTP and HTTPS traffic from most Windows HTTP clients, including Web Browsers as well as standalone Windows applications and services. To make this happen, I used Eric Lawrence’s awesome FiddlerCore library, which provides most of the functionality of his desktop Fiddler application, all rolled into an easy to use library that you can plug into your own applications. FiddlerCore makes it almost too easy to capture HTTP content! For WebSurge I needed to capture all HTTP traffic in order to capture the full HTTP request – URL, headers and any content posted by the client. The result of what I ended up creating is this semi-generic capture form: In this post I’m going to demonstrate how easy it is to use FiddlerCore to build this HTTP Capture Form.  If you want to jump right in here are the links to get Telerik’s Fiddler Core and the code for the demo provided here. FiddlerCore Download FiddlerCore on NuGet Show me the Code (WebSurge Integration code from GitHub) Download the WinForms Sample Form West Wind Web Surge (example implementation in live app) Note that FiddlerCore is bound by a license for commercial usage – see license.txt in the FiddlerCore distribution for details. Integrating FiddlerCore FiddlerCore is a library that simply plugs into your application. You can download it from the Telerik site and manually add the assemblies to your project, or you can simply install the NuGet package via:       PM> Install-Package FiddlerCore The library consists of the FiddlerCore.dll as well as a couple of support libraries (CertMaker.dll and BCMakeCert.dll) that are used for installing SSL certificates. I’ll have more on SSL captures and certificate installation later in this post. But first let’s see how easy it is to use FiddlerCore to capture HTTP content by looking at how to build the above capture form. Capturing HTTP Content Once the library is installed it’s super easy to hook up Fiddler functionality. Fiddler includes a number of static class methods on the FiddlerApplication object that can be called to hook up callback events as well as actual start monitoring HTTP URLs. In the following code directly lifted from WebSurge, I configure a few filter options on Form level object, from the user inputs shown on the form by assigning it to a capture options object. In the live application these settings are persisted configuration values, but in the demo they are one time values initialized and set on the form. Once these options are set, I hook up the AfterSessionComplete event to capture every URL that passes through the proxy after the request is completed and start up the Proxy service:void Start() { if (tbIgnoreResources.Checked) CaptureConfiguration.IgnoreResources = true; else CaptureConfiguration.IgnoreResources = false; string strProcId = txtProcessId.Text; if (strProcId.Contains('-')) strProcId = strProcId.Substring(strProcId.IndexOf('-') + 1).Trim(); strProcId = strProcId.Trim(); int procId = 0; if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(strProcId)) { if (!int.TryParse(strProcId, out procId)) procId = 0; } CaptureConfiguration.ProcessId = procId; CaptureConfiguration.CaptureDomain = txtCaptureDomain.Text; FiddlerApplication.AfterSessionComplete += FiddlerApplication_AfterSessionComplete; FiddlerApplication.Startup(8888, true, true, true); } The key lines for FiddlerCore are just the last two lines of code that include the event hookup code as well as the Startup() method call. Here I only hook up to the AfterSessionComplete event but there are a number of other events that hook various stages of the HTTP request cycle you can also hook into. Other events include BeforeRequest, BeforeResponse, RequestHeadersAvailable, ResponseHeadersAvailable and so on. In my case I want to capture the request data and I actually have several options to capture this data. AfterSessionComplete is the last event that fires in the request sequence and it’s the most common choice to capture all request and response data. I could have used several other events, but AfterSessionComplete is one place where you can look both at the request and response data, so this will be the most common place to hook into if you’re capturing content. The implementation of AfterSessionComplete is responsible for capturing all HTTP request headers and it looks something like this:private void FiddlerApplication_AfterSessionComplete(Session sess) { // Ignore HTTPS connect requests if (sess.RequestMethod == "CONNECT") return; if (CaptureConfiguration.ProcessId > 0) { if (sess.LocalProcessID != 0 && sess.LocalProcessID != CaptureConfiguration.ProcessId) return; } if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(CaptureConfiguration.CaptureDomain)) { if (sess.hostname.ToLower() != CaptureConfiguration.CaptureDomain.Trim().ToLower()) return; } if (CaptureConfiguration.IgnoreResources) { string url = sess.fullUrl.ToLower(); var extensions = CaptureConfiguration.ExtensionFilterExclusions; foreach (var ext in extensions) { if (url.Contains(ext)) return; } var filters = CaptureConfiguration.UrlFilterExclusions; foreach (var urlFilter in filters) { if (url.Contains(urlFilter)) return; } } if (sess == null || sess.oRequest == null || sess.oRequest.headers == null) return; string headers = sess.oRequest.headers.ToString(); var reqBody = sess.GetRequestBodyAsString(); // if you wanted to capture the response //string respHeaders = session.oResponse.headers.ToString(); //var respBody = session.GetResponseBodyAsString(); // replace the HTTP line to inject full URL string firstLine = sess.RequestMethod + " " + sess.fullUrl + " " + sess.oRequest.headers.HTTPVersion; int at = headers.IndexOf("\r\n"); if (at < 0) return; headers = firstLine + "\r\n" + headers.Substring(at + 1); string output = headers + "\r\n" + (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(reqBody) ? reqBody + "\r\n" : string.Empty) + Separator + "\r\n\r\n"; BeginInvoke(new Action<string>((text) => { txtCapture.AppendText(text); UpdateButtonStatus(); }), output); } The code starts by filtering out some requests based on the CaptureOptions I set before the capture is started. These options/filters are applied when requests actually come in. This is very useful to help narrow down the requests that are captured for playback based on options the user picked. I find it useful to limit requests to a certain domain for captures, as well as filtering out some request types like static resources – images, css, scripts etc. This is of course optional, but I think it’s a common scenario and WebSurge makes good use of this feature. AfterSessionComplete like other FiddlerCore events, provides a Session object parameter which contains all the request and response details. There are oRequest and oResponse objects to hold their respective data. In my case I’m interested in the raw request headers and body only, as you can see in the commented code you can also retrieve the response headers and body. Here the code captures the request headers and body and simply appends the output to the textbox on the screen. Note that the Fiddler events are asynchronous, so in order to display the content in the UI they have to be marshaled back the UI thread with BeginInvoke, which here simply takes the generated headers and appends it to the existing textbox test on the form. As each request is processed, the headers are captured and appended to the bottom of the textbox resulting in a Session HTTP capture in the format that Web Surge internally supports, which is basically raw request headers with a customized 1st HTTP Header line that includes the full URL rather than a server relative URL. When the capture is done the user can either copy the raw HTTP session to the clipboard, or directly save it to file. This raw capture format is the same format WebSurge and also Fiddler use to import/export request data. While this code is application specific, it demonstrates the kind of logic that you can easily apply to the request capture process, which is one of the reasonsof why FiddlerCore is so powerful. You get to choose what content you want to look up as part of your own application logic and you can then decide how to capture or use that data as part of your application. The actual captured data in this case is only a string. The user can edit the data by hand or in the the case of WebSurge, save it to disk and automatically open the captured session as a new load test. Stopping the FiddlerCore Proxy Finally to stop capturing requests you simply disconnect the event handler and call the FiddlerApplication.ShutDown() method:void Stop() { FiddlerApplication.AfterSessionComplete -= FiddlerApplication_AfterSessionComplete; if (FiddlerApplication.IsStarted()) FiddlerApplication.Shutdown(); } As you can see, adding HTTP capture functionality to an application is very straight forward. FiddlerCore offers tons of features I’m not even touching on here – I suspect basic captures are the most common scenario, but a lot of different things can be done with FiddlerCore’s simple API interface. Sky’s the limit! The source code for this sample capture form (WinForms) is provided as part of this article. Adding Fiddler Certificates with FiddlerCore One of the sticking points in West Wind WebSurge has been that if you wanted to capture HTTPS/SSL traffic, you needed to have the full version of Fiddler and have HTTPS decryption enabled. Essentially you had to use Fiddler to configure HTTPS decryption and the associated installation of the Fiddler local client certificate that is used for local decryption of incoming SSL traffic. While this works just fine, requiring to have Fiddler installed and then using a separate application to configure the SSL functionality isn’t ideal. Fortunately FiddlerCore actually includes the tools to register the Fiddler Certificate directly using FiddlerCore. Why does Fiddler need a Certificate in the first Place? Fiddler and FiddlerCore are essentially HTTP proxies which means they inject themselves into the HTTP conversation by re-routing HTTP traffic to a special HTTP port (8888 by default for Fiddler) and then forward the HTTP data to the original client. Fiddler injects itself as the system proxy in using the WinInet Windows settings  which are the same settings that Internet Explorer uses and that are configured in the Windows and Internet Explorer Internet Settings dialog. Most HTTP clients running on Windows pick up and apply these system level Proxy settings before establishing new HTTP connections and that’s why most clients automatically work once Fiddler – or FiddlerCore/WebSurge are running. For plain HTTP requests this just works – Fiddler intercepts the HTTP requests on the proxy port and then forwards them to the original port (80 for HTTP and 443 for SSL typically but it could be any port). For SSL however, this is not quite as simple – Fiddler can easily act as an HTTPS/SSL client to capture inbound requests from the server, but when it forwards the request to the client it has to also act as an SSL server and provide a certificate that the client trusts. This won’t be the original certificate from the remote site, but rather a custom local certificate that effectively simulates an SSL connection between the proxy and the client. If there is no custom certificate configured for Fiddler the SSL request fails with a certificate validation error. The key for this to work is that a custom certificate has to be installed that the HTTPS client trusts on the local machine. For a much more detailed description of the process you can check out Eric Lawrence’s blog post on Certificates. If you’re using the desktop version of Fiddler you can install a local certificate into the Windows certificate store. Fiddler proper does this from the Options menu: This operation does several things: It installs the Fiddler Root Certificate It sets trust to this Root Certificate A new client certificate is generated for each HTTPS site monitored Certificate Installation with FiddlerCore You can also provide this same functionality using FiddlerCore which includes a CertMaker class. Using CertMaker is straight forward to use and it provides an easy way to create some simple helpers that can install and uninstall a Fiddler Root certificate:public static bool InstallCertificate() { if (!CertMaker.rootCertExists()) { if (!CertMaker.createRootCert()) return false; if (!CertMaker.trustRootCert()) return false; } return true; } public static bool UninstallCertificate() { if (CertMaker.rootCertExists()) { if (!CertMaker.removeFiddlerGeneratedCerts(true)) return false; } return true; } InstallCertificate() works by first checking whether the root certificate is already installed and if it isn’t goes ahead and creates a new one. The process of creating the certificate is a two step process – first the actual certificate is created and then it’s moved into the certificate store to become trusted. I’m not sure why you’d ever split these operations up since a cert created without trust isn’t going to be of much value, but there are two distinct steps. When you trigger the trustRootCert() method, a message box will pop up on the desktop that lets you know that you’re about to trust a local private certificate. This is a security feature to ensure that you really want to trust the Fiddler root since you are essentially installing a man in the middle certificate. It’s quite safe to use this generated root certificate, because it’s been specifically generated for your machine and thus is not usable from external sources, the only way to use this certificate in a trusted way is from the local machine. IOW, unless somebody has physical access to your machine, there’s no useful way to hijack this certificate and use it for nefarious purposes (see Eric’s post for more details). Once the Root certificate has been installed, FiddlerCore/Fiddler create new certificates for each site that is connected to with HTTPS. You can end up with quite a few temporary certificates in your certificate store. To uninstall you can either use Fiddler and simply uncheck the Decrypt HTTPS traffic option followed by the remove Fiddler certificates button, or you can use FiddlerCore’s CertMaker.removeFiddlerGeneratedCerts() which removes the root cert and any of the intermediary certificates Fiddler created. Keep in mind that when you uninstall you uninstall the certificate for both FiddlerCore and Fiddler, so use UninstallCertificate() with care and realize that you might affect the Fiddler application’s operation by doing so as well. When to check for an installed Certificate Note that the check to see if the root certificate exists is pretty fast, while the actual process of installing the certificate is a relatively slow operation that even on a fast machine takes a few seconds. Further the trust operation pops up a message box so you probably don’t want to install the certificate repeatedly. Since the check for the root certificate is fast, you can easily put a call to InstallCertificate() in any capture startup code – in which case the certificate installation only triggers when a certificate is in fact not installed. Personally I like to make certificate installation explicit – just like Fiddler does, so in WebSurge I use a small drop down option on the menu to install or uninstall the SSL certificate:   This code calls the InstallCertificate and UnInstallCertificate functions respectively – the experience with this is similar to what you get in Fiddler with the extra dialog box popping up to prompt confirmation for installation of the root certificate. Once the cert is installed you can then capture SSL requests. There’s a gotcha however… Gotcha: FiddlerCore Certificates don’t stick by Default When I originally tried to use the Fiddler certificate installation I ran into an odd problem. I was able to install the certificate and immediately after installation was able to capture HTTPS requests. Then I would exit the application and come back in and try the same HTTPS capture again and it would fail due to a missing certificate. CertMaker.rootCertExists() would return false after every restart and if re-installed the certificate a new certificate would get added to the certificate store resulting in a bunch of duplicated root certificates with different keys. What the heck? CertMaker and BcMakeCert create non-sticky CertificatesI turns out that FiddlerCore by default uses different components from what the full version of Fiddler uses. Fiddler uses a Windows utility called MakeCert.exe to create the Fiddler Root certificate. FiddlerCore however installs the CertMaker.dll and BCMakeCert.dll assemblies, which use a different crypto library (Bouncy Castle) for certificate creation than MakeCert.exe which uses the Windows Crypto API. The assemblies provide support for non-windows operation for Fiddler under Mono, as well as support for some non-Windows certificate platforms like iOS and Android for decryption. The bottom line is that the FiddlerCore provided bouncy castle assemblies are not sticky by default as the certificates created with them are not cached as they are in Fiddler proper. To get certificates to ‘stick’ you have to explicitly cache the certificates in Fiddler’s internal preferences. A cache aware version of InstallCertificate looks something like this:public static bool InstallCertificate() { if (!CertMaker.rootCertExists()) { if (!CertMaker.createRootCert()) return false; if (!CertMaker.trustRootCert()) return false; App.Configuration.UrlCapture.Cert = FiddlerApplication.Prefs.GetStringPref("fiddler.certmaker.bc.cert", null); App.Configuration.UrlCapture.Key = FiddlerApplication.Prefs.GetStringPref("fiddler.certmaker.bc.key", null); } return true; } public static bool UninstallCertificate() { if (CertMaker.rootCertExists()) { if (!CertMaker.removeFiddlerGeneratedCerts(true)) return false; } App.Configuration.UrlCapture.Cert = null; App.Configuration.UrlCapture.Key = null; return true; } In this code I store the Fiddler cert and private key in an application configuration settings that’s stored with the application settings (App.Configuration.UrlCapture object). These settings automatically persist when WebSurge is shut down. The values are read out of Fiddler’s internal preferences store which is set after a new certificate has been created. Likewise I clear out the configuration settings when the certificate is uninstalled. In order for these setting to be used you have to also load the configuration settings into the Fiddler preferences *before* a call to rootCertExists() is made. I do this in the capture form’s constructor:public FiddlerCapture(StressTestForm form) { InitializeComponent(); CaptureConfiguration = App.Configuration.UrlCapture; MainForm = form; if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(App.Configuration.UrlCapture.Cert)) { FiddlerApplication.Prefs.SetStringPref("fiddler.certmaker.bc.key", App.Configuration.UrlCapture.Key); FiddlerApplication.Prefs.SetStringPref("fiddler.certmaker.bc.cert", App.Configuration.UrlCapture.Cert); }} This is kind of a drag to do and not documented anywhere that I could find, so hopefully this will save you some grief if you want to work with the stock certificate logic that installs with FiddlerCore. MakeCert provides sticky Certificates and the same functionality as Fiddler But there’s actually an easier way. If you want to skip the above Fiddler preference configuration code in your application you can choose to distribute MakeCert.exe instead of certmaker.dll and bcmakecert.dll. When you use MakeCert.exe, the certificates settings are stored in Windows so they are available without any custom configuration inside of your application. It’s easier to integrate and as long as you run on Windows and you don’t need to support iOS or Android devices is simply easier to deal with. To integrate into your project, you can remove the reference to CertMaker.dll (and the BcMakeCert.dll assembly) from your project. Instead copy MakeCert.exe into your output folder. To make sure MakeCert.exe gets pushed out, include MakeCert.exe in your project and set the Build Action to None, and Copy to Output Directory to Copy if newer. Note that the CertMaker.dll reference in the project has been removed and on disk the files for Certmaker.dll, as well as the BCMakeCert.dll files on disk. Keep in mind that these DLLs are resources of the FiddlerCore NuGet package, so updating the package may end up pushing those files back into your project. Once MakeCert.exe is distributed FiddlerCore checks for it first before using the assemblies so as long as MakeCert.exe exists it’ll be used for certificate creation (at least on Windows). Summary FiddlerCore is a pretty sweet tool, and it’s absolutely awesome that we get to plug in most of the functionality of Fiddler right into our own applications. A few years back I tried to build this sort of functionality myself for an app and ended up giving up because it’s a big job to get HTTP right – especially if you need to support SSL. FiddlerCore now provides that functionality as a turnkey solution that can be plugged into your own apps easily. The only downside is FiddlerCore’s documentation for more advanced features like certificate installation which is pretty sketchy. While for the most part FiddlerCore’s feature set is easy to work with without any documentation, advanced features are often not intuitive to gleam by just using Intellisense or the FiddlerCore help file reference (which is not terribly useful). While Eric Lawrence is very responsive on his forum and on Twitter, there simply isn’t much useful documentation on Fiddler/FiddlerCore available online. If you run into trouble the forum is probably the first place to look and then ask a question if you can’t find the answer. The best documentation you can find is Eric’s Fiddler Book which covers a ton of functionality of Fiddler and FiddlerCore. The book is a great reference to Fiddler’s feature set as well as providing great insights into the HTTP protocol. The second half of the book that gets into the innards of HTTP is an excellent read for anybody who wants to know more about some of the more arcane aspects and special behaviors of HTTP – it’s well worth the read. While the book has tons of information in a very readable format, it’s unfortunately not a great reference as it’s hard to find things in the book and because it’s not available online you can’t electronically search for the great content in it. But it’s hard to complain about any of this given the obvious effort and love that’s gone into this awesome product for all of these years. A mighty big thanks to Eric Lawrence  for having created this useful tool that so many of us use all the time, and also to Telerik for picking up Fiddler/FiddlerCore and providing Eric the resources to support and improve this wonderful tool full time and keeping it free for all. Kudos! Resources FiddlerCore Download FiddlerCore NuGet Fiddler Capture Sample Form Fiddler Capture Form in West Wind WebSurge (GitHub) Eric Lawrence’s Fiddler Book© Rick Strahl, West Wind Technologies, 2005-2014Posted in .NET  HTTP   Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); (function() { var po = document.createElement('script'); po.type = 'text/javascript'; po.async = true; po.src = 'https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s); })();

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  • Rendering ASP.NET Script References into the Html Header

    - by Rick Strahl
    One thing that I’ve come to appreciate in control development in ASP.NET that use JavaScript is the ability to have more control over script and script include placement than ASP.NET provides natively. Specifically in ASP.NET you can use either the ClientScriptManager or ScriptManager to embed scripts and script references into pages via code. This works reasonably well, but the script references that get generated are generated into the HTML body and there’s very little operational control for placement of scripts. If you have multiple controls or several of the same control that need to place the same scripts onto the page it’s not difficult to end up with scripts that render in the wrong order and stop working correctly. This is especially critical if you load script libraries with dependencies either via resources or even if you are rendering referenced to CDN resources. Natively ASP.NET provides a host of methods that help embedding scripts into the page via either Page.ClientScript or the ASP.NET ScriptManager control (both with slightly different syntax): RegisterClientScriptBlock Renders a script block at the top of the HTML body and should be used for embedding callable functions/classes. RegisterStartupScript Renders a script block just prior to the </form> tag and should be used to for embedding code that should execute when the page is first loaded. Not recommended – use jQuery.ready() or equivalent load time routines. RegisterClientScriptInclude Embeds a reference to a script from a url into the page. RegisterClientScriptResource Embeds a reference to a Script from a resource file generating a long resource file string All 4 of these methods render their <script> tags into the HTML body. The script blocks give you a little bit of control by having a ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ of the document location which gives you some flexibility over script placement and precedence. Script includes and resource url unfortunately do not even get that much control – references are simply rendered into the page in the order of declaration. The ASP.NET ScriptManager control facilitates this task a little bit with the abililty to specify scripts in code and the ability to programmatically check what scripts have already been registered, but it doesn’t provide any more control over the script rendering process itself. Further the ScriptManager is a bear to deal with generically because generic code has to always check and see if it is actually present. Some time ago I posted a ClientScriptProxy class that helps with managing the latter process of sending script references either to ClientScript or ScriptManager if it’s available. Since I last posted about this there have been a number of improvements in this API, one of which is the ability to control placement of scripts and script includes in the page which I think is rather important and a missing feature in the ASP.NET native functionality. Handling ScriptRenderModes One of the big enhancements that I’ve come to rely on is the ability of the various script rendering functions described above to support rendering in multiple locations: /// <summary> /// Determines how scripts are included into the page /// </summary> public enum ScriptRenderModes { /// <summary> /// Inherits the setting from the control or from the ClientScript.DefaultScriptRenderMode /// </summary> Inherit, /// Renders the script include at the location of the control /// </summary> Inline, /// <summary> /// Renders the script include into the bottom of the header of the page /// </summary> Header, /// <summary> /// Renders the script include into the top of the header of the page /// </summary> HeaderTop, /// <summary> /// Uses ClientScript or ScriptManager to embed the script include to /// provide standard ASP.NET style rendering in the HTML body. /// </summary> Script, /// <summary> /// Renders script at the bottom of the page before the last Page.Controls /// literal control. Note this may result in unexpected behavior /// if /body and /html are not the last thing in the markup page. /// </summary> BottomOfPage } This enum is then applied to the various Register functions to allow more control over where scripts actually show up. Why is this useful? For me I often render scripts out of control resources and these scripts often include things like a JavaScript Library (jquery) and a few plug-ins. The order in which these can be loaded is critical so that jQuery.js always loads before any plug-in for example. Typically I end up with a general script layout like this: Core Libraries- HeaderTop Plug-ins: Header ScriptBlocks: Header or Script depending on other dependencies There’s also an option to render scripts and CSS at the very bottom of the page before the last Page control on the page which can be useful for speeding up page load when lots of scripts are loaded. The API syntax of the ClientScriptProxy methods is closely compatible with ScriptManager’s using static methods and control references to gain access to the page and embedding scripts. For example, to render some script into the current page in the header: // Create script block in header ClientScriptProxy.Current.RegisterClientScriptBlock(this, typeof(ControlResources), "hello_function", "function helloWorld() { alert('hello'); }", true, ScriptRenderModes.Header); // Same again - shouldn't be rendered because it's the same id ClientScriptProxy.Current.RegisterClientScriptBlock(this, typeof(ControlResources), "hello_function", "function helloWorld() { alert('hello'); }", true, ScriptRenderModes.Header); // Create a second script block in header ClientScriptProxy.Current.RegisterClientScriptBlock(this, typeof(ControlResources), "hello_function2", "function helloWorld2() { alert('hello2'); }", true, ScriptRenderModes.Header); // This just calls ClientScript and renders into bottom of document ClientScriptProxy.Current.RegisterStartupScript(this,typeof(ControlResources), "call_hello", "helloWorld();helloWorld2();", true); which generates: <html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" > <head><title> </title> <script type="text/javascript"> function helloWorld() { alert('hello'); } </script> <script type="text/javascript"> function helloWorld2() { alert('hello2'); } </script> </head> <body> … <script type="text/javascript"> //<![CDATA[ helloWorld();helloWorld2();//]]> </script> </form> </body> </html> Note that the scripts are generated into the header rather than the body except for the last script block which is the call to RegisterStartupScript. In general I wouldn’t recommend using RegisterStartupScript – ever. It’s a much better practice to use a script base load event to handle ‘startup’ code that should fire when the page first loads. So instead of the code above I’d actually recommend doing: ClientScriptProxy.Current.RegisterClientScriptBlock(this, typeof(ControlResources), "call_hello", "$().ready( function() { alert('hello2'); });", true, ScriptRenderModes.Header); assuming you’re using jQuery on the page. For script includes from a Url the following demonstrates how to embed scripts into the header. This example injects a jQuery and jQuery.UI script reference from the Google CDN then checks each with a script block to ensure that it has loaded and if not loads it from a server local location: // load jquery from CDN ClientScriptProxy.Current.RegisterClientScriptInclude(this, typeof(ControlResources), "http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.3.2/jquery.min.js", ScriptRenderModes.HeaderTop); // check if jquery loaded - if it didn't we're not online string scriptCheck = @"if (typeof jQuery != 'object') document.write(unescape(""%3Cscript src='{0}' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E""));"; string jQueryUrl = ClientScriptProxy.Current.GetWebResourceUrl(this, typeof(ControlResources), ControlResources.JQUERY_SCRIPT_RESOURCE); ClientScriptProxy.Current.RegisterClientScriptBlock(this, typeof(ControlResources), "jquery_register", string.Format(scriptCheck,jQueryUrl),true, ScriptRenderModes.HeaderTop); // Load jquery-ui from cdn ClientScriptProxy.Current.RegisterClientScriptInclude(this, typeof(ControlResources), "http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jqueryui/1.7.2/jquery-ui.min.js", ScriptRenderModes.Header); // check if we need to load from local string jQueryUiUrl = ResolveUrl("~/scripts/jquery-ui-custom.min.js"); ClientScriptProxy.Current.RegisterClientScriptBlock(this, typeof(ControlResources), "jqueryui_register", string.Format(scriptCheck, jQueryUiUrl), true, ScriptRenderModes.Header); // Create script block in header ClientScriptProxy.Current.RegisterClientScriptBlock(this, typeof(ControlResources), "hello_function", "$().ready( function() { alert('hello'); });", true, ScriptRenderModes.Header); which in turn generates this HTML: <html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" > <head> <script src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.3.2/jquery.min.js" type="text/javascript"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> if (typeof jQuery != 'object') document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='/WestWindWebToolkitWeb/WebResource.axd?d=DIykvYhJ_oXCr-TA_dr35i4AayJoV1mgnQAQGPaZsoPM2LCdvoD3cIsRRitHKlKJfV5K_jQvylK7tsqO3lQIFw2&t=633979863959332352' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E")); </script> <title> </title> <script src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jqueryui/1.7.2/jquery-ui.min.js" type="text/javascript"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> if (typeof jQuery != 'object') document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='/WestWindWebToolkitWeb/scripts/jquery-ui-custom.min.js' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E")); </script> <script type="text/javascript"> $().ready(function() { alert('hello'); }); </script> </head> <body> …</body> </html> As you can see there’s a bit more control in this process as you can inject both script includes and script blocks into the document at the top or bottom of the header, plus if necessary at the usual body locations. This is quite useful especially if you create custom server controls that interoperate with script and have certain dependencies. The above is a good example of a useful switchable routine where you can switch where scripts load from by default – the above pulls from Google CDN but a configuration switch may automatically switch to pull from the local development copies if your doing development for example. How does it work? As mentioned the ClientScriptProxy object mimicks many of the ScriptManager script related methods and so provides close API compatibility with it although it contains many additional overloads that enhance functionality. It does however work against ScriptManager if it’s available on the page, or Page.ClientScript if it’s not so it provides a single unified frontend to script access. There are however many overloads of the original SM methods like the above to provide additional functionality. The implementation of script header rendering is pretty straight forward – as long as a server header (ie. it has to have runat=”server” set) is available. Otherwise these routines fall back to using the default document level insertions of ScriptManager/ClientScript. Given that there is a server header it’s relatively easy to generate the script tags and code and append them to the header either at the top or bottom. I suspect Microsoft didn’t provide header rendering functionality precisely because a runat=”server” header is not required by ASP.NET so behavior would be slightly unpredictable. That’s not really a problem for a custom implementation however. Here’s the RegisterClientScriptBlock implementation that takes a ScriptRenderModes parameter to allow header rendering: /// <summary> /// Renders client script block with the option of rendering the script block in /// the Html header /// /// For this to work Header must be defined as runat="server" /// </summary> /// <param name="control">any control that instance typically page</param> /// <param name="type">Type that identifies this rendering</param> /// <param name="key">unique script block id</param> /// <param name="script">The script code to render</param> /// <param name="addScriptTags">Ignored for header rendering used for all other insertions</param> /// <param name="renderMode">Where the block is rendered</param> public void RegisterClientScriptBlock(Control control, Type type, string key, string script, bool addScriptTags, ScriptRenderModes renderMode) { if (renderMode == ScriptRenderModes.Inherit) renderMode = DefaultScriptRenderMode; if (control.Page.Header == null || renderMode != ScriptRenderModes.HeaderTop && renderMode != ScriptRenderModes.Header && renderMode != ScriptRenderModes.BottomOfPage) { RegisterClientScriptBlock(control, type, key, script, addScriptTags); return; } // No dupes - ref script include only once const string identifier = "scriptblock_"; if (HttpContext.Current.Items.Contains(identifier + key)) return; HttpContext.Current.Items.Add(identifier + key, string.Empty); StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder(); // Embed in header sb.AppendLine("\r\n<script type=\"text/javascript\">"); sb.AppendLine(script); sb.AppendLine("</script>"); int? index = HttpContext.Current.Items["__ScriptResourceIndex"] as int?; if (index == null) index = 0; if (renderMode == ScriptRenderModes.HeaderTop) { control.Page.Header.Controls.AddAt(index.Value, new LiteralControl(sb.ToString())); index++; } else if(renderMode == ScriptRenderModes.Header) control.Page.Header.Controls.Add(new LiteralControl(sb.ToString())); else if (renderMode == ScriptRenderModes.BottomOfPage) control.Page.Controls.AddAt(control.Page.Controls.Count-1,new LiteralControl(sb.ToString())); HttpContext.Current.Items["__ScriptResourceIndex"] = index; } Note that the routine has to keep track of items inserted by id so that if the same item is added again with the same key it won’t generate two script entries. Additionally the code has to keep track of how many insertions have been made at the top of the document so that entries are added in the proper order. The RegisterScriptInclude method is similar but there’s some additional logic in here to deal with script file references and ClientScriptProxy’s (optional) custom resource handler that provides script compression /// <summary> /// Registers a client script reference into the page with the option to specify /// the script location in the page /// </summary> /// <param name="control">Any control instance - typically page</param> /// <param name="type">Type that acts as qualifier (uniqueness)</param> /// <param name="url">the Url to the script resource</param> /// <param name="ScriptRenderModes">Determines where the script is rendered</param> public void RegisterClientScriptInclude(Control control, Type type, string url, ScriptRenderModes renderMode) { const string STR_ScriptResourceIndex = "__ScriptResourceIndex"; if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(url)) return; if (renderMode == ScriptRenderModes.Inherit) renderMode = DefaultScriptRenderMode; // Extract just the script filename string fileId = null; // Check resource IDs and try to match to mapped file resources // Used to allow scripts not to be loaded more than once whether // embedded manually (script tag) or via resources with ClientScriptProxy if (url.Contains(".axd?r=")) { string res = HttpUtility.UrlDecode( StringUtils.ExtractString(url, "?r=", "&", false, true) ); foreach (ScriptResourceAlias item in ScriptResourceAliases) { if (item.Resource == res) { fileId = item.Alias + ".js"; break; } } if (fileId == null) fileId = url.ToLower(); } else fileId = Path.GetFileName(url).ToLower(); // No dupes - ref script include only once const string identifier = "script_"; if (HttpContext.Current.Items.Contains( identifier + fileId ) ) return; HttpContext.Current.Items.Add(identifier + fileId, string.Empty); // just use script manager or ClientScriptManager if (control.Page.Header == null || renderMode == ScriptRenderModes.Script || renderMode == ScriptRenderModes.Inline) { RegisterClientScriptInclude(control, type,url, url); return; } // Retrieve script index in header int? index = HttpContext.Current.Items[STR_ScriptResourceIndex] as int?; if (index == null) index = 0; StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder(256); url = WebUtils.ResolveUrl(url); // Embed in header sb.AppendLine("\r\n<script src=\"" + url + "\" type=\"text/javascript\"></script>"); if (renderMode == ScriptRenderModes.HeaderTop) { control.Page.Header.Controls.AddAt(index.Value, new LiteralControl(sb.ToString())); index++; } else if (renderMode == ScriptRenderModes.Header) control.Page.Header.Controls.Add(new LiteralControl(sb.ToString())); else if (renderMode == ScriptRenderModes.BottomOfPage) control.Page.Controls.AddAt(control.Page.Controls.Count-1, new LiteralControl(sb.ToString())); HttpContext.Current.Items[STR_ScriptResourceIndex] = index; } There’s a little more code here that deals with cleaning up the passed in Url and also some custom handling of script resources that run through the ScriptCompressionModule – any script resources loaded in this fashion are automatically cached based on the resource id. Raw urls extract just the filename from the URL and cache based on that. All of this to avoid doubling up of scripts if called multiple times by multiple instances of the same control for example or several controls that all load the same resources/includes. Finally RegisterClientScriptResource utilizes the previous method to wrap the WebResourceUrl as well as some custom functionality for the resource compression module: /// <summary> /// Returns a WebResource or ScriptResource URL for script resources that are to be /// embedded as script includes. /// </summary> /// <param name="control">Any control</param> /// <param name="type">A type in assembly where resources are located</param> /// <param name="resourceName">Name of the resource to load</param> /// <param name="renderMode">Determines where in the document the link is rendered</param> public void RegisterClientScriptResource(Control control, Type type, string resourceName, ScriptRenderModes renderMode) { string resourceUrl = GetClientScriptResourceUrl(control, type, resourceName); RegisterClientScriptInclude(control, type, resourceUrl, renderMode); } /// <summary> /// Works like GetWebResourceUrl but can be used with javascript resources /// to allow using of resource compression (if the module is loaded). /// </summary> /// <param name="control"></param> /// <param name="type"></param> /// <param name="resourceName"></param> /// <returns></returns> public string GetClientScriptResourceUrl(Control control, Type type, string resourceName) { #if IncludeScriptCompressionModuleSupport // If wwScriptCompression Module through Web.config is loaded use it to compress // script resources by using wcSC.axd Url the module intercepts if (ScriptCompressionModule.ScriptCompressionModuleActive) { string url = "~/wwSC.axd?r=" + HttpUtility.UrlEncode(resourceName); if (type.Assembly != GetType().Assembly) url += "&t=" + HttpUtility.UrlEncode(type.FullName); return WebUtils.ResolveUrl(url); } #endif return control.Page.ClientScript.GetWebResourceUrl(type, resourceName); } This code merely retrieves the resource URL and then simply calls back to RegisterClientScriptInclude with the URL to be embedded which means there’s nothing specific to deal with other than the custom compression module logic which is nice and easy. What else is there in ClientScriptProxy? ClientscriptProxy also provides a few other useful services beyond what I’ve already covered here: Transparent ScriptManager and ClientScript calls ClientScriptProxy includes a host of routines that help figure out whether a script manager is available or not and all functions in this class call the appropriate object – ScriptManager or ClientScript – that is available in the current page to ensure that scripts get embedded into pages properly. This is especially useful for control development where controls have no control over the scripting environment in place on the page. RegisterCssLink and RegisterCssResource Much like the script embedding functions these two methods allow embedding of CSS links. CSS links are appended to the header or to a form declared with runat=”server”. LoadControlScript Is a high level resource loading routine that can be used to easily switch between different script linking modes. It supports loading from a WebResource, a url or not loading anything at all. This is very useful if you build controls that deal with specification of resource urls/ids in a standard way. Check out the full Code You can check out the full code to the ClientScriptProxyClass here: ClientScriptProxy.cs ClientScriptProxy Documentation (class reference) Note that the ClientScriptProxy has a few dependencies in the West Wind Web Toolkit of which it is part of. ControlResources holds a few standard constants and script resource links and the ScriptCompressionModule which is referenced in a few of the script inclusion methods. There’s also another useful ScriptContainer companion control  to the ClientScriptProxy that allows scripts to be placed onto the page’s markup including the ability to specify the script location and script minification options. You can find all the dependencies in the West Wind Web Toolkit repository: West Wind Web Toolkit Repository West Wind Web Toolkit Home Page© Rick Strahl, West Wind Technologies, 2005-2010Posted in ASP.NET  JavaScript  

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  • IIS SSL Certificate Renewal Pain

    - by Rick Strahl
    I’m in the middle of my annual certificate renewal for the West Wind site and I can honestly say that I hate IIS’s certificate system.  When it works it’s fine, but when it doesn’t man can it be a pain. Because I deal with public certificates on my site merely once a year, and you have to perform the certificate dance just the right way, I seem to run into some sort of trouble every year, thinking that Microsoft surely must have addressed the issues I ran into previously – HA! Not so. Don’t ever use the Renew Certificate Feature in IIS! The first rule that I should have never forgotten is that certificate renewals in IIS (7 is what I’m using but I think it’s no different in 7.5 and 8), simply don’t work if you’re submitting to get a public certificate from a certificate authority. I use DNSimple for my DNS domain management and SSL certificates because they provide ridiculously easy domain management and good prices for SSL certs – especially wildcard certificates, which is what I use on west-wind.com. Certificates in IIS can be found pegged to the machine root. If you go into the IIS Manager, go to the machine root the tree and then click on certificates and you then get various certificate options: Both of these options create a new Certificate request (CSR), which is just a text file. But if you’re silly enough like me to click on the Renew button on your old certificate, you’ll find that you end up generating a very long Certificate Request that looks nothing like the original certificate request and the format that’s used for this is not accepted by most certificate authorities. While I’m not sure exactly what the problem is, it simply looks like IIS is respecting none of your original certificate bit size choices and is generating a huge certificate request that is 3 times the size of a ‘normal’ certificate request. The end result is (and I’ve done this at least twice now) is that the certificate processor is likely to fail processing those renewals. Always create a new Certificate While it’s a little more work and you have to remember how to fill out the certificate request properly, this is the safe way to make sure your certificate generates properly. First comes the Distinguished Name Properties dialog: Ah yes you have to love the nomenclature of this stuff. Distinguished name, Common name – WTF is a common name? It doesn’t look common to me! Make sure this form gets filled out correctly. Common NameThis is the domain name of the Web site. In my case I’m creating a wildcard certificate so I’m using the * prefix. If you’re purchasing a certificate for a specific domain use www.west-wind.com or store.west-wind.com for example. Make sure this matches the EXACT domain you’re trying to use secure access on because that’s all the certificate is going to work on unless you get a wildcard certificate. Organization Is the name of your company or organization. Depending on the kind of certificate you purchase this name will show up on your certificate. Most low end SSL certificates (ie. those that cost under $100 for single domains) don’t list the organization, the higher signature certificates that also require extensive validation by the cert authority do. Regardless you should make sure this matches the right company/organization. Organizational Unit This can be anything. Not really sure what this is for, but traditionally I’ve always set this to Web because – well this is a Web thing after all right? I’ve never seen this used anywhere that I can tell other than to internally reference the cert. State and CountryPretty obvious. Should reflect the location of the business/organization/person or site.   Next you have to configure the bit size used for the certificate: The default on this dialog is 1024, but I’ve found that most providers these days request a minimum bit length of 2048, as did my DNSimple provider. Again check with the provider when you submit to make sure. Bit length mismatches can cause problems if you use a size that isn’t supported by the provider. I had that happen last year when I submitted my CSR and it got rejected quite a bit later, when the certs usually are issued within an hour or less. When you’re done here, the certificate is saved to disk as a .txt file and it should look something like this (this is a 2048 bit length CSR):-----BEGIN NEW CERTIFICATE REQUEST----- MIIEVGCCAz0CAQAwdjELMAkGA1UEBhMCVVMxDzANBgNVBAgMBkhhd2FpaTENMAsG A1UEBwwEUGFpYTEfMB0GA1UECgwWV2VzdCBXaW5kIFRlY2hub2xvZ2llczEMMAoG B1UECwwDV2ViMRgwFgYDVQQDDA8qLndlc3Qtd2luZC5jb20wggEiMA0GCSqGSIb3 DQEBAQUAA4IBDwAwggEKAoIBAQDIPWOFMkMVRp2Ftj9w/cCVV4OYYhoZYtl+8lTk oqDwKca0xWHLgioX/9v0rZLS6a82MHqKEBxVXu+cuCmSE4AQtB/1YH9lS4tpc/be OZDvnTotP6l4MCEzzAfROcw4CiIg6X0RMSnl8IATAvv2V5LQM9TDdt9oDdMpX2IY +vVC9RZ7PMHBmR9kwI2i/lrKitzhQKaHgpmKcRlM6iqpALUiX28w5HJaDKK1MDHN 607tyFJLHijuJKx7PdTqZYf50KkC3NupfZ2avVycf18Q13jHWj59tvwEOczoVzRL l4LQivAqbhyiqMpWnrZunIOUZta5aGm+jo7O1knGWJjxuraTAgMBAAGgggGYMBoG CisGAQQBgjcNAgMxDBYKNi4yLjkyMDAuMjA0BgkrBgEEAYI3FRQxJzAlAgEFDAZS QVNYUFMMC1JBU1hQU1xSaWNrDAtJbmV0TWdyLmV4ZTByBgorBgEEAYI3DQICMWQw YgIBAR5aAE0AaQBjAHIAbwBzAG8AZgB0ACAAUgBTAEEAIABTAEMAaABhAG4AbgBl AGwAIABDAHIAeQBwAHQAbwBnAHIAYQBwAGgAaQBjACAAUAByAG8AdgBpAGQAZQBy AwEAMIHPBgkqhkiG9w0BCQ4xgcEwgb4wDgYDVR0PAQH/BAQDAgTwMBMGA1UdJQQM MAoGCCsGAQUFBwMBMHgGCSqGSIb3DQEJDwRrMGkwDgYIKoZIhvcNAwICAgCAMA4G CCqGSIb3DQMEAgIAgDALBglghkgBZQMEASowCwYJYIZIAWUDBAEtMAsGCWCGSAFl AwQBAjALBglghkgBZQMEAQUwBwYFKw4DAgcwCgYIKoZIhvcNAwcwHQYDVR0OBBYE FD/yOsTbXE+GVFCFMmldzQvyloz9MA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBBQUAA4IBAQCK6LlsCuIM 1AU0niB6QZ9v0FTsGFxP1dYvVUnJyY6VEKNiGFiQjZac7UCs0p58yScdXWEFOE8V OsjAYD3xYNc05+ckyD67UHRGEUAVB9RBvbKW23KeR/8kBmEzc8PemD52YOgExxAJ 57xWmAwEHAvbgYzQvhO8AOzH3TGvvHbg5UKM1pYgNmuwZq5DkL/IDoeIJwfk/wrI wghNTuxxIFgbH4YrgLgv4PRvrS/LaTCRBdboaCgzATMczaOb1nd/DVNR+3fCtMhM W0psTAjzRbmXF3nJyAQa7jF/52gkY0RfFX2lG5tJnG+XDsVNvKNvh9Qa5Tlmkm06 ILKCm9ciWCKk -----END NEW CERTIFICATE REQUEST----- You can take that certificate request and submit that to your certificate provider. Since this is base64 encoded you can typically just paste it into a text box on the submission page, or some providers will ask you to upload the CSR as a file. What does a Renewal look like? Note the length of the CSR will vary somewhat with key strength, but compare this to a renewal request that IIS generated from my existing site:-----BEGIN NEW CERTIFICATE REQUEST----- MIIPpwYFKoZIhvcNAQcCoIIPmDCCD5QCAQExCzAJBgUrDgMCGgUAMIIIqAYJKoZI hvcNAQcBoIIImQSCCJUwggiRMIIH+gIBADBdMSEwHwYDVQQLDBhEb21haW4gQ29u dHJvbCBWYWxpFGF0ZWQxHjAcBgNVBAsMFUVzc2VudGlhbFNTTCBXaWxkY2FyZDEY MBYGA1UEAwwPKi53ZXN0LXdpbmQuY29tMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUAA4GNADCB iQKBgQCK4OuIOR18Wb8tNMGRZiD1c9X57b332Lj7DhbckFqLs0ys8kVDHrTXSj+T Ye9nmAvfPpZmBtE5p9qRNN79rUYugAdl+qEtE4IJe1bRfxXzcKa1SXa8+TEs3zQa zYSmcR2dDuC8om1eAdeCtt0NnkvANgm1VLwGOor/UHMASaEhCQIDAQABoIIG8jAa BgorBgEEAYI3DQIDMQwWCjYuMi45MjAwLjIwNAYJKwYBBAGCNxUUMScwJQIBBQwG UkFTWFBTDAtSQVNYUFNcUmljawwLSW5ldE1nci5leGUwZgYKKwYBBAGCNw0CAjFY MFYCAQIeTgBNAGkAYwByAG8AcwBvAGYAdAAgAFMAdAByAG8AbgBnACAAQwByAHkA cAB0AG8AZwByAGEAcABoAGkAYwAgAFAAcgBvAHYAaQBkAGUAcgMBADCCAQAGCSqG SIb3DQEJDjGB8jCB7zAOBgNVHQ8BAf8EBAMCBaAwDAYDVR0TAQH/BAIwADA0BgNV HSUELTArBggrBgEFBQcDAQYIKwYBBQUHAwIGCisGAQQBgjcKAwMGCWCGSAGG+EIE ATBPBgNVHSAESDBGMDoGCysGAQQBsjEBAgIHMCswKQYIKwYBBQUHAgEWHWh0dHBz Oi8vc2VjdXJlLmNvbW9kby5jb20vQ1BTMAgGBmeBDAECATApBgNVHREEIjAggg8q Lndlc3Qtd2luZC5jb22CDXdlc3Qtd2luZC5jb20wHQYDVR0OBBYEFEVLAyO8gDiv lsfovKrx9mHPyrsiMIIFMAYJKwYBBAGCNw0BMYIFITCCBR0wggQFoAMCAQICEQDu 1E1T5Jvtkm5LOfSHabWlMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBBQUAMHIxCzAJBgNVBAYTAkdCMRsw GQYDVQQIExJHcmVhdGVyIE1hbmNoZXN0ZXIxEDAOBgNVBAcTB1NhbGZvcmQxGjAY BgNVBAoTEUNPTU9ETyBDQSBMaW1pdGVkMRgwFgYDVQQDEw9Fc3NlbnRpYWxTU0wg Q0EwHhcNMTQwNTA3MDAwMDAwWhcNMTUwNjA2MjM1OTU5WjBdMSEwHwYDVQQLExhE b21haW4gQ29udHJvbCBWYWxpZGF0ZWQxHjAcBgNVBAsTFUVzc2VudGlhbFNTTCBX aWxkY2FyZDEYMBYGA1UEAxQPKi53ZXN0LXdpbmQuY29tMIIBIjANBgkqhkiG9w0B AQEFAAOCAQ8AMIIBCgKCAQEAiyKfL66XB51DlUfm6xXqJBcvMU2qorRHxC+WjEpB amvg8XoqNfCKzDAvLMbY4BLhbYCTagqtslnP3Gj4AKhXqRKU0n6iSbmS1gcWzCJM CHufZ5RDtuTuxhTdJxzP9YqZUfKV5abWQp/TK6V1ryaBJvdqM73q4tRjrQODtkiR PfZjxpybnBHFJS8jYAf8jcOjSDZcgN1d9Evc5MrEJCp/90cAkozyF/NMcFtD6Yj8 UM97z3MzDT2JPDoH3kAr3cCgpUNyQ2+wDNCnL9eWYFkOQi8FZMsZol7KlZ5NgNfO a7iZMVGbqDg6rkS//2uGe6tSQJTTs+mAZB+na+M8XT2UqwIDAQABo4IBwTCCAb0w HwYDVR0jBBgwFoAU2svqrVsIXcz//CZUzknlVcY49PgwHQYDVR0OBBYEFH0AmLiL RSEL9+sQD/n5O4N7/nnqMA4GA1UdDwEB/wQEAwIFoDAMBgNVHRMBAf8EAjAAMDQG A1UdJQQtMCsGCCsGAQUFBwMBBggrBgEFBQcDAgYKKwYBBAGCNwoDAwYJYIZIAYb4 QgQBME8GA1UdIARIMEYwOgYLKwYBBAGyMQECAgcwKzApBggrBgEFBQcCARYdaHR0 cHM6Ly9zZWN1cmUuY29tb2RvLmNvbS9DUFMwCAYGZ4EMAQIBMDsGA1UdHwQ0MDIw MKAuoCyGKmh0dHA6Ly9jcmwuY29tb2RvY2EuY29tL0Vzc2VudGlhbFNTTENBLmNy bDBuBggrBgEFBQcBAQRiMGAwOAYIKwYBBQUHMAKGLGh0dHA6Ly9jcnQuY29tb2Rv Y2EuY29tL0Vzc2VudGlhbFNTTENBXzIuY3J0MCQGCCsGAQUFBzABhhhodHRwOi8v b2NzcC5jb21vZG9jYS5jb20wKQYDVR0RBCIwIIIPKi53ZXN0LXdpbmQuY29tgg13 ZXN0LXdpbmQuY29tMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBBQUAA4IBAQBqBfd6QHrxXsfgfKARG6np 8yszIPhHGPPmaE7xq7RpcZjY9H+8l6fe4jQbGFjbA5uHBklYI4m2snhPaW2p8iF8 YOkm2V2hEsSTnkf5/flw9mZtlCFEDFXSsBxBdNz8RYTthPMu1h09C0XuDB30sztg nR692FrxJN5/bXsk+MC9nEweTFW/t2HW+XZ8bhM7vsAS+pZionR4MyuQ0mYIt/lD csZVZ91KxTsIm8rNMkkYGFoSIXjQ0+0tCbxMF0i2qnpmNRpA6PU8l7lxxvPkplsk 9KB8QIPFrR5p/i/SUAd9vECWh5+/ktlcrfFP2PK7XcEwWizsvMrNqLyvQVNXSUPT MA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBBQUAA4GBABt/NitwMzc5t22p5+zy4HXbVYzLEjesLH8/v0ot uLQ3kkG8tIWNh5RplxIxtilXt09H4Oxpo3fKUN0yw+E6WsBfg0sAF8pHNBdOJi48 azrQbt4HvKktQkGpgYFjLsormjF44SRtToLHlYycDHBNvjaBClUwMCq8HnwY6vDq xikRoIIFITCCBR0wggQFoAMCAQICEQDu1E1T5Jvtkm5LOfSHabWlMA0GCSqGSIb3 DQEBBQUAMHIxCzAJBgNVBAYTAkdCMRswGQYDVQQIExJHcmVhdGVyIE1hbmNoZXN0 ZXIxEDAOBgNVBAcTB1NhbGZvcmQxGjAYBgNVBAoTEUNPTU9ETyBDQSBMaW1pdGVk MRgwFgYDVQQDEw9Fc3NlbnRpYWxTU0wgQ0EwHhcNMTQwNTA3MDAwMDAwWhcNMTUw NjA2MjM1OTU5WjBdMSEwHwYDVQQLExhEb21haW4gQ29udHJvbCBWYWxpZGF0ZWQx HjAcBgNVBAsTFUVzc2VudGlhbFNTTCBXaWxkY2FyZDEYMBYGA1UEAxQPKi53ZXN0 LXdpbmQuY29tMIIBIjANBgkqhkiG9w0BAQEFAAOCAQ8AMIIBCgKCAQEAiyKfL66X B51DlUfm6xXqJBcvMU2qorRHxC+WjEpBamvg8XoqNfCKzDAvLMbY4BLhbYCTagqt slnP3Gj4AKhXqRKU0n6iSbmS1gcWzCJMCHufZ5RDtuTuxhTdJxzP9YqZUfKV5abW Qp/TK6V1ryaBJvdqM73q4tRjrQODtkiRPfZjxpybnBHFJS8jYAf8jcOjSDZcgN1d 9Evc5MrEJCp/90cAkozyF/NMcFtD6Yj8UM97z3MzDT2JPDoH3kAr3cCgpUNyQ2+w DNCnL9eWYFkOQi8FZMsZol7KlZ5NgNfOa7iZMVGbqDg6rkS//2uGe6tSQJTTs+mA ZB+na+M8XT2UqwIDAQABo4IBwTCCAb0wHwYDVR0jBBgwFoAU2svqrVsIXcz//CZU zknlVcY49PgwHQYDVR0OBBYEFH0AmLiLRSEL9+sQD/n5O4N7/nnqMA4GA1UdDwEB /wQEAwIFoDAMBgNVHRMBAf8EAjAAMDQGA1UdJQQtMCsGCCsGAQUFBwMBBggrBgEF BQcDAgYKKwYBBAGCNwoDAwYJYIZIAYb4QgQBME8GA1UdIARIMEYwOgYLKwYBBAGy MQECAgcwKzApBggrBgEFBQcCARYdaHR0cHM6Ly9zZWN1cmUuY29tb2RvLmNvbS9D UFMwCAYGZ4EMAQIBMDsGA1UdHwQ0MDIwMKAuoCyGKmh0dHA6Ly9jcmwuY29tb2Rv Y2EuY29tL0Vzc2VudGlhbFNTTENBLmNybDBuBggrBgEFBQcBAQRiMGAwOAYIKwYB BQUHMAKGLGh0dHA6Ly9jcnQuY29tb2RvY2EuY29tL0Vzc2VudGlhbFNTTENBXzIu Y3J0MCQGCCsGAQUFBzABhhhodHRwOi8vb2NzcC5jb21vZG9jYS5jb20wKQYDVR0R BCIwIIIPKi53ZXN0LXdpbmQuY29tgg13ZXN0LXdpbmQuY29tMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEB BQUAA4IBAQBqBfd6QHrxXsfgfKARG6np8yszIPhHGPPmaE7xq7RpcZjY9H+8l6fe 4jQbGFjbA5uHBklYI4m2snhPaW2p8iF8YOkm2V2hEsSTnkf5/flw9mZtlCFEDFXS sBxBdNz8RYTthPMu1h09C0XuDB30sztgnR692FrxJN5/bXsk+MC9nEweTFW/t2HW +XZ8bhM7vsAS+pZionR4MyuQ0mYIt/lDcsZVZ91KxTsIm8rNMkkYGFoSIXjQ0+0t CbxMF0i2qnpmNRpA6PU8l7lxxvPkplsk9KB8QIPFrR5p/i/SUAd9vECWh5+/ktlc rfFP2PK7XcEwWizsvMrNqLyvQVNXSUPTMYIBrzCCAasCAQEwgYcwcjELMAkGA1UE BhMCR0IxGzAZBgNVBAgTEkdyZWF0ZXIgTWFuY2hlc3RlcjEQMA4GA1UEBxMHU2Fs Zm9yZDEaMBgGA1UEChMRQ09NT0RPIENBIExpbWl0ZWQxGDAWBgNVBAMTD0Vzc2Vu dGlhbFNTTCBDQQIRAO7UTVPkm+2Sbks59IdptaUwCQYFKw4DAhoFADANBgkqhkiG 9w0BAQEFAASCAQB8PNQ6bYnQpWfkHyxnDuvNKw3wrqF2p7JMZm+SuN2qp3R2LpCR mW2LrGtQIm9Iob/QOYH+8houYNVdvsATGPXX2T8gzn+anof4tOG0vCTK1Bp9bwf9 MkRP+1c8RW/vkYmUW4X5/C+y3CZpMH5dDTaXBIpXFzjX/fxNpH/rvLzGiaYYL3Cn OLO+aOADr9qq5yoqwpiYCSfYNNYKTUNNGfYIidQwYtbHXEYhSukB2oR89xD2sZZ4 bOqFjUPgTa5SsERLDDeg3omMKiIXVYGxlqBEq51Kge6IQt4qQV9P9VgInW7cWmKe dTqNHI9ri3ttewdEnT++TKGKKfTjX9SR8Waj -----END NEW CERTIFICATE REQUEST----- Clearly there’s something very different between this an my original request! And it didn’t work. IIS creates a custom CSR that is encoded in a format that no certificate authority I’ve ever used uses. If you want the gory details of what’s in there look at this ServerFault question (thanks to Mika in the comments). In the end it doesn’t matter  though – no certificate authority knows what to do with this CSR. So create a new CSR and skip the renewal. Always! Use the same Server Keep in mind that on IIS at least you should always create your certificate on a single server and then when you receive the final certificate from your provider import it on that server. IIS tracks the CSR it created and requires it in order to import the final certificate properly. So if for some reason you try to install the certificate on another server, it won’t work. I’ve also run into trouble trying to install the same certificate twice – this time around I didn’t give my certificate the proper friendly name and IIS failed to allow me to assign the certificate to any of my Web sites. So I removed the certificate and tried to import again, only to find it failed the second time around. There are other ways to fix this, but in my case I had to have the certificate re-issued to work – not what you want to do. Regardless of what you do though, when you import make sure you do it right the first time by crossing all your t’s and dotting your i's– it’ll save you a lot of grief! You don’t actually have to use the server that the certificate gets installed on to generate the CSR and first install it, but it is generally a good idea to do so just so you can get the certificate installed into the right place right away. If you have access to the server where you need to install the certificate you might as well use it. But you can use another machine to generated the and install the certificate, then export the certificate and move it to another machine as needed. So you can use your Dev machine to create a certificate then export it and install it on a live server. More on installation and back up/export later. Installing the Certificate Once you’ve submitted a CSR request your provider will process the request and eventually issue you a new final certificate that contains another text file with the final key to import into your certificate store. IIS does this by combining the content in your certificate request with the original CSR. If all goes well your new certificate shows up in the certificate list and you’re ready to assign the certificate to your sites. Make sure you use a friendly name that matches domain name of your site. So use *.mysite.com or www.mysite.com or store.mysite.com to ensure IIS recognizes the certificate. I made the mistake of not naming my friendly name this way and found that IIS was unable to link my sites to my wildcard certificate. It needed to have the *. as part of the certificate otherwise the Hostname input field was blanked out. Changing the Friendly Name If you by accidentally used an invalid friendly name you can change it later in the Windows certificate store. Bring up a Run Box Type MMC File | Add/Remove Snap In Add Certificates | Computer Account | Local Computer Drill into Certificates | Personal | Certificates Find your Certificate | Right Click | Properties Edit the Friendly Name | Click OK Backing up your Certificate The first thing you should do once your certificate is successfully installed is to back it up! In case your server crashes or you otherwise lose your configuration this will ensure you have an easy way to recover and reinstall your certificate either on the same server or a different one. If you’re running a server farm or using a wildcard certificate you also need to get the certificate onto other machines and a PFX file import is the easiest way to do this. To back up your certificate select your certificate and choose Export from the context or sidebar menu: The Export Certificate option allows you to export a password protected binary file that you can import in a single step. You can copy the resulting binary PFX file to back up or copy to other machines to install on. Importing the certificate on another machine is as easy as pointing at the PFX file and specifying the password. IIS handles the rest. Assigning a new certificate to your Site Once you have the new certificate installed, all that’s left to do is assign it to your site. In IIS select your Web site and bring up the Site Bindings from the right sidebar. Add a new binding for https, bind it to port 443, specify your hostname and pick the certificate from the pick list. If you’re using a root site make sure to set up your certificate for www.yoursite.com and also for yoursite.com so that both work properly with SSL. Note that you need to explicitly configure each hostname for a certificate if you plan to use SSL. Luckily if you update your SSL certificate in the following year, IIS prompts you and asks whether you like to update all other sites that are using the existing cert to the newer cert. And you’re done. So what’s the Pain? So, all of this is old hat and it doesn’t look all that bad right? So what’s the pain here? Well if you follow the instructions and do everything right, then the process is about as straight forward as you would expect it to be. You create a cert request, you import it and assign it to your sites. That’s the basic steps and to be perfectly fair it works well – if nothing goes wrong. However, renewing tends to be the problem. The first unintuitive issue is that you simply shouldn’t renew but create a new CSR and generate your new certificate from that. Over the years I’ve fallen prey to the belief that Microsoft eventually will fix this so that the renewal creates the same type of CSR as the old cert, but apparently that will just never happen. Booo! The other problem I ran into is that I accidentally misnamed my imported certificate which in turn set off a chain of events that caused my originally issued certificate to become uninstallable. When I received my completed certificate I installed it and it installed just fine, but the friendly name was wrong. As a result IIS refused to assign the certificate to any of my host headered sites. That’s strike number one. Why the heck should the friendly name have any effect on the ability to attach the certificate??? Next I uninstalled the certificate because I figured that would be the easiest way to make sure I get it right. But I found that I could not reinstall my certificate. I kept getting these stop errors: "ASN1 bad tag value met" that would prevent the installation from completion. After searching around for this error and reading countless long messages on forums, I found that this error supposedly does not actually mean the install failed, but the list wouldn’t refresh. Commodo has this to say: Note: There is a known issue in IIS 7 giving the following error: "Cannot find the certificate request associated with this certificate file. A certificate request must be completed on the computer where it was created." You may also receive a message stating "ASN1 bad tag value met". If this is the same server that you generated the CSR on then, in most cases, the certificate is actually installed. Simply cancel the dialog and press "F5" to refresh the list of server certificates. If the new certificate is now in the list, you can continue with the next step. If it is not in the list, you will need to reissue your certificate using a new CSR (see our CSR creation instructions for IIS 7). After creating a new CSR, login to your Comodo account and click the 'replace' button for your certificate. Not sure if this issue is fixed in IIS 8 but that’s an insane bug to have crop up. As it turns out, in my case the refresh didn’t work and the certificate didn’t show up in the IIS list after the reinstall. In fact when looking at the certificate store I could see my certificate was installed in the right place, but the private key is missing which is most likely why IIS is not picking it up. It looks like IIS could not match the final cert to the original CSR generated. But again some sort of message to that affect might be helpful instead of ASN1 bad tag value met. Recovering the Private Key So it turns out my original problem was that I received the published key, but when I imported the private key was missing. There’s a relatively easy way to recover from this. If your certificate doesn’t show up in IIS check in the certificate store for the local machine (see steps above on how to bring this up). If you look at the certificate in Certificates/Personal/Certificates make sure you see the key as shown in the image below: if the key is missing it means that the certificate is missing the private key most likely. To fix a certificate you can do the following: Double click the certificate Go to the Details Tab Copy down the Serial number You can copy the serial number from the area blurred out above. The serial number will be in a format like ?00 a7 9b a1 a4 9d 91 63 57 d6 9f 26 b8 ee 79 b5 cb and you’ll need to strip out the spaces in order to use it in the next step. Next open up an Administrative command prompt and issue the following command: certutil -repairstore my 00a79ba1a49d916357d69f26b8ee79b5cb You should get a confirmation message that the repair worked. If you now go back to the certificate store you should now see the key icon show up on the certificate. Your certificate is fixed. Now go back into IIS Manager and refresh the list of certificates and if all goes well you should see all the certificates that showed in the cert store now: Remember – back up the key first then map to your site… Summary I deal with a lot of customers who run their own IIS servers, and I can’t tell you how often I hear about botched SSL installations. When I posted some of my issues on Twitter yesterday I got a hell storm of “me too” responses. I’m clearly not the only one, who’s run into this especially with renewals. I feel pretty comfortable with IIS configuration and I do a lot of it for support purposes, but the SSL configuration is one that never seems to go seamlessly. This blog post is meant as reminder to myself to read next time I do a renewal. So I can dot my i's and dash my t’s before I get caught in the mess I’m dealing with today. Hopefully some of you find this useful as well.© Rick Strahl, West Wind Technologies, 2005-2014Posted in IIS7  Security   Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); (function() { var po = document.createElement('script'); po.type = 'text/javascript'; po.async = true; po.src = 'https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s); })();

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  • Connecting to RDS database from EC2 instance using bind9 CNAME alias

    - by mptre
    I'm trying to get internal DNS up and running on a EC2 instance. The main goal is to be able to define CNAME aliases for other AWS services. For example: Instead of using the RDS endpoint, which might change over time, an alias mysql.company.int can be used instead. I'm using bind9 and here's my config files: /etc/bind/named.conf.local zone "company.int" { type master; file "/etc/bind/db.company.int"; }; /etc/bind/db.company.int ; $TTL 3600 @ IN SOA company.int. company.localhost. ( 20120617 ; Serial 604800 ; Refresh 86400 ; Retry 2419200 ; Expire 604800 ) ; Negative Cache TTL ; @ IN NS company.int. @ IN A 127.0.0.1 @ IN AAAA ::1 ; CNAME mysql IN CNAME xxxx.eu-west-1.rds.amazonaws.com. The dig command ensures me my alias is working as excepted: $ dig mysql.company.int ... ;; ANSWER SECTION: mysql.company.int. 3600 IN CNAME xxxx.eu-west-1.rds.amazonaws.com. xxxx.eu-west-1.rds.amazonaws.com. 60 IN CNAME ec2-yyy-yy-yy-yyy.eu-west-1.compute.amazonaws.com. ec2-yyy-yy-yy-yyy.eu-west-1.compute.amazonaws.com. 589575 IN A zzz.zz.zz.zzz ... As far as I can understand a reverse zone isn't needed for a simple CNAME alias. However when I try to connect to MySQL using my newly created alias the operation is giving me a timeout. $ mysql -uuser -ppassword -hmysql.company.int ERROR 2003 (HY000): Can't connect to MySQL server on 'mysql.company.int' (110) Any ideas? Thanks in advantage!

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  • Top Down RPG Movement w/ Correction?

    - by Corey Ogburn
    I would hope that we have all played Zelda: A Link to the Past, please correct me if I'm wrong, but I want to emulate that kind of 2D, top-down character movement with a touch of correction. It has been done in other games, but I feel this reference would be the easiest to relate to. More specifically the kind of movement and correction I'm talking about is: Floating movement not restricted to tile based movement like Pokemon and other games where one tap of the movement pad moves you one square in that cardinal direction. This floating movement should be able to achieve diagonal motion. If you're walking West and you come to a wall that is diagonal in a North East/South West fashion, you are corrected into a South West movement even if you continue holding left (West) on the controller. This should work for both diagonals correcting in both directions. If you're a few pixels off from walking squarely into a door or hallway, you are corrected into walking through the hall or down the hallway, i.e. bumping into the corner causes you to be pushed into the hall/door. I've hunted for efficient ways to achieve this and have had no luck. To be clear I'm talking about the human character's movement, not an NPC's movement. Are their resources available on this kind of movement? Equations or algorithms explained on a wiki or something? I'm using the XNA Framework, is there anything in it to help with this?

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  • Why am I having DNS problems going through Network Solutions DNS to Amazon AWS?

    - by BestPractices
    Network Solutions appears to have an issue with AWS hostnames. This AWS ELB has been out there for months and is resolvable from every major DNS provider but network solutions. Any idea as to why? WORKING (4.2.2.2 DNS) $ nslookup testloadbalancer-1761726467.us-west-2.elb.amazonaws.com Server: 4.2.2.5 Address: 4.2.2.5#53 Non-authoritative answer: Name: testloadbalancer-1761726467.us-west-2.elb.amazonaws.com Address: 50.112.251.201 NOT WORKING (Network Solutions DNS) $ nslookup testloadbalancer-1761726467.us-west-2.elb.amazonaws.com ns1.worldnic.com Server: ns1.worldnic.com Address: 205.178.190.1#53 ** server can't find testloadbalancer-1761726467.us-west-2.elb.amazonaws.com.localhost: SERVFAIL

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  • Oracle OpenWorld Countdown Begins

    - by Michelle Kimihira
    Oracle OpenWorld is a little over 3 weeks away and it is bigger than ever!  We are very excited to meet with you and share our exciting innovations around Oracle Fusion Middleware. To help you navigate, there will be a series of blogs to help you make the most out of the event. Thomas Kurian, Executive Vice President, Product Development will be delivering his keynote, “The Oracle Cloud: Oracle’s Cloud Platform and Applications Strategy” on Tuesday, October 2 at 8:00 AM – 9:45 AM in Moscone North, Hall D. Be sure to attend this session and gain insight on how Oracle’s complete suite of cloud applications are transforming how customers manage their businesses. Here are the top 5 Oracle Fusion Middleware General Sessions you don’t want to miss: Monday, 10/1 10:45 AM – 11:45 AM GEN9504 - General Session: Innovation Platform for Oracle Apps, Including Fusion Applications Amit Zavery, Vice President, Fusion Middleware Product Management Moscone West, 3002/3004 Monday, 10/1 1:45PM – 2:45 PM GEN11554 – General Session: Extend Oracle Applications to Mobile Devices with Oracle’s Mobile Technologies Moscone West, 3002/3004 Monday, 10/1 4:45 PM – 5:45 PM GEN11422 – General Session: Building and Managing a Private Oracle Java and Middleware Cloud Moscone West, 3014 Tuesday, 10/2 10:15 AM – 11:15 AM GEN9394 - General Session: Oracle Fusion Middleware Strategies Driving Business Innovation Hassan Rizvi, Executive Vice President of Product Development Moscone North, Hall D Tuesday, 10/2 11:45 AM – 12:45AM CON9162 – Oracle Fusion Middleware: Meet This Year’s Most Impressive Customer Projects Moscone West, 3001 Here is what else you can expect to see on the Oracle Fusion Middleware Blog leading up to Oracle OpenWorld 2012. §  Week of 10-14 September: Best of Oracle Fusion Middleware and Oracle Fusion Middleware for Enterprise Applications §  Week of 17-21 September: What to expect in Hassan Rizvi’s (Executive Vice President of Product Development) and Amit Zavery’s (Vice President of Product Management) sessions §  Week of 24-28 September: All Things Mobile and Fusion Middleware Lineup

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  • Oracle OpenWorld Series: Fusion Middleware for Enterprise Applications

    - by Michelle Kimihira
    Continuing from Tuesday’s Oracle OpenWorld Series: Best of Oracle Fusion Middleware blog, let’s focus on what Middleware sessions to attend if you are an Enterprise Applications customer. This Focus On document provides you a roadmap of must-attend sessions and demos. We also have a great line up of customers participating in Fusion Middleware sessions targeted to Enterprise Applications customers. Here are a few: Monday, 10/1 1:45 PM – 2:45 PM Intuit and Qualcomm join  CON9470 – Best Practices for Realizing Greater Returns from Oracle Fusion Middleware Projects Moscone West, 3003 Wednesday, 10/3 10:15 AM – 11:15 AM Cognizant joins CON9506 – Oracle Exalogic: The Best Choice for Running Your Applications Moscone West, 3003 Wednesday, 10/3 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM Ingersoll Rand joins CON9047 – Efficiently Scaling Oracle E-Business Suite on Oracle Exadata and Oracle Exalogic Moscone West, 2016 Thursday, 10/4 12:45 PM – 1:45 PM Allegis Group joins CON9048 – Harness the Power of Oracle Exadata and Oracle Exalogic with PeopleSoft Applications Moscone West, 3011 Additional Information ·         Relevant Blogs: Oracle OpenWorld Countdown Begins ,  Best of Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle OpenWorld Blog ·         Focus On Docs: Best of Oracle Fusion Middleware, Fusion Middleware for Enterprise Applications ·         Product Information on Oracle.com: Oracle Fusion Middleware ·         Subscribe to our regular Fusion Middleware Newsletter ·         Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

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  • How to find out which python script is using resources?

    - by Jesse the Wind Wanderer
    Can someone tell me how to find out which python script is using lots of system resources? I can see with the 'top' command that a process called "python" is always near the top of the list. 2603 jesse 20 0 159m 27m 13m S 6 1.4 1:47.74 python Can someone tell me how to find this specific python script's name? I could go through the arduous process of disabling startup apps/processes until I finally found the one that starts this python process but there must be a better way of determining what exactly this python process is, yes? Doing a ps -AH doesn't yield anything useful. ps -AH 1 ? 00:00:00 init ... 1325 ? 00:00:00 lightdm 1382 tty7 00:01:57 Xorg 2265 ? 00:00:00 lightdm 2510 ? 00:00:00 gnome-session 2546 ? 00:00:00 ssh-agent 2560 ? 00:00:02 gnome-settings- 2582 ? 00:00:01 syndaemon 2578 ? 00:00:49 compiz 3009 ? 00:00:00 sh 3010 ? 00:00:01 gtk-window-deco 2590 ? 00:00:00 nm-applet 2591 ? 00:00:00 bluetooth-apple 2592 ? 00:00:00 indicator-ubunt 2593 ? 00:00:00 gnome-fallback- 2600 ? 00:00:05 nautilus 2601 ? 00:00:00 everpad 2603 ? 00:02:24 python

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  • Oracle OpenWorld Interactive Customer Panels

    - by kellsey.ruppel
    Oracle OpenWorld attendees regularly report that their interactions with fellow Oracle customers represent the most valuable aspect of the conference. This year, four customer panels will promote these valuable Oracle WebCenter interactions, including:  Building Next-Generation Portals: An Interactive Customer Panel Discussion  (Wednesday, October 3, 5:00 p.m., Moscone West 3000, session ID# CON8900) With panelists from Aramark, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, Los Angeles Department of Building & Safety, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power and Siemens Healthcare Becoming a Social Business: Stories from the Front Lines of Change (Thursday, October 4, 11:15 a.m., Moscone West 3001, session ID# CON8899) Featuring University of Louisville Land Mines, Potholes, and Dirt Roads: Navigating the Way to Enterprise Content Management Nirvana  (Thursday, October 4, 12:45 p.m., Moscone West 3001, session ID# 8898) Including panelists from Critigen and Alberta, Canada's Department of Agricultural and Rural Development Using Web Experience Management to Drive Online Marketing Success (Thursday, October 4, 2:15 p.m., Moscone West 3001, session ID# CON8897)  Featuring panelists from Ancestry.com and Arbonne We hope you’ll join us to learn first-hand from Oracle WebCenter customers as they share best practices and lessons learned when implementing Oracle WebCenter. Looking for a guide of all the Oracle WebCenter sessions at Oracle OpenWorld? Be sure to download the Oracle WebCenter Focus OnGuide!

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  • Problem with OpenGL or Unity, need Gnome fallback mode

    - by William Wind
    This question is in two parts, and I have been searching the web for days to find answers. With no luck I thought I'd drop by and ask for your help. Here goes: 1.) I'm running Ubuntu 13.04 and one day last week Unity suddenly wound't work. After the login screen, I was either faced with an all black and non-responsive screen, or sometimes it booted and I could see my desktop wallpaper (and add and remove icons/folders from the desktop). But there was no menu in the left hand side and no top bar :-( However I could still enter the terminal. I borrowed my dad's laptop and looked for a solution online. About two days later I gave up (I'm still kind of a n00b at Linux) and found a way to install Gnome Fallback, via the terminal. When I used it, I had the same problem. [clue #1] Missing menues. But if I rebooted into Gnome Fallback mode with no effects. It worked. Great! I have used that for some days now, while still trying to fix the original problem with either Unity or OpenGl or whatever went wrong in the first place. With no luck. After giving up on my search for a fix (I know that came out wrong) -- I decided to reinstall Ubuntu 13.04 from a CD. But! After that I was left where I began. When booting into my account, it only shows the desktop wallpaper and the icons. I can click and enter the folders, but not go into the menues. Last time I fixed it with Gnome Fallback mode, because I could enter the terminal and the PC was automatically online, via wireless network. But not this time, I can't get online. So: 1.) How do I via the LiveCD Ubuntu version (the one I'm using right now) install Gnome Fallback unto the harddrive based system? 2.) If impossible. How can I access the wireless Internet via the terminal, so I can install Gnome Fallback, from the "broken" Unity session. 3.) Is there any other things that I should try? Please help me, PS: My GFX-card is an ATI Radeon something and I have install and used the "Redwood" drive (I think its called) for many weeks prior to the shutdown.

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  • AWT Textfield behaves weird with MicroSoft JVM

    - by AKh
    Hi, I am facing a weird problem when using MicroSoft JVM to run my Applet. I have an AWT panel with 4 textfields which is added to a dialog box. Everything goes fine until I enter a decimal value into the textfield and close the dialog box. When i reopen the dialog box the textfield inside the panel with all the decimal digits (entered in the previous step) behaves weird. The decimal values along with the WHITE area inside the textfield moves to the left and hides the digits. When I click inside the textfield it becomes normal. The Panel earlier had gridlayout and I even tried changing it to gridbaylayout and still the problem persist. NOTE: All Development are pertained to JRE1.1 to compatibility with MS JVM If any can help me with this it would be a great help. Thanks in advance. . . . . public MyPanel(Dialog myDialog) { Panel panel = new Panel(); this.dialog = myDialog; //Previous code with grid layout /* panel.setLayout(new GridLayout2(4,2,2,2)); panel.add(new Label("Symbol:")); panel.add(symbolField = new TextField("",20)); panel.add(new Label("Quantity:")); panel.add( qtyField = new TextField()); panel.add(new Label("Price per Share:")); panel.add( costField = new TextField()); panel.add(new Label("Date Acquired:")); panel.add( purchaseDate = new TextField() );*/ GridBagLayout gridbag = new GridBagLayout(); System.out.println("######## Created New GridBagLayout"); GridBagConstraints constraints = new GridBagConstraints(); panel.setLayout( gridbag ); constraints = buildConstraints( constraints, 0, 0, 1, 1, 1.5, 1 ); constraints.anchor = GridBagConstraints.WEST; constraints.fill = GridBagConstraints.HORIZONTAL; panel.add( new Label("Symbol:"), constraints); constraints = buildConstraints( constraints, 1, 0, 1, 1, 1.5, 1 ); constraints.anchor = GridBagConstraints.WEST; constraints.fill = GridBagConstraints.HORIZONTAL; panel.add( symbolField = new TextField("",20), constraints); constraints = buildConstraints( constraints, 0, 1, 1, 1, 1.5, 1 ); constraints.anchor = GridBagConstraints.WEST; constraints.fill = GridBagConstraints.HORIZONTAL; panel.add( new Label("Quantity:"), constraints); constraints = buildConstraints( constraints, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1.5, 1 ); constraints.anchor = GridBagConstraints.WEST; constraints.fill = GridBagConstraints.HORIZONTAL; panel.add( qtyField = new TextField(), constraints); constraints = buildConstraints( constraints, 0, 2, 1, 1, 1.5, 1 ); constraints.anchor = GridBagConstraints.WEST; constraints.fill = GridBagConstraints.HORIZONTAL; panel.add( new Label("Price per Share:"), constraints); constraints = buildConstraints( constraints, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1.5, 1 ); constraints.anchor = GridBagConstraints.WEST; constraints.fill = GridBagConstraints.HORIZONTAL; panel.add( costField = new TextField(), constraints); constraints = buildConstraints( constraints, 0, 3, 1, 1, 1.5, 1 ); constraints.anchor = GridBagConstraints.WEST; constraints.fill = GridBagConstraints.HORIZONTAL; panel.add( new Label("Date Acquired:"), constraints); constraints = buildConstraints( constraints, 1, 3, 1, 1, 1.5, 1 ); constraints.anchor = GridBagConstraints.WEST; constraints.fill = GridBagConstraints.HORIZONTAL; panel.add( purchaseDate = new TextField(), constraints); .............. ......... }

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  • Dynamic JSON Parsing in .NET with JsonValue

    - by Rick Strahl
    So System.Json has been around for a while in Silverlight, but it's relatively new for the desktop .NET framework and now moving into the lime-light with the pending release of ASP.NET Web API which is bringing a ton of attention to server side JSON usage. The JsonValue, JsonObject and JsonArray objects are going to be pretty useful for Web API applications as they allow you dynamically create and parse JSON values without explicit .NET types to serialize from or into. But even more so I think JsonValue et al. are going to be very useful when consuming JSON APIs from various services. Yes I know C# is strongly typed, why in the world would you want to use dynamic values? So many times I've needed to retrieve a small morsel of information from a large service JSON response and rather than having to map the entire type structure of what that service returns, JsonValue actually allows me to cherry pick and only work with the values I'm interested in, without having to explicitly create everything up front. With JavaScriptSerializer or DataContractJsonSerializer you always need to have a strong type to de-serialize JSON data into. Wouldn't it be nice if no explicit type was required and you could just parse the JSON directly using a very easy to use object syntax? That's exactly what JsonValue, JsonObject and JsonArray accomplish using a JSON parser and some sweet use of dynamic sauce to make it easy to access in code. Creating JSON on the fly with JsonValue Let's start with creating JSON on the fly. It's super easy to create a dynamic object structure. JsonValue uses the dynamic  keyword extensively to make it intuitive to create object structures and turn them into JSON via dynamic object syntax. Here's an example of creating a music album structure with child songs using JsonValue:[TestMethod] public void JsonValueOutputTest() { // strong type instance var jsonObject = new JsonObject(); // dynamic expando instance you can add properties to dynamic album = jsonObject; album.AlbumName = "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap"; album.Artist = "AC/DC"; album.YearReleased = 1977; album.Songs = new JsonArray() as dynamic; dynamic song = new JsonObject(); song.SongName = "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap"; song.SongLength = "4:11"; album.Songs.Add(song); song = new JsonObject(); song.SongName = "Love at First Feel"; song.SongLength = "3:10"; album.Songs.Add(song); Console.WriteLine(album.ToString()); } This produces proper JSON just as you would expect: {"AlbumName":"Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap","Artist":"AC\/DC","YearReleased":1977,"Songs":[{"SongName":"Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap","SongLength":"4:11"},{"SongName":"Love at First Feel","SongLength":"3:10"}]} The important thing about this code is that there's no explicitly type that is used for holding the values to serialize to JSON. I am essentially creating this value structure on the fly by adding properties and then serialize it to JSON. This means this code can be entirely driven at runtime without compile time restraints of structure for the JSON output. Here I use JsonObject() to create a new object and immediately cast it to dynamic. JsonObject() is kind of similar in behavior to ExpandoObject in that it allows you to add properties by simply assigning to them. Internally, JsonValue/JsonObject these values are stored in pseudo collections of key value pairs that are exposed as properties through the DynamicObject functionality in .NET. The syntax gets a little tedious only if you need to create child objects or arrays that have to be explicitly defined first. Other than that the syntax looks like normal object access sytnax. Always remember though these values are dynamic - which means no Intellisense and no compiler type checking. It's up to you to ensure that the values you create are accessed consistently and without typos in your code. Note that you can also access the JsonValue instance directly and get access to the underlying type. This means you can assign properties by string, which can be useful for fully data driven JSON generation from other structures. Below you can see both styles of access next to each other:// strong type instance var jsonObject = new JsonObject(); // you can explicitly add values here jsonObject.Add("Entered", DateTime.Now); // expando style instance you can just 'use' properties dynamic album = jsonObject; album.AlbumName = "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap"; JsonValue internally stores properties keys and values in collections and you can iterate over them at runtime. You can also manipulate the collections if you need to to get the object structure to look exactly like you want. Again, if you've used ExpandoObject before JsonObject/Value are very similar in the behavior of the structure. Reading JSON strings into JsonValue The JsonValue structure supports importing JSON via the Parse() and Load() methods which can read JSON data from a string or various streams respectively. Essentially JsonValue includes the core JSON parsing to turn a JSON string into a collection of JsonValue objects that can be then referenced using familiar dynamic object syntax. Here's a simple example:[TestMethod] public void JsonValueParsingTest() { var jsonString = @"{""Name"":""Rick"",""Company"":""West Wind"",""Entered"":""2012-03-16T00:03:33.245-10:00""}"; dynamic json = JsonValue.Parse(jsonString); // values require casting string name = json.Name; string company = json.Company; DateTime entered = json.Entered; Assert.AreEqual(name, "Rick"); Assert.AreEqual(company, "West Wind"); } The JSON string represents an object with three properties which is parsed into a JsonValue object and cast to dynamic. Once cast to dynamic I can then go ahead and access the object using familiar object syntax. Note that the actual values - json.Name, json.Company, json.Entered - are actually of type JsonPrimitive and I have to assign them to their appropriate types first before I can do type comparisons. The dynamic properties will automatically cast to the right type expected as long as the compiler can resolve the type of the assignment or usage. The AreEqual() method oesn't as it expects two object instances and comparing json.Company to "West Wind" is comparing two different types (JsonPrimitive to String) which fails. So the intermediary assignment is required to make the test pass. The JSON structure can be much more complex than this simple example. Here's another example of an array of albums serialized to JSON and then parsed through with JsonValue():[TestMethod] public void JsonArrayParsingTest() { var jsonString = @"[ { ""Id"": ""b3ec4e5c"", ""AlbumName"": ""Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap"", ""Artist"": ""AC/DC"", ""YearReleased"": 1977, ""Entered"": ""2012-03-16T00:13:12.2810521-10:00"", ""AlbumImageUrl"": ""http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61kTaH-uZBL._AA115_.jpg"", ""AmazonUrl"": ""http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00008BXJ4/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=westwindtechn-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00008BXJ4"", ""Songs"": [ { ""AlbumId"": ""b3ec4e5c"", ""SongName"": ""Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap"", ""SongLength"": ""4:11"" }, { ""AlbumId"": ""b3ec4e5c"", ""SongName"": ""Love at First Feel"", ""SongLength"": ""3:10"" }, { ""AlbumId"": ""b3ec4e5c"", ""SongName"": ""Big Balls"", ""SongLength"": ""2:38"" } ] }, { ""Id"": ""67280fb8"", ""AlbumName"": ""Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace"", ""Artist"": ""Foo Fighters"", ""YearReleased"": 2007, ""Entered"": ""2012-03-16T00:13:12.2810521-10:00"", ""AlbumImageUrl"": ""http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41mtlesQPVL._SL500_AA280_.jpg"", ""AmazonUrl"": ""http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000UFAURI/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=westwindtechn-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000UFAURI"", ""Songs"": [ { ""AlbumId"": ""67280fb8"", ""SongName"": ""The Pretender"", ""SongLength"": ""4:29"" }, { ""AlbumId"": ""67280fb8"", ""SongName"": ""Let it Die"", ""SongLength"": ""4:05"" }, { ""AlbumId"": ""67280fb8"", ""SongName"": ""Erase/Replay"", ""SongLength"": ""4:13"" } ] }, { ""Id"": ""7b919432"", ""AlbumName"": ""End of the Silence"", ""Artist"": ""Henry Rollins Band"", ""YearReleased"": 1992, ""Entered"": ""2012-03-16T00:13:12.2800521-10:00"", ""AlbumImageUrl"": ""http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51FO3rb1tuL._SL160_AA160_.jpg"", ""AmazonUrl"": ""http://www.amazon.com/End-Silence-Rollins-Band/dp/B0000040OX/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1302232195&sr=8-5"", ""Songs"": [ { ""AlbumId"": ""7b919432"", ""SongName"": ""Low Self Opinion"", ""SongLength"": ""5:24"" }, { ""AlbumId"": ""7b919432"", ""SongName"": ""Grip"", ""SongLength"": ""4:51"" } ] } ]"; dynamic albums = JsonValue.Parse(jsonString); foreach (dynamic album in albums) { Console.WriteLine(album.AlbumName + " (" + album.YearReleased.ToString() + ")"); foreach (dynamic song in album.Songs) { Console.WriteLine("\t" + song.SongName ); } } Console.WriteLine(albums[0].AlbumName); Console.WriteLine(albums[0].Songs[1].SongName);}   It's pretty sweet how easy it becomes to parse even complex JSON and then just run through the object using object syntax, yet without an explicit type in the mix. In fact it looks and feels a lot like if you were using JavaScript to parse through this data, doesn't it? And that's the point…© Rick Strahl, West Wind Technologies, 2005-2012Posted in .NET  Web Api  JSON   Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); (function() { var po = document.createElement('script'); po.type = 'text/javascript'; po.async = true; po.src = 'https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s); })();

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  • A Closable jQuery Plug-in

    - by Rick Strahl
    In my client side development I deal a lot with content that pops over the main page. Be it data entry ‘windows’ or dialogs or simple pop up notes. In most cases this behavior goes with draggable windows, but sometimes it’s also useful to have closable behavior on static page content that the user can choose to hide or otherwise make invisible or fade out. Here’s a small jQuery plug-in that provides .closable() behavior to most elements by using either an image that is provided or – more appropriately by using a CSS class to define the picture box layout. /* * * Closable * * Makes selected DOM elements closable by making them * invisible when close icon is clicked * * Version 1.01 * @requires jQuery v1.3 or later * * Copyright (c) 2007-2010 Rick Strahl * http://www.west-wind.com/ * * Licensed under the MIT license: * http://www.opensource.org/licenses/mit-license.php Support CSS: .closebox { position: absolute; right: 4px; top: 4px; background-image: url(images/close.gif); background-repeat: no-repeat; width: 14px; height: 14px; cursor: pointer; opacity: 0.60; filter: alpha(opacity="80"); } .closebox:hover { opacity: 0.95; filter: alpha(opacity="100"); } Options: * handle Element to place closebox into (like say a header). Use if main element and closebox container are two different elements. * closeHandler Function called when the close box is clicked. Return true to close the box return false to keep it visible. * cssClass The CSS class to apply to the close box DIV or IMG tag. * imageUrl Allows you to specify an explicit IMG url that displays the close icon. If used bypasses CSS image styling. * fadeOut Optional provide fadeOut speed. Default no fade out occurs */ (function ($) { $.fn.closable = function (options) { var opt = { handle: null, closeHandler: null, cssClass: "closebox", imageUrl: null, fadeOut: null }; $.extend(opt, options); return this.each(function (i) { var el = $(this); var pos = el.css("position"); if (!pos || pos == "static") el.css("position", "relative"); var h = opt.handle ? $(opt.handle).css({ position: "relative" }) : el; var div = opt.imageUrl ? $("<img>").attr("src", opt.imageUrl).css("cursor", "pointer") : $("<div>"); div.addClass(opt.cssClass) .click(function (e) { if (opt.closeHandler) if (!opt.closeHandler.call(this, e)) return; if (opt.fadeOut) $(el).fadeOut(opt.fadeOut); else $(el).hide(); }); if (opt.imageUrl) div.css("background-image", "none"); h.append(div); }); } })(jQuery); The plugin can be applied against any selector that is a container (typically a div tag). The close image or close box is provided typically by way of a CssClass - .closebox by default – which supplies the image as part of the CSS styling. The default styling for the box looks something like this: .closebox { position: absolute; right: 4px; top: 4px; background-image: url(images/close.gif); background-repeat: no-repeat; width: 14px; height: 14px; cursor: pointer; opacity: 0.60; filter: alpha(opacity="80"); } .closebox:hover { opacity: 0.95; filter: alpha(opacity="100"); } Alternately you can also supply an image URL which overrides the background image in the style sheet. I use this plug-in mostly on pop up windows that can be closed, but it’s also quite handy for remove/delete behavior in list displays like this: you can find this sample here to look to play along: http://www.west-wind.com/WestwindWebToolkit/Samples/Ajax/AmazonBooks/BooksAdmin.aspx For closable windows it’s nice to have something reusable because in my client framework there are lots of different kinds of windows that can be created: Draggables, Modal Dialogs, HoverPanels etc. and they all use the client .closable plug-in to provide the closable operation in the same way with a few options. Plug-ins are great for this sort of thing because they can also be aggregated and so different components can pick and choose the behavior they want. The window here is a draggable, that’s closable and has shadow behavior and the server control can simply generate the appropriate plug-ins to apply to the main <div> tag: $().ready(function() { $('#ctl00_MainContent_panEditBook') .closable({ handle: $('#divEditBook_Header') }) .draggable({ dragDelay: 100, handle: '#divEditBook_Header' }) .shadow({ opacity: 0.25, offset: 6 }); }) The window is using the default .closebox style and has its handle set to the header bar (Book Information). The window is just closable to go away so no event handler is applied. Actually I cheated – the actual page’s .closable is a bit more ugly in the sample as it uses an image from a resources file: .closable({ imageUrl: '/WestWindWebToolkit/Samples/WebResource.axd?d=TooLongAndNastyToPrint', handle: $('#divEditBook_Header')}) so you can see how to apply a custom image, which in this case is generated by the server control wrapping the client DragPanel. More interesting maybe is to apply the .closable behavior to list scenarios. For example, each of the individual items in the list display also are .closable using this plug-in. Rather than having to define each item with Html for an image, event handler and link, when the client template is rendered the closable behavior is attached to the list. Here I’m using client-templating and the code that this is done with looks like this: function loadBooks() { showProgress(); // Clear the content $("#divBookListWrapper").empty(); var filter = $("#" + scriptVars.lstFiltersId).val(); Proxy.GetBooks(filter, function(books) { $(books).each(function(i) { updateBook(this); showProgress(true); }); }, onPageError); } function updateBook(book,highlight) { // try to retrieve the single item in the list by tag attribute id var item = $(".bookitem[tag=" +book.Pk +"]"); // grab and evaluate the template var html = parseTemplate(template, book); var newItem = $(html) .attr("tag", book.Pk.toString()) .click(function() { var pk = $(this).attr("tag"); editBook(this, parseInt(pk)); }) .closable({ closeHandler: function(e) { removeBook(this, e); }, imageUrl: "../../images/remove.gif" }); if (item.length > 0) item.after(newItem).remove(); else newItem.appendTo($("#divBookListWrapper")); if (highlight) { newItem .addClass("pulse") .effect("bounce", { distance: 15, times: 3 }, 400); setTimeout(function() { newItem.removeClass("pulse"); }, 1200); } } Here the closable behavior is applied to each of the items along with an event handler, which is nice and easy compared to having to embed the right HTML and click handling into each item in the list individually via markup. Ideally though (and these posts make me realize this often a little late) I probably should set up a custom cssClass to handle the rendering – maybe a CSS class called .removebox that only changes the image from the default box image. This example also hooks up an event handler that is fired in response to the close. In the list I need to know when the remove button is clicked so I can fire of a service call to the server to actually remove the item from the database. The handler code can also return false; to indicate that the window should not be closed optionally. Returning true will close the window. You can find more information about the .closable class behavior and options here: .closable Documentation Plug-ins make Server Control JavaScript much easier I find this plug-in immensely useful especial as part of server control code, because it simplifies the code that has to be generated server side tremendously. This is true of plug-ins in general which make it so much easier to create simple server code that only generates plug-in options, rather than full blocks of JavaScript code.  For example, here’s the relevant code from the DragPanel server control which generates the .closable() behavior: if (this.Closable && !string.IsNullOrEmpty(DragHandleID) ) { string imageUrl = this.CloseBoxImage; if (imageUrl == "WebResource" ) imageUrl = ScriptProxy.GetWebResourceUrl(this, this.GetType(), ControlResources.CLOSE_ICON_RESOURCE); StringBuilder closableOptions = new StringBuilder("imageUrl: '" + imageUrl + "'"); if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(this.DragHandleID)) closableOptions.Append(",handle: $('#" + this.DragHandleID + "')"); if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(this.ClientDialogHandler)) closableOptions.Append(",handler: " + this.ClientDialogHandler); if (this.FadeOnClose) closableOptions.Append(",fadeOut: 'slow'"); startupScript.Append(@" .closable({ " + closableOptions + "})"); } The same sort of block is then used for .draggable and .shadow which simply sets options. Compared to the code I used to have in pre-jQuery versions of my JavaScript toolkit this is a walk in the park. In those days there was a bunch of JS generation which was ugly to say the least. I know a lot of folks frown on using server controls, especially the UI is client centric as the example is. However, I do feel that server controls can greatly simplify the process of getting the right behavior attached more easily and with the help of IntelliSense. Often the script markup is easier is especially if you are dealing with complex, multiple plug-in associations that often express more easily with property values on a control. Regardless of whether server controls are your thing or not this plug-in can be useful in many scenarios. Even in simple client-only scenarios using a plug-in with a few simple parameters is nicer and more consistent than creating the HTML markup over and over again. I hope some of you find this even a small bit as useful as I have. Related Links Download jquery.closable West Wind Web Toolkit jQuery Plug-ins © Rick Strahl, West Wind Technologies, 2005-2010Posted in jQuery   ASP.NET  JavaScript  

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  • A Closable jQuery Plug-in

    - by Rick Strahl
    In my client side development I deal a lot with content that pops over the main page. Be it data entry ‘windows’ or dialogs or simple pop up notes. In most cases this behavior goes with draggable windows, but sometimes it’s also useful to have closable behavior on static page content that the user can choose to hide or otherwise make invisible or fade out. Here’s a small jQuery plug-in that provides .closable() behavior to most elements by using either an image that is provided or – more appropriately by using a CSS class to define the picture box layout. /* * * Closable * * Makes selected DOM elements closable by making them * invisible when close icon is clicked * * Version 1.01 * @requires jQuery v1.3 or later * * Copyright (c) 2007-2010 Rick Strahl * http://www.west-wind.com/ * * Licensed under the MIT license: * http://www.opensource.org/licenses/mit-license.php Support CSS: .closebox { position: absolute; right: 4px; top: 4px; background-image: url(images/close.gif); background-repeat: no-repeat; width: 14px; height: 14px; cursor: pointer; opacity: 0.60; filter: alpha(opacity="80"); } .closebox:hover { opacity: 0.95; filter: alpha(opacity="100"); } Options: * handle Element to place closebox into (like say a header). Use if main element and closebox container are two different elements. * closeHandler Function called when the close box is clicked. Return true to close the box return false to keep it visible. * cssClass The CSS class to apply to the close box DIV or IMG tag. * imageUrl Allows you to specify an explicit IMG url that displays the close icon. If used bypasses CSS image styling. * fadeOut Optional provide fadeOut speed. Default no fade out occurs */ (function ($) { $.fn.closable = function (options) { var opt = { handle: null, closeHandler: null, cssClass: "closebox", imageUrl: null, fadeOut: null }; $.extend(opt, options); return this.each(function (i) { var el = $(this); var pos = el.css("position"); if (!pos || pos == "static") el.css("position", "relative"); var h = opt.handle ? $(opt.handle).css({ position: "relative" }) : el; var div = opt.imageUrl ? $("<img>").attr("src", opt.imageUrl).css("cursor", "pointer") : $("<div>"); div.addClass(opt.cssClass) .click(function (e) { if (opt.closeHandler) if (!opt.closeHandler.call(this, e)) return; if (opt.fadeOut) $(el).fadeOut(opt.fadeOut); else $(el).hide(); }); if (opt.imageUrl) div.css("background-image", "none"); h.append(div); }); } })(jQuery); The plugin can be applied against any selector that is a container (typically a div tag). The close image or close box is provided typically by way of a CssClass - .closebox by default – which supplies the image as part of the CSS styling. The default styling for the box looks something like this: .closebox { position: absolute; right: 4px; top: 4px; background-image: url(images/close.gif); background-repeat: no-repeat; width: 14px; height: 14px; cursor: pointer; opacity: 0.60; filter: alpha(opacity="80"); } .closebox:hover { opacity: 0.95; filter: alpha(opacity="100"); } Alternately you can also supply an image URL which overrides the background image in the style sheet. I use this plug-in mostly on pop up windows that can be closed, but it’s also quite handy for remove/delete behavior in list displays like this: you can find this sample here to look to play along: http://www.west-wind.com/WestwindWebToolkit/Samples/Ajax/AmazonBooks/BooksAdmin.aspx For closable windows it’s nice to have something reusable because in my client framework there are lots of different kinds of windows that can be created: Draggables, Modal Dialogs, HoverPanels etc. and they all use the client .closable plug-in to provide the closable operation in the same way with a few options. Plug-ins are great for this sort of thing because they can also be aggregated and so different components can pick and choose the behavior they want. The window here is a draggable, that’s closable and has shadow behavior and the server control can simply generate the appropriate plug-ins to apply to the main <div> tag: $().ready(function() { $('#ctl00_MainContent_panEditBook') .closable({ handle: $('#divEditBook_Header') }) .draggable({ dragDelay: 100, handle: '#divEditBook_Header' }) .shadow({ opacity: 0.25, offset: 6 }); }) The window is using the default .closebox style and has its handle set to the header bar (Book Information). The window is just closable to go away so no event handler is applied. Actually I cheated – the actual page’s .closable is a bit more ugly in the sample as it uses an image from a resources file: .closable({ imageUrl: '/WestWindWebToolkit/Samples/WebResource.axd?d=TooLongAndNastyToPrint', handle: $('#divEditBook_Header')}) so you can see how to apply a custom image, which in this case is generated by the server control wrapping the client DragPanel. More interesting maybe is to apply the .closable behavior to list scenarios. For example, each of the individual items in the list display also are .closable using this plug-in. Rather than having to define each item with Html for an image, event handler and link, when the client template is rendered the closable behavior is attached to the list. Here I’m using client-templating and the code that this is done with looks like this: function loadBooks() { showProgress(); // Clear the content $("#divBookListWrapper").empty(); var filter = $("#" + scriptVars.lstFiltersId).val(); Proxy.GetBooks(filter, function(books) { $(books).each(function(i) { updateBook(this); showProgress(true); }); }, onPageError); } function updateBook(book,highlight) { // try to retrieve the single item in the list by tag attribute id var item = $(".bookitem[tag=" +book.Pk +"]"); // grab and evaluate the template var html = parseTemplate(template, book); var newItem = $(html) .attr("tag", book.Pk.toString()) .click(function() { var pk = $(this).attr("tag"); editBook(this, parseInt(pk)); }) .closable({ closeHandler: function(e) { removeBook(this, e); }, imageUrl: "../../images/remove.gif" }); if (item.length > 0) item.after(newItem).remove(); else newItem.appendTo($("#divBookListWrapper")); if (highlight) { newItem .addClass("pulse") .effect("bounce", { distance: 15, times: 3 }, 400); setTimeout(function() { newItem.removeClass("pulse"); }, 1200); } } Here the closable behavior is applied to each of the items along with an event handler, which is nice and easy compared to having to embed the right HTML and click handling into each item in the list individually via markup. Ideally though (and these posts make me realize this often a little late) I probably should set up a custom cssClass to handle the rendering – maybe a CSS class called .removebox that only changes the image from the default box image. This example also hooks up an event handler that is fired in response to the close. In the list I need to know when the remove button is clicked so I can fire of a service call to the server to actually remove the item from the database. The handler code can also return false; to indicate that the window should not be closed optionally. Returning true will close the window. You can find more information about the .closable class behavior and options here: .closable Documentation Plug-ins make Server Control JavaScript much easier I find this plug-in immensely useful especial as part of server control code, because it simplifies the code that has to be generated server side tremendously. This is true of plug-ins in general which make it so much easier to create simple server code that only generates plug-in options, rather than full blocks of JavaScript code.  For example, here’s the relevant code from the DragPanel server control which generates the .closable() behavior: if (this.Closable && !string.IsNullOrEmpty(DragHandleID) ) { string imageUrl = this.CloseBoxImage; if (imageUrl == "WebResource" ) imageUrl = ScriptProxy.GetWebResourceUrl(this, this.GetType(), ControlResources.CLOSE_ICON_RESOURCE); StringBuilder closableOptions = new StringBuilder("imageUrl: '" + imageUrl + "'"); if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(this.DragHandleID)) closableOptions.Append(",handle: $('#" + this.DragHandleID + "')"); if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(this.ClientDialogHandler)) closableOptions.Append(",handler: " + this.ClientDialogHandler); if (this.FadeOnClose) closableOptions.Append(",fadeOut: 'slow'"); startupScript.Append(@" .closable({ " + closableOptions + "})"); } The same sort of block is then used for .draggable and .shadow which simply sets options. Compared to the code I used to have in pre-jQuery versions of my JavaScript toolkit this is a walk in the park. In those days there was a bunch of JS generation which was ugly to say the least. I know a lot of folks frown on using server controls, especially the UI is client centric as the example is. However, I do feel that server controls can greatly simplify the process of getting the right behavior attached more easily and with the help of IntelliSense. Often the script markup is easier is especially if you are dealing with complex, multiple plug-in associations that often express more easily with property values on a control. Regardless of whether server controls are your thing or not this plug-in can be useful in many scenarios. Even in simple client-only scenarios using a plug-in with a few simple parameters is nicer and more consistent than creating the HTML markup over and over again. I hope some of you find this even a small bit as useful as I have. Related Links Download jquery.closable West Wind Web Toolkit jQuery Plug-ins © Rick Strahl, West Wind Technologies, 2005-2010Posted in jQuery   ASP.NET  JavaScript  

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  • Retrieve the full ASP.NET Form Buffer as a String

    - by Rick Strahl
    Did it again today: For logging purposes I needed to capture the full Request.Form data as a string and while it’s pretty easy to retrieve the buffer it always takes me a few minutes to remember how to do it. So I finally wrote a small helper function to accomplish this since this comes up rather frequently especially in debugging scenarios or in the immediate window. Here’s the quick function to get the form buffer as string: /// <summary> /// Returns the content of the POST buffer as string /// </summary> /// <returns></returns> public static string FormBufferToString() { HttpRequest Request = HttpContext.Current.Request; if (Request.TotalBytes > 0) return Encoding.Default.GetString(Request.BinaryRead(Request.TotalBytes)); return string.Empty; } Clearly a simple task, but handy to have in your library for reuse. You probably don’t want to call this if you have a massive inbound form buffer, or if the data you’re retrieving is binary. It’s probably a good idea to check the inbound content type before calling this function with something like this: var formBuffer = string.Empty; if (Request.ContentType.StartsWith("text/") || Request.ContentType == "application/x-www-form-urlencoded") ) { formBuffer = FormBufferToString(); } to ensure you’re working only on content types you can actually view as text. Now if I can only remember the name of this function in my library – it’s part of the static WebUtils class in the West Wind Web Toolkit if you want to check out a number of other useful Web helper functions.© Rick Strahl, West Wind Technologies, 2005-2011Posted in ASP.NET  

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  • Using an alternate JSON Serializer in ASP.NET Web API

    - by Rick Strahl
    The new ASP.NET Web API that Microsoft released alongside MVC 4.0 Beta last week is a great framework for building REST and AJAX APIs. I've been working with it for quite a while now and I really like the way it works and the complete set of features it provides 'in the box'. It's about time that Microsoft gets a decent API for building generic HTTP endpoints into the framework. DataContractJsonSerializer sucks As nice as Web API's overall design is one thing still sucks: The built-in JSON Serialization uses the DataContractJsonSerializer which is just too limiting for many scenarios. The biggest issues I have with it are: No support for untyped values (object, dynamic, Anonymous Types) MS AJAX style Date Formatting Ugly serialization formats for types like Dictionaries To me the most serious issue is dealing with serialization of untyped objects. I have number of applications with AJAX front ends that dynamically reformat data from business objects to fit a specific message format that certain UI components require. The most common scenario I have there are IEnumerable query results from a database with fields from the result set rearranged to fit the sometimes unconventional formats required for the UI components (like jqGrid for example). Creating custom types to fit these messages seems like overkill and projections using Linq makes this much easier to code up. Alas DataContractJsonSerializer doesn't support it. Neither does DataContractSerializer for XML output for that matter. What this means is that you can't do stuff like this in Web API out of the box:public object GetAnonymousType() { return new { name = "Rick", company = "West Wind", entered= DateTime.Now }; } Basically anything that doesn't have an explicit type DataContractJsonSerializer will not let you return. FWIW, the same is true for XmlSerializer which also doesn't work with non-typed values for serialization. The example above is obviously contrived with a hardcoded object graph, but it's not uncommon to get dynamic values returned from queries that have anonymous types for their result projections. Apparently there's a good possibility that Microsoft will ship Json.NET as part of Web API RTM release.  Scott Hanselman confirmed this as a footnote in his JSON Dates post a few days ago. I've heard several other people from Microsoft confirm that Json.NET will be included and be the default JSON serializer, but no details yet in what capacity it will show up. Let's hope it ends up as the default in the box. Meanwhile this post will show you how you can use it today with the beta and get JSON that matches what you should see in the RTM version. What about JsonValue? To be fair Web API DOES include a new JsonValue/JsonObject/JsonArray type that allow you to address some of these scenarios. JsonValue is a new type in the System.Json assembly that can be used to build up an object graph based on a dictionary. It's actually a really cool implementation of a dynamic type that allows you to create an object graph and spit it out to JSON without having to create .NET type first. JsonValue can also receive a JSON string and parse it without having to actually load it into a .NET type (which is something that's been missing in the core framework). This is really useful if you get a JSON result from an arbitrary service and you don't want to explicitly create a mapping type for the data returned. For serialization you can create an object structure on the fly and pass it back as part of an Web API action method like this:public JsonValue GetJsonValue() { dynamic json = new JsonObject(); json.name = "Rick"; json.company = "West Wind"; json.entered = DateTime.Now; dynamic address = new JsonObject(); address.street = "32 Kaiea"; address.zip = "96779"; json.address = address; dynamic phones = new JsonArray(); json.phoneNumbers = phones; dynamic phone = new JsonObject(); phone.type = "Home"; phone.number = "808 123-1233"; phones.Add(phone); phone = new JsonObject(); phone.type = "Home"; phone.number = "808 123-1233"; phones.Add(phone); //var jsonString = json.ToString(); return json; } which produces the following output (formatted here for easier reading):{ name: "rick", company: "West Wind", entered: "2012-03-08T15:33:19.673-10:00", address: { street: "32 Kaiea", zip: "96779" }, phoneNumbers: [ { type: "Home", number: "808 123-1233" }, { type: "Mobile", number: "808 123-1234" }] } If you need to build a simple JSON type on the fly these types work great. But if you have an existing type - or worse a query result/list that's already formatted JsonValue et al. become a pain to work with. As far as I can see there's no way to just throw an object instance at JsonValue and have it convert into JsonValue dictionary. It's a manual process. Using alternate Serializers in Web API So, currently the default serializer in WebAPI is DataContractJsonSeriaizer and I don't like it. You may not either, but luckily you can swap the serializer fairly easily. If you'd rather use the JavaScriptSerializer built into System.Web.Extensions or Json.NET today, it's not too difficult to create a custom MediaTypeFormatter that uses these serializers and can replace or partially replace the native serializer. Here's a MediaTypeFormatter implementation using the ASP.NET JavaScriptSerializer:using System; using System.Net.Http.Formatting; using System.Threading.Tasks; using System.Web.Script.Serialization; using System.Json; using System.IO; namespace Westwind.Web.WebApi { public class JavaScriptSerializerFormatter : MediaTypeFormatter { public JavaScriptSerializerFormatter() { SupportedMediaTypes.Add(new System.Net.Http.Headers.MediaTypeHeaderValue("application/json")); } protected override bool CanWriteType(Type type) { // don't serialize JsonValue structure use default for that if (type == typeof(JsonValue) || type == typeof(JsonObject) || type== typeof(JsonArray) ) return false; return true; } protected override bool CanReadType(Type type) { if (type == typeof(IKeyValueModel)) return false; return true; } protected override System.Threading.Tasks.Taskobject OnReadFromStreamAsync(Type type, System.IO.Stream stream, System.Net.Http.Headers.HttpContentHeaders contentHeaders, FormatterContext formatterContext) { var task = Taskobject.Factory.StartNew(() = { var ser = new JavaScriptSerializer(); string json; using (var sr = new StreamReader(stream)) { json = sr.ReadToEnd(); sr.Close(); } object val = ser.Deserialize(json,type); return val; }); return task; } protected override System.Threading.Tasks.Task OnWriteToStreamAsync(Type type, object value, System.IO.Stream stream, System.Net.Http.Headers.HttpContentHeaders contentHeaders, FormatterContext formatterContext, System.Net.TransportContext transportContext) { var task = Task.Factory.StartNew( () = { var ser = new JavaScriptSerializer(); var json = ser.Serialize(value); byte[] buf = System.Text.Encoding.Default.GetBytes(json); stream.Write(buf,0,buf.Length); stream.Flush(); }); return task; } } } Formatter implementation is pretty simple: You override 4 methods to tell which types you can handle and then handle the input or output streams to create/parse the JSON data. Note that when creating output you want to take care to still allow JsonValue/JsonObject/JsonArray types to be handled by the default serializer so those objects serialize properly - if you let either JavaScriptSerializer or JSON.NET handle them they'd try to render the dictionaries which is very undesirable. If you'd rather use Json.NET here's the JSON.NET version of the formatter:// this code requires a reference to JSON.NET in your project #if true using System; using System.Net.Http.Formatting; using System.Threading.Tasks; using System.Web.Script.Serialization; using System.Json; using Newtonsoft.Json; using System.IO; using Newtonsoft.Json.Converters; namespace Westwind.Web.WebApi { public class JsonNetFormatter : MediaTypeFormatter { public JsonNetFormatter() { SupportedMediaTypes.Add(new System.Net.Http.Headers.MediaTypeHeaderValue("application/json")); } protected override bool CanWriteType(Type type) { // don't serialize JsonValue structure use default for that if (type == typeof(JsonValue) || type == typeof(JsonObject) || type == typeof(JsonArray)) return false; return true; } protected override bool CanReadType(Type type) { if (type == typeof(IKeyValueModel)) return false; return true; } protected override System.Threading.Tasks.Taskobject OnReadFromStreamAsync(Type type, System.IO.Stream stream, System.Net.Http.Headers.HttpContentHeaders contentHeaders, FormatterContext formatterContext) { var task = Taskobject.Factory.StartNew(() = { var settings = new JsonSerializerSettings() { NullValueHandling = NullValueHandling.Ignore, }; var sr = new StreamReader(stream); var jreader = new JsonTextReader(sr); var ser = new JsonSerializer(); ser.Converters.Add(new IsoDateTimeConverter()); object val = ser.Deserialize(jreader, type); return val; }); return task; } protected override System.Threading.Tasks.Task OnWriteToStreamAsync(Type type, object value, System.IO.Stream stream, System.Net.Http.Headers.HttpContentHeaders contentHeaders, FormatterContext formatterContext, System.Net.TransportContext transportContext) { var task = Task.Factory.StartNew( () = { var settings = new JsonSerializerSettings() { NullValueHandling = NullValueHandling.Ignore, }; string json = JsonConvert.SerializeObject(value, Formatting.Indented, new JsonConverter[1] { new IsoDateTimeConverter() } ); byte[] buf = System.Text.Encoding.Default.GetBytes(json); stream.Write(buf,0,buf.Length); stream.Flush(); }); return task; } } } #endif   One advantage of the Json.NET serializer is that you can specify a few options on how things are formatted and handled. You get null value handling and you can plug in the IsoDateTimeConverter which is nice to product proper ISO dates that I would expect any Json serializer to output these days. Hooking up the Formatters Once you've created the custom formatters you need to enable them for your Web API application. To do this use the GlobalConfiguration.Configuration object and add the formatter to the Formatters collection. Here's what this looks like hooked up from Application_Start in a Web project:protected void Application_Start(object sender, EventArgs e) { // Action based routing (used for RPC calls) RouteTable.Routes.MapHttpRoute( name: "StockApi", routeTemplate: "stocks/{action}/{symbol}", defaults: new { symbol = RouteParameter.Optional, controller = "StockApi" } ); // WebApi Configuration to hook up formatters and message handlers // optional RegisterApis(GlobalConfiguration.Configuration); } public static void RegisterApis(HttpConfiguration config) { // Add JavaScriptSerializer formatter instead - add at top to make default //config.Formatters.Insert(0, new JavaScriptSerializerFormatter()); // Add Json.net formatter - add at the top so it fires first! // This leaves the old one in place so JsonValue/JsonObject/JsonArray still are handled config.Formatters.Insert(0, new JsonNetFormatter()); } One thing to remember here is the GlobalConfiguration object which is Web API's static configuration instance. I think this thing is seriously misnamed given that GlobalConfiguration could stand for anything and so is hard to discover if you don't know what you're looking for. How about WebApiConfiguration or something more descriptive? Anyway, once you know what it is you can use the Formatters collection to insert your custom formatter. Note that I insert my formatter at the top of the list so it takes precedence over the default formatter. I also am not removing the old formatter because I still want JsonValue/JsonObject/JsonArray to be handled by the default serialization mechanism. Since they process in sequence and I exclude processing for these types JsonValue et al. still get properly serialized/deserialized. Summary Currently DataContractJsonSerializer in Web API is a pain, but at least we have the ability with relatively limited effort to replace the MediaTypeFormatter and plug in our own JSON serializer. This is useful for many scenarios - if you have existing client applications that used MVC JsonResult or ASP.NET AJAX results from ASMX AJAX services you can plug in the JavaScript serializer and get exactly the same serializer you used in the past so your results will be the same and don't potentially break clients. JSON serializers do vary a bit in how they serialize some of the more complex types (like Dictionaries and dates for example) and so if you're migrating it might be helpful to ensure your client code doesn't break when you switch to ASP.NET Web API. Going forward it looks like Microsoft is planning on plugging in Json.Net into Web API and make that the default. I think that's an awesome choice since Json.net has been around forever, is fast and easy to use and provides a ton of functionality as part of this great library. I just wish Microsoft would have figured this out sooner instead of now at the last minute integrating with it especially given that Json.Net has a similar set of lower level JSON objects JsonValue/JsonObject etc. which now will end up being duplicated by the native System.Json stuff. It's not like we don't already have enough confusion regarding which JSON serializer to use (JavaScriptSerializer, DataContractJsonSerializer, JsonValue/JsonObject/JsonArray and now Json.net). For years I've been using my own JSON serializer because the built in choices are both limited. However, with an official encorsement of Json.Net I'm happily moving on to use that in my applications. Let's see and hope Microsoft gets this right before ASP.NET Web API goes gold.© Rick Strahl, West Wind Technologies, 2005-2012Posted in Web Api  AJAX  ASP.NET   Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); (function() { var po = document.createElement('script'); po.type = 'text/javascript'; po.async = true; po.src = 'https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s); })();

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  • Wednesday at OpenWorld: Identity Management

    - by Tanu Sood
    Divide and conquer! Yes, divide and conquer today at Oracle OpenWorld with your colleagues to make the most of all things Identity Management since there’s a lot going on. Here’ the line-up for today: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 CON9458: End End-User-Managed Passwords and Increase Security with Oracle Enterprise Single Sign-On Plus 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m., Moscone West 3008 Most customers have a broad variety of applications (internal, external, web, client server, host etc) and single sign-on systems that extend to some, but not all systems. This session will focus on how customers are using enterprise single sign-on can help extend single sign-on to virtually any application, without costly application modification while laying a foundation that will enable integration with a broader identity management platform. CON9494: Sun2Oracle: Identity Management Platform Transformation 11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m., Moscone West 3008 Sun customers are actively defining strategies for how they will modernize their identity deployments. Learn how customers like Avea and SuperValu are leveraging their Sun investment, evaluating areas of expansion/improvement and building momentum. CON9631: Entitlement-centric Access to SOA and Cloud Services 11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m., Marriott Marquis, Salon 7 How do you enforce that a junior trader can submit 10 trades/day, with a total value of $5M, if market volatility is low? How can hide sensitive patient information from clerical workers but make it visible to specialists as long as consent has been given or there is an emergency? In this session, Uberether and HerbaLife take the stage with Oracle to demonstrate how you can enforce such entitlements on a service not just within your intranet but also right at the perimeter. CON3957 - Delivering Secure Wi-Fi on the Tube as an Olympics Legacy from London 2012 11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m., Moscone West 3003 In this session, Virgin Media, the U.K.’s first combined provider of broadband, TV, mobile, and home phone services, shares how it is providing free secure Wi-Fi services to the London Underground, using Oracle Virtual Directory and Oracle Entitlements Server, leveraging back-end legacy systems that were never designed to be externalized. As an Olympics 2012 legacy, the Oracle architecture will form a platform to be consumed by other Virgin Media services such as video on demand. CON9493: Identity Management and the Cloud 1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m., Moscone West 3008 Security is the number one barrier to cloud service adoption.  Not so for industry leading companies like SaskTel, ConAgra foods and UPMC. This session will explore how these organizations are using Oracle Identity with cloud services and how some are offering identity management as a cloud service. CON9624: Real-Time External Authorization for Middleware, Applications, and Databases 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., Moscone West 3008 As organizations seek to grant access to broader and more diverse user populations, the importance of centrally defined and applied authorization policies become critical; both to identify who has access to what and to improve the end user experience.  This session will explore how customers are using attribute and role-based access to achieve these goals. CON9625: Taking Control of WebCenter Security 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Moscone West 3008 Many organizations are extending WebCenter in a business to business scenario requiring secure identification and authorization of business partners and their users. Leveraging LADWP’s use case, this session will focus on how customers are leveraging, securing and providing access control to Oracle WebCenter portal and mobile solutions. EVENTS: Identity Management Customer Advisory Board 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., Four Seasons – Yerba Buena Room This invitation-only event is designed exclusively for Customer Advisory Board (CAB) members to provide product strategy and roadmap updates. Identity Management Meet & Greet Networking Event 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., Meeting Session 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Cocktail Reception Yerba Buena Room, Four Seasons Hotel, 757 Market Street, San Francisco The CAB meeting will be immediately followed by an open Meet & Greet event hosted by Oracle Identity Management executives and product management team. Do take this opportunity to network with your peers and connect with the Identity Management customers. For a complete listing, refer to the Focus on Identity Management document. And as always, you can find us on @oracleidm on twitter and FaceBook. Use #oow and #idm to join in the conversation.

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  • Oracle Enterprise Data Quality - Geared Up and Ready for OpenWorld 2012

    - by Mala Narasimharajan
    10 days and counting till Oracle OpenWorld 2012 is upon us.  Enterprise data quality is key to every information integration and consolidation initiative. At this year's OpenWorld, hear how Oracle Enterprise Data Quality provides the critical piece to achieving trusted, reliable master data and increases the value of data integration initiatives. Here are the different ways you can learn and experience Enterprise Data Quality at OpenWorld:  Conference sessions: Oracle Enterprise Data Quality: Product Overview and Roadmap - Monday 10/1/12, 1:45-2:45 PM - Moscone West - 3006 Data Preparation and Ongoing Governance with the Oracle Enterprise Data Quality Platform - Wednesday 10/3/2012, 1:15-2:15 PM - Moscone West - 3000  Data Acquisition, Migration and Integration with the Oracle Enterprise Data Quality Platform - Thursday 10/4/2012, 12:45-1:45 PM - Moscone West - 3005  Hands on Labs: Introduction to Oracle Enterprise Data Quality Platform -  Monday 10/2/2012, 4:45-5:45 PM - Marriot Marquis - Salon 1/2 Demos:  Trusted Data with Oracle Enterprise Data Quality - Moscone South, Right - S-243 (note: proceed to Middleware Demo grounds) For a list of Master Data Management and Data Quality sessions and other events click here. 

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  • How to export 3D models that consist of several parts (eg. turret on a tank)?

    - by Will
    What are the standard alternatives for the mechanics of attaching turrets and such to 3D models for use in-game? I don't mean the logic, but rather the graphics aspects. My naive approach is to extend the MD2-like format that I'm using (blender-exported using a script) to include a new set of properties for a mesh that: is anchored in another 'parent' mesh. The anchor is a point and normal in the parent mesh and a point and normal in the child mesh; these will always be colinear, giving the child rotation but not translation relative to the parent point. has a normal that is aligned with a 'target'. Classically this target is the enemy that is being engaged, but it might be some other vector e.g. 'the wind' (for sails and flags (and smoke, which is a particle system but the same principle applies)) or 'upwards' (e.g. so bodies of riders bend properly when riding a horse up an incline etc). that the anchor and target alignments have maximum and minimum and a speed coeff. there is game logic for multiple turrets and on a model and deciding which engages which enemy. 'primary' and 'secondary' or 'target0' ... 'targetN' or some such annotation will be there. So to illustrate, a classic tank would be made from three meshes; a main body mesh, a turret mesh that is anchored to the top of the main body so it can spin only horizontally and a barrel mesh that is anchored to the front of the turret and can only move vertically within some bounds. And there might be a forth flag mesh on top of the turret that is aligned with 'wind' where wind is a function the engine solves that merges environment's wind angle with angle the vehicle is travelling in an velocity, or something fancy. This gives each mesh one degree of freedom relative to its parent. Things with multiple degrees of freedom can be modelled by zero-vertex connecting meshes perhaps? This is where I think the approach I outlined begins to feel inelegant, yet perhaps its still a workable system? This is why I want to know how it is done in professional games ;) Are there better approaches? Are there formats that already include this information? Is this routine?

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  • HttpContext.Items and Server.Transfer/Execute

    - by Rick Strahl
    A few days ago my buddy Ben Jones pointed out that he ran into a bug in the ScriptContainer control in the West Wind Web and Ajax Toolkit. The problem was basically that when a Server.Transfer call was applied the script container (and also various ClientScriptProxy script embedding routines) would potentially fail to load up the specified scripts. It turns out the problem is due to the fact that the various components in the toolkit use request specific singletons via a Current property. I use a static Current property tied to a Context.Items[] entry to handle this type of operation which looks something like this: /// <summary> /// Current instance of this class which should always be used to /// access this object. There are no public constructors to /// ensure the reference is used as a Singleton to further /// ensure that all scripts are written to the same clientscript /// manager. /// </summary> public static ClientScriptProxy Current { get { if (HttpContext.Current == null) return new ClientScriptProxy(); ClientScriptProxy proxy = null; if (HttpContext.Current.Items.Contains(STR_CONTEXTID)) proxy = HttpContext.Current.Items[STR_CONTEXTID] as ClientScriptProxy; else { proxy = new ClientScriptProxy(); HttpContext.Current.Items[STR_CONTEXTID] = proxy; } return proxy; } } The proxy is attached to a Context.Items[] item which makes the instance Request specific. This works perfectly fine in most situations EXCEPT when you’re dealing with Server.Transfer/Execute requests. Server.Transfer doesn’t cause Context.Items to be cleared so both the current transferred request and the original request’s Context.Items collection apply. For the ClientScriptProxy this causes a problem because script references are tracked on a per request basis in Context.Items to check for script duplication. Once a script is rendered an ID is written into the Context collection and so considered ‘rendered’: // No dupes - ref script include only once if (HttpContext.Current.Items.Contains( STR_SCRIPTITEM_IDENTITIFIER + fileId ) ) return; HttpContext.Current.Items.Add(STR_SCRIPTITEM_IDENTITIFIER + fileId, string.Empty); where the fileId is the script name or unique identifier. The problem is on the Transferred page the item will already exist in Context and so fail to render because it thinks the script has already rendered based on the Context item. Bummer. The workaround for this is simple once you know what’s going on, but in this case it was a bitch to track down because the context items are used in many places throughout this class. The trick is to determine when a request is transferred and then removing the specific keys. The first issue is to determine if a script is in a Trransfer or Execute call: if (HttpContext.Current.CurrentHandler != HttpContext.Current.Handler) Context.Handler is the original handler and CurrentHandler is the actual currently executing handler that is running when a Transfer/Execute is active. You can also use Context.PreviousHandler to get the last handler and chain through the whole list of handlers applied if Transfer calls are nested (dog help us all for the person debugging that). For the ClientScriptProxy the full logic to check for a transfer and remove the code looks like this: /// <summary> /// Clears all the request specific context items which are script references /// and the script placement index. /// </summary> public void ClearContextItemsOnTransfer() { if (HttpContext.Current != null) { // Check for Server.Transfer/Execute calls - we need to clear out Context.Items if (HttpContext.Current.CurrentHandler != HttpContext.Current.Handler) { List<string> Keys = HttpContext.Current.Items.Keys.Cast<string>().Where(s => s.StartsWith(STR_SCRIPTITEM_IDENTITIFIER) || s == STR_ScriptResourceIndex).ToList(); foreach (string key in Keys) { HttpContext.Current.Items.Remove(key); } } } } along with a small update to the Current property getter that sets a global flag to indicate whether the request was transferred: if (!proxy.IsTransferred && HttpContext.Current.Handler != HttpContext.Current.CurrentHandler) { proxy.ClearContextItemsOnTransfer(); proxy.IsTransferred = true; } return proxy; I know this is pretty ugly, but it works and it’s actually minimal fuss without affecting the behavior of the rest of the class. Ben had a different solution that involved explicitly clearing out the Context items and replacing the collection with a manually maintained list of items which also works, but required changes through the code to make this work. In hindsight, it would have been better to use a single object that encapsulates all the ‘persisted’ values and store that object in Context instead of all these individual small morsels. Hindsight is always 20/20 though :-}. If possible use Page.Items ClientScriptProxy is a generic component that can be used from anywhere in ASP.NET, so there are various methods that are not Page specific on this component which is why I used Context.Items, rather than the Page.Items collection.Page.Items would be a better choice since it will sidestep the above Server.Transfer nightmares as the Page is reloaded completely and so any new Page gets a new Items collection. No fuss there. So for the ScriptContainer control, which has to live on the page the behavior is a little different. It is attached to Page.Items (since it’s a control): /// <summary> /// Returns a current instance of this control if an instance /// is already loaded on the page. Otherwise a new instance is /// created, added to the Form and returned. /// /// It's important this function is not called too early in the /// page cycle - it should not be called before Page.OnInit(). /// /// This property is the preferred way to get a reference to a /// ScriptContainer control that is either already on a page /// or needs to be created. Controls in particular should always /// use this property. /// </summary> public static ScriptContainer Current { get { // We need a context for this to work! if (HttpContext.Current == null) return null; Page page = HttpContext.Current.CurrentHandler as Page; if (page == null) throw new InvalidOperationException(Resources.ERROR_ScriptContainer_OnlyWorks_With_PageBasedHandlers); ScriptContainer ctl = null; // Retrieve the current instance ctl = page.Items[STR_CONTEXTID] as ScriptContainer; if (ctl != null) return ctl; ctl = new ScriptContainer(); page.Form.Controls.Add(ctl); return ctl; } } The biggest issue with this approach is that you have to explicitly retrieve the page in the static Current property. Notice again the use of CurrentHandler (rather than Handler which was my original implementation) to ensure you get the latest page including the one that Server.Transfer fired. Server.Transfer and Server.Execute are Evil All that said – this fix is probably for the 2 people who are crazy enough to rely on Server.Transfer/Execute. :-} There are so many weird behavior problems with these commands that I avoid them at all costs. I don’t think I have a single application that uses either of these commands… Related Resources Full source of ClientScriptProxy.cs (repository) Part of the West Wind Web Toolkit Static Singletons for ASP.NET Controls Post © Rick Strahl, West Wind Technologies, 2005-2010Posted in ASP.NET  

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