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  • SQL SERVER – New SQL Server 2012 Functions – Webinar by Rick Morelan

    - by Pinal Dave
    My friend Rick Morelan is a wonderful speaker and listening to him is very delightful. Rick is one of the speakers who can articulate a very complex subject in very simple words. Rick has attained over 30 Microsoft certifications in applications, networking, databases and .NET development, including MCDBA, MCTS, MCITP, MCAD, MOE, MCSE and MCSE+. Here is the chance for every one who has not listened Rick Morelan before as he is presenting an online webinar on New SQL Server 2012 Functions. Whether or not you’re a database developer or administrator, you love the power of SQL functions. The functions in SQL Server give you the power to accelerate your applications and database performance. Each version of SQL Server adds new functionality, so come and see Rick Morelan explain what’s new in SQL Server 2012! This webinar will focus on the new string, time and logical functions added to SQL Server 2012. Register for the webinar now to learn: SQL Server 2012 function basics String, time and logical function details Tools to accelerate the SQL coding process Tuesday June 11, 2013  7:00 AM PDT / 10:00 AM EDT 11:00 AM PDT / 2:00 PM EDT Secret Hint: Here is something I would like to tell everyone that there is a quiz coming up on SQLAuthority.com and those who will attend the webinar will find it very easy to resolve it. Register for webinar Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com) Filed under: Joes 2 Pros, PostADay, SQL, SQL Authority, SQL Query, SQL Server, SQL Tips and Tricks, T SQL, Technology

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  • Python - cours intensif pour les scientifiques : Python avancé, par Rick Muller

    Bonjour,Je vous présente ce tutoriel traduit par Raphaël Seban intitulé : Python - cours intensif pour les scientifiquesPartie 3 : Python avancé Pour de nombreux scientifiques, Python est LE langage de programmation par excellence, car il offre de grandes possibilités en analyse et modélisation de données scientifiques avec relativement peu de charge de travail en termes d'apprentissage, d'installation ou de temps de développement. C'est un langage que vous pouvez intégrer...

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  • Python - cours intensif pour les scientifiques : Optimiser le code, par Rick Muller

    Bonjour,Je vous présente ce tutoriel traduit par Raphaël Seban intitulé : Python - cours intensif pour les scientifiques Partie 4 : Optimiser le code Pour de nombreux scientifiques, Python est LE langage de programmation par excellence, car il offre de grandes possibilités en analyse et modélisation de données scientifiques avec relativement peu de charge de travail en termes d'apprentissage, d'installation ou de temps de développement. C'est un langage que vous pouvez intégrer en...

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  • SQL SERVER – Free Print Book on SQL Server Joes 2 Pros Kit

    - by pinaldave
    Rick Morelan and I were discussing earlier this month that what we can give back to the community. We believe our books are very much successful and very well received by the community. The five books are a journey from novice to expert. The books have changed many lives and helped many get jobs as well pass the SQL Certifications. Rick is from Seattle, USA and I am from Bangalore, India. There are 12 hours difference between us. We try to do weekly meeting to catch up on various personal and SQL related topics. Here is one of our recent conversations. Rick and Pinal Pinal: Good Morning Rick! Rick: Good Morning…err… Good Evening to you – Pinal! Pinal: Hey Rick, did you read the recent email which I sent you – one of our reader is thanking us for writing Joes 2 Pros series. He wants to dedicate his success to us. Can you believe it? Rick: Yeah, he is very kind but did you tell him that it is all because of his hard work on learning subject and we have very little contribution in his success. Pinal: Absolutely, I told him the same – I said we just wrote the book but it is he who learned from it and proved himself in his job. It is all him! We were just igniters. Rick: Good response. Pinal: Hey Rick! Are we doing enough for the community? What can we do more? Rick: Hmmm… Let us do something more. Pinal: Remember once we discussed the idea of if anyone who buys our Joes 2 Pros Combo Kit in the next 2 weeks – we will send them SQL Wait Stats for free. What do you say? Rick: I agree! Great Idea! Let us do it. Free Giveaway Well Rick and I liked the idea of doing more. We have decided to give away free SQL Server Wait Stats books to everybody who will purchase Joes 2 Pros Combo Kit between today (Oct 15, 2012) and Oct 26, 2012. This is not a contest or a lucky winner opportunity. Everybody who participates will qualify for it. Combo Availability USA – Amazon India - Flipkart | Indiaplaza Note1: USA kit contains FREE 5 DVDs. India Kit does not contain 5 DVDs due to legal issues. Note2: Indian Kit is priced at special Indian Economic Price. Qualify for Free Giveaway You must have purchased our Joes 2 Pros Combo Kit of 5 books between Oct 15, 2012 and Oct 26, 2012. Purchase before Oct 15, 2012 and after Oct 26, 2012 will not qualify for this giveaway. Send your original receipt (email, order details) to following addresses: “[email protected];[email protected]” with the subject line “Joes 2 Pros Kit Promotion Free Offer”. Do not change the subject line or your email may be missed.  Clearly mention your shipping address with phone number and pin/zip code. Send your receipt before Oct 30, 2012. We will not entertain any conversation after Oct 30, 2012 cut off date. The Free books will be sent to USA and India address only. Availability USA - Amazon | India - Flipkart | Indiaplaza Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com) Filed under: Joes 2 Pros, PostADay, SQL, SQL Authority, SQL Query, SQL Server, SQL Tips and Tricks, SQLAuthority Book Review, SQLServer, T SQL, Technology

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  • Rails Fixtures Don't Seem to Support Transitive Associations

    - by Rick Wayne
    So I've got 3 models in my app, connected by HABTM relations: class Member < ActiveRecord::Base has_and_belongs_to_many :groups end class Group < ActiveRecord::Base has_and_belongs_to_many :software_instances end class SoftwareInstance < ActiveRecord::Base end And I have the appropriate join tables, and use foxy fixtures to load them: -- members.yml -- rick: name: Rick groups: cals -- groups.yml -- cals: name: CALS software_instances: delphi -- software_instances.yml -- delphi: name: No, this is not a joke, someone in our group is still maintaining Delphi apps... And I do a rake db:fixtures:load, and examine the tables. Yep, the join tables groups_members and groups_software_instances have appropriate IDs in, big numbers generated by hashing the fixture names. Yay! And if I run script/console, I can look at rick's groups and see that cals is in there, or cals's software_instances and delphi shows up. (Likewise delphi knows that it's in the group cals.) Yay! But if I look at rick.groups[0].software_instances...nada. []. And, oddly enough, rick.groups[0].id is something like 30 or 10, not 398398439. I've tried swapping around where the association is defined in the fixtures, e.g. -- members.yml -- rick name: rick -- groups.yml -- cals name: CALS members: rick No error, but same result. (Later: Confirmed, same behavior on MySQL. In fact I get the same thing if I take the foxification out and use ERB to directly create the join tables, so: -- license_groups_software_instances -- cals_delphi: group_id: <%= Fixtures.identify 'cals' % software_instance_id: <%= Fixtures.identify 'delphi' $ Before I chuck it all, reject foxy fixtures and all who sail in her and just hand-code IDs...anybody got a suggestion as to why this is happening? I'm currently working in Rails 2.3.2 with sqlite3, this occurs on both OS X and Ubuntu (and I think with MySQL too). TIA, my compadres.

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  • WAMP vhost issues with all vhost pointing to the first vhost statement

    - by Rick
    I am trying to setup vhosts in WAMPSERVER and I am running into an issue where all sites are pointing to the first vhosts and not delegating properly. Has anyone had this issue? Here is my setup. In windows hosts file: 127.0.0.1 siteabc.local 127.0.0.1 sitexyz.local In httpd-vhosts.conf: <VirtualHost 127.0.0.1> DocumentRoot "C:\Users\Rick\Documents\Projects\siteabc" ServerName siteabc.local ErrorLog "logs/siteabc-error.log" CustomLog "logs/siteabc-access.log" common <Directory "C:\Users\Rick\Documents\Projects\siteabc"> Options Indexes FollowSymLinks AllowOverride all Order Deny,Allow Allow from all </Directory> </VirtualHost> <VirtualHost 127.0.0.1> DocumentRoot "C:\Users\Rick\Documents\Projects\sitexyz" ServerName sitexyz.local ErrorLog "logs/sitexyz-error.log" CustomLog "logs/sitexyz-access.log" common <Directory "C:\Users\Rick\Documents\Projects\sitexyz"> Options Indexes FollowSymLinks AllowOverride all Order Deny,Allow Allow from all </Directory> </VirtualHost> <VirtualHost 127.0.0.1> DocumentRoot "C:\Users\Rick\Documents\Projects" ServerName localhost ErrorLog "logs/localhost-error.log" CustomLog "logs/localhost-access.log" common <Directory "C:\Users\Rick\Documents\Projects"> Options Indexes FollowSymLinks AllowOverride all Order Deny,Allow Allow from all </Directory> </VirtualHost> Ok so from this setup going to siteabc works...but going to sitexyz, it still goes to siteabc. Not sure what I did wrong here. Thanks for looking.

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  • SOA, Empowerment and Continuous Improvement

    - by Tanu Sood
    Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";} Rick Beers is Senior Director of Product Management for Oracle Fusion Middleware. Prior to joining Oracle, Rick held a variety of executive operational positions at Corning, Inc. and Bausch & Lomb. With a professional background that includes senior management positions in manufacturing, supply chain and information technology, Rick brings a unique set of experiences to cover the impact that technology can have on business models, processes and organizations. Rick will be hosting the IT Leader Editorial on a regular basis. I met my twin at Open World. We share backgrounds, experiences and even names. I hosted an invitation-only AppAdvantage Leadership Forum with an overcapacity 85 participants: 55 customers, 15 from the Oracle AppAdvantage team and 15 Partners. It was a lively, open and positive discussion of pace layered architectures and Oracle’s AppAdvantage approach to a unified view of Applications and Middleware. Rick Hassman from Pella was one of the customer panelists and during the pre event prep, Rick and I shared backgrounds and found that we had both been plant managers and led ERP deployments prior to leading IT itself. During the panel conversation I explored this with him, discussing the unique perspectives that this provides to CIO’s. He then hit on a point that I wasn’t able to fully appreciate until a week later. First though, some background. The week after the Forum, one of the participants emailed me with the following thoughts: “I am 150% behind this concept……but we are struggling with the concept of web services and the potential use of the Oracle Service Bus technology let alone moving into using the full SOA/BPM/BAM software to extend our JD Edwards application to both integrate and support business processes”. After thinking a bit I responded this way: While I certainly appreciate the degree of change and effort involved, perhaps I could offer the following: One of the underlying principles behind Oracle AppAdvantage is that more often than not, the choice between changing a business process and invasively customizing ERP represents a Hobson's Choice: neither is acceptable. In this case the third option, moving the process out of ERP, is the only acceptable one. Providing this choice typically requires end to end, real time interoperability across applications and/or services. This real time interoperability, to be sustainable over time requires a service oriented architecture. There's just no way around this. SOA adaptation is admittedly tough at the beginning. New skills, new technology and new headaches. But, like any radically new technology, it has a learning curve that drives cost down rather dramatically over time. Tough choices to be sure, but not entirely different than we face with every major technology cycle. Good points of course, but I felt that something was missing. The points were convincing, perhaps even a bit insightful, but they didn’t get at the heart of what Oracle AppAdvantage is focused upon: how the optimization of technology, applications, processes and relationships can change the very way that organizations operate. And then I thought back to the panel discussion with Rick Hassman at Oracle OpenWorld. Rick stressed that Continuous Improvement is a fundamental business strategy at Pella. I remember Continuous Improvement well as I suspect does everyone who was in American manufacturing during the 80’s. Pioneered by W. Edwards Deming in Japan (and still known alternatively as Kaizen), Continuous Improvement sets in place the business culture that we must not become complacent with success and resistant to the ongoing need for change. Many believe that this single handedly drove the renaissance in American manufacturing through the last two decades, which had become complacent during the 70’s and early 80’s. But what exactly does this have to do with SOA? It was Rick’s next point. He drew the connection that moving those business processes that need to continually change over time out of ERP and into edge applications and services enables continuous improvement by empowering people to continually strive for better ways of doing things rather than be being bound by workflows that cannot change. A compelling connection: that SOA, and the overall Oracle AppAdvantage framework of which it is an integral part, can empower people towards continuous improvement in business processes and as a result drive business leadership and business excellence. What better a case for technology innovation?

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  • Passing multiple simple POST Values to ASP.NET Web API

    - by Rick Strahl
    A few weeks backs I posted a blog post  about what does and doesn't work with ASP.NET Web API when it comes to POSTing data to a Web API controller. One of the features that doesn't work out of the box - somewhat unexpectedly -  is the ability to map POST form variables to simple parameters of a Web API method. For example imagine you have this form and you want to post this data to a Web API end point like this via AJAX: <form> Name: <input type="name" name="name" value="Rick" /> Value: <input type="value" name="value" value="12" /> Entered: <input type="entered" name="entered" value="12/01/2011" /> <input type="button" id="btnSend" value="Send" /> </form> <script type="text/javascript"> $("#btnSend").click( function() { $.post("samples/PostMultipleSimpleValues?action=kazam", $("form").serialize(), function (result) { alert(result); }); }); </script> or you might do this more explicitly by creating a simple client map and specifying the POST values directly by hand:$.post("samples/PostMultipleSimpleValues?action=kazam", { name: "Rick", value: 1, entered: "12/01/2012" }, $("form").serialize(), function (result) { alert(result); }); On the wire this generates a simple POST request with Url Encoded values in the content:POST /AspNetWebApi/samples/PostMultipleSimpleValues?action=kazam HTTP/1.1 Host: localhost User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.2; WOW64; rv:15.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/15.0.1 Accept: application/json Connection: keep-alive Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded; charset=UTF-8 X-Requested-With: XMLHttpRequest Referer: http://localhost/AspNetWebApi/FormPostTest.html Content-Length: 41 Pragma: no-cache Cache-Control: no-cachename=Rick&value=12&entered=12%2F10%2F2011 Seems simple enough, right? We are basically posting 3 form variables and 1 query string value to the server. Unfortunately Web API can't handle request out of the box. If I create a method like this:[HttpPost] public string PostMultipleSimpleValues(string name, int value, DateTime entered, string action = null) { return string.Format("Name: {0}, Value: {1}, Date: {2}, Action: {3}", name, value, entered, action); }You'll find that you get an HTTP 404 error and { "Message": "No HTTP resource was found that matches the request URI…"} Yes, it's possible to pass multiple POST parameters of course, but Web API expects you to use Model Binding for this - mapping the post parameters to a strongly typed .NET object, not to single parameters. Alternately you can also accept a FormDataCollection parameter on your API method to get a name value collection of all POSTed values. If you're using JSON only, using the dynamic JObject/JValue objects might also work. ModelBinding is fine in many use cases, but can quickly become overkill if you only need to pass a couple of simple parameters to many methods. Especially in applications with many, many AJAX callbacks the 'parameter mapping type' per method signature can lead to serious class pollution in a project very quickly. Simple POST variables are also commonly used in AJAX applications to pass data to the server, even in many complex public APIs. So this is not an uncommon use case, and - maybe more so a behavior that I would have expected Web API to support natively. The question "Why aren't my POST parameters mapping to Web API method parameters" is already a frequent one… So this is something that I think is fairly important, but unfortunately missing in the base Web API installation. Creating a Custom Parameter Binder Luckily Web API is greatly extensible and there's a way to create a custom Parameter Binding to provide this functionality! Although this solution took me a long while to find and then only with the help of some folks Microsoft (thanks Hong Mei!!!), it's not difficult to hook up in your own projects. It requires one small class and a GlobalConfiguration hookup. Web API parameter bindings allow you to intercept processing of individual parameters - they deal with mapping parameters to the signature as well as converting the parameters to the actual values that are returned. Here's the implementation of the SimplePostVariableParameterBinding class:public class SimplePostVariableParameterBinding : HttpParameterBinding { private const string MultipleBodyParameters = "MultipleBodyParameters"; public SimplePostVariableParameterBinding(HttpParameterDescriptor descriptor) : base(descriptor) { } /// <summary> /// Check for simple binding parameters in POST data. Bind POST /// data as well as query string data /// </summary> public override Task ExecuteBindingAsync(ModelMetadataProvider metadataProvider, HttpActionContext actionContext, CancellationToken cancellationToken) { // Body can only be read once, so read and cache it NameValueCollection col = TryReadBody(actionContext.Request); string stringValue = null; if (col != null) stringValue = col[Descriptor.ParameterName]; // try reading query string if we have no POST/PUT match if (stringValue == null) { var query = actionContext.Request.GetQueryNameValuePairs(); if (query != null) { var matches = query.Where(kv => kv.Key.ToLower() == Descriptor.ParameterName.ToLower()); if (matches.Count() > 0) stringValue = matches.First().Value; } } object value = StringToType(stringValue); // Set the binding result here SetValue(actionContext, value); // now, we can return a completed task with no result TaskCompletionSource<AsyncVoid> tcs = new TaskCompletionSource<AsyncVoid>(); tcs.SetResult(default(AsyncVoid)); return tcs.Task; } private object StringToType(string stringValue) { object value = null; if (stringValue == null) value = null; else if (Descriptor.ParameterType == typeof(string)) value = stringValue; else if (Descriptor.ParameterType == typeof(int)) value = int.Parse(stringValue, CultureInfo.CurrentCulture); else if (Descriptor.ParameterType == typeof(Int32)) value = Int32.Parse(stringValue, CultureInfo.CurrentCulture); else if (Descriptor.ParameterType == typeof(Int64)) value = Int64.Parse(stringValue, CultureInfo.CurrentCulture); else if (Descriptor.ParameterType == typeof(decimal)) value = decimal.Parse(stringValue, CultureInfo.CurrentCulture); else if (Descriptor.ParameterType == typeof(double)) value = double.Parse(stringValue, CultureInfo.CurrentCulture); else if (Descriptor.ParameterType == typeof(DateTime)) value = DateTime.Parse(stringValue, CultureInfo.CurrentCulture); else if (Descriptor.ParameterType == typeof(bool)) { value = false; if (stringValue == "true" || stringValue == "on" || stringValue == "1") value = true; } else value = stringValue; return value; } /// <summary> /// Read and cache the request body /// </summary> /// <param name="request"></param> /// <returns></returns> private NameValueCollection TryReadBody(HttpRequestMessage request) { object result = null; // try to read out of cache first if (!request.Properties.TryGetValue(MultipleBodyParameters, out result)) { // parsing the string like firstname=Hongmei&lastname=Ge result = request.Content.ReadAsFormDataAsync().Result; request.Properties.Add(MultipleBodyParameters, result); } return result as NameValueCollection; } private struct AsyncVoid { } }   The ExecuteBindingAsync method is fired for each parameter that is mapped and sent for conversion. This custom binding is fired only if the incoming parameter is a simple type (that gets defined later when I hook up the binding), so this binding never fires on complex types or if the first type is not a simple type. For the first parameter of a request the Binding first reads the request body into a NameValueCollection and caches that in the request.Properties collection. The request body can only be read once, so the first parameter request reads it and then caches it. Subsequent parameters then use the cached POST value collection. Once the form collection is available the value of the parameter is read, and the value is translated into the target type requested by the Descriptor. SetValue writes out the value to be mapped. Once you have the ParameterBinding in place, the binding has to be assigned. This is done along with all other Web API configuration tasks at application startup in global.asax's Application_Start:GlobalConfiguration.Configuration.ParameterBindingRules .Insert(0, (HttpParameterDescriptor descriptor) => { var supportedMethods = descriptor.ActionDescriptor.SupportedHttpMethods; // Only apply this binder on POST and PUT operations if (supportedMethods.Contains(HttpMethod.Post) || supportedMethods.Contains(HttpMethod.Put)) { var supportedTypes = new Type[] { typeof(string), typeof(int), typeof(decimal), typeof(double), typeof(bool), typeof(DateTime) }; if (supportedTypes.Where(typ => typ == descriptor.ParameterType).Count() > 0) return new SimplePostVariableParameterBinding(descriptor); } // let the default bindings do their work return null; });   The ParameterBindingRules.Insert method takes a delegate that checks which type of requests it should handle. The logic here checks whether the request is POST or PUT and whether the parameter type is a simple type that is supported. Web API calls this delegate once for each method signature it tries to map and the delegate returns null to indicate it's not handling this parameter, or it returns a new parameter binding instance - in this case the SimplePostVariableParameterBinding. Once the parameter binding and this hook up code is in place, you can now pass simple POST values to methods with simple parameters. The examples I showed above should now work in addition to the standard bindings. Summary Clearly this is not easy to discover. I spent quite a bit of time digging through the Web API source trying to figure this out on my own without much luck. It took Hong Mei at Micrsoft to provide a base example as I asked around so I can't take credit for this solution :-). But once you know where to look, Web API is brilliantly extensible to make it relatively easy to customize the parameter behavior. I'm very stoked that this got resolved  - in the last two months I've had two customers with projects that decided not to use Web API in AJAX heavy SPA applications because this POST variable mapping wasn't available. This might actually change their mind to still switch back and take advantage of the many great features in Web API. I too frequently use plain POST variables for communicating with server AJAX handlers and while I could have worked around this (with untyped JObject or the Form collection mostly), having proper POST to parameter mapping makes things much easier. I said this in my last post on POST data and say it again here: I think POST to method parameter mapping should have been shipped in the box with Web API, because without knowing about this limitation the expectation is that simple POST variables map to parameters just like query string values do. I hope Microsoft considers including this type of functionality natively in the next version of Web API natively or at least as a built-in HttpParameterBinding that can be just added. This is especially true, since this binding doesn't affect existing bindings. Resources SimplePostVariableParameterBinding Source on GitHub Global.asax hookup source Mapping URL Encoded Post Values in  ASP.NET Web API© Rick Strahl, West Wind Technologies, 2005-2012Posted in Web Api  AJAX   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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  • Using the West Wind Web Toolkit to set up AJAX and REST Services

    - by Rick Strahl
    I frequently get questions about which option to use for creating AJAX and REST backends for ASP.NET applications. There are many solutions out there to do this actually, but when I have a choice - not surprisingly - I fall back to my own tools in the West Wind West Wind Web Toolkit. I've talked a bunch about the 'in-the-box' solutions in the past so for a change in this post I'll talk about the tools that I use in my own and customer applications to handle AJAX and REST based access to service resources using the West Wind West Wind Web Toolkit. Let me preface this by saying that I like things to be easy. Yes flexible is very important as well but not at the expense of over-complexity. The goal I've had with my tools is make it drop dead easy, with good performance while providing the core features that I'm after, which are: Easy AJAX/JSON Callbacks Ability to return any kind of non JSON content (string, stream, byte[], images) Ability to work with both XML and JSON interchangeably for input/output Access endpoints via POST data, RPC JSON calls, GET QueryString values or Routing interface Easy to use generic JavaScript client to make RPC calls (same syntax, just what you need) Ability to create clean URLS with Routing Ability to use standard ASP.NET HTTP Stack for HTTP semantics It's all about options! In this post I'll demonstrate most of these features (except XML) in a few simple and short samples which you can download. So let's take a look and see how you can build an AJAX callback solution with the West Wind Web Toolkit. Installing the Toolkit Assemblies The easiest and leanest way of using the Toolkit in your Web project is to grab it via NuGet: West Wind Web and AJAX Utilities (Westwind.Web) and drop it into the project by right clicking in your Project and choosing Manage NuGet Packages from anywhere in the Project.   When done you end up with your project looking like this: What just happened? Nuget added two assemblies - Westwind.Web and Westwind.Utilities and the client ww.jquery.js library. It also added a couple of references into web.config: The default namespaces so they can be accessed in pages/views and a ScriptCompressionModule that the toolkit optionally uses to compress script resources served from within the assembly (namely ww.jquery.js and optionally jquery.js). Creating a new Service The West Wind Web Toolkit supports several ways of creating and accessing AJAX services, but for this post I'll stick to the lower level approach that works from any plain HTML page or of course MVC, WebForms, WebPages. There's also a WebForms specific control that makes this even easier but I'll leave that for another post. So, to create a new standalone AJAX/REST service we can create a new HttpHandler in the new project either as a pure class based handler or as a generic .ASHX handler. Both work equally well, but generic handlers don't require any web.config configuration so I'll use that here. In the root of the project add a Generic Handler. I'm going to call this one StockService.ashx. Once the handler has been created, edit the code and remove all of the handler body code. Then change the base class to CallbackHandler and add methods that have a [CallbackMethod] attribute. Here's the modified base handler implementation now looks like with an added HelloWorld method: using System; using Westwind.Web; namespace WestWindWebAjax { /// <summary> /// Handler implements CallbackHandler to provide REST/AJAX services /// </summary> public class SampleService : CallbackHandler { [CallbackMethod] public string HelloWorld(string name) { return "Hello " + name + ". Time is: " + DateTime.Now.ToString(); } } } Notice that the class inherits from CallbackHandler and that the HelloWorld service method is marked up with [CallbackMethod]. We're done here. Services Urlbased Syntax Once you compile, the 'service' is live can respond to requests. All CallbackHandlers support input in GET and POST formats, and can return results as JSON or XML. To check our fancy HelloWorld method we can now access the service like this: http://localhost/WestWindWebAjax/StockService.ashx?Method=HelloWorld&name=Rick which produces a default JSON response - in this case a string (wrapped in quotes as it's JSON): (note by default JSON will be downloaded by most browsers not displayed - various options are available to view JSON right in the browser) If I want to return the same data as XML I can tack on a &format=xml at the end of the querystring which produces: <string>Hello Rick. Time is: 11/1/2011 12:11:13 PM</string> Cleaner URLs with Routing Syntax If you want cleaner URLs for each operation you can also configure custom routes on a per URL basis similar to the way that WCF REST does. To do this you need to add a new RouteHandler to your application's startup code in global.asax.cs one for each CallbackHandler based service you create: protected void Application_Start(object sender, EventArgs e) { CallbackHandlerRouteHandler.RegisterRoutes<StockService>(RouteTable.Routes); } With this code in place you can now add RouteUrl properties to any of your service methods. For the HelloWorld method that doesn't make a ton of sense but here is what a routed clean URL might look like in definition: [CallbackMethod(RouteUrl="stocks/HelloWorld/{name}")] public string HelloWorld(string name) { return "Hello " + name + ". Time is: " + DateTime.Now.ToString(); } The same URL I previously used now becomes a bit shorter and more readable with: http://localhost/WestWindWebAjax/HelloWorld/Rick It's an easy way to create cleaner URLs and still get the same functionality. Calling the Service with $.getJSON() Since the result produced is JSON you can now easily consume this data using jQuery's getJSON method. First we need a couple of scripts - jquery.js and ww.jquery.js in the page: <!DOCTYPE html> <html> <head> <link href="Css/Westwind.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" /> <script src="scripts/jquery.min.js" type="text/javascript"></script> <script src="scripts/ww.jquery.min.js" type="text/javascript"></script> </head> <body> Next let's add a small HelloWorld example form (what else) that has a single textbox to type a name, a button and a div tag to receive the result: <fieldset> <legend>Hello World</legend> Please enter a name: <input type="text" name="txtHello" id="txtHello" value="" /> <input type="button" id="btnSayHello" value="Say Hello (POST)" /> <input type="button" id="btnSayHelloGet" value="Say Hello (GET)" /> <div id="divHelloMessage" class="errordisplay" style="display:none;width: 450px;" > </div> </fieldset> Then to call the HelloWorld method a little jQuery is used to hook the document startup and the button click followed by the $.getJSON call to retrieve the data from the server. <script type="text/javascript"> $(document).ready(function () { $("#btnSayHelloGet").click(function () { $.getJSON("SampleService.ashx", { Method: "HelloWorld", name: $("#txtHello").val() }, function (result) { $("#divHelloMessage") .text(result) .fadeIn(1000); }); });</script> .getJSON() expects a full URL to the endpoint of our service, which is the ASHX file. We can either provide a full URL (SampleService.ashx?Method=HelloWorld&name=Rick) or we can just provide the base URL and an object that encodes the query string parameters for us using an object map that has a property that matches each parameter for the server method. We can also use the clean URL routing syntax, but using the object parameter encoding actually is safer as the parameters will get properly encoded by jQuery. The result returned is whatever the result on the server method is - in this case a string. The string is applied to the divHelloMessage element and we're done. Obviously this is a trivial example, but it demonstrates the basics of getting a JSON response back to the browser. AJAX Post Syntax - using ajaxCallMethod() The previous example allows you basic control over the data that you send to the server via querystring parameters. This works OK for simple values like short strings, numbers and boolean values, but doesn't really work if you need to pass something more complex like an object or an array back up to the server. To handle traditional RPC type messaging where the idea is to map server side functions and results to a client side invokation, POST operations can be used. The easiest way to use this functionality is to use ww.jquery.js and the ajaxCallMethod() function. ww.jquery wraps jQuery's AJAX functions and knows implicitly how to call a CallbackServer method with parameters and parse the result. Let's look at another simple example that posts a simple value but returns something more interesting. Let's start with the service method: [CallbackMethod(RouteUrl="stocks/{symbol}")] public StockQuote GetStockQuote(string symbol) { Response.Cache.SetExpires(DateTime.UtcNow.Add(new TimeSpan(0, 2, 0))); StockServer server = new StockServer(); var quote = server.GetStockQuote(symbol); if (quote == null) throw new ApplicationException("Invalid Symbol passed."); return quote; } This sample utilizes a small StockServer helper class (included in the sample) that downloads a stock quote from Yahoo's financial site via plain HTTP GET requests and formats it into a StockQuote object. Lets create a small HTML block that lets us query for the quote and display it: <fieldset> <legend>Single Stock Quote</legend> Please enter a stock symbol: <input type="text" name="txtSymbol" id="txtSymbol" value="msft" /> <input type="button" id="btnStockQuote" value="Get Quote" /> <div id="divStockDisplay" class="errordisplay" style="display:none; width: 450px;"> <div class="label-left">Company:</div> <div id="stockCompany"></div> <div class="label-left">Last Price:</div> <div id="stockLastPrice"></div> <div class="label-left">Quote Time:</div> <div id="stockQuoteTime"></div> </div> </fieldset> The final result looks something like this:   Let's hook up the button handler to fire the request and fill in the data as shown: $("#btnStockQuote").click(function () { ajaxCallMethod("SampleService.ashx", "GetStockQuote", [$("#txtSymbol").val()], function (quote) { $("#divStockDisplay").show().fadeIn(1000); $("#stockCompany").text(quote.Company + " (" + quote.Symbol + ")"); $("#stockLastPrice").text(quote.LastPrice); $("#stockQuoteTime").text(quote.LastQuoteTime.formatDate("MMM dd, HH:mm EST")); }, onPageError); }); So we point at SampleService.ashx and the GetStockQuote method, passing a single parameter of the input symbol value. Then there are two handlers for success and failure callbacks.  The success handler is the interesting part - it receives the stock quote as a result and assigns its values to various 'holes' in the stock display elements. The data that comes back over the wire is JSON and it looks like this: { "Symbol":"MSFT", "Company":"Microsoft Corpora", "OpenPrice":26.11, "LastPrice":26.01, "NetChange":0.02, "LastQuoteTime":"2011-11-03T02:00:00Z", "LastQuoteTimeString":"Nov. 11, 2011 4:20pm" } which is an object representation of the data. JavaScript can evaluate this JSON string back into an object easily and that's the reslut that gets passed to the success function. The quote data is then applied to existing page content by manually selecting items and applying them. There are other ways to do this more elegantly like using templates, but here we're only interested in seeing how the data is returned. The data in the object is typed - LastPrice is a number and QuoteTime is a date. Note about the date value: JavaScript doesn't have a date literal although the JSON embedded ISO string format used above  ("2011-11-03T02:00:00Z") is becoming fairly standard for JSON serializers. However, JSON parsers don't deserialize dates by default and return them by string. This is why the StockQuote actually returns a string value of LastQuoteTimeString for the same date. ajaxMethodCallback always converts dates properly into 'real' dates and the example above uses the real date value along with a .formatDate() data extension (also in ww.jquery.js) to display the raw date properly. Errors and Exceptions So what happens if your code fails? For example if I pass an invalid stock symbol to the GetStockQuote() method you notice that the code does this: if (quote == null) throw new ApplicationException("Invalid Symbol passed."); CallbackHandler automatically pushes the exception message back to the client so it's easy to pick up the error message. Regardless of what kind of error occurs: Server side, client side, protocol errors - any error will fire the failure handler with an error object parameter. The error is returned to the client via a JSON response in the error callback. In the previous examples I called onPageError which is a generic routine in ww.jquery that displays a status message on the bottom of the screen. But of course you can also take over the error handling yourself: $("#btnStockQuote").click(function () { ajaxCallMethod("SampleService.ashx", "GetStockQuote", [$("#txtSymbol").val()], function (quote) { $("#divStockDisplay").fadeIn(1000); $("#stockCompany").text(quote.Company + " (" + quote.Symbol + ")"); $("#stockLastPrice").text(quote.LastPrice); $("#stockQuoteTime").text(quote.LastQuoteTime.formatDate("MMM dd, hh:mmt")); }, function (error, xhr) { $("#divErrorDisplay").text(error.message).fadeIn(1000); }); }); The error object has a isCallbackError, message and  stackTrace properties, the latter of which is only populated when running in Debug mode, and this object is returned for all errors: Client side, transport and server side errors. Regardless of which type of error you get the same object passed (as well as the XHR instance optionally) which makes for a consistent error retrieval mechanism. Specifying HttpVerbs You can also specify HTTP Verbs that are allowed using the AllowedHttpVerbs option on the CallbackMethod attribute: [CallbackMethod(AllowedHttpVerbs=HttpVerbs.GET | HttpVerbs.POST)] public string HelloWorld(string name) { … } If you're building REST style API's this might be useful to force certain request semantics onto the client calling. For the above if call with a non-allowed HttpVerb the request returns a 405 error response along with a JSON (or XML) error object result. The default behavior is to allow all verbs access (HttpVerbs.All). Passing in object Parameters Up to now the parameters I passed were very simple. But what if you need to send something more complex like an object or an array? Let's look at another example now that passes an object from the client to the server. Keeping with the Stock theme here lets add a method called BuyOrder that lets us buy some shares for a stock. Consider the following service method that receives an StockBuyOrder object as a parameter: [CallbackMethod] public string BuyStock(StockBuyOrder buyOrder) { var server = new StockServer(); var quote = server.GetStockQuote(buyOrder.Symbol); if (quote == null) throw new ApplicationException("Invalid or missing stock symbol."); return string.Format("You're buying {0} shares of {1} ({2}) stock at {3} for a total of {4} on {5}.", buyOrder.Quantity, quote.Company, quote.Symbol, quote.LastPrice.ToString("c"), (quote.LastPrice * buyOrder.Quantity).ToString("c"), buyOrder.BuyOn.ToString("MMM d")); } public class StockBuyOrder { public string Symbol { get; set; } public int Quantity { get; set; } public DateTime BuyOn { get; set; } public StockBuyOrder() { BuyOn = DateTime.Now; } } This is a contrived do-nothing example that simply echoes back what was passed in, but it demonstrates how you can pass complex data to a callback method. On the client side we now have a very simple form that captures the three values on a form: <fieldset> <legend>Post a Stock Buy Order</legend> Enter a symbol: <input type="text" name="txtBuySymbol" id="txtBuySymbol" value="GLD" />&nbsp;&nbsp; Qty: <input type="text" name="txtBuyQty" id="txtBuyQty" value="10" style="width: 50px" />&nbsp;&nbsp; Buy on: <input type="text" name="txtBuyOn" id="txtBuyOn" value="<%= DateTime.Now.ToString("d") %>" style="width: 70px;" /> <input type="button" id="btnBuyStock" value="Buy Stock" /> <div id="divStockBuyMessage" class="errordisplay" style="display:none"></div> </fieldset> The completed form and demo then looks something like this:   The client side code that picks up the input values and assigns them to object properties and sends the AJAX request looks like this: $("#btnBuyStock").click(function () { // create an object map that matches StockBuyOrder signature var buyOrder = { Symbol: $("#txtBuySymbol").val(), Quantity: $("#txtBuyQty").val() * 1, // number Entered: new Date() } ajaxCallMethod("SampleService.ashx", "BuyStock", [buyOrder], function (result) { $("#divStockBuyMessage").text(result).fadeIn(1000); }, onPageError); }); The code creates an object and attaches the properties that match the server side object passed to the BuyStock method. Each property that you want to update needs to be included and the type must match (ie. string, number, date in this case). Any missing properties will not be set but also not cause any errors. Pass POST data instead of Objects In the last example I collected a bunch of values from form variables and stuffed them into object variables in JavaScript code. While that works, often times this isn't really helping - I end up converting my types on the client and then doing another conversion on the server. If lots of input controls are on a page and you just want to pick up the values on the server via plain POST variables - that can be done too - and it makes sense especially if you're creating and filling the client side object only to push data to the server. Let's add another method to the server that once again lets us buy a stock. But this time let's not accept a parameter but rather send POST data to the server. Here's the server method receiving POST data: [CallbackMethod] public string BuyStockPost() { StockBuyOrder buyOrder = new StockBuyOrder(); buyOrder.Symbol = Request.Form["txtBuySymbol"]; ; int qty; int.TryParse(Request.Form["txtBuyQuantity"], out qty); buyOrder.Quantity = qty; DateTime time; DateTime.TryParse(Request.Form["txtBuyBuyOn"], out time); buyOrder.BuyOn = time; // Or easier way yet //FormVariableBinder.Unbind(buyOrder,null,"txtBuy"); var server = new StockServer(); var quote = server.GetStockQuote(buyOrder.Symbol); if (quote == null) throw new ApplicationException("Invalid or missing stock symbol."); return string.Format("You're buying {0} shares of {1} ({2}) stock at {3} for a total of {4} on {5}.", buyOrder.Quantity, quote.Company, quote.Symbol, quote.LastPrice.ToString("c"), (quote.LastPrice * buyOrder.Quantity).ToString("c"), buyOrder.BuyOn.ToString("MMM d")); } Clearly we've made this server method take more code than it did with the object parameter. We've basically moved the parameter assignment logic from the client to the server. As a result the client code to call this method is now a bit shorter since there's no client side shuffling of values from the controls to an object. $("#btnBuyStockPost").click(function () { ajaxCallMethod("SampleService.ashx", "BuyStockPost", [], // Note: No parameters - function (result) { $("#divStockBuyMessage").text(result).fadeIn(1000); }, onPageError, // Force all page Form Variables to be posted { postbackMode: "Post" }); }); The client simply calls the BuyStockQuote method and pushes all the form variables from the page up to the server which parses them instead. The feature that makes this work is one of the options you can pass to the ajaxCallMethod() function: { postbackMode: "Post" }); which directs the function to include form variable POST data when making the service call. Other options include PostNoViewState (for WebForms to strip out WebForms crap vars), PostParametersOnly (default), None. If you pass parameters those are always posted to the server except when None is set. The above code can be simplified a bit by using the FormVariableBinder helper, which can unbind form variables directly into an object: FormVariableBinder.Unbind(buyOrder,null,"txtBuy"); which replaces the manual Request.Form[] reading code. It receives the object to unbind into, a string of properties to skip, and an optional prefix which is stripped off form variables to match property names. The component is similar to the MVC model binder but it's independent of MVC. Returning non-JSON Data CallbackHandler also supports returning non-JSON/XML data via special return types. You can return raw non-JSON encoded strings like this: [CallbackMethod(ReturnAsRawString=true,ContentType="text/plain")] public string HelloWorldNoJSON(string name) { return "Hello " + name + ". Time is: " + DateTime.Now.ToString(); } Calling this method results in just a plain string - no JSON encoding with quotes around the result. This can be useful if your server handling code needs to return a string or HTML result that doesn't fit well for a page or other UI component. Any string output can be returned. You can also return binary data. Stream, byte[] and Bitmap/Image results are automatically streamed back to the client. Notice that you should set the ContentType of the request either on the CallbackMethod attribute or using Response.ContentType. This ensures the Web Server knows how to display your binary response. Using a stream response makes it possible to return any of data. Streamed data can be pretty handy to return bitmap data from a method. The following is a method that returns a stock history graph for a particular stock over a provided number of years: [CallbackMethod(ContentType="image/png",RouteUrl="stocks/history/graph/{symbol}/{years}")] public Stream GetStockHistoryGraph(string symbol, int years = 2,int width = 500, int height=350) { if (width == 0) width = 500; if (height == 0) height = 350; StockServer server = new StockServer(); return server.GetStockHistoryGraph(symbol,"Stock History for " + symbol,width,height,years); } I can now hook this up into the JavaScript code when I get a stock quote. At the end of the process I can assign the URL to the service that returns the image into the src property and so force the image to display. Here's the changed code: $("#btnStockQuote").click(function () { var symbol = $("#txtSymbol").val(); ajaxCallMethod("SampleService.ashx", "GetStockQuote", [symbol], function (quote) { $("#divStockDisplay").fadeIn(1000); $("#stockCompany").text(quote.Company + " (" + quote.Symbol + ")"); $("#stockLastPrice").text(quote.LastPrice); $("#stockQuoteTime").text(quote.LastQuoteTime.formatDate("MMM dd, hh:mmt")); // display a stock chart $("#imgStockHistory").attr("src", "stocks/history/graph/" + symbol + "/2"); },onPageError); }); The resulting output then looks like this: The charting code uses the new ASP.NET 4.0 Chart components via code to display a bar chart of the 2 year stock data as part of the StockServer class which you can find in the sample download. The ability to return arbitrary data from a service is useful as you can see - in this case the chart is clearly associated with the service and it's nice that the graph generation can happen off a handler rather than through a page. Images are common resources, but output can also be PDF reports, zip files for downloads etc. which is becoming increasingly more common to be returned from REST endpoints and other applications. Why reinvent? Obviously the examples I've shown here are pretty basic in terms of functionality. But I hope they demonstrate the core features of AJAX callbacks that you need to work through in most applications which is simple: return data, send back data and potentially retrieve data in various formats. While there are other solutions when it comes down to making AJAX callbacks and servicing REST like requests, I like the flexibility my home grown solution provides. Simply put it's still the easiest solution that I've found that addresses my common use cases: AJAX JSON RPC style callbacks Url based access XML and JSON Output from single method endpoint XML and JSON POST support, querystring input, routing parameter mapping UrlEncoded POST data support on callbacks Ability to return stream/raw string data Essentially ability to return ANYTHING from Service and pass anything All these features are available in various solutions but not together in one place. I've been using this code base for over 4 years now in a number of projects both for myself and commercial work and it's served me extremely well. Besides the AJAX functionality CallbackHandler provides, it's also an easy way to create any kind of output endpoint I need to create. Need to create a few simple routines that spit back some data, but don't want to create a Page or View or full blown handler for it? Create a CallbackHandler and add a method or multiple methods and you have your generic endpoints.  It's a quick and easy way to add small code pieces that are pretty efficient as they're running through a pretty small handler implementation. I can have this up and running in a couple of minutes literally without any setup and returning just about any kind of data. Resources Download the Sample NuGet: Westwind Web and AJAX Utilities (Westwind.Web) ajaxCallMethod() Documentation Using the AjaxMethodCallback WebForms Control West Wind Web Toolkit Home Page West Wind Web Toolkit Source Code © Rick Strahl, West Wind Technologies, 2005-2011Posted in ASP.NET  jQuery  AJAX   Tweet (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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  • .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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  • 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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  • SQLAuthority News – Memories at Anniversary of SQL Wait Stats Book

    - by pinaldave
    SQL Wait Stats About a year ago, I had very proud moment. I had published my second book SQL Server Wait Stats with me as a primary author. It has been a long journey since then. The book got great response and it was widely accepted in the community. It was first of its kind of book written specifically on Wait Stats and Performance. The book was based on my earlier month long series written on the same subject SQL Server Wait Stats. Today, on the anniversary of the book, lots of things come to my mind let me share a few here. Idea behind Blog Series A very common question I often receive is why I wrote a 30 day series on Wait Stats. There were two reasons for it. 1) I have been working with SQL Server for a long time and have troubleshoot more than hundreds of SQL Server which are related to performance tuning. It was a great experience and it taught me a lot of new things. I always documented my experience. After a while I found that I was able to completely rely on my own notes when I was troubleshooting any servers. It is right then I decided to document my experience for the community. 2) While working with wait stats there were a few things, which I thought I knew it well as they were working. However, there was always a fear in the back of mind that what happens if what I believed was incorrect and I was on the wrong path all the time. There was only one way to get it validated. Put it out in front community with my understanding and request further help to improve my understanding. It worked, it worked beautifully. I received plenty of conversations, emails and comments. I refined my content based on various conversations and make it more relevant and near accurate. I guess above two are the major reasons for beginning my journey on writing Wait Stats blog series. Idea behind Book After writing a blog series there was a good amount of request I keep on receiving that I should convert it to eBook or proper book as reading blog posts is great but it goes not give a comprehensive understanding of the subject. The very common feedback from users who were beginning the subject that they will prefer to read it in a structured method. After hearing the feedback for more than 4 months, I decided to write a book based on the blog posts. When I envisioned book, I wanted to make sure this book addresses the wait stats concepts from the fundamentals and fill the gaps of blogs I wrote earlier. Rick Morelan and Joes 2 Pros Team I must acknowledge my co-author Rick Morelan for his unconditional support in writing this book. I had already authored one book before I published this book. The experience to write the book was out of the world. Writing blog posts are much much easier than writing books. The efforts it takes to write a book is 100 times more even though the content is ready. I could have not done it myself if there was not tremendous support of my co-author and editor’s team. We spend days and days researching and discussing various concepts covered in the book. When we were in doubt we reached out to experts as well did a practical reproduction of the scenarios to validate the concepts and claims. After continuous 3 months of hard work we were able to get this book out in the community. September 1st – the lucky day Well, we had to select any day to publish the books. When book was completed in August last week we felt very glad. We all had worked hard and having a sample draft book in hand was feeling like having a newborn baby in our hand. Every time my books are published I feel the same joy which I had when my daughter was born. The feeling of holding a new book in hand is the (almost) same feeling as holding newborn baby. I am excited. For me September 1st has been the luckiest day in mind life. My daughter Shaivi was born on September 1st. Since then every September first has been excellent day and have taken me to the next step in life. I believe anything and everything I do on September 1st it is turning out to be successful and blessed. Rick and I had finished a book in the last week of August. We sent it to the publisher (printer) and asked him to take the book live as soon as possible. We did not decide on any date as we wanted the book to get out as fast as it can. Interesting enough, the publisher/printer selected September 1st for publishing the book. He published the book on 1st September and I knew it at the same time that this book will go next level. Book Model – The Most Beautiful Girl We were done with book. We had no budget left for marketing. Rick and I had a long conversation regarding how to spread the words for the book so it can reach to many people. While we were talking about marketing Rick come up with the idea that we should hire a most beautiful girl around who acknowledge our book and genuinely care for book. It was a difficult task and Rick asked me to find a more beautiful girl. I am a father and the most beautiful girl for me my daughter. This was not a difficult task for me. Rick had given me task to find the most beautiful girl and I just could not think of anyone else than my own daughter. I still do not know what Rick thought about this idea but I had already made up my mind. You can see the detailed blog post here. The Fun Experiments Book Signing Event We had lots of fun moments along this book. We have given away more books to people for free than we have sold them actually. We had done book signing events, contests, and just plain give away when we found people can be benefited from this book. There was never an intention to make money and get rich. We just wanted that more and more people know about this new concept and learn from it. Today when I look back to the earnings there is nothing much we have earned if you talk about dollars. However the best reward which we have received is the satisfaction and love of community. The amount of emails, conversations we have so far received for this book is over thousands. We had fun writing this book, it was indeed a very satisfying journey. I have earned lots of friends while learning and exploring. Availability The book is one year old but still very relevant when it is about performance tuning. It is available at various online book stores. If you have read the book, do let me know what you think of it. Amazon | Kindle | Flipkart | Indiaplaza Reference:  Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com) Filed under: About Me, Joes 2 Pros, PostADay, SQL, SQL Authority, SQL Query, SQL Server, SQL Tips and Tricks, SQLAuthority, SQLAuthority Book Review, T SQL, Technology

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  • Creating a dynamic, extensible C# Expando Object

    - by Rick Strahl
    I love dynamic functionality in a strongly typed language because it offers us the best of both worlds. In C# (or any of the main .NET languages) we now have the dynamic type that provides a host of dynamic features for the static C# language. One place where I've found dynamic to be incredibly useful is in building extensible types or types that expose traditionally non-object data (like dictionaries) in easier to use and more readable syntax. I wrote about a couple of these for accessing old school ADO.NET DataRows and DataReaders more easily for example. These classes are dynamic wrappers that provide easier syntax and auto-type conversions which greatly simplifies code clutter and increases clarity in existing code. ExpandoObject in .NET 4.0 Another great use case for dynamic objects is the ability to create extensible objects - objects that start out with a set of static members and then can add additional properties and even methods dynamically. The .NET 4.0 framework actually includes an ExpandoObject class which provides a very dynamic object that allows you to add properties and methods on the fly and then access them again. For example with ExpandoObject you can do stuff like this:dynamic expand = new ExpandoObject(); expand.Name = "Rick"; expand.HelloWorld = (Func<string, string>) ((string name) => { return "Hello " + name; }); Console.WriteLine(expand.Name); Console.WriteLine(expand.HelloWorld("Dufus")); Internally ExpandoObject uses a Dictionary like structure and interface to store properties and methods and then allows you to add and access properties and methods easily. As cool as ExpandoObject is it has a few shortcomings too: It's a sealed type so you can't use it as a base class It only works off 'properties' in the internal Dictionary - you can't expose existing type data It doesn't serialize to XML or with DataContractSerializer/DataContractJsonSerializer Expando - A truly extensible Object ExpandoObject is nice if you just need a dynamic container for a dictionary like structure. However, if you want to build an extensible object that starts out with a set of strongly typed properties and then allows you to extend it, ExpandoObject does not work because it's a sealed class that can't be inherited. I started thinking about this very scenario for one of my applications I'm building for a customer. In this system we are connecting to various different user stores. Each user store has the same basic requirements for username, password, name etc. But then each store also has a number of extended properties that is available to each application. In the real world scenario the data is loaded from the database in a data reader and the known properties are assigned from the known fields in the database. All unknown fields are then 'added' to the expando object dynamically. In the past I've done this very thing with a separate property - Properties - just like I do for this class. But the property and dictionary syntax is not ideal and tedious to work with. I started thinking about how to represent these extra property structures. One way certainly would be to add a Dictionary, or an ExpandoObject to hold all those extra properties. But wouldn't it be nice if the application could actually extend an existing object that looks something like this as you can with the Expando object:public class User : Westwind.Utilities.Dynamic.Expando { public string Email { get; set; } public string Password { get; set; } public string Name { get; set; } public bool Active { get; set; } public DateTime? ExpiresOn { get; set; } } and then simply start extending the properties of this object dynamically? Using the Expando object I describe later you can now do the following:[TestMethod] public void UserExampleTest() { var user = new User(); // Set strongly typed properties user.Email = "[email protected]"; user.Password = "nonya123"; user.Name = "Rickochet"; user.Active = true; // Now add dynamic properties dynamic duser = user; duser.Entered = DateTime.Now; duser.Accesses = 1; // you can also add dynamic props via indexer user["NickName"] = "AntiSocialX"; duser["WebSite"] = "http://www.west-wind.com/weblog"; // Access strong type through dynamic ref Assert.AreEqual(user.Name,duser.Name); // Access strong type through indexer Assert.AreEqual(user.Password,user["Password"]); // access dyanmically added value through indexer Assert.AreEqual(duser.Entered,user["Entered"]); // access index added value through dynamic Assert.AreEqual(user["NickName"],duser.NickName); // loop through all properties dynamic AND strong type properties (true) foreach (var prop in user.GetProperties(true)) { object val = prop.Value; if (val == null) val = "null"; Console.WriteLine(prop.Key + ": " + val.ToString()); } } As you can see this code somewhat blurs the line between a static and dynamic type. You start with a strongly typed object that has a fixed set of properties. You can then cast the object to dynamic (as I discussed in my last post) and add additional properties to the object. You can also use an indexer to add dynamic properties to the object. To access the strongly typed properties you can use either the strongly typed instance, the indexer or the dynamic cast of the object. Personally I think it's kinda cool to have an easy way to access strongly typed properties by string which can make some data scenarios much easier. To access the 'dynamically added' properties you can use either the indexer on the strongly typed object, or property syntax on the dynamic cast. Using the dynamic type allows all three modes to work on both strongly typed and dynamic properties. Finally you can iterate over all properties, both dynamic and strongly typed if you chose. Lots of flexibility. Note also that by default the Expando object works against the (this) instance meaning it extends the current object. You can also pass in a separate instance to the constructor in which case that object will be used to iterate over to find properties rather than this. Using this approach provides some really interesting functionality when use the dynamic type. To use this we have to add an explicit constructor to the Expando subclass:public class User : Westwind.Utilities.Dynamic.Expando { public string Email { get; set; } public string Password { get; set; } public string Name { get; set; } public bool Active { get; set; } public DateTime? ExpiresOn { get; set; } public User() : base() { } // only required if you want to mix in seperate instance public User(object instance) : base(instance) { } } to allow the instance to be passed. When you do you can now do:[TestMethod] public void ExpandoMixinTest() { // have Expando work on Addresses var user = new User( new Address() ); // cast to dynamicAccessToPropertyTest dynamic duser = user; // Set strongly typed properties duser.Email = "[email protected]"; user.Password = "nonya123"; // Set properties on address object duser.Address = "32 Kaiea"; //duser.Phone = "808-123-2131"; // set dynamic properties duser.NonExistantProperty = "This works too"; // shows default value Address.Phone value Console.WriteLine(duser.Phone); } Using the dynamic cast in this case allows you to access *three* different 'objects': The strong type properties, the dynamically added properties in the dictionary and the properties of the instance passed in! Effectively this gives you a way to simulate multiple inheritance (which is scary - so be very careful with this, but you can do it). How Expando works Behind the scenes Expando is a DynamicObject subclass as I discussed in my last post. By implementing a few of DynamicObject's methods you can basically create a type that can trap 'property missing' and 'method missing' operations. When you access a non-existant property a known method is fired that our code can intercept and provide a value for. Internally Expando uses a custom dictionary implementation to hold the dynamic properties you might add to your expandable object. Let's look at code first. The code for the Expando type is straight forward and given what it provides relatively short. Here it is.using System; using System.Collections.Generic; using System.Linq; using System.Dynamic; using System.Reflection; namespace Westwind.Utilities.Dynamic { /// <summary> /// Class that provides extensible properties and methods. This /// dynamic object stores 'extra' properties in a dictionary or /// checks the actual properties of the instance. /// /// This means you can subclass this expando and retrieve either /// native properties or properties from values in the dictionary. /// /// This type allows you three ways to access its properties: /// /// Directly: any explicitly declared properties are accessible /// Dynamic: dynamic cast allows access to dictionary and native properties/methods /// Dictionary: Any of the extended properties are accessible via IDictionary interface /// </summary> [Serializable] public class Expando : DynamicObject, IDynamicMetaObjectProvider { /// <summary> /// Instance of object passed in /// </summary> object Instance; /// <summary> /// Cached type of the instance /// </summary> Type InstanceType; PropertyInfo[] InstancePropertyInfo { get { if (_InstancePropertyInfo == null && Instance != null) _InstancePropertyInfo = Instance.GetType().GetProperties(BindingFlags.Instance | BindingFlags.Public | BindingFlags.DeclaredOnly); return _InstancePropertyInfo; } } PropertyInfo[] _InstancePropertyInfo; /// <summary> /// String Dictionary that contains the extra dynamic values /// stored on this object/instance /// </summary> /// <remarks>Using PropertyBag to support XML Serialization of the dictionary</remarks> public PropertyBag Properties = new PropertyBag(); //public Dictionary<string,object> Properties = new Dictionary<string, object>(); /// <summary> /// This constructor just works off the internal dictionary and any /// public properties of this object. /// /// Note you can subclass Expando. /// </summary> public Expando() { Initialize(this); } /// <summary> /// Allows passing in an existing instance variable to 'extend'. /// </summary> /// <remarks> /// You can pass in null here if you don't want to /// check native properties and only check the Dictionary! /// </remarks> /// <param name="instance"></param> public Expando(object instance) { Initialize(instance); } protected virtual void Initialize(object instance) { Instance = instance; if (instance != null) InstanceType = instance.GetType(); } /// <summary> /// Try to retrieve a member by name first from instance properties /// followed by the collection entries. /// </summary> /// <param name="binder"></param> /// <param name="result"></param> /// <returns></returns> public override bool TryGetMember(GetMemberBinder binder, out object result) { result = null; // first check the Properties collection for member if (Properties.Keys.Contains(binder.Name)) { result = Properties[binder.Name]; return true; } // Next check for Public properties via Reflection if (Instance != null) { try { return GetProperty(Instance, binder.Name, out result); } catch { } } // failed to retrieve a property result = null; return false; } /// <summary> /// Property setter implementation tries to retrieve value from instance /// first then into this object /// </summary> /// <param name="binder"></param> /// <param name="value"></param> /// <returns></returns> public override bool TrySetMember(SetMemberBinder binder, object value) { // first check to see if there's a native property to set if (Instance != null) { try { bool result = SetProperty(Instance, binder.Name, value); if (result) return true; } catch { } } // no match - set or add to dictionary Properties[binder.Name] = value; return true; } /// <summary> /// Dynamic invocation method. Currently allows only for Reflection based /// operation (no ability to add methods dynamically). /// </summary> /// <param name="binder"></param> /// <param name="args"></param> /// <param name="result"></param> /// <returns></returns> public override bool TryInvokeMember(InvokeMemberBinder binder, object[] args, out object result) { if (Instance != null) { try { // check instance passed in for methods to invoke if (InvokeMethod(Instance, binder.Name, args, out result)) return true; } catch { } } result = null; return false; } /// <summary> /// Reflection Helper method to retrieve a property /// </summary> /// <param name="instance"></param> /// <param name="name"></param> /// <param name="result"></param> /// <returns></returns> protected bool GetProperty(object instance, string name, out object result) { if (instance == null) instance = this; var miArray = InstanceType.GetMember(name, BindingFlags.Public | BindingFlags.GetProperty | BindingFlags.Instance); if (miArray != null && miArray.Length > 0) { var mi = miArray[0]; if (mi.MemberType == MemberTypes.Property) { result = ((PropertyInfo)mi).GetValue(instance,null); return true; } } result = null; return false; } /// <summary> /// Reflection helper method to set a property value /// </summary> /// <param name="instance"></param> /// <param name="name"></param> /// <param name="value"></param> /// <returns></returns> protected bool SetProperty(object instance, string name, object value) { if (instance == null) instance = this; var miArray = InstanceType.GetMember(name, BindingFlags.Public | BindingFlags.SetProperty | BindingFlags.Instance); if (miArray != null && miArray.Length > 0) { var mi = miArray[0]; if (mi.MemberType == MemberTypes.Property) { ((PropertyInfo)mi).SetValue(Instance, value, null); return true; } } return false; } /// <summary> /// Reflection helper method to invoke a method /// </summary> /// <param name="instance"></param> /// <param name="name"></param> /// <param name="args"></param> /// <param name="result"></param> /// <returns></returns> protected bool InvokeMethod(object instance, string name, object[] args, out object result) { if (instance == null) instance = this; // Look at the instanceType var miArray = InstanceType.GetMember(name, BindingFlags.InvokeMethod | BindingFlags.Public | BindingFlags.Instance); if (miArray != null && miArray.Length > 0) { var mi = miArray[0] as MethodInfo; result = mi.Invoke(Instance, args); return true; } result = null; return false; } /// <summary> /// Convenience method that provides a string Indexer /// to the Properties collection AND the strongly typed /// properties of the object by name. /// /// // dynamic /// exp["Address"] = "112 nowhere lane"; /// // strong /// var name = exp["StronglyTypedProperty"] as string; /// </summary> /// <remarks> /// The getter checks the Properties dictionary first /// then looks in PropertyInfo for properties. /// The setter checks the instance properties before /// checking the Properties dictionary. /// </remarks> /// <param name="key"></param> /// /// <returns></returns> public object this[string key] { get { try { // try to get from properties collection first return Properties[key]; } catch (KeyNotFoundException ex) { // try reflection on instanceType object result = null; if (GetProperty(Instance, key, out result)) return result; // nope doesn't exist throw; } } set { if (Properties.ContainsKey(key)) { Properties[key] = value; return; } // check instance for existance of type first var miArray = InstanceType.GetMember(key, BindingFlags.Public | BindingFlags.GetProperty); if (miArray != null && miArray.Length > 0) SetProperty(Instance, key, value); else Properties[key] = value; } } /// <summary> /// Returns and the properties of /// </summary> /// <param name="includeProperties"></param> /// <returns></returns> public IEnumerable<KeyValuePair<string,object>> GetProperties(bool includeInstanceProperties = false) { if (includeInstanceProperties && Instance != null) { foreach (var prop in this.InstancePropertyInfo) yield return new KeyValuePair<string, object>(prop.Name, prop.GetValue(Instance, null)); } foreach (var key in this.Properties.Keys) yield return new KeyValuePair<string, object>(key, this.Properties[key]); } /// <summary> /// Checks whether a property exists in the Property collection /// or as a property on the instance /// </summary> /// <param name="item"></param> /// <returns></returns> public bool Contains(KeyValuePair<string, object> item, bool includeInstanceProperties = false) { bool res = Properties.ContainsKey(item.Key); if (res) return true; if (includeInstanceProperties && Instance != null) { foreach (var prop in this.InstancePropertyInfo) { if (prop.Name == item.Key) return true; } } return false; } } } Although the Expando class supports an indexer, it doesn't actually implement IDictionary or even IEnumerable. It only provides the indexer and Contains() and GetProperties() methods, that work against the Properties dictionary AND the internal instance. The reason for not implementing IDictionary is that a) it doesn't add much value since you can access the Properties dictionary directly and that b) I wanted to keep the interface to class very lean so that it can serve as an entity type if desired. Implementing these IDictionary (or even IEnumerable) causes LINQ extension methods to pop up on the type which obscures the property interface and would only confuse the purpose of the type. IDictionary and IEnumerable are also problematic for XML and JSON Serialization - the XML Serializer doesn't serialize IDictionary<string,object>, nor does the DataContractSerializer. The JavaScriptSerializer does serialize, but it treats the entire object like a dictionary and doesn't serialize the strongly typed properties of the type, only the dictionary values which is also not desirable. Hence the decision to stick with only implementing the indexer to support the user["CustomProperty"] functionality and leaving iteration functions to the publicly exposed Properties dictionary. Note that the Dictionary used here is a custom PropertyBag class I created to allow for serialization to work. One important aspect for my apps is that whatever custom properties get added they have to be accessible to AJAX clients since the particular app I'm working on is a SIngle Page Web app where most of the Web access is through JSON AJAX calls. PropertyBag can serialize to XML and one way serialize to JSON using the JavaScript serializer (not the DCS serializers though). The key components that make Expando work in this code are the Properties Dictionary and the TryGetMember() and TrySetMember() methods. The Properties collection is public so if you choose you can explicitly access the collection to get better performance or to manipulate the members in internal code (like loading up dynamic values form a database). Notice that TryGetMember() and TrySetMember() both work against the dictionary AND the internal instance to retrieve and set properties. This means that user["Name"] works against native properties of the object as does user["Name"] = "RogaDugDog". What's your Use Case? This is still an early prototype but I've plugged it into one of my customer's applications and so far it's working very well. The key features for me were the ability to easily extend the type with values coming from a database and exposing those values in a nice and easy to use manner. I'm also finding that using this type of object for ViewModels works very well to add custom properties to view models. I suspect there will be lots of uses for this - I've been using the extra dictionary approach to extensibility for years - using a dynamic type to make the syntax cleaner is just a bonus here. What can you think of to use this for? Resources Source Code and Tests (GitHub) Also integrated in Westwind.Utilities of the West Wind Web Toolkit West Wind Utilities NuGet© Rick Strahl, West Wind Technologies, 2005-2012Posted in CSharp  .NET  Dynamic Types   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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  • ASP.NET Frameworks and Raw Throughput Performance

    - by Rick Strahl
    A few days ago I had a curious thought: With all these different technologies that the ASP.NET stack has to offer, what's the most efficient technology overall to return data for a server request? When I started this it was mere curiosity rather than a real practical need or result. Different tools are used for different problems and so performance differences are to be expected. But still I was curious to see how the various technologies performed relative to each just for raw throughput of the request getting to the endpoint and back out to the client with as little processing in the actual endpoint logic as possible (aka Hello World!). I want to clarify that this is merely an informal test for my own curiosity and I'm sharing the results and process here because I thought it was interesting. It's been a long while since I've done any sort of perf testing on ASP.NET, mainly because I've not had extremely heavy load requirements and because overall ASP.NET performs very well even for fairly high loads so that often it's not that critical to test load performance. This post is not meant to make a point  or even come to a conclusion which tech is better, but just to act as a reference to help understand some of the differences in perf and give a starting point to play around with this yourself. I've included the code for this simple project, so you can play with it and maybe add a few additional tests for different things if you like. Source Code on GitHub I looked at this data for these technologies: ASP.NET Web API ASP.NET MVC WebForms ASP.NET WebPages ASMX AJAX Services  (couldn't get AJAX/JSON to run on IIS8 ) WCF Rest Raw ASP.NET HttpHandlers It's quite a mixed bag, of course and the technologies target different types of development. What started out as mere curiosity turned into a bit of a head scratcher as the results were sometimes surprising. What I describe here is more to satisfy my curiosity more than anything and I thought it interesting enough to discuss on the blog :-) First test: Raw Throughput The first thing I did is test raw throughput for the various technologies. This is the least practical test of course since you're unlikely to ever create the equivalent of a 'Hello World' request in a real life application. The idea here is to measure how much time a 'NOP' request takes to return data to the client. So for this request I create the simplest Hello World request that I could come up for each tech. Http Handler The first is the lowest level approach which is an HTTP handler. public class Handler : IHttpHandler { public void ProcessRequest(HttpContext context) { context.Response.ContentType = "text/plain"; context.Response.Write("Hello World. Time is: " + DateTime.Now.ToString()); } public bool IsReusable { get { return true; } } } WebForms Next I added a couple of ASPX pages - one using CodeBehind and one using only a markup page. The CodeBehind page simple does this in CodeBehind without any markup in the ASPX page: public partial class HelloWorld_CodeBehind : System.Web.UI.Page { protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e) { Response.Write("Hello World. Time is: " + DateTime.Now.ToString() ); Response.End(); } } while the Markup page only contains some static output via an expression:<%@ Page Language="C#" AutoEventWireup="false" CodeBehind="HelloWorld_Markup.aspx.cs" Inherits="AspNetFrameworksPerformance.HelloWorld_Markup" %> Hello World. Time is <%= DateTime.Now %> ASP.NET WebPages WebPages is the freestanding Razor implementation of ASP.NET. Here's the simple HelloWorld.cshtml page:Hello World @DateTime.Now WCF REST WCF REST was the token REST implementation for ASP.NET before WebAPI and the inbetween step from ASP.NET AJAX. I'd like to forget that this technology was ever considered for production use, but I'll include it here. Here's an OperationContract class: [ServiceContract(Namespace = "")] [AspNetCompatibilityRequirements(RequirementsMode = AspNetCompatibilityRequirementsMode.Allowed)] public class WcfService { [OperationContract] [WebGet] public Stream HelloWorld() { var data = Encoding.Unicode.GetBytes("Hello World" + DateTime.Now.ToString()); var ms = new MemoryStream(data); // Add your operation implementation here return ms; } } WCF REST can return arbitrary results by returning a Stream object and a content type. The code above turns the string result into a stream and returns that back to the client. ASP.NET AJAX (ASMX Services) I also wanted to test ASP.NET AJAX services because prior to WebAPI this is probably still the most widely used AJAX technology for the ASP.NET stack today. Unfortunately I was completely unable to get this running on my Windows 8 machine. Visual Studio 2012  removed adding of ASP.NET AJAX services, and when I tried to manually add the service and configure the script handler references it simply did not work - I always got a SOAP response for GET and POST operations. No matter what I tried I always ended up getting XML results even when explicitly adding the ScriptHandler. So, I didn't test this (but the code is there - you might be able to test this on a Windows 7 box). ASP.NET MVC Next up is probably the most popular ASP.NET technology at the moment: MVC. Here's the small controller: public class MvcPerformanceController : Controller { public ActionResult Index() { return View(); } public ActionResult HelloWorldCode() { return new ContentResult() { Content = "Hello World. Time is: " + DateTime.Now.ToString() }; } } ASP.NET WebAPI Next up is WebAPI which looks kind of similar to MVC. Except here I have to use a StringContent result to return the response: public class WebApiPerformanceController : ApiController { [HttpGet] public HttpResponseMessage HelloWorldCode() { return new HttpResponseMessage() { Content = new StringContent("Hello World. Time is: " + DateTime.Now.ToString(), Encoding.UTF8, "text/plain") }; } } Testing Take a minute to think about each of the technologies… and take a guess which you think is most efficient in raw throughput. The fastest should be pretty obvious, but the others - maybe not so much. The testing I did is pretty informal since it was mainly to satisfy my curiosity - here's how I did this: I used Apache Bench (ab.exe) from a full Apache HTTP installation to run and log the test results of hitting the server. ab.exe is a small executable that lets you hit a URL repeatedly and provides counter information about the number of requests, requests per second etc. ab.exe and the batch file are located in the \LoadTests folder of the project. An ab.exe command line  looks like this: ab.exe -n100000 -c20 http://localhost/aspnetperf/api/HelloWorld which hits the specified URL 100,000 times with a load factor of 20 concurrent requests. This results in output like this:   It's a great way to get a quick and dirty performance summary. Run it a few times to make sure there's not a large amount of varience. You might also want to do an IISRESET to clear the Web Server. Just make sure you do a short test run to warm up the server first - otherwise your first run is likely to be skewed downwards. ab.exe also allows you to specify headers and provide POST data and many other things if you want to get a little more fancy. Here all tests are GET requests to keep it simple. I ran each test: 100,000 iterations Load factor of 20 concurrent connections IISReset before starting A short warm up run for API and MVC to make sure startup cost is mitigated Here is the batch file I used for the test: IISRESET REM make sure you add REM C:\Program Files (x86)\Apache Software Foundation\Apache2.2\bin REM to your path so ab.exe can be found REM Warm up ab.exe -n100 -c20 http://localhost/aspnetperf/MvcPerformance/HelloWorldJsonab.exe -n100 -c20 http://localhost/aspnetperf/api/HelloWorldJson ab.exe -n100 -c20 http://localhost/AspNetPerf/WcfService.svc/HelloWorld ab.exe -n100000 -c20 http://localhost/aspnetperf/handler.ashx > handler.txt ab.exe -n100000 -c20 http://localhost/aspnetperf/HelloWorld_CodeBehind.aspx > AspxCodeBehind.txt ab.exe -n100000 -c20 http://localhost/aspnetperf/HelloWorld_Markup.aspx > AspxMarkup.txt ab.exe -n100000 -c20 http://localhost/AspNetPerf/WcfService.svc/HelloWorld > Wcf.txt ab.exe -n100000 -c20 http://localhost/aspnetperf/MvcPerformance/HelloWorldCode > Mvc.txt ab.exe -n100000 -c20 http://localhost/aspnetperf/api/HelloWorld > WebApi.txt I ran each of these tests 3 times and took the average score for Requests/second, with the machine otherwise idle. I did see a bit of variance when running many tests but the values used here are the medians. Part of this has to do with the fact I ran the tests on my local machine - result would probably more consistent running the load test on a separate machine hitting across the network. I ran these tests locally on my laptop which is a Dell XPS with quad core Sandibridge I7-2720QM @ 2.20ghz and a fast SSD drive on Windows 8. CPU load during tests ran to about 70% max across all 4 cores (IOW, it wasn't overloading the machine). Ideally you can try running these tests on a separate machine hitting the local machine. If I remember correctly IIS 7 and 8 on client OSs don't throttle so the performance here should be Results Ok, let's cut straight to the chase. Below are the results from the tests… It's not surprising that the handler was fastest. But it was a bit surprising to me that the next fastest was WebForms and especially Web Forms with markup over a CodeBehind page. WebPages also fared fairly well. MVC and WebAPI are a little slower and the slowest by far is WCF REST (which again I find surprising). As mentioned at the start the raw throughput tests are not overly practical as they don't test scripting performance for the HTML generation engines or serialization performances of the data engines. All it really does is give you an idea of the raw throughput for the technology from time of request to reaching the endpoint and returning minimal text data back to the client which indicates full round trip performance. But it's still interesting to see that Web Forms performs better in throughput than either MVC, WebAPI or WebPages. It'd be interesting to try this with a few pages that actually have some parsing logic on it, but that's beyond the scope of this throughput test. But what's also amazing about this test is the sheer amount of traffic that a laptop computer is handling. Even the slowest tech managed 5700 requests a second, which is one hell of a lot of requests if you extrapolate that out over a 24 hour period. Remember these are not static pages, but dynamic requests that are being served. Another test - JSON Data Service Results The second test I used a JSON result from several of the technologies. I didn't bother running WebForms and WebPages through this test since that doesn't make a ton of sense to return data from the them (OTOH, returning text from the APIs didn't make a ton of sense either :-) In these tests I have a small Person class that gets serialized and then returned to the client. The Person class looks like this: public class Person { public Person() { Id = 10; Name = "Rick"; Entered = DateTime.Now; } public int Id { get; set; } public string Name { get; set; } public DateTime Entered { get; set; } } Here are the updated handler classes that use Person: Handler public class Handler : IHttpHandler { public void ProcessRequest(HttpContext context) { var action = context.Request.QueryString["action"]; if (action == "json") JsonRequest(context); else TextRequest(context); } public void TextRequest(HttpContext context) { context.Response.ContentType = "text/plain"; context.Response.Write("Hello World. Time is: " + DateTime.Now.ToString()); } public void JsonRequest(HttpContext context) { var json = JsonConvert.SerializeObject(new Person(), Formatting.None); context.Response.ContentType = "application/json"; context.Response.Write(json); } public bool IsReusable { get { return true; } } } This code adds a little logic to check for a action query string and route the request to an optional JSON result method. To generate JSON, I'm using the same JSON.NET serializer (JsonConvert.SerializeObject) used in Web API to create the JSON response. WCF REST   [ServiceContract(Namespace = "")] [AspNetCompatibilityRequirements(RequirementsMode = AspNetCompatibilityRequirementsMode.Allowed)] public class WcfService { [OperationContract] [WebGet] public Stream HelloWorld() { var data = Encoding.Unicode.GetBytes("Hello World " + DateTime.Now.ToString()); var ms = new MemoryStream(data); // Add your operation implementation here return ms; } [OperationContract] [WebGet(ResponseFormat=WebMessageFormat.Json,BodyStyle=WebMessageBodyStyle.WrappedRequest)] public Person HelloWorldJson() { // Add your operation implementation here return new Person(); } } For WCF REST all I have to do is add a method with the Person result type.   ASP.NET MVC public class MvcPerformanceController : Controller { // // GET: /MvcPerformance/ public ActionResult Index() { return View(); } public ActionResult HelloWorldCode() { return new ContentResult() { Content = "Hello World. Time is: " + DateTime.Now.ToString() }; } public JsonResult HelloWorldJson() { return Json(new Person(), JsonRequestBehavior.AllowGet); } } For MVC all I have to do for a JSON response is return a JSON result. ASP.NET internally uses JavaScriptSerializer. ASP.NET WebAPI public class WebApiPerformanceController : ApiController { [HttpGet] public HttpResponseMessage HelloWorldCode() { return new HttpResponseMessage() { Content = new StringContent("Hello World. Time is: " + DateTime.Now.ToString(), Encoding.UTF8, "text/plain") }; } [HttpGet] public Person HelloWorldJson() { return new Person(); } [HttpGet] public HttpResponseMessage HelloWorldJson2() { var response = new HttpResponseMessage(HttpStatusCode.OK); response.Content = new ObjectContent<Person>(new Person(), GlobalConfiguration.Configuration.Formatters.JsonFormatter); return response; } } Testing and Results To run these data requests I used the following ab.exe commands:REM JSON RESPONSES ab.exe -n100000 -c20 http://localhost/aspnetperf/Handler.ashx?action=json > HandlerJson.txt ab.exe -n100000 -c20 http://localhost/aspnetperf/MvcPerformance/HelloWorldJson > MvcJson.txt ab.exe -n100000 -c20 http://localhost/aspnetperf/api/HelloWorldJson > WebApiJson.txt ab.exe -n100000 -c20 http://localhost/AspNetPerf/WcfService.svc/HelloWorldJson > WcfJson.txt The results from this test run are a bit interesting in that the WebAPI test improved performance significantly over returning plain string content. Here are the results:   The performance for each technology drops a little bit except for WebAPI which is up quite a bit! From this test it appears that WebAPI is actually significantly better performing returning a JSON response, rather than a plain string response. Snag with Apache Benchmark and 'Length Failures' I ran into a little snag with Apache Benchmark, which was reporting failures for my Web API requests when serializing. As the graph shows performance improved significantly from with JSON results from 5580 to 6530 or so which is a 15% improvement (while all others slowed down by 3-8%). However, I was skeptical at first because the WebAPI test reports showed a bunch of errors on about 10% of the requests. Check out this report: Notice the Failed Request count. What the hey? Is WebAPI failing on roughly 10% of requests when sending JSON? Turns out: No it's not! But it took some sleuthing to figure out why it reports these failures. At first I thought that Web API was failing, and so to make sure I re-ran the test with Fiddler attached and runiisning the ab.exe test by using the -X switch: ab.exe -n100 -c10 -X localhost:8888 http://localhost/aspnetperf/api/HelloWorldJson which showed that indeed all requests where returning proper HTTP 200 results with full content. However ab.exe was reporting the errors. After some closer inspection it turned out that the dates varying in size altered the response length in dynamic output. For example: these two results: {"Id":10,"Name":"Rick","Entered":"2012-09-04T10:57:24.841926-10:00"} {"Id":10,"Name":"Rick","Entered":"2012-09-04T10:57:24.8519262-10:00"} are different in length for the number which results in 68 and 69 bytes respectively. The same URL produces different result lengths which is what ab.exe reports. I didn't notice at first bit the same is happening when running the ASHX handler with JSON.NET result since it uses the same serializer that varies the milliseconds. Moral: You can typically ignore Length failures in Apache Benchmark and when in doubt check the actual output with Fiddler. Note that the other failure values are accurate though. Another interesting Side Note: Perf drops over Time As I was running these tests repeatedly I was finding that performance steadily dropped from a startup peak to a 10-15% lower stable level. IOW, with Web API I'd start out with around 6500 req/sec and in subsequent runs it keeps dropping until it would stabalize somewhere around 5900 req/sec occasionally jumping lower. For these tests this is why I did the IIS RESET and warm up for individual tests. This is a little puzzling. Looking at Process Monitor while the test are running memory very quickly levels out as do handles and threads, on the first test run. Subsequent runs everything stays stable, but the performance starts going downwards. This applies to all the technologies - Handlers, Web Forms, MVC, Web API - curious to see if others test this and see similar results. Doing an IISRESET then resets everything and performance starts off at peak again… Summary As I stated at the outset, these were informal to satiate my curiosity not to prove that any technology is better or even faster than another. While there clearly are differences in performance the differences (other than WCF REST which was by far the slowest and the raw handler which was by far the highest) are relatively minor, so there is no need to feel that any one technology is a runaway standout in raw performance. Choosing a technology is about more than pure performance but also about the adequateness for the job and the easy of implementation. The strengths of each technology will make for any minor performance difference we see in these tests. However, to me it's important to get an occasional reality check and compare where new technologies are heading. Often times old stuff that's been optimized and designed for a time of less horse power can utterly blow the doors off newer tech and simple checks like this let you compare. Luckily we're seeing that much of the new stuff performs well even in V1.0 which is great. To me it was very interesting to see Web API perform relatively badly with plain string content, which originally led me to think that Web API might not be properly optimized just yet. For those that caught my Tweets late last week regarding WebAPI's slow responses was with String content which is in fact considerably slower. Luckily where it counts with serialized JSON and XML WebAPI actually performs better. But I do wonder what would make generic string content slower than serialized code? This stresses another point: Don't take a single test as the final gospel and don't extrapolate out from a single set of tests. Certainly Twitter can make you feel like a fool when you post something immediate that hasn't been fleshed out a little more <blush>. Egg on my face. As a result I ended up screwing around with this for a few hours today to compare different scenarios. Well worth the time… I hope you found this useful, if not for the results, maybe for the process of quickly testing a few requests for performance and charting out a comparison. Now onwards with more serious stuff… Resources Source Code on GitHub Apache HTTP Server Project (ab.exe is part of the binary distribution)© Rick Strahl, West Wind Technologies, 2005-2012Posted in ASP.NET  Web Api   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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  • 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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  • Creating a Dynamic DataRow for easier DataRow Syntax

    - by Rick Strahl
    I've been thrown back into an older project that uses DataSets and DataRows as their entity storage model. I have several applications internally that I still maintain that run just fine (and I sometimes wonder if this wasn't easier than all this ORM crap we deal with with 'newer' improved technology today - but I disgress) but use this older code. For the most part DataSets/DataTables/DataRows are abstracted away in a pseudo entity model, but in some situations like queries DataTables and DataRows are still surfaced to the business layer. Here's an example. Here's a business object method that runs dynamic query and the code ends up looping over the result set using the ugly DataRow Array syntax:public int UpdateAllSafeTitles() { int result = this.Execute("select pk, title, safetitle from " + Tablename + " where EntryType=1", "TPks"); if (result < 0) return result; result = 0; foreach (DataRow row in this.DataSet.Tables["TPks"].Rows) { string title = row["title"] as string; string safeTitle = row["safeTitle"] as string; int pk = (int)row["pk"]; string newSafeTitle = this.GetSafeTitle(title); if (newSafeTitle != safeTitle) { this.ExecuteNonQuery("update " + this.Tablename + " set [email protected] where [email protected]", this.CreateParameter("@safeTitle",newSafeTitle), this.CreateParameter("@pk",pk) ); result++; } } return result; } The problem with looping over DataRow objecs is two fold: The array syntax is tedious to type and not real clear to look at, and explicit casting is required in order to do anything useful with the values. I've highlighted the place where this matters. Using the DynamicDataRow class I'll show in a minute this code can be changed to look like this:public int UpdateAllSafeTitles() { int result = this.Execute("select pk, title, safetitle from " + Tablename + " where EntryType=1", "TPks"); if (result < 0) return result; result = 0; foreach (DataRow row in this.DataSet.Tables["TPks"].Rows) { dynamic entry = new DynamicDataRow(row); string newSafeTitle = this.GetSafeTitle(entry.title); if (newSafeTitle != entry.safeTitle) { this.ExecuteNonQuery("update " + this.Tablename + " set [email protected] where [email protected]", this.CreateParameter("@safeTitle",newSafeTitle), this.CreateParameter("@pk",entry.pk) ); result++; } } return result; } The code looks much a bit more natural and describes what's happening a little nicer as well. Well, using the new dynamic features in .NET it's actually quite easy to implement the DynamicDataRow class. Creating your own custom Dynamic Objects .NET 4.0 introduced the Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR) and opened up a whole bunch of new capabilities for .NET applications. The dynamic type is an easy way to avoid Reflection and directly access members of 'dynamic' or 'late bound' objects at runtime. There's a lot of very subtle but extremely useful stuff that dynamic does (especially for COM Interop scenearios) but in its simplest form it often allows you to do away with manual Reflection at runtime. In addition you can create DynamicObject implementations that can perform  custom interception of member accesses and so allow you to provide more natural access to more complex or awkward data structures like the DataRow that I use as an example here. Bascially you can subclass DynamicObject and then implement a few methods (TryGetMember, TrySetMember, TryInvokeMember) to provide the ability to return dynamic results from just about any data structure using simple property/method access. In the code above, I created a custom DynamicDataRow class which inherits from DynamicObject and implements only TryGetMember and TrySetMember. Here's what simple class looks like:/// <summary> /// This class provides an easy way to turn a DataRow /// into a Dynamic object that supports direct property /// access to the DataRow fields. /// /// The class also automatically fixes up DbNull values /// (null into .NET and DbNUll to DataRow) /// </summary> public class DynamicDataRow : DynamicObject { /// <summary> /// Instance of object passed in /// </summary> DataRow DataRow; /// <summary> /// Pass in a DataRow to work off /// </summary> /// <param name="instance"></param> public DynamicDataRow(DataRow dataRow) { DataRow = dataRow; } /// <summary> /// Returns a value from a DataRow items array. /// If the field doesn't exist null is returned. /// DbNull values are turned into .NET nulls. /// /// </summary> /// <param name="binder"></param> /// <param name="result"></param> /// <returns></returns> public override bool TryGetMember(GetMemberBinder binder, out object result) { result = null; try { result = DataRow[binder.Name]; if (result == DBNull.Value) result = null; return true; } catch { } result = null; return false; } /// <summary> /// Property setter implementation tries to retrieve value from instance /// first then into this object /// </summary> /// <param name="binder"></param> /// <param name="value"></param> /// <returns></returns> public override bool TrySetMember(SetMemberBinder binder, object value) { try { if (value == null) value = DBNull.Value; DataRow[binder.Name] = value; return true; } catch {} return false; } } To demonstrate the basic features here's a short test: [TestMethod] [ExpectedException(typeof(RuntimeBinderException))] public void BasicDataRowTests() { DataTable table = new DataTable("table"); table.Columns.Add( new DataColumn() { ColumnName = "Name", DataType=typeof(string) }); table.Columns.Add( new DataColumn() { ColumnName = "Entered", DataType=typeof(DateTime) }); table.Columns.Add(new DataColumn() { ColumnName = "NullValue", DataType = typeof(string) }); DataRow row = table.NewRow(); DateTime now = DateTime.Now; row["Name"] = "Rick"; row["Entered"] = now; row["NullValue"] = null; // converted in DbNull dynamic drow = new DynamicDataRow(row); string name = drow.Name; DateTime entered = drow.Entered; string nulled = drow.NullValue; Assert.AreEqual(name, "Rick"); Assert.AreEqual(entered,now); Assert.IsNull(nulled); // this should throw a RuntimeBinderException Assert.AreEqual(entered,drow.enteredd); } The DynamicDataRow requires a custom constructor that accepts a single parameter that sets the DataRow. Once that's done you can access property values that match the field names. Note that types are automatically converted - no type casting is needed in the code you write. The class also automatically converts DbNulls to regular nulls and vice versa which is something that makes it much easier to deal with data returned from a database. What's cool here isn't so much the functionality - even if I'd prefer to leave DataRow behind ASAP -  but the fact that we can create a dynamic type that uses a DataRow as it's 'DataSource' to serve member values. It's pretty useful feature if you think about it, especially given how little code it takes to implement. By implementing these two simple methods we get to provide two features I was complaining about at the beginning that are missing from the DataRow: Direct Property Syntax Automatic Type Casting so no explicit casts are required Caveats As cool and easy as this functionality is, it's important to understand that it doesn't come for free. The dynamic features in .NET are - well - dynamic. Which means they are essentially evaluated at runtime (late bound). Rather than static typing where everything is compiled and linked by the compiler/linker, member invokations are looked up at runtime and essentially call into your custom code. There's some overhead in this. Direct invocations - the original code I showed - is going to be faster than the equivalent dynamic code. However, in the above code the difference of running the dynamic code and the original data access code was very minor. The loop running over 1500 result records took on average 13ms with the original code and 14ms with the dynamic code. Not exactly a serious performance bottleneck. One thing to remember is that Microsoft optimized the DLR code significantly so that repeated calls to the same operations are routed very efficiently which actually makes for very fast evaluation. The bottom line for performance with dynamic code is: Make sure you test and profile your code if you think that there might be a performance issue. However, in my experience with dynamic types so far performance is pretty good for repeated operations (ie. in loops). While usually a little slower the perf hit is a lot less typically than equivalent Reflection work. Although the code in the second example looks like standard object syntax, dynamic is not static code. It's evaluated at runtime and so there's no type recognition until runtime. This means no Intellisense at development time, and any invalid references that call into 'properties' (ie. fields in the DataRow) that don't exist still cause runtime errors. So in the case of the data row you still get a runtime error if you mistype a column name:// this should throw a RuntimeBinderException Assert.AreEqual(entered,drow.enteredd); Dynamic - Lots of uses The arrival of Dynamic types in .NET has been met with mixed emotions. Die hard .NET developers decry dynamic types as an abomination to the language. After all what dynamic accomplishes goes against all that a static language is supposed to provide. On the other hand there are clearly scenarios when dynamic can make life much easier (COM Interop being one place). Think of the possibilities. What other data structures would you like to expose to a simple property interface rather than some sort of collection or dictionary? And beyond what I showed here you can also implement 'Method missing' behavior on objects with InvokeMember which essentially allows you to create dynamic methods. It's all very flexible and maybe just as important: It's easy to do. There's a lot of power hidden in this seemingly simple interface. Your move…© Rick Strahl, West Wind Technologies, 2005-2011Posted in CSharp  .NET   Tweet (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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  • Displaying JSON in your Browser

    - by Rick Strahl
    Do you work with AJAX requests a lot and need to quickly check URLs for JSON results? Then you probably know that it’s a fairly big hassle to examine JSON results directly in the browser. Yes, you can use FireBug or Fiddler which work pretty well for actual AJAX requests, but if you just fire off a URL for quick testing in the browser you usually get hit by the Save As dialog and the download manager, followed by having to open the saved document in a text editor in FireFox. Enter JSONView which allows you to simply display JSON results directly in the browser. For example, imagine I have a URL like this: http://localhost/westwindwebtoolkitweb/RestService.ashx?Method=ReturnObject&format=json&Name1=Rick&Name2=John&date=12/30/2010 typed directly into the browser and that that returns a complex JSON object. With JSONView the result looks like this: No fuss, no muss. It just works. Here the result is an array of Person objects that contain additional address child objects displayed right in the browser. JSONView basically adds content type checking for application/json results and when it finds a JSON result takes over the rendering and formats the display in the browser. Note that it re-formats the raw JSON as well for a nicer display view along with collapsible regions for objects. You can still use View Source to see the raw JSON string returned. For me this is a huge time-saver. As I work with AJAX result data using GET and REST style URLs quite a bit it’s a big timesaver. To quickly and easily display JSON is a key feature in my development day and JSONView for all its simplicity fits that bill for me. If you’re doing AJAX development and you often review URL based JSON results do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of JSONView. Other Browsers JSONView works only with FireFox – what about other browsers? Chrome Chrome actually displays raw JSON responses as plain text without any plug-ins. There’s no plug-in or configuration needed, it just works, although you won’t get any fancy formatting. [updated from comments] There’s also a port of JSONView available for Chrome from here: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/chklaanhfefbnpoihckbnefhakgolnmc It looks like it works just about the same as the JSONView plug-in for FireFox. Thanks for all that pointed this out… Internet Explorer Internet Explorer probably has the worst response to JSON encoded content: It displays an error page as it apparently tries to render JSON as XML: Yeah that seems real smart – rendering JSON as an XML document. WTF? To get at the actual JSON output, you can use View Source. To get IE to display JSON directly as text you can add a Mime type mapping in the registry:   Create a new application/json key in: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\MIME\Database\ContentType\application/json Add a string value of CLSID with a value of {25336920-03F9-11cf-8FD0-00AA00686F13} Add a DWORD value of Encoding with a value of 80000 I can’t take credit for this tip – found it here first on Sky Sander’s Blog. Note that the CLSID can be used for just about any type of text data you want to display as plain text in the IE. It’s the in-place display mechanism and it should work for most text content. For example it might also be useful for looking at CSS and JS files inside of the browser instead of downloading those documents as well. © Rick Strahl, West Wind Technologies, 2005-2011Posted in ASP.NET  AJAX  

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  • Using JSON.NET for dynamic JSON parsing

    - by Rick Strahl
    With the release of ASP.NET Web API as part of .NET 4.5 and MVC 4.0, JSON.NET has effectively pushed out the .NET native serializers to become the default serializer for Web API. JSON.NET is vastly more flexible than the built in DataContractJsonSerializer or the older JavaScript serializer. The DataContractSerializer in particular has been very problematic in the past because it can't deal with untyped objects for serialization - like values of type object, or anonymous types which are quite common these days. The JavaScript Serializer that came before it actually does support non-typed objects for serialization but it can't do anything with untyped data coming in from JavaScript and it's overall model of extensibility was pretty limited (JavaScript Serializer is what MVC uses for JSON responses). JSON.NET provides a robust JSON serializer that has both high level and low level components, supports binary JSON, JSON contracts, Xml to JSON conversion, LINQ to JSON and many, many more features than either of the built in serializers. ASP.NET Web API now uses JSON.NET as its default serializer and is now pulled in as a NuGet dependency into Web API projects, which is great. Dynamic JSON Parsing One of the features that I think is getting ever more important is the ability to serialize and deserialize arbitrary JSON content dynamically - that is without mapping the JSON captured directly into a .NET type as DataContractSerializer or the JavaScript Serializers do. Sometimes it isn't possible to map types due to the differences in languages (think collections, dictionaries etc), and other times you simply don't have the structures in place or don't want to create them to actually import the data. If this topic sounds familiar - you're right! I wrote about dynamic JSON parsing a few months back before JSON.NET was added to Web API and when Web API and the System.Net HttpClient libraries included the System.Json classes like JsonObject and JsonArray. With the inclusion of JSON.NET in Web API these classes are now obsolete and didn't ship with Web API or the client libraries. I re-linked my original post to this one. In this post I'll discus JToken, JObject and JArray which are the dynamic JSON objects that make it very easy to create and retrieve JSON content on the fly without underlying types. Why Dynamic JSON? So, why Dynamic JSON parsing rather than strongly typed parsing? Since applications are interacting more and more with third party services it becomes ever more important to have easy access to those services with easy JSON parsing. Sometimes it just makes lot of sense to pull just a small amount of data out of large JSON document received from a service, because the third party service isn't directly related to your application's logic most of the time - and it makes little sense to map the entire service structure in your application. For example, recently I worked with the Google Maps Places API to return information about businesses close to me (or rather the app's) location. The Google API returns a ton of information that my application had no interest in - all I needed was few values out of the data. Dynamic JSON parsing makes it possible to map this data, without having to map the entire API to a C# data structure. Instead I could pull out the three or four values I needed from the API and directly store it on my business entities that needed to receive the data - no need to map the entire Maps API structure. Getting JSON.NET The easiest way to use JSON.NET is to grab it via NuGet and add it as a reference to your project. You can add it to your project with: PM> Install-Package Newtonsoft.Json From the Package Manager Console or by using Manage NuGet Packages in your project References. As mentioned if you're using ASP.NET Web API or MVC 4 JSON.NET will be automatically added to your project. Alternately you can also go to the CodePlex site and download the latest version including source code: http://json.codeplex.com/ Creating JSON on the fly with JObject and JArray Let's start with creating some JSON on the fly. It's super easy to create a dynamic object structure with any of the JToken derived JSON.NET objects. The most common JToken derived classes you are likely to use are JObject and JArray. JToken implements IDynamicMetaProvider and so 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 JObject for the base object and songs and JArray for the actual collection of songs:[TestMethod] public void JObjectOutputTest() { // strong typed instance var jsonObject = new JObject(); // you can explicitly add values here using class interface jsonObject.Add("Entered", DateTime.Now); // or cast to dynamic to dynamically add/read properties dynamic album = jsonObject; album.AlbumName = "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap"; album.Artist = "AC/DC"; album.YearReleased = 1976; album.Songs = new JArray() as dynamic; dynamic song = new JObject(); song.SongName = "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap"; song.SongLength = "4:11"; album.Songs.Add(song); song = new JObject(); song.SongName = "Love at First Feel"; song.SongLength = "3:10"; album.Songs.Add(song); Console.WriteLine(album.ToString()); } This produces a complete JSON structure: { "Entered": "2012-08-18T13:26:37.7137482-10:00", "AlbumName": "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap", "Artist": "AC/DC", "YearReleased": 1976, "Songs": [ { "SongName": "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap", "SongLength": "4:11" }, { "SongName": "Love at First Feel", "SongLength": "3:10" } ] } Notice that JSON.NET does a nice job formatting the JSON, so it's easy to read and paste into blog posts :-). JSON.NET includes a bunch of configuration options that control how JSON is generated. Typically the defaults are just fine, but you can override with the JsonSettings object for most operations. The important thing about this code is that there's no explicit type used for holding the values to serialize to JSON. Rather the JSON.NET objects are the containers that receive the data as I build up my JSON structure dynamically, simply by adding properties. This means this code can be entirely driven at runtime without compile time restraints of structure for the JSON output. Here I use JObject to create a album 'object' and immediately cast it to dynamic. JObject() is kind of similar in behavior to ExpandoObject in that it allows you to add properties by simply assigning to them. Internally, JObject values are stored in pseudo collections of key value pairs that are exposed as properties through the IDynamicMetaObject interface exposed in JSON.NET's JToken base class. For objects the syntax is very clean - you add simple typed values as properties. For objects and arrays you have to explicitly create new JObject or JArray, cast them to dynamic and then add properties and items to them. 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 names and values you create are accessed consistently and without typos in your code. Note that you can also access the JObject instance directly (not as dynamic) and get access to the underlying JObject 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 JObject(); // 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"; JContainer (the base class for JObject and JArray) is a collection so you can also iterate over the properties at runtime easily:foreach (var item in jsonObject) { Console.WriteLine(item.Key + " " + item.Value.ToString()); } The functionality of the JSON objects are very similar to .NET's ExpandObject and if you used it before, you're already familiar with how the dynamic interfaces to the JSON objects works. Importing JSON with JObject.Parse() and JArray.Parse() The JValue structure supports importing JSON via the Parse() and Load() methods which can read JSON data from a string or various streams respectively. Essentially JValue 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:public void JValueParsingTest() { var jsonString = @"{""Name"":""Rick"",""Company"":""West Wind"", ""Entered"":""2012-03-16T00:03:33.245-10:00""}"; dynamic json = JValue.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 JObject class 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 JToken and I have to cast them to their appropriate types first before I can do type comparisons as in the Asserts at the end of the test method. This is required because of the way that dynamic types work which can't determine the type based on the method signature of the Assert.AreEqual(object,object) method. I have to either assign the dynamic value to a variable as I did above, or explicitly cast ( (string) json.Name) in the actual method call. 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"": 1976, ""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/…ASIN=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"": ""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"" } ] } ]"; JArray jsonVal = JArray.Parse(jsonString) as JArray; dynamic albums = jsonVal; 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); } JObject and JArray in ASP.NET Web API Of course these types also work in ASP.NET Web API controller methods. If you want you can accept parameters using these object or return them back to the server. The following contrived example receives dynamic JSON input, and then creates a new dynamic JSON object and returns it based on data from the first:[HttpPost] public JObject PostAlbumJObject(JObject jAlbum) { // dynamic input from inbound JSON dynamic album = jAlbum; // create a new JSON object to write out dynamic newAlbum = new JObject(); // Create properties on the new instance // with values from the first newAlbum.AlbumName = album.AlbumName + " New"; newAlbum.NewProperty = "something new"; newAlbum.Songs = new JArray(); foreach (dynamic song in album.Songs) { song.SongName = song.SongName + " New"; newAlbum.Songs.Add(song); } return newAlbum; } The raw POST request to the server looks something like this: POST http://localhost/aspnetwebapi/samples/PostAlbumJObject HTTP/1.1User-Agent: FiddlerContent-type: application/jsonHost: localhostContent-Length: 88 {AlbumName: "Dirty Deeds",Songs:[ { SongName: "Problem Child"},{ SongName: "Squealer"}]} and the output that comes back looks like this: {  "AlbumName": "Dirty Deeds New",  "NewProperty": "something new",  "Songs": [    {      "SongName": "Problem Child New"    },    {      "SongName": "Squealer New"    }  ]} The original values are echoed back with something extra appended to demonstrate that we're working with a new object. When you receive or return a JObject, JValue, JToken or JArray instance in a Web API method, Web API ignores normal content negotiation and assumes your content is going to be received and returned as JSON, so effectively the parameter and result type explicitly determines the input and output format which is nice. Dynamic to Strong Type Mapping You can also map JObject and JArray instances to a strongly typed object, so you can mix dynamic and static typing in the same piece of code. Using the 2 Album jsonString shown earlier, the code below takes an array of albums and picks out only a single album and casts that album to a static Album instance.[TestMethod] public void JsonParseToStrongTypeTest() { JArray albums = JArray.Parse(jsonString) as JArray; // pick out one album JObject jalbum = albums[0] as JObject; // Copy to a static Album instance Album album = jalbum.ToObject<Album>(); Assert.IsNotNull(album); Assert.AreEqual(album.AlbumName,jalbum.Value<string>("AlbumName")); Assert.IsTrue(album.Songs.Count > 0); } This is pretty damn useful for the scenario I mentioned earlier - you can read a large chunk of JSON and dynamically walk the property hierarchy down to the item you want to access, and then either access the specific item dynamically (as shown earlier) or map a part of the JSON to a strongly typed object. That's very powerful if you think about it - it leaves you in total control to decide what's dynamic and what's static. Strongly typed JSON Parsing With all this talk of dynamic let's not forget that JSON.NET of course also does strongly typed serialization which is drop dead easy. Here's a simple example on how to serialize and deserialize an object with JSON.NET:[TestMethod] public void StronglyTypedSerializationTest() { // Demonstrate deserialization from a raw string var album = new Album() { AlbumName = "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap", Artist = "AC/DC", Entered = DateTime.Now, YearReleased = 1976, Songs = new List<Song>() { new Song() { SongName = "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap", SongLength = "4:11" }, new Song() { SongName = "Love at First Feel", SongLength = "3:10" } } }; // serialize to string string json2 = JsonConvert.SerializeObject(album,Formatting.Indented); Console.WriteLine(json2); // make sure we can serialize back var album2 = JsonConvert.DeserializeObject<Album>(json2); Assert.IsNotNull(album2); Assert.IsTrue(album2.AlbumName == "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap"); Assert.IsTrue(album2.Songs.Count == 2); } JsonConvert is a high level static class that wraps lower level functionality, but you can also use the JsonSerializer class, which allows you to serialize/parse to and from streams. It's a little more work, but gives you a bit more control. The functionality available is easy to discover with Intellisense, and that's good because there's not a lot in the way of documentation that's actually useful. Summary JSON.NET is a pretty complete JSON implementation with lots of different choices for JSON parsing from dynamic parsing to static serialization, to complex querying of JSON objects using LINQ. It's good to see this open source library getting integrated into .NET, and pushing out the old and tired stock .NET parsers so that we finally have a bit more flexibility - and extensibility - in our JSON parsing. Good to go! Resources Sample Test Project http://json.codeplex.com/© Rick Strahl, West Wind Technologies, 2005-2012Posted in .NET  Web Api  AJAX   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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  • An easy way to create Side by Side registrationless COM Manifests with Visual Studio

    - by Rick Strahl
    Here's something I didn't find out until today: You can use Visual Studio to easily create registrationless COM manifest files for you with just a couple of small steps. Registrationless COM lets you use COM component without them being registered in the registry. This means it's possible to deploy COM components along with another application using plain xcopy semantics. To be sure it's rarely quite that easy - you need to watch out for dependencies - but if you know you have COM components that are light weight and have no or known dependencies it's easy to get everything into a single folder and off you go. Registrationless COM works via manifest files which carry the same name as the executable plus a .manifest extension (ie. yourapp.exe.manifest) I'm going to use a Visual FoxPro COM object as an example and create a simple Windows Forms app that calls the component - without that component being registered. Let's take a walk down memory lane… Create a COM Component I start by creating a FoxPro COM component because that's what I know and am working with here in my legacy environment. You can use VB classic or C++ ATL object if that's more to your liking. Here's a real simple Fox one: DEFINE CLASS SimpleServer as Session OLEPUBLIC FUNCTION HelloWorld(lcName) RETURN "Hello " + lcName ENDDEFINE Compile it into a DLL COM component with: BUILD MTDLL simpleserver FROM simpleserver RECOMPILE And to make sure it works test it quickly from Visual FoxPro: server = CREATEOBJECT("simpleServer.simpleserver") MESSAGEBOX( server.HelloWorld("Rick") ) Using Visual Studio to create a Manifest File for a COM Component Next open Visual Studio and create a new executable project - a Console App or WinForms or WPF application will all do. Go to the References Node Select Add Reference Use the Browse tab and find your compiled DLL to import  Next you'll see your assembly in the project. Right click on the reference and select Properties Click on the Isolated DropDown and select True Compile and that's all there's to it. Visual Studio will create a App.exe.manifest file right alongside your application's EXE. The manifest file created looks like this: xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"? assembly xsi:schemaLocation="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v1 assembly.adaptive.xsd" manifestVersion="1.0" xmlns:asmv1="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v1" xmlns:asmv2="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v2" xmlns:asmv3="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v3" xmlns:dsig="http://www.w3.org/2000/09/xmldsig#" xmlns:co.v1="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:clickonce.v1" xmlns:co.v2="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:clickonce.v2" xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v1" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" assemblyIdentity name="App.exe" version="1.0.0.0" processorArchitecture="x86" type="win32" / file name="simpleserver.DLL" asmv2:size="27293" hash xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v2" dsig:Transforms dsig:Transform Algorithm="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:HashTransforms.Identity" / dsig:Transforms dsig:DigestMethod Algorithm="http://www.w3.org/2000/09/xmldsig#sha1" / dsig:DigestValuepuq+ua20bbidGOWhPOxfquztBCU=dsig:DigestValue hash typelib tlbid="{f10346e2-c9d9-47f7-81d1-74059cc15c3c}" version="1.0" helpdir="" resourceid="0" flags="HASDISKIMAGE" / comClass clsid="{af2c2811-0657-4264-a1f5-06d033a969ff}" threadingModel="Apartment" tlbid="{f10346e2-c9d9-47f7-81d1-74059cc15c3c}" progid="simpleserver.SimpleServer" description="simpleserver.SimpleServer" / file assembly Now let's finish our super complex console app to test with: using System; using System.Collections.Generic; using System.Text; namespace ConsoleApplication1 {     class Program     {         static voidMain(string[] args)         { Type type = Type.GetTypeFromProgID("simpleserver.simpleserver",true); dynamic server = Activator.CreateInstance(type); Console.WriteLine(server.HelloWorld("rick")); Console.ReadLine(); } } } Now run the Console Application… As expected that should work. And why not? The COM component is still registered, right? :-) Nothing tricky about that. Let's unregister the COM component and then re-run and see what happens. Go to the Command Prompt Change to the folder where the DLL is installed Unregister with: RegSvr32 -u simpleserver.dll      To be sure that the COM component no longer works, check it out with the same test you used earlier (ie. o = CREATEOBJECT("SimpleServer.SimpleServer") in your development environment or VBScript etc.). Make sure you run the EXE and you don't re-compile the application or else Visual Studio will complain that it can't find the COM component in the registry while compiling. In fact now that we have our .manifest file you can remove the COM object from the project. When you run run the EXE from Windows Explorer or a command prompt to avoid the recompile. Watch out for embedded Manifest Files Now recompile your .NET project and run it… and it will most likely fail! The problem is that .NET applications by default embeds a manifest file into the compiled EXE application which results in the externally created manifest file being completely ignored. Only one manifest can be applied at a time and the compiled manifest takes precedency. Uh, thanks Visual Studio - not very helpful… Note that if you use another development tool like Visual FoxPro to create your EXE this won't be an issue as long as the tool doesn't automatically add a manifest file. Creating a Visual FoxPro EXE for example will work immediately with the generated manifest file as is. If you are using .NET and Visual Studio you have a couple of options of getting around this: Remove the embedded manifest file Copy the contents of the generated manifest file into a project manifest file and compile that in To remove an embedded manifest in a Visual Studio project: Open the Project Properties (Alt-Enter on project node) Go down to Resources | Manifest and select | Create Application without a Manifest   You can now add use the external manifest file and it will actually be respected when the app runs. The other option is to let Visual Studio create the manifest file on disk and then explicitly add the manifest file into the project. Notice on the dialog above I did this for app.exe.manifest and the manifest actually shows up in the list. If I select this file it will be compiled into the EXE and be used in lieu of any external files and that works as well. Remove the simpleserver.dll reference so you can compile your code and run the application. Now it should work without COM registration of the component. Personally I prefer external manifests because they can be modified after the fact - compiled manifests are evil in my mind because they are immutable - once they are there they can't be overriden or changed. So I prefer an external manifest. However, if you are absolutely sure nothing needs to change and you don't want anybody messing with your manifest, you can also embed it. The option to either is there. Watch for Manifest Caching While working trying to get this to work I ran into some problems at first. Specifically when it wasn't working at first (due to the embedded schema) I played with various different manifest layouts in different files etc.. There are a number of different ways to actually represent manifest files including offloading to separate folder (more on that later). A few times I made deliberate errors in the schema file and I found that regardless of what I did once the app failed or worked no amount of changing of the manifest file would make it behave differently. It appears that Windows is caching the manifest data for a given EXE or DLL. It takes a restart or a recompile of either the EXE or the DLL to clear the caching. Recompile your servers in order to see manifest changes unless there's an outright failure of an invalid manifest file. If the app starts the manifest is being read and caches immediately. This can be very confusing especially if you don't know that it's happening. I found myself always recompiling the exe after each run and before making any changes to the manifest file. Don't forget about Runtimes of COM Objects In the example I used above I used a Visual FoxPro COM component. Visual FoxPro is a runtime based environment so if I'm going to distribute an application that uses a FoxPro COM object the runtimes need to be distributed as well. The same is true of classic Visual Basic applications. Assuming that you don't know whether the runtimes are installed on the target machines make sure to install all the additional files in the EXE's directory alongside the COM DLL. In the case of Visual FoxPro the target folder should contain: The EXE  App.exe The Manifest file (unless it's compiled in) App.exe.manifest The COM object DLL (simpleserver.dll) Visual FoxPro Runtimes: VFP9t.dll (or VFP9r.dll for non-multithreaded dlls), vfp9rENU.dll, msvcr71.dll All these files should be in the same folder. Debugging Manifest load Errors If you for some reason get your manifest loading wrong there are a couple of useful tools available - SxSTrace and SxSParse. These two tools can be a huge help in debugging manifest loading errors. Put the following into a batch file (SxS_Trace.bat for example): sxstrace Trace -logfile:sxs.bin sxstrace Parse -logfile:sxs.bin -outfile:sxs.txt Then start the batch file before running your EXE. Make sure there's no caching happening as described in the previous section. For example, if I go into the manifest file and explicitly break the CLSID and/or ProgID I get a detailed report on where the EXE is looking for the manifest and what it's reading. Eventually the trace gives me an error like this: INFO: Parsing Manifest File C:\wwapps\Conf\SideBySide\Code\app.EXE.     INFO: Manifest Definition Identity is App.exe,processorArchitecture="x86",type="win32",version="1.0.0.0".     ERROR: Line 13: The value {AAaf2c2811-0657-4264-a1f5-06d033a969ff} of attribute clsid in element comClass is invalid. ERROR: Activation Context generation failed. End Activation Context Generation. pinpointing nicely where the error lies. Pay special attention to the various attributes - they have to match exactly in the different sections of the manifest file(s). Multiple COM Objects The manifest file that Visual Studio creates is actually quite more complex than is required for basic registrationless COM object invokation. The manifest file can be simplified a lot actually by stripping off various namespaces and removing the type library references altogether. Here's an example of a simplified manifest file that actually includes references to 2 COM servers: xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"? assembly xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v1" manifestVersion="1.0" assemblyIdentity name="App.exe" version="1.0.0.0" processorArchitecture="x86" type="win32" / file name="simpleserver.DLL" comClass clsid="{af2c2811-0657-4264-a1f5-06d033a969ff}" threadingModel="Apartment" progid="simpleserver.SimpleServer" description="simpleserver.SimpleServer" / file file name = "sidebysidedeploy.dll" comClass clsid="{EF82B819-7963-4C36-9443-3978CD94F57C}" progid="sidebysidedeploy.SidebysidedeployServer" description="SidebySideDeploy Server" threadingModel="apartment" / file assembly Simple enough right? Routing to separate Manifest Files and Folders In the examples above all files ended up in the application's root folder - all the DLLs, support files and runtimes. Sometimes that's not so desirable and you can actually create separate manifest files. The easiest way to do this is to create a manifest file that 'routes' to another manifest file in a separate folder. Basically you create a new 'assembly identity' via a named id. You can then create a folder and another manifest with the id plus .manifest that points at the actual file. In this example I create: App.exe.manifest A folder called App.deploy A manifest file in App.deploy All DLLs and runtimes in App.deploy Let's start with that master manifest file. This file only holds a reference to another manifest file: App.exe.manifest xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"? assembly xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v1" manifestVersion="1.0" assemblyIdentity name="App.exe" version="1.0.0.0" processorArchitecture="x86" type="win32" / dependency dependentAssembly assemblyIdentity name="App.deploy" version="1.0.0.0" type="win32" / dependentAssembly dependency assembly   Note this file only contains a dependency to App.deploy which is another manifest id. I can then create App.deploy.manifest in the current folder or in an App.deploy folder. In this case I'll create App.deploy and in it copy the DLLs and support runtimes. I then create App.deploy.manifest. App.deploy.manifest xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"? assembly xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v1" manifestVersion="1.0" assemblyIdentity name="App.deploy" type="win32" version="1.0.0.0" / file name="simpleserver.DLL" comClass clsid="{af2c2811-0657-4264-a1f5-06d033a969ff}" threadingModel="Apartment" progid="simpleserver.SimpleServer" description="simpleserver.SimpleServer" / file file name="sidebysidedeploy.dll" comClass clsid="{EF82B819-7963-4C36-9443-3978CD94F57C}" threadingModel="Apartment" progid="sidebysidedeploy.SidebysidedeployServer" description="SidebySideDeploy Server" / file assembly   In this manifest file I then host my COM DLLs and any support runtimes. This is quite useful if you have lots of DLLs you are referencing or if you need to have separate configuration and application files that are associated with the COM object. This way the operation of your main application and the COM objects it interacts with is somewhat separated. You can see the two folders here:   Routing Manifests to different Folders In theory registrationless COM should be pretty easy in painless - you've seen the configuration manifest files and it certainly doesn't look very complicated, right? But the devil's in the details. The ActivationContext API (SxS - side by side activation) is very intolerant of small errors in the XML or formatting of the keys, so be really careful when setting up components, especially if you are manually editing these files. If you do run into trouble SxsTrace/SxsParse are a huge help to track down the problems. And remember that if you do have problems that you'll need to recompile your EXEs or DLLs for the SxS APIs to refresh themselves properly. All of this gets even more fun if you want to do registrationless COM inside of IIS :-) But I'll leave that for another blog post…© Rick Strahl, West Wind Technologies, 2005-2011Posted in COM  .NET  FoxPro   Tweet (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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  • Passing multiple POST parameters to Web API Controller Methods

    - by Rick Strahl
    ASP.NET Web API introduces a new API for creating REST APIs and making AJAX callbacks to the server. This new API provides a host of new great functionality that unifies many of the features of many of the various AJAX/REST APIs that Microsoft created before it - ASP.NET AJAX, WCF REST specifically - and combines them into a whole more consistent API. Web API addresses many of the concerns that developers had with these older APIs, namely that it was very difficult to build consistent REST style resource APIs easily. While Web API provides many new features and makes many scenarios much easier, a lot of the focus has been on making it easier to build REST compliant APIs that are focused on resource based solutions and HTTP verbs. But  RPC style calls that are common with AJAX callbacks in Web applications, have gotten a lot less focus and there are a few scenarios that are not that obvious, especially if you're expecting Web API to provide functionality similar to ASP.NET AJAX style AJAX callbacks. RPC vs. 'Proper' REST RPC style HTTP calls mimic calling a method with parameters and returning a result. Rather than mapping explicit server side resources or 'nouns' RPC calls tend simply map a server side operation, passing in parameters and receiving a typed result where parameters and result values are marshaled over HTTP. Typically RPC calls - like SOAP calls - tend to always be POST operations rather than following HTTP conventions and using the GET/POST/PUT/DELETE etc. verbs to implicitly determine what operation needs to be fired. RPC might not be considered 'cool' anymore, but for typical private AJAX backend operations of a Web site I'd wager that a large percentage of use cases of Web API will fall towards RPC style calls rather than 'proper' REST style APIs. Web applications that have needs for things like live validation against data, filling data based on user inputs, handling small UI updates often don't lend themselves very well to limited HTTP verb usage. It might not be what the cool kids do, but I don't see RPC calls getting replaced by proper REST APIs any time soon.  Proper REST has its place - for 'real' API scenarios that manage and publish/share resources, but for more transactional operations RPC seems a better choice and much easier to implement than trying to shoehorn a boatload of endpoint methods into a few HTTP verbs. In any case Web API does a good job of providing both RPC abstraction as well as the HTTP Verb/REST abstraction. RPC works well out of the box, but there are some differences especially if you're coming from ASP.NET AJAX service or WCF Rest when it comes to multiple parameters. Action Routing for RPC Style Calls If you've looked at Web API demos you've probably seen a bunch of examples of how to create HTTP Verb based routing endpoints. Verb based routing essentially maps a controller and then uses HTTP verbs to map the methods that are called in response to HTTP requests. This works great for resource APIs but doesn't work so well when you have many operational methods in a single controller. HTTP Verb routing is limited to the few HTTP verbs available (plus separate method signatures) and - worse than that - you can't easily extend the controller with custom routes or action routing beyond that. Thankfully Web API also supports Action based routing which allows you create RPC style endpoints fairly easily:RouteTable.Routes.MapHttpRoute( name: "AlbumRpcApiAction", routeTemplate: "albums/{action}/{title}", defaults: new { title = RouteParameter.Optional, controller = "AlbumApi", action = "GetAblums" } ); This uses traditional MVC style {action} method routing which is different from the HTTP verb based routing you might have read a bunch about in conjunction with Web API. Action based routing like above lets you specify an end point method in a Web API controller either via the {action} parameter in the route string or via a default value for custom routes. Using routing you can pass multiple parameters either on the route itself or pass parameters on the query string, via ModelBinding or content value binding. For most common scenarios this actually works very well. As long as you are passing either a single complex type via a POST operation, or multiple simple types via query string or POST buffer, there's no issue. But if you need to pass multiple parameters as was easily done with WCF REST or ASP.NET AJAX things are not so obvious. Web API has no issue allowing for single parameter like this:[HttpPost] public string PostAlbum(Album album) { return String.Format("{0} {1:d}", album.AlbumName, album.Entered); } There are actually two ways to call this endpoint: albums/PostAlbum Using the Model Binder with plain POST values In this mechanism you're sending plain urlencoded POST values to the server which the ModelBinder then maps the parameter. Each property value is matched to each matching POST value. This works similar to the way that MVC's  ModelBinder works. Here's how you can POST using the ModelBinder and jQuery:$.ajax( { url: "albums/PostAlbum", type: "POST", data: { AlbumName: "Dirty Deeds", Entered: "5/1/2012" }, success: function (result) { alert(result); }, error: function (xhr, status, p3, p4) { var err = "Error " + " " + status + " " + p3; if (xhr.responseText && xhr.responseText[0] == "{") err = JSON.parse(xhr.responseText).message; alert(err); } }); Here's what the POST data looks like for this request: The model binder and it's straight form based POST mechanism is great for posting data directly from HTML pages to model objects. It avoids having to do manual conversions for many operations and is a great boon for AJAX callback requests. Using Web API JSON Formatter The other option is to post data using a JSON string. The process for this is similar except that you create a JavaScript object and serialize it to JSON first.album = { AlbumName: "PowerAge", Entered: new Date(1977,0,1) } $.ajax( { url: "albums/PostAlbum", type: "POST", contentType: "application/json", data: JSON.stringify(album), success: function (result) { alert(result); } }); Here the data is sent using a JSON object rather than form data and the data is JSON encoded over the wire. The trace reveals that the data is sent using plain JSON (Source above), which is a little more efficient since there's no UrlEncoding that occurs. BTW, notice that WebAPI automatically deals with the date. I provided the date as a plain string, rather than a JavaScript date value and the Formatter and ModelBinder both automatically map the date propertly to the Entered DateTime property of the Album object. Passing multiple Parameters to a Web API Controller Single parameters work fine in either of these RPC scenarios and that's to be expected. ModelBinding always works against a single object because it maps a model. But what happens when you want to pass multiple parameters? Consider an API Controller method that has a signature like the following:[HttpPost] public string PostAlbum(Album album, string userToken) Here I'm asking to pass two objects to an RPC method. Is that possible? This used to be fairly straight forward either with WCF REST and ASP.NET AJAX ASMX services, but as far as I can tell this is not directly possible using a POST operation with WebAPI. There a few workarounds that you can use to make this work: Use both POST *and* QueryString Parameters in Conjunction If you have both complex and simple parameters, you can pass simple parameters on the query string. The above would actually work with: /album/PostAlbum?userToken=sekkritt but that's not always possible. In this example it might not be a good idea to pass a user token on the query string though. It also won't work if you need to pass multiple complex objects, since query string values do not support complex type mapping. They only work with simple types. Use a single Object that wraps the two Parameters If you go by service based architecture guidelines every service method should always pass and return a single value only. The input should wrap potentially multiple input parameters and the output should convey status as well as provide the result value. You typically have a xxxRequest and a xxxResponse class that wraps the inputs and outputs. Here's what this method might look like:public PostAlbumResponse PostAlbum(PostAlbumRequest request) { var album = request.Album; var userToken = request.UserToken; return new PostAlbumResponse() { IsSuccess = true, Result = String.Format("{0} {1:d} {2}", album.AlbumName, album.Entered,userToken) }; } with these support types:public class PostAlbumRequest { public Album Album { get; set; } public User User { get; set; } public string UserToken { get; set; } } public class PostAlbumResponse { public string Result { get; set; } public bool IsSuccess { get; set; } public string ErrorMessage { get; set; } }   To call this method you now have to assemble these objects on the client and send it up as JSON:var album = { AlbumName: "PowerAge", Entered: "1/1/1977" } var user = { Name: "Rick" } var userToken = "sekkritt"; $.ajax( { url: "samples/PostAlbum", type: "POST", contentType: "application/json", data: JSON.stringify({ Album: album, User: user, UserToken: userToken }), success: function (result) { alert(result.Result); } }); I assemble the individual types first and then combine them in the data: property of the $.ajax() call into the actual object passed to the server, that mimics the structure of PostAlbumRequest server class that has Album, User and UserToken properties. This works well enough but it gets tedious if you have to create Request and Response types for each method signature. If you have common parameters that are always passed (like you always pass an album or usertoken) you might be able to abstract this to use a single object that gets reused for all methods, but this gets confusing too: Overload a single 'parameter' too much and it becomes a nightmare to decipher what your method actual can use. Use JObject to parse multiple Property Values out of an Object If you recall, ASP.NET AJAX and WCF REST used a 'wrapper' object to make default AJAX calls. Rather than directly calling a service you always passed an object which contained properties for each parameter: { parm1: Value, parm2: Value2 } WCF REST/ASP.NET AJAX would then parse this top level property values and map them to the parameters of the endpoint method. This automatic type wrapping functionality is no longer available directly in Web API, but since Web API now uses JSON.NET for it's JSON serializer you can actually simulate that behavior with a little extra code. You can use the JObject class to receive a dynamic JSON result and then using the dynamic cast of JObject to walk through the child objects and even parse them into strongly typed objects. Here's how to do this on the API Controller end:[HttpPost] public string PostAlbum(JObject jsonData) { dynamic json = jsonData; JObject jalbum = json.Album; JObject juser = json.User; string token = json.UserToken; var album = jalbum.ToObject<Album>(); var user = juser.ToObject<User>(); return String.Format("{0} {1} {2}", album.AlbumName, user.Name, token); } This is clearly not as nice as having the parameters passed directly, but it works to allow you to pass multiple parameters and access them using Web API. JObject is JSON.NET's generic object container which sports a nice dynamic interface that allows you to walk through the object's properties using standard 'dot' object syntax. All you have to do is cast the object to dynamic to get access to the property interface of the JSON type. Additionally JObject also allows you to parse JObject instances into strongly typed objects, which enables us here to retrieve the two objects passed as parameters from this jquery code:var album = { AlbumName: "PowerAge", Entered: "1/1/1977" } var user = { Name: "Rick" } var userToken = "sekkritt"; $.ajax( { url: "samples/PostAlbum", type: "POST", contentType: "application/json", data: JSON.stringify({ Album: album, User: user, UserToken: userToken }), success: function (result) { alert(result); } }); Summary ASP.NET Web API brings many new features and many advantages over the older Microsoft AJAX and REST APIs, but realize that some things like passing multiple strongly typed object parameters will work a bit differently. It's not insurmountable, but just knowing what options are available to simulate this behavior is good to know. Now let me say here that it's probably not a good practice to pass a bunch of parameters to an API call. Ideally APIs should be closely factored to accept single parameters or a single content parameter at least along with some identifier parameters that can be passed on the querystring. But saying that doesn't mean that occasionally you don't run into a situation where you have the need to pass several objects to the server and all three of the options I mentioned might have merit in different situations. For now I'm sure the question of how to pass multiple parameters will come up quite a bit from people migrating WCF REST or ASP.NET AJAX code to Web API. At least there are options available to make it work.© Rick Strahl, West Wind Technologies, 2005-2012Posted in Web Api   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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  • Request Limit Length Limits for IIS&rsquo;s requestFiltering Module

    - by Rick Strahl
    Today I updated my CodePaste.net site to MVC 3 and pushed an update to the site. The update of MVC went pretty smooth as well as most of the update process to the live site. Short of missing a web.config change in the /views folder that caused blank pages on the server, the process was relatively painless. However, one issue that kicked my ass for about an hour – and not foe the first time – was a problem with my OpenId authentication using DotNetOpenAuth. I tested the site operation fairly extensively locally and everything worked no problem, but on the server the OpenId returns resulted in a 404 response from IIS for a nice friendly OpenId return URL like this: http://codepaste.net/Account/OpenIdLogon?dnoa.userSuppliedIdentifier=http%3A%2F%2Frstrahl.myopenid.com%2F&dnoa.return_to_sig_handle=%7B634239223364590000%7D%7BjbHzkg%3D%3D%7D&dnoa.return_to_sig=7%2BcGhp7UUkcV2B8W29ibIDnZuoGoqzyS%2F%2FbF%2FhhYscgWzjg%2BB%2Fj10ZpNdBkUCu86dkTL6f4OK2zY5qHhCnJ2Dw%3D%3D&openid.assoc_handle=%7BHMAC-SHA256%7D%7B4cca49b2%7D%7BMVGByQ%3D%3D%7D&openid.claimed_id=http%3A%2F%2Frstrahl.myopenid.com%2F&openid.identity=http%3A%2F%2Frstrahl.myopenid.com%2F&openid.mode=id_res&openid.ns=http%3A%2F%2Fspecs.openid.net%2Fauth%2F2.0&openid.ns.sreg=http%3A%2F%2Fopenid.net%2Fextensions%2Fsreg%2F1.1&openid.op_endpoint=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.myopenid.com%2Fserver&openid.response_nonce=2010-10-29T04%3A12%3A53Zn5F4r5&openid.return_to=http%3A%2F%2Fcodepaste.net%2FAccount%2FOpenIdLogon%3Fdnoa.userSuppliedIdentifier%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Frstrahl.myopenid.com%252F%26dnoa.return_to_sig_handle%3D%257B634239223364590000%257D%257BjbHzkg%253D%253D%257D%26dnoa.return_to_sig%3D7%252BcGhp7UUkcV2B8W29ibIDnZuoGoqzyS%252F%252FbF%252FhhYscgWzjg%252BB%252Fj10ZpNdBkUCu86dkTL6f4OK2zY5qHhCnJ2Dw%253D%253D&openid.sig=h1GCSBTDAn1on98sLA6cti%2Bj1M6RffNerdVEI80mnYE%3D&openid.signed=assoc_handle%2Cclaimed_id%2Cidentity%2Cmode%2Cns%2Cns.sreg%2Cop_endpoint%2Cresponse_nonce%2Creturn_to%2Csigned%2Csreg.email%2Csreg.fullname&openid.sreg.email=rstrahl%40host.com&openid.sreg.fullname=Rick+Strahl A 404 of course isn’t terribly helpful – normally a 404 is a resource not found error, but the resource is definitely there. So how the heck do you figure out what’s wrong? If you’re just interested in the solution, here’s the short version: IIS by default allows only for a 1024 byte query string, which is obviously exceeded by the above. The setting is controlled by the RequestFiltering module in IIS 6 and later which can be configured in ApplicationHost.config (in \%windir\system32\inetsvr\config). To set the value configure the requestLimits key like so: <configuration> <security> <requestFiltering> <requestLimits maxQueryString="2048"> </requestLimits> </requestFiltering> </security> </configuration> This fixed me right up and made the requests work. How do you find out about problems like this? Ah yes the troubles of an administrator? Read on and I’ll take you through a quick review of how I tracked this down. Finding the Problem The issue with the error returned is that IIS returns a 404 Resource not found error and doesn’t provide much information about it. If you’re lucky enough to be able to run your site from the localhost IIS is actually very helpful and gives you the right information immediately in a nicely detailed error page. The bottom of the page actually describes exactly what needs to be fixed. One problem with this easy way to find an error: You HAVE TO run localhost. On my server which has about 10 domains running localhost doesn’t point at the particular site I had problems with so I didn’t get the luxury of this nice error page. Using Failed Request Tracing to retrieve Error Info The first place I go with IIS errors is to turn on Failed Request Tracing in IIS to get more error information. If you have access to the server to make a configuration change you can enable Failed Request Tracing like this: Find the Failed Request Tracing Rules in the IIS Service Manager.   Select the option and then Edit Site Tracing to enable tracing. Then add a rule for * (all content) and specify status codes from 100-999 to capture all errors. if you know exactly what error you’re looking for it might help to specify it exactly to keep the number of errors down. Then run your request and let it fail. IIS will throw error log files into a folder like this C:\inetpub\logs\FailedReqLogFiles\W3SVC5 where the last 5 is the instance ID of the site. These files are XML but they include an XSL stylesheet that provides some decent formatting. In this case it pointed me straight at the offending module:   Ok, it’s the RequestFilteringModule. Request Filtering is built into IIS 6-7 and configured in ApplicationHost.config. This module defines a few basic rules about what paths and extensions are allowed in requests and among other things how long a query string is allowed to be. Most of these settings are pretty sensible but the query string value can easily become a problem especially if you’re dealing with OpenId since these return URLs are quite extensive. Debugging failed requests is never fun, but IIS 6 and forward at least provides us the tools that can help us point in the right direction. The error message the FRT report isn’t as nice as the IIS error message but it at least points at the offending module which gave me the clue I needed to look at request restrictions in ApplicationHost.config. This would still be a stretch if you’re not intimately familiar, but I think with some Google searches it would be easy to track this down with a few tries… Hope this was useful to some of you. Useful to me to put this out as a reminder – I’ve run into this issue before myself and totally forgot. Next time I got it, right?© Rick Strahl, West Wind Technologies, 2005-2010Posted in ASP.NET  Security  

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  • Partnering with your Applications – The Oracle AppAdvantage Story

    - by JuergenKress
    So, what is Oracle AppAdvantage? A practical approach to adopting cloud, mobile, social and other trends A guided path to aligning IT more closely with business objectives Maximizing the value of existing investments in applications A layered approach to simplifying IT, building differentiation and bringing innovation All of the above? Enhance the value of your existing applications investment with #Oracle #AppAdvantage Aligning biz and IT expectations on Simplifying IT, building Differentiation and Innovation #AppAdvantage Adopt a pace layered approach to extracting biz value from your apps with #AppAdvantage Bringing #cloud, #social, #mobile to your apps with #Oracle #AppAdvantage Embracing Situational IT In the next IT Leaders Editorial, Rick Beers discusses the necessity of IT disruption and #AppAdvantage. Rick Beers sheds light on the Situational Leadership and the path to success #AppAdvantage. Rick Beers draws parallels with CIO’s strategic thinking and #Oracle #AppAdvantage approach. Do you have this paper in your summer reading list? Aligning biz and IT #AppAdvantage What does Situational leadership have to do with Oracle AppAdvantage? Catch the next piece in Rick Beers’ monthly series of IT Leaders Editorial and find out. #AppAdvantage Middleware Minutes with Howard Beader – August edition In the quarterly column, @hbeader discusses impact of #cloud, #mobile, #fastdata on #middleware Making #cloud, #mobile, #fastdata a part of your IT strategy with #middleware What keeps the #oracle #middleware team busy? Find out in the inaugural post in quarterly update on #middleware Recent #middleware news update along with a preview of things to come from #Oracle, in @hbeader ‘s quarterly column In his inaugural post, Howard Beader, senior director for Oracle Fusion Middleware, discusses the recent industry trends including mobile, cloud, fast data, integration and how these are shaping the IT and business requirements. SOA & BPM Partner Community For regular information on Oracle SOA Suite become a member in the SOA & BPM Partner Community for registration please visit www.oracle.com/goto/emea/soa (OPN account required) If you need support with your account please contact the Oracle Partner Business Center. Blog Twitter LinkedIn Facebook Wiki Mix Forum Technorati Tags: AppAdvantage,SOA Community,Oracle SOA,Oracle BPM,Community,OPN,Jürgen Kress

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  • Partnering with your Applications – The Oracle AppAdvantage Story

    - by JuergenKress
    So, what is Oracle AppAdvantage? A practical approach to adopting cloud, mobile, social and other trends A guided path to aligning IT more closely with business objectives Maximizing the value of existing investments in applications A layered approach to simplifying IT, building differentiation and bringing innovation All of the above? Enhance the value of your existing applications investment with #Oracle #AppAdvantage Aligning biz and IT expectations on Simplifying IT, building Differentiation and Innovation #AppAdvantage Adopt a pace layered approach to extracting biz value from your apps with #AppAdvantage Bringing #cloud, #social, #mobile to your apps with #Oracle #AppAdvantage Embracing Situational IT In the next IT Leaders Editorial, Rick Beers discusses the necessity of IT disruption and #AppAdvantage. Rick Beers sheds light on the Situational Leadership and the path to success #AppAdvantage. Rick Beers draws parallels with CIO’s strategic thinking and #Oracle #AppAdvantage approach. Do you have this paper in your summer reading list? Aligning biz and IT #AppAdvantage What does Situational leadership have to do with Oracle AppAdvantage? Catch the next piece in Rick Beers’ monthly series of IT Leaders Editorial and find out. #AppAdvantage Middleware Minutes with Howard Beader – August edition In the quarterly column, @hbeader discusses impact of #cloud, #mobile, #fastdata on #middleware Making #cloud, #mobile, #fastdata a part of your IT strategy with #middleware What keeps the #oracle #middleware team busy? Find out in the inaugural post in quarterly update on #middleware Recent #middleware news update along with a preview of things to come from #Oracle, in @hbeader ‘s quarterly column In his inaugural post, Howard Beader, senior director for Oracle Fusion Middleware, discusses the recent industry trends including mobile, cloud, fast data, integration and how these are shaping the IT and business requirements. SOA & BPM Partner Community For regular information on Oracle SOA Suite become a member in the SOA & BPM Partner Community for registration please visit www.oracle.com/goto/emea/soa (OPN account required) If you need support with your account please contact the Oracle Partner Business Center. Blog Twitter LinkedIn Facebook Wiki Mix Forum Technorati Tags: AppAdvantage,SOA Community,Oracle SOA,Oracle BPM,Community,OPN,Jürgen Kress

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