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Showing posts from 2010

Validation with ASP.Net MVC2

I've blogged previously about the validation methods I've used on ASP.Net MVC projects and have recently been adapting this for use with version 2 of the framework. One of the new features I wanted to make available was the use of data annotations for validation , where domain or view model classes can be decorated with attributes for validation of required fields, field lengths and range values. These can then be used for both server side and client side validation . I ran into a problem with this though when validating entities that had related items - for example in my case I was working on a project management tool, where an entity such as a project is related to others such as a client and an account manager . The client entity has required fields such as a name, but when validating before saving the project entity I didn't really care about that as I was only interested in the client ID to perform the update operation. The validation by default is set up to perfor

iPhone Custom UIView with Controls

Armed with a copy of the Pragmatic Programmer's book and a lot of Googling, have made a start recently on developing apps for the iPhone . Took a while to find my way around XCode, Interface Builder and to get to thinking again about things like memory management, but made some progress and have released an app for bass guitar players learning scales or modes . It's fairly straightforward - is based on a navigation controller app, and has a single table view for selecting the scale and then a custom view for displaying the scale itself. You can choose the mode, key and speed and then view the tablature for playing the scale as well as listening to it played and viewing the fingering positions. The only tricky bit really was the display of the scale and for this I needed to develop a custom UIView . By doing this you can draw directly to the canvas - which I needed to do for the tab lines (or strings) and for plotting the finger positions of the scale. Normally with a view

jquery - the trigger method

Having recently had to work on a client website where jquery wasn't available, it was really apparent just how useful this library is and how pleasureable it makes working with JavaScript. Having to resort back to getElementById and getElementsByClassName was painful in comparison. Today I discovered and made use of yet another useful feature - the trigger method which enables an action on one element to fire the functions associated with events on another. I had a simple accordion style user interface that looked like this: On clicking the cross on the right a panel below would expand and display the content. The mark-up looked like this:     1   < ul id ="list">     2      < li >     3          < div class ="head"> Title </ div >     4          < a href =""> + </ a >     5          < ul >     6              < li > Content one </ li >     7          </ ul >     8      </ li >   

Progressive Enhancement with ASP.Net MVC

With its clean model for separation of concerns, one of the things I’ve been impressed by in use of MVC with ASP.Net is the support for building AJAX enabled applications that support progressive enhancement. This technique takes the traditional strategy of graceful degradation in web design and turns it on its head. Rather than focussing on having the best possible user interface degrade to a less rich but still workable and presentable one, the focus is on creating a functional base UI that is enhanced by the addition of CSS and JavaScript to produce an improved user experience for those that can make use of it. Of course either method can lead to the same result, but – in addition to the use of some specific techniques such as external referencing of assets to avoid swamping the more basic client with code or data that can’t be used – the change of approach leads to a different design mindset and result that better supports the full user base. In this post I’ll illustrate a sma

View Models and Form Models in ASP.Net MVC - A Second Look

Following my previous post looking at options on the use of view models within ASP.Net MVC , where I came down on the side of using a simpler approach passing domain models to views directly, in this blog post I'll outline the approach I'm taking with more recent project - where I've changed my approach to create view models and form models that wrap the domain model and can include additional fields and options that may be required in the particular view. The argument for using custom view models is that they can be tailored precisely to each strongly typed view, providing a cleaner approach for display and updating data from views. The downside though is that there is some additional work involved. However, after further reading on the subject - would recommend both Steve Michelotti's post on MVC view model patterns and Jorit Salverda's maintainable MVC series - on balance now I've been using them more and more on projects, it seems the extra steps are

Working on an Umbraco Project with Multiple Developers

Over the past couple of months I've been working with the open source .Net CMS Umbraco , and been very impressed with the breadth of features and opportunities for extension and customisation that it provides. Operating as a one man band, it's very straightfoward to work with the product using the web based UI for most of the development tasks. However one concern it gave was how to set it up such that in can be used within a development team - with multiple developers working on the same project and how to integrate it with source control systems . Issues arise from the fact that whilst some content is saved as files on disk (e.g. templates, XSLT macros), others are held in the database (e.g. data types, document types, and the content itself of course). In order to get around this, we've set up and used the following model - which seems to ameliorate the concerns: Firstly, a single database is set up on a networked server for access by all developers. This means any cr

Switched on Umbraco

Although for reasons I won't go into it looks like there's a good chance the project isn't going to see the light of day, I've been fortunate in the past couple of months to have chance to properly get to grips with the .Net open-source content management system Umbraco . Having heard good things about it from colleagues and the web community, I was hoping to find in this product the right balance of providing a rich framework for the generic requirements of a content-rich site , whilst retaining the ability to extend as necessary without running into the limits of the product. And I have to say after spending this time working with the system, I haven't been disappointed. I plan to blog a few specific developments where I've found need to extend the product to fit the needs of the web-site I'm building, but firstly just wanted to highlight the key benefits for me that I've found. Custom Document Types Even quite recently I was pitched a commercial CMS

3D Secure Implementation With PayPal

In a recent blog post I documented some details for setting up direct payments with PayPal . I've recently had to extend that to implement 3D secure - known also as Verified by Visa or Mastercard SecureCode . The primary reason I've needed to implement this in a hurry for a client is that as a deadline has been reached that mandates the technology if you wish to accept Maestro cards on the website. Hence, if anyone else like me has been asked to set this up on the site in a hurry, hopefully this post that documents the steps required and techniques will prove useful... Project References Paypal have a relationship with a company called Cardinal Commerce who are available to customers using PayPal Direct Payments for support with implementing the 3d secure technology. I found them very helpful in going through the process. The first step is to obtain a dll file called CMPCDotNet.dll (known as the "thin client software"). Note that the version supplied with the