ASPHostCentral.com ASP.NET MVC Hosting BLOG

All about ASP.NET MVC 4.0 Hosting, ASP.NET MVC 3.0 Hosting and ASP.NET MVC Hosting articles

WebMatrix 3 Web Hosting

clock April 28, 2013 16:36 by author Administrator

ASPHostCentral.com offers the latest WebMatrix 3 hosting service to all our new and existing customers.           

You can always start with our Standard Plan (from @$4.49/month) to deploy WebMatrix 3 applications to our server. Should your requirement changes in the future, you can always request for an upgrade without causing any downtime. Remember, everything is just one-click away from your mouse! So, why wait longer?
Please register your interest here.

What is WebMatrix?

WebMatrix is a free, lightweight, cloud-connected web development tool.

Designed for Top Languages

Create websites using our ASP.NET, PHP, Node.js, or HTML5 templates, and take advantage of the latest web standards, emerging standards(CSS3, HTML5), and popular JavaScript libraries such as JQuery

Your Companion for the Cloud

When you create local projects, you’ll be able to instantly get a companion website in Windows Azure without ever leaving WebMatrix. Using the Publish button, you can easily keep these sites in sync and save your changes to the cloud

Source Control with Git

Plug into GitHub, CodePlex, and Team Foundation Service to start sharing your code with the world. Whether you’re a newcomer to git, or a seasoned pro, you’ll find all of the features you would expect in a powerful but easy to use too

Remote Site Editing

Simply open your remote sites, make changes, and hit Save. The lightweight performance and full editing capability (including intellisense) make it feels like you are editing a local site!

Optimized for Open Source

Install popular web apps with a few clicks, customize them easily with app-specific code completion, and publish them quickly to the web.

Designed for Mobile

Optimize your websites for mobile browsing with built-in templates, device emulators and code completion for JQuery mobile

Source Control with TFS

Team Foundation Service is Microsoft’s hot new source control service in the cloud. WebMatrix 3 makes it simple and fun to work with your code using TFS for any project in the cloud, or on site.

Extended by the Community

Want an iPhone simulator or power tools for Node.js? Find extensions that add even more functionality to WebMatrix, or create your own


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ASPHostCentral.com offers Windows and ASP.NET Hosting on Singapore (Asia) Server

clock October 14, 2012 17:23 by author Administrator

ASPHostCentral.com has a strong commitment to provide global access and service to all our new and existing customers. To meet this commitment, ASPHostCentral.com proudly launches the latest and newest data center located in Singapore (Asia). Starting from 15th Oct 2012, ASPHostCentral.com opens an opportunity to everyone to host their websites on our Singapore Data Center.

Our Singapore data center is supported with Multiple connections to major Internet backbone carriers via SingTel, SingNet, NTT Communication, Deutsche Telekom AG, Hurricane Electric and PCCW with OC-12 connections using BGP-4 routing protocol. This Singapore Data Center hosting is suitable to anyone who plans to do an online business in Asia. If you are targeting Asian market or if you like to mirror your US-based or Europe-based website or if you are located in Asia and want to host your site in Asia data center, our Singapore server is certainly suitable for your needs

Our Singapore Data Center Network Advantages

- Multiple and geographically redundant dedicated connections to Tier-1 Internet backbones from the largest ISPs in South East Asia, Europe and USA

- Multiple connections to major Internet backbone carriers via SingTel, SingNet, NTT Communication, Deutsche Telekom AG, Hurricane Electric and PCCW with OC-12 connections using BGP-4 routing protocol

- Peering relationships are monitored and maintained 24x7x365 and upgraded as needed

- All Data Centers deploy Border Gateway Protocol (BGP4 Routing Protocol) that enables a multi-homed provider to setup a truly redundant network. By connecting to multiple backbones, ASPHostCentral.com data center distributes data out quickly in the shortest possible path. In the even of a failure in one circuit, our network automatically re-routes data to another backbone, ensuring uptime and redundancy for our customers


Singapore (Asia) Windows Hosting with ASPHostCentral.com

- New Customer - You can start from as low as $6.99/month to start hosting your website on our newest Singapore Server. If you do not have a domain name, please do not worry as we will give you one FREE domain name (worth $14.99/year) if you register for any of our hosting plans for 12 months service(*). We will do our best to help you create your first web presence on the internet and we will continuously support the growth of your business.
- Existing Customer - For all existing customers, a migration to a server located on our Singapore data center is required and hence, a migration and setup fee apply. Starting from 15th Oct 2012, we have offered Windows Server located on our Singapore data center and for clients who registered before this date is required to pay this setup fee. Thank you.

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Press Release - ASPHostCentral.com now offers IIS 8 Hosting on Windows Server 2012

clock September 26, 2012 19:28 by author Administrator

ASPHostCentral.com, the premier Windows and ASP.NET Hosting provider, proudly announces the availability of IIS8 Hosting on our most advanced Windows 2012 hosting platform. ASPHostCentral.com supports .NET Framework 4.5, so you can run apps built with ASP.NET 4.5, Visual Studio 2012, and Visual Studio Express 2012. We also support ASP.NET MVC 4, Silverlight 5, One-Click Publish and WebMatrix Hosting!

This IIS 8 service is bundled with our newest Windows Server 2012. Within Windows Server® 2012 you will find exciting innovations in areas of virtualization, networking, storage, user experience as well as an improved integration with Windows PowerShell® which takes scripting to a whole new level. This is quite possibly the most significant release of Windows Server® ever.

What is new in IIS 8.0 for Windows Server® 2012?

- FTP Logon Attempt Restrictions
- CPU Throttling: Sand-box for sites and applications
- Application Initialization Module
- Centralized management of SSL certificates
- Server Name Indication (SNI): SSL Scalability
- Use ASP.NET 3.5 and 4.5
- ASP.NET Configuration Management
- Dynamic IP Address Restrictions
- Multicore Scaling on NUMA hardware

Our IIS 8  Hosting Packages

Our IIS 8 Windows Hosting Package starts from as low as $4.49/month only and the package has included the following features:

- Windows Server 2012
- World Class Control Panel
- ASP.NET 4.5 and ASP.NET MVC 4
- Silverlight 5
- WCF RIA Service
- VS 2012
- VS Lightswitch
- WebMatrix
- One-click publish
- SQL 2012

For more information, please contact ASPHostCentral.com.

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Windows Server 2012 Hosting - ASPHostCentral.com

clock August 29, 2012 17:16 by author Administrator

ASPHostCentral.com
 proudly supports the latest Windows Server 2012 on all our newest servers. You can certainly run and deploy your project on our highly-secured Windows Server 2012 environment instantly! 



Windows Server 2012 Essentials 

An ideal server for small businesses, Windows Server 2012 Essentials (formerly known as Windows Small Business Server Essentials) provides a powerful and flexible solution that helps protect your business data while allowing you to access the information you need from virtually anywhere using almost any device. Windows Server 2012 Essentials supports the applications you need to run your business and also helps you to quickly connect to additional cloud-based applications and services to extend your server’s functionality. 

Benefits 

Small organizations want to focus on their core business, not on managing an IT infrastructure. Windows Server 2012 Essentials can help to minimize the time, effort, and money that you spend on IT. 

Windows Server 2012 Essentials provides you and your employees highly secure access to your company’s data and applications so that you can be productive—even when you’re not in the office—and offers you the flexibility to make technology decisions based on your individual business needs. 

With Windows Server 2012 Essentials, you can: 

- Protect and secure your business. The server’s intuitive user experience and powerful data protection features, such as full client PC backup, can simplify your life and help you focus on your core business.
- Access your resources from virtually everywhere using almost any device. Empower your remote workforce with the freedom to work where and when they choose with an Internet connection and web browser.
- Leverage the power and flexibility of cloud-based services on your terms. Windows Server 2012 Essentials helps you run your business operations, be more efficient, and enjoy competitive advantages by making it easier than ever to use and manage cloud-based applications and services, on-premise applications, or a combination of both. 

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.NET MVC 4 Hosting :: New Things to Learn in ASP.NET MVC 4

clock March 27, 2012 15:59 by author Administrator

Introduction

MVC4 is really trying to break new ground in helping developers get to market more quickly and with a product that adheres to the emerging standards of today. A tough thing to ask of any technology, to be sure, but it's making some decent strides in the right direction.

Already the tutorials and blogs posts are popping up quicker than mushrooms on the midden heap. We highlight a few here that you definitely shouldn't miss which deal with key upcoming features...

ASP.NET MVC  4 Hosting

If you are looking for a QUALITY, AFFORDABLE host that supports
ASP.NET MVC 4 Hosting, you can take a look at ASPHostCentral.com



ASP.NET MVC 4 Overview - Part 2

Jon Galloway goes into some significant detail here about some of the changes coming our way in the new version. He talks about the new default templates that come out of the box and the reasoning behind them.

He also talks about the new adaptive rendering taking advantage of CSS media queries and the usage of the viewport meta tag to help improve the mobile user experience. Overall a solid post that will stand the test of time. Check it out...


ASP.NET MVC 4 Bundling and Minification

Bundling and Minification of assets have to be two of the most tedious things to setup on a new web project. In this excellent post, David Hayden goes through exactly what you need to do to make the process as seamless as possible in MVC4.

Don't make the mistake of leaving this to the end of the project. You'll have deployment nightmares you didn't dream of and you'll be kicking yourself for not smoothing out the wrinkles. Do it early, and you'll thank yourself everyday for that small mercy...


Micro ORM Data Mapping with PetaPoco and ASP.NET MVC 4

Getting tired of working with the verbosity of Entity Framework classes and mapping? Well, you're not the only one, and in this quality post, Greg Arroyo takes us for a lap around the track using PetaPoco as your Micro ORM in MVC4.

Micro ORMs really are here to stay, and in some ways, more broadly applicable to web applications of today where everyone is trying to keep things more simple. If you haven't tried one yet, take this opportunity to get clued up on these fantastic tools.


ASP.NET MVC 4 Web API Routes and ApiController

Once again David Hayden masterfully takes us through a key piece of architecture that is going to be very important to anyone who will be working with MVC4. He details what seems to be a very slick piece of integration work between the new Web API framework and MVC4, and he throws in some OData queries for good measure.

It's short and sweet, and just enough to get you going, and whet your appetite for how to architect your solutions around your own APIs, allowing for more decoupled designs with less possible points of failure.


Getting started on your first Single Page Application

As with the introduction of any new method now encompassed in a technology, it's best to start with what comes straight from the horse's mouth. This Walkthrough put together by Brad Severtson gives you a great introduction, and leaves the mind boggling as to the possibilities.

If you've ever wanted to build your own Gmail and specifically wanted to do it with MVC, then go ahead, knock yourself out! (no pun intended)..

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ASP.NET MVC 4 Hosting :: Entity Frameworks Database Migration and ASP.NET MVC 4

clock March 21, 2012 16:30 by author Administrator

ASP.NET MVC 4 was released in beta by the Microsoft ASP.NET MVC Developer Team and it comes with a number of really cool features: Bundling and Minification Support of CSS and JavaScript, Database Migrations using Entity Framework 4.3, Web APIs, Mobile Web with support for jQuery Mobile, Real Time Communication via SignalR, and Asynchronous Support. The Database Migrations using Entity Framework Code-First is really cool and is very much like Rails where you can change your code and then via Package Manager add migrations and update your database as your code evolves. Because the EF Migration Files and Configuration get added to your Visual Studio Solution, all the database migration changes get added to source code.

If you are looking for a quality ASP.NET MVC 4 Hosting provider, please have a look at ASPHostCentral.com


   

ASP.NET MVC 4 and Entity Framework Code-First

ASP.NET MVC support for EF Code-First has been there since ASP.NET MVC 3. To jump start playing with Database Migrations start an empty ASP.NET MVC 4 Project and use Package Manager to install or update Entity Framework to the latest version that includes Database Migrations.

Install-Package EntityFramework

Add a simple Product Class that represents a product in your E-Commerce Website. Let's intially make Product simple by just providing an Id and Title to it.

public class Product {
    public int Id { get; set; }
    publis string Title { get; set; }
}


Run the Add Controller Recipe in ASP.NET MVC 4 to add a Products Controller that uses Entity Framework to read/write to the Database of your E-Commerce Website.



Once the Add Controller Recipe is finished you will have a working ASP.NET MVC 4 Website that reads and writes products to the Database using Entity Framework. The ProductsController was created along with all actions and views that display, create, update, and delete products.

Enabled Database Migrations to ASP.NET MVC 4

Now we want to enable database migrations to ASP.NET MVC 4 by using the Package Manager Console.

Enable-Migrations

Enabling database migrations creates a new Migrations Folder in your Visual Studio Solution as well as an InitialCreate Target Migration that has both an Up and Down Migration. The Up Migration creates the Products Table while the Down Migration drops the Products Table.

public partial class InitialCreate : DbMigration {
    public override void Up() {
        CreateTable(
            "Products",
                 c => new
                 {
                      Id = c.Int(nullable: false, identity: true),
                      Title = c.String(),
                  })
                  .PrimaryKey(t => t.Id);
         );
     }

     public override void Down() {
          DropTable("Products");
     }
 }


Add New Database Migration to ASP.NET MVC 4 Website

Now let's say we want to add more properties to the Product Class as well as make Title a Required Property and a length of 255 characters.

public class Product {
    public int Id { get; set; }

    [Required,MaxLength(255)]
    public string Title { get; set; }

    public string Description { get; set; }

    public decimal Price { get; set; }
}

One can now add a data migration as well as update the database via the Package Manager Console.

Add-Migration AddDescriptionPriceToProduct
Update-Database


The Add-Migration command creates another file in the Migrations Folder of our ASP.NET MVC 4 Project and the Update-Database command updates the database with the new Description and Price Columns as well as modifies the Title Column to be only 255 characters and not nullable.



If you look at the ASP.NET MVC 4 Database before and after issuing this Database Migration you will notice the effect.



And, of course, the new Database Migration File has the approprite Up and Down Methods.

public partial class AddDescriptionPriceToProduct : DbMigration {
    public override void Up() {
        AddColumn("Products", "Description", c => c.String());
        AddColumn("Products", "Price",
            c => c.Decimal(nullable: false, precision: 18, scale: 2));
        AlterColumn("Products", "Title",
            c => c.String(nullable: false, maxLength: 255));
    }

    public override void Down() {
        AlterColumn("Products", "Title", c => c.String());
        DropColumn("Products", "Price");
        DropColumn("Products", "Description");
    }
}

Conclusions

If you are a Rails Developer moving to ASP.NET MVC 4, you will find the Database Migrations support in Entity Framework a nice addition to the tooling. And, of course, those ASP.NET MVC 4 Developers that love Code-First Development with Entity Framework will love the new Database Migrations support in EF 4.3. Don't forget to check out other ASP.NET MVC 4 Features such as bundling and minification of CSS and JavaScript, Web API's, Asynchronous Support, and the mobile web templates. ASP.NET MVC 4 is still in beta at this point, but it has a go-live license.

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ASP.NET MVC 4.0 Hosting :: Exciting Features of ASP.NET MVC 4.0 Framework

clock March 15, 2012 15:59 by author Administrator
Not only MVC

First of all I want to make clear that most features aren't MVC-specific features. However, MVC does implement most of them out-of-the-box, while Web Forms needs some more installation and configuration work.

Front-end

Minification

There are some really neat features on the front-end part of MVC 4, first of all there's minification. Minification means that all spaces, enters and comments are removed from your CSS / Javascript files (including coffee, SASS and LESS), and that variable names are replaced with shorter variable names (such as a, b, c, etc.). This means that less data needs to be transferred to the visitors of your website, resulting in a faster page loading time, etc. Probably a feature that any front-end developer will love.

Bundling

Another cool feature that is often mentioned in one sentence with minification is bundling. Bundling means that you can have separate CSS files (e.g. one for your content, one reset style sheet, one for your layout) that are 'bundled' into one CSS file. ASP.NET does this by convention (but it's also configurable), for example: the reset.css will be placed in the bundle first, etc. This means that you only have one request instead of multiple requests, again resulting in a faster page load time.

Mobile web

Much has been done to improve the way MVC 4 behaves on mobile devices. There's now a mobile application project type that creates a nice lay-out that uses JQuery mobile to do all kinds of fancy stuff. MVC 4 also tries to render your lay-out in a mobile compatible way. This means that your elements are properly resized to fit inside the screen of mobile devices. But this is not the only feature, nor is it the most exiting feature. The most important mobile web feature (in my opinion) is the fact that you can now create device specific views. This allows you to create specific views for Windows Phone 7 devices, for Android devices, etc.

Project templates

For those who just want to make a quick prototype there are new project templates that look pretty fancy compared to the old project templates. Below is an overview of the new templates, the left template is the default template when you choose the 'internet application' project type, the second is the 'single page application' type and the third, obviously, the mobile type. The new project types also support AJAX login and OAuth.

Back-end

Web APIs

A very exiting new feature of ASP.NET is the introduction of Web APIs. This is another name for the new controller type, namely the ApiController. The ApiController makes creating an API much easier compared to WCF. Just like the default MVC controllers you can mark methods to be HttpPost methods, HttpGet methods, etc., but there are many new features to this.

The ApiController now allows users to perform queries against the API with OData if the ApiController method returns IQueryable<T>, it's possible to return specific HTTP codes to the consumer of the API, there's improved testability and IoC support, and more features that you will love.

Since the ASP.NET team and the WCF team have been merged, the new ASP.NET Web API wil replace some parts of WCF. This is a good things because the Web API is really easy (and flexible) to work with.

If you want to know more about ASP.NET's Web API I recommend Scott Guthrie's blog post about it.

Async

There was Async support in MVC 3. This meant that you need to have two methods: an Async method and a Completed method. MVC 4 removes the need for two methods and simplifies the way tasks are defined. Below are two examples:

The MVC 3 approach:

public void IndexAsync(string city) {
    AsyncManager.OutstandingOperations.Increment(2);
    NewsService newsService = new NewsService();
    newsService.GetHeadlinesCompleted += (sender, e) =>
    {
        AsyncManager.Parameters["headlines"] = e.Value;
        AsyncManager.OutstandingOperations.Decrement();
    };
    newsService.GetHeadlinesAsync();
     SportsService sportsService = new SportsService();
    sportsService.GetScoresCompleted += (sender, e) =>
    {
        AsyncManager.Parameters["scores"] = e.Value;
        AsyncManager.OutstandingOperations.Decrement();
    };
    sportsService.GetScoresAsync();
}

public ActionResult IndexCompleted(string[] headlines, string[] scores, string[] forecast) {
    return View("Common", new PortalViewModel  {
        NewsHeadlines = headlines,
        SportsScores = scores,
    });
}

The MVC 4 approach:

public async Task<ActionResult> Index(string city) {
    var newsService = new NewsService();
    var sportsService = new SportsService();    

    return View("Common",
        new PortalViewModel {
        NewsHeadlines = await newsService.GetHeadlinesAsync(),
        SportsScores = await sportsService.GetScoresAsync()
    });
}

As you can see the MVC 4 approach is much shorter and much easier, probably leading to more people using asynchronous methods. The code is still compiled into the same intermediate language, it's just syntactic sugar.

Real-time communication

There's also support for WebSockets and a new open source framework called SignalR that allows you to set up a real-time multi-user interactive website in a real easy manner. I highly recommend reading Scott Hanselman's blog post about SignalR and the official SignalR Github project.

Database migrations

The last feature that I wanted to mention is probably the coolest new feature. However, it's rather an Entity Framework feature than an ASP.NET feature. I'm talking about Entity Framework 4.3's new Database Migrations.

What it means is that Entity Framework can generate classes with Execute/Unexecute (actually they are called Up and Down, but I don't think those names really describe what they do), performing any database modifications that you've made. For example: let's say we have an entity called Person. If I wanted to add a property called 'Age' to Person entity, Entity Framework would generate a class for me with two methods: the Up method that adds the Age property to the Person table in the database (or whatever we've mapped the Person entity to) and the Down method that removes the Age property from the Person table. This allows us to rollback any changes, or easily perform updates on the database.

Entity Framework also allows us to generate SQL so we don't have to write change scripts manually any more. Automating the generation of change scripts can significantly reduce the time it takes to deploy your application, allowing the developers to focus on developing new features.

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ASP.NET MVC 4.0 BETA Hosting FREE Account is now available at ASPHostCentral.com

clock March 14, 2012 16:33 by author Administrator

ASPHostCentral.com, the leader in ASP.NET and Windows Hosting Provider, proudly announces that we have supported the latest ASP.NET MVC 4.0 BETA Hosting.   

To support Microsoft ASP.NET MVC 4.0 BETA Framework, we gladly inform you that we provide this beta account FREE of charge for a limited time (* terms and conditions apply). 



New Features in ASP.NET MVC 4


This section describes features that have been introduced in the ASP.NET MVC 4: 
- Enhancements to Default Project Templates
- Better Support for Mobile Project Template
- Enhancement in Display Modes
- Mobile Project Template support for VB.NET
- Dependency Injection Improvements    

Terms and Conditions in Using this ASP.NET MVC 4.0 BETA Account
 

The followings are the features you will get under this FREE ASP.NET MVC 4.0 BETA Account: 
- ASP.NET MVC 4.0 Beta Framework
- 1 Website/Domain
- 100 MB disk space
- 100 MB bandwidth
- 50 MB SQL 2008 space
- 24/7 FTP access
- Windows Server 2008 Platform

If you want to participate in this BETA program, there are several rules you need to understand: 

- As this is a beta version, not all the features are available. They may be some issues on this beta framework, which will be fixed upon the full release of ASP.NET MVC 4.0 Framework

- ASPHostCentral.com does not guarantee the uptime of the sandbox solution. Additionally, we do not keep/store any backup of your files/accounts

- ASPHostCentral.com does not guarantee rapid response to any inquiries raised by a user

- This free account is only meant for testing. Users should not use it to store a production, personal, e-commerce or any blog-related site

- This free account is used to host any ASP.NET MVC 4.0 beta website only. Any questions that are not related to ASP.NET MVC 4.0 BETA will not be responded. A user shall not host any non-ASP.NET MVC 4.0 site on this free account either

- ASPHostCentral.com reserves full rights to terminate this beta program at any time. We will provide a notification on our Help Desk System prior to the termination of this program

- ASPHostCentral.com reserves full rights to terminate a user account, in which we suspect that there is an abuse to our system

- Once this beta program is terminated, your account will be completely wiped/remove from our system.

- This offer expires on 31st May 2012

If you wish to participate in this FREE ASP.NET MVC 4.0 BETA Program, you must register via https://secure.asphostcentral.com/BetaOrder.aspx

 

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.NET 4.5 Beta Hosting with ASPHostCentral.com

clock March 13, 2012 17:40 by author Administrator

ASPHostCentral.com, the leader in ASP.NET and Windows Hosting Provider, proudly announces that we will support ASP.NET 4.5 Hosting.

To support Microsoft ASP.NET 4.5 Beta Framework, we gladly inform you that we provide this beta account FREE of charge for a limited time (* terms and conditions apply).



The followings are the features you will get under this FREE ASP.NET 4.5 BETA Account:                

- .NET 4.5 Beta Framework
- 1 Website/Domain
- 100 MB disk space
- 100 MB bandwidth
- 50 MB SQL 2008 space
- 24/7 FTP access
- Windows Server 2008 Platform

 If you want to participate in this Beta program, there are several rules you need to understand:              

- As this is a beta version, not all the features are available. They may be some issues on this beta framework, which will be fixed upon the full release of ASP.NET 4.5 Framework
- ASPHostCentral.com does not guarantee the uptime of the sandbox solution. Additionally, we do not keep/store any backup of your files/accounts
- ASPHostCentral.com does not guarantee rapid response to any inquiries raised by a user
- This free account is only meant for testing. Users should not use it to store a production, personal, e-commerce or any blog-related site
- This free account is used to host any ASP.NET 4.5 beta website only. Any questions that are not related to ASP.NET 4.5 beta will not be responded. A user shall not host any non-ASP.NET 4.5 site on this free account either
- ASPHostCentral.com reserves full rights to terminate this beta program at any time. We will provide a notification on our Help Desk System prior to the termination of this program
- ASPHostCentral.com reserves full rights to terminate a user account, in which we suspect that there is an abuse to our system
- Once this beta program is terminated, your account will be completely wiped/remove from our system.
- For details, please check
http://www.asphostcentral.com/ASPNET-45-Beta-Hosting.aspx
- This offer expires on 31st May 2012

If you want to participate on this FREE ASP.NET 4.5 Beta Program, you must register via https://secure.asphostcentral.com/BetaOrder.aspx

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ASP.NET MVC 3 Hosting :: Using an MVC PartialView With jQuery Templates Plugin

clock November 20, 2011 14:59 by author darwin

The other day I was talking some fellow developers about web architecture techniques. I brought up the use of jQuery templates instead of another proposed technique. A case was made the template plugin was not good for progressive enhancement. The objection was it forces you to maintain two separate HTML instances to render the same content. One instance for the initial server-side rendering and one for the client-side template. I knew this was not the case, so today I will show how to execute progressive enhancement while using ASP.NET MVC partial views.

There are two things you need to leverage to make this work. First, the model you are using should only use string properties. This is a bit unorthodox, but remember in the world of Model-View-Controller or MVVM, SOA, you tend to map objects between layers so they conform to their intended use.

The Contact entity now contains only string properties:

public class Contact {

    public string FirstName {get; set; }
    public string LastName {get; set; }
    public string PhoneNumber {get; set; }
    public string Street {get; set; }
    public string City {get; set; }
    public string State {get; set; }
    public string PostalCode {get; set; }

}


I know some of you are freaking out, but calm down. You can simply transform these values to the types you actually need in you application’s natural pipeline. As for validation, not doing in this little layer. I ultimately do validation on the client for UX purposes and for real in the business layer.

Now in your controller, I am just going to use HomeController today, you need to add a new View called ContactForm. It needs to have the
ChildActionOnly attribute applied.

[ChildActionOnly]
public ActionResult ContactForm() {


    return PartialView();

}


To make this work I need to add some code and parameters. The ContactForm partial view’s primary purpose is to render the desired contact, an empty new contact or the contact merge fields for the jQuery template plugin. I have added two parameters to the controller, Id and newContact. These are used to trigger the correct Contact object values.

[ChildActionOnly]
public ActionResult ContactForm(string Id, string newContact) {
   
    if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(Id)) {
        ViewBag.Contact = contactServiceManager.GetContact(Id); ;
    } else {

        if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(newContact)) {

            ViewBag.Contact = new Contact()
            {
                ContactId = "${ContactId}",
                FirstName = "${FirstName}",
                LastName = "${LastName}",
                Business = "${Business}",
                Address1 = "${Address1}",
                Address2 = "${Address2}",
                City = "${City}",
                State = "${State}",
                PostalCode = "${PostalCode}",
                PhoneNumber = "${PhoneNumber}",
                EMail = "${EMail}",
                Comment = "${Comment}",
            };
       
        } else {

            ViewBag.Contact = new Contact();

        }

    }
 
    return PartialView("ContactForm");
}


The controller now checks the input parameters and creates a Contact object with the desired values. If there is an Id value it tries to retrieve the contact from the business layer. If not it checks to see if an empty Contact or a merge field Contact object is needed. 

The corresponding View is pretty straight forward. It simply fills the value of each INPUT tag with the appropriate values.

<div id="ContactEditForm">
  @using (Html.BeginForm()) {
    @Html.ValidationSummary(true)
   
<input type="hidden" name="Id" id="Id" value="@ViewBag.Contact.ContactId" />
   
<fieldset class="span-1">
     
<legend>@ViewBag.Contact.FirstName @ViewBag.Contact.LastName</legend>
     
<ul>
       
<li>
         
<label for="FirstName">
            First Name
</label><input id="FirstName" name="FirstName"
             
class="" value="@ViewBag.Contact.FirstName" /></li>
       
<li>
         
<label for="LastName">
            Last Name
</label><input id="LastName" name="LastName"
             
class="" value="@ViewBag.Contact.LastName" /></li>
       
<li>
         
<label for="Business">
            Business
</label><input id="Business" name="Business"
             
class="" value="@ViewBag.Contact.Business" /></li>
       
<li>
         
<label for="Address1">
            Address1
</label><input id="Address1" name="Address1"
             
class="" value="@ViewBag.Contact.Address1" /></li>
       
<li>
         
<label for="Address2">
            Address2
</label><input id="Address2" name="Address2"
              
class="" value="@ViewBag.Contact.Address2" /></li>
       
<li>
         
<label for="City">
            City
</label><input id="City" name="City"
             
class="" value="@ViewBag.Contact.City" /></li>
       
<li>
         
<label for="State">
            State
</label><input id="State" name="State"  
           
class="" value="@ViewBag.Contact.State" /></li>
       
<li>
         
<label for="PostalCode">
            Postal Code
</label><input id="PostalCode"
           
name="PostalCode" class="" value="@ViewBag.Contact.PostalCode" /></li>
       
<li>
         
<label for="PhoneNumber">
            Phone Number
</label><input id="PhoneNumber"
           
name="PhoneNumber" class="" value="@ViewBag.Contact.PhoneNumber" /></li>
       
<li>
         
<label for="EMail">
            E-Mail
</label><input id="EMail" name="EMail"
           
class="" value="@ViewBag.Contact.EMail" /></li>
       
<li>
         
<label for="Comment">
            Comment
</label><input id="Comment"
           
name="Comment" class="" value="@ViewBag.Contact.Comment" /></li>
       
<li>
         
<ul class="btn-List">
           
<li>
             
<button id="CancelButton" class="btn"
             
text="Cancel" type='button' tabindex="199">
                Cancel
</button>
           
</li>
           
<li>
             
<button id="SaveButton" class="btn default"
             
type='submit' tabindex="198">
                Save
</button>
           
</li>
         
</ul>
       
</li>
     
</ul>
   
</fieldset>
  }
</div>


So the way I like to do a Master List/Detail UX is to list the records in a table and display a dialog for editing purposes. But let’s say you have a user fixated on the great JavaScript scare of 1995 and has it disabled. In this scenario the edit link will not display the edit dialog, but instead take them to the edit page. 

On my Master page, the Index view in this example, the following code adds the ContactForm partial view content. It creates the jQuery Template plugin template needed to render the edit dialog.

<script id="EditFormTemplate" type="text/html">
 @{Html.RenderAction("ContactForm", new { Id = "", newContact = "" });}
 </script>


Now in the actual Edit view the following code will simply render the form in the desired format if JavaScript is turned off or someone actually does a direct link to the form.

@{Html.Action("ContactForm", new { Id = "", newContact = "" });}

Whew!!! That’s a lot to digest and we are not done! 

As far as opening the edit dialog and using the jQuery template plugin to generate the input form, the following jQuery code intercepts a click on all edit links, merges the Contact object and appends it to the dialog. If you are not familiar with the
jQueryUI dialog widget there are various examples on the web. The documentation is pretty complete as well. As for the jQuery Templates plugin you can start with the source code page and go from there. I know I really need to blog more about them and I will, I will….

$(".edit-link").click(function (e) {

  e.preventDefault();

  var jqxhr = $.ajax({
    url: GetRootUrl() + "Home/Contact?Id=" + $(this).attr("Id")
  })
            .success(function (result) {

              contact = result;

              $("#EditFormTemplate")
                        .tmpl(result)
                                .appendTo("#contactDlg");

              $("#contactDlg").dialog('open');

            })
            .error(function (qXHR, textStatus, errorThrown) {
              alert("ack! an error!\r\n" + textStatus + " " + errorThrown);
            });

});


All right, that just about does it for the core code that drives this solution. Seeing is believing. (Disclaimer, I use a pretty bad random content generator to give me some dummy data, so excuse that, it’s just placeholder to me).





New Dialog (using the same code as the Edit Dialog BTW)



Edit page, using the same ContactForm partial view.

If you are using ASP.NET WebForms you can easily translate this technique using Custom Controls (.ascx) instead of Partial Views.


So this is my quick and dirty first hack at solving a very real problem. I am sure I will improve and refine this over the coming months. Since I am just now getting into MVC I am also sure I made some faux pas with that too, but again it works and can be improved upon.

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