Building Better Entity Framework Applications

Entity Framework (EF) is Microsoft’s Object/Relational (ORM) database access library, with a new generation, EF Core, released in 2016. In this article Jon P Smith looks at six different software principles and patterns that help to keep the EF code nicely separated from the rest of the application. The six approaches make the EF database access code is easier to write, test, refactor and, most importantly, performance-tune.… Read more

A Real-World React.js Setup for ASP.NET Core and MVC5

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React is a front-end user interface library developed by Facebook, originally to help them improve their own site. Since then it has grown into somewhat of a phenomenon, with many active users. In this article, Jon Smith provides multiple examples of how to use React with recently released ASP.NET Core MVC, and the existing ASP.NET MVC5 framework.… Read more
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Introduction to Bower, Grunt, and Gulp in Visual Studio

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Developers are now spending much more time writing and debugging JavaScript, CSS, HTML templates etc. Microsoft have responded by adding better tools for front-end development into their development environment, Visual Studio. In this article Jon Smith uses a sample application to demonstrate how he converted an existing ASP.NET MVC5 application to use these new tools… Read more
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How to Take an Asp.Net MVC Web Site Down for Maintenance

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Keeping a customer facing web site up and performing well is a challenge, especially when you are still adding new features. While providing an "always on" experience for users is preferred there are times when it is easier to take the site "down for maintenance" and fix those things that are just too difficult and costly to do with the site up. Jon Smith describes his solution to a controlled "down for maintenance" approach for ASP.NET MVC sites.… Read more
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The Compromise Between Development Time and Performance in Data-Driven ASP.NET MVC

As developers we always want to produce efficient code, but efficient in what - development time or overall performance? In this article Jon Smith describes how to investigate and understand performance so that you can decide how to balance these two goals. The article starts with high level performance issues and drills down to detailed code tuning using examples taken from real applications.… Read more

Using Entity Framework with an Existing Database: User Interface

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Pre-existing databases can pose some difficulties for software developers using an ORM. To demonstrate ways of circumventing them, Jon Smith builds an ASP.NET MVC application with Entity Framework (EF) to provide a user interface to Microsoft's AdventureWorks sample SQL database. He shares his design approach for displaying and updating this data with real examples from the test web application he built.… Read more
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Using Entity Framework With an Existing Database: Data Access

Pre-existing SQL databases, particularly if complex, can often pose problems for software developers who are creating a new application. The data may be in a format that makes it hard to access or update, and may include functions and procedures. Jon Smith looks at what tools there are in Microsoft's Entity Framework's Data Access technology that can deal with these requirements.… Read more

The .NET 4.5 async/await feature in Promise and Practice

The .NET 4.5 async/await feature provides an opportunity for improving the scalability and performance of applications, particularly where tasks are more effectively done in parallel. The question is: do the scalability gains come at a cost of slowing individual methods? In this article Jon Smith investigates this issue by conducting a side-by-side evaluation of the standard synchronous methods and the new async methods in real applications.… Read more

Catching Bad Data in Entity Framework

Any website that rejects the users' input without giving enough information to correct what they're doing is doomed to be unpopular. Entity Framework offers three different ways of validating data before writing it to the database. As well as describing how to harness these validation methods Jon Smith shows how capture these errors to make the feedback to the user less cryptic.… Read more

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