4 posts

Sample ASP.Net MVC project (updated)

I’ve updated the sample MVC project I wrote for using ASP.NET MVC 3 and the Razor view engine.

A minor change is that I no longer use the FluentValidationModelValidatorProvider but the standard one. So I decorate the view model with the necessary data annotations :

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

    [DisplayName("First name *")]
    public string FirstName { get; set; }

    [DisplayName("Last name *")]
    public string LastName { get; set; }

    public int? Age { get; set; }

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What features would you like to see in ASP.NET MVC 4?

If there was a single feature I would like to see in ASP.NET MVC 4 that would be to remove/deprecate ViewBag/ViewData. Those two constructs lead to very ugly code in the views and should be avoided. Here are few of the things I hate about them:

  • They are not strongly typed and you need to cast in your views in order to obtain the actual type
  • They are not refactor friendly because they rely on magic strings
  • They lead to brittle unit tests because of the magic strings
  • They lead to spaghetti code in the views

Here’s the diff patch I would love to see applied for the ViewDataDictionary.cs class in ASP.NET MVC 4:

diff --git ViewDataDictionary.cs ViewDataDictionary.cs
index 4c6299f..1965e3e 100644
--- ViewDataDictionary.cs
+++ ViewDataDictionary.cs
@@ -95,12 +95,10 @@ namespace System.Web.Mvc {

         public object this[string key] {
             get {
-                object value;
-                _innerDictionary.TryGetValue(key, out value);
-                return value;
+                throw new Expcetion("Don't use ViewData");
             set {
-                _innerDictionary[key] = value;
+                throw new Expcetion("Don't use ViewData");

Uploading multiple files with C#

Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to upload multiple files to a remote host and pass additional parameters in the request? Unfortunately there’s nothing in the BCL that allows us to achieve this out of the box.

We have the UploadFile method but it is restricted to a single file and doesn’t allow us to pass any additional parameters. So let’s go ahead and write such method. The important part is that this method must comply with RFC 1867 so that the remote web server can successfully parse the information.

First we define a model representing a single file to be uploaded:

public class UploadFile
        public UploadFile()
            ContentType = "application/octet-stream";
        public string Name { get; set; }
        public string Filename { get; set; }
        public string ContentType { get; set; }
        public Stream Stream { get; set; }

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How we do ASP.NET MVC

Sample MVC Solution

In this post I will show a sample ASP.NET MVC 2.0 project structure illustrating different concepts such as data access, user input validation and mapping between the domain and the view model. The project is still under construction but the source code is available at github.

I will illustrate the usage of the following frameworks:

  • MvcContrib bringing useful extension methods and strongly typed helpers to ASP.NET MVC
  • AutoMapper enabling easy mapping between the domain and the view models
  • FluentValidation – a small validation library for .NET that uses a fluent interface and lambda expressions for building validation rules for your business objects
  • NHibernate – a popular ORM in the .NET world
  • FluentNHibernate – a statically compiled alternative to NHibernate’s standard hbm xml mapping
  • Spring.NET – object container and dependency Injection framework for .NET
  • Rhino.Mocks – A dynamic mock object framework for the .Net platform. It’s purpose is to ease testing by allowing the developer to create mock implementations of custom objects and verify the interactions using unit testing


Armed with this arsenal of frameworks let’s start exploring the solution structure. I’ve opted for 2 projects solution but in many real world applications more levels of abstraction could be brought to the business layer. Personally I favor to have less big assemblies rather than many small assemblies into the solution. Fewer the assemblies, faster the load time and faster the IDE. In this case particular attention should be brought to bring proper separation of concerns inside the same assembly



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