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Dino Esposito

RWD, Mobile-first, JavaScript and Performance

The easiest way to make a responsive web application perform well is to minimize requests and the amount of data that is downloaded. The most dramatic way of doing this, for mobile applications particularly, is to download just the data you need to use. There are additional ways of doing this, such as 'Mobile first', Prioritized content, Intelligent markup and Compression, but the most important task is to minimize the data-download requirements. Read more...

Dino Esposito

Quick and Dirty Web Data-Binding

Sometimes, the sheer byzantine complexity of the typical JavaScript frameworks underlying a typical web application can give you pause for thought. If all you need is a simple way of creating a mobile-first application that involves creating simple markup templates, loading them into a DOM fragment and dynamically populating them with JSON data, then maybe a lean micro-framework like Mustache.JS would provide a better, leaner approach. Read more...

Ambily Kavumkal Kamalasanan

Customizing Team Foundation Server 2013

Visual Studio Team Foundation Server (TFS) manages workflow of software development projects. It is designed for the typical development. If it doesn't support all your team development activities, you can extend it by various means, including the creation custom controls or new work items. Read more...

Nick Harrison

ASP.NET MVC Security through Validation

ASP.NET MVC provides a way of providing declarative validation of user inputs. It removes a lot of the tedium of this important task. Nick Harrison explains how to do it, and also points out why it is so important to provide input validation Read more...

Dino Esposito

Revisiting Partial View Rendering in ASP.NET MVC

For any browser-based application, it makes sense to load into the web page just the content that is immediately required and avoid whole-page refreshes whenever possible. Ajax technology and JSON makes this partial-rendering easy. It is, however, worth considering ASP.NET's own partial-rendering techniques, returning HTML. It requires less client-logic and is quicker to implement. Read more...

Jon Smith

Using Entity Framework with an Existing Database: User Interface

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...

Jim Holmes

Practical UI Test Automation – Locators and Asynchronous Loading

Having set us down an enlightened path of User Interface test automation, Jim Holmes returns to give some advice on how to start building smart, robust test harnesses, and some tools you might want to consider. Read this before you start trying to automate your UI tests, or if you’re about to start on a new project. Read more...

Nick Harrison

Extending Editor Templates for ASP.NET MVC

If you find yourself doing routine work repeatedly in ASP.NET MVC, it is worth exploring the possibilities that come from modifying or creating Editor Templates in Visual Studio. Templates can save you a lot of time when creating views or other default content. Nick Harrison explains. Read more...

Jon Smith

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...

Dino Esposito

The JavaScript Overload and Micro Frameworks

You can achieve a lot with HTML5 and CSS, but only if you employ JavaScript libraries as well. It used to be possible to restrict down to one or two libraries, but nowadays, the pressure is on to do more with a web page with such features as touch gestures, dynamic DOM updates or CSS switches. Is there such a thing as too much Javascript? Are we near the limits of what we can do with this technology? Read more...

Jim Holmes

Getting Started with UI Test Automation

User Interface test automation is a tricky practice, and it’s not always obvious what the benefits are. UI tests are an essential part of protecting your application’s critical paths, and it’s easy to start building them in the wrong way. Jim Holmes urges us to ask some pointed questions before we get started, and get start testing our UI the right way, for the right reasons. Read more...

Tom Fischer

Rethinking the Practicalities of Recursion

We all love recursion right up to the point of actually using it in production code. Why? Recursion can illustrate in code many of the excellent 'divide and conquer' algorithms, but will always provide the compiler with a challenge to implement as efficiently as an iterative solution, and can present the programmer a puzzle to test, debug and render resilient to bad data. Read more...

Konrad Lukasik

Take your CRUD to the next level with DDD concepts

Sometimes, in a software development, the level of complexity in part of the project can get to a point where the experienced developers will rethink their strategy. Domain-Driven Design can often help, but if the necessary prerequisites aren't there, it could be that DDD-Lite can help. Konrad Lukasik gives a simple example where some DDD patterns can help to clarify complex logic. Read more...

Dino Esposito

Responsive Web Design: Relying on the Form-Factor

For visitors to get a good experience from your website irrespective of the device they use, you need to do more than just accommodate to the dimensions of the browser in pixels. To take it to the next level, you need to know about the device and its capabilities and characteristics. If we are facing ever-more diverse devices that can access the web, is it time to understand how to serve web-pages based on the 'form-factor'? Read more...

Michael Sorens

Acceptance Testing with FitNesse: Database Fixtures, Project Overview

There aren't many frameworks for writing acceptance tests for databases, including SQL Server. FitNesse is an obvious choice since it is designed with a Wiki-style interface that, once it is configured and set up correctly, makes it very easy for a non-specialist to set up individual tests. Read more...

Dino Esposito

Responsive Web Design: The Downsides

Although Responsive Web Design (RWD) makes it possible to deliver design that is appropriate to a wide range in the dimensions of the browser-window, The designer cannot use RWD alone to adapt the UI to the actual device. It's not just the subtleties of the display device, but the way that the same volume of data must be sent to all devices; hardly suitable for an old smartphone with poor bandwidth. Read more...

Edward Charbeneau

On Creating a Live Style Guide for MVC Application Development

Before developing any browser-based application, you can both accelerate and coordinate development by creating a live style guide that displays the standards for layout, colour, widgets, typography, navigation, forms and structure. As it is itself an MVC application, it can help with implementation details as well as style. Read more...

Dino Esposito

Responsive Web Design: the Costs

Responsive Web Design is devised to help you render your website or web-based application appropriately on different sizes and aspect ratios of browser windows. Adopting it as a solution comes at a cost: It can't help to render a particular design on a specific device such as a model of smartphone. It also can require considerable refactoring of an existing site design, its navigation and testing. It has to be done right. Read more...

Nick Harrison

Building an Excel View Engine for ASP.NET MVC

When we see a grid with some interesting data in it in an MVC application we, as users, expect to be able to download it as an Excel spreadsheet. If your application can't do it, it is no use telling the user that it is too difficult, because it isn't, as Nick Harrison explains. Read more...

Edward Charbeneau

Creating Custom OAuth Middleware for MVC 5

Website visitors will have come to expect to be able to use OAuth authentication, rather than require yet another ID and password. Although MVC5 provides Google, LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter authentication, you would need to write custom authentication middleware for any other provider. Ed Charbeneau shows you how to get started. Read more...

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