User Acceptance Testing and the Application Lifecycle

User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is an important part of the development process. If carried out as early as possible and as regularly as possible, it not only alerts the development team to aspects that don't yet meet the requirements of the users, but also gives governance a better idea of progress. If UAT is delayed, defects become expensive and troublesome to fix. Sophia Segal gives an experienced summary view of UAT… Read more

Continuous Code Quality Inspection with SonarQube

There are many ways that static code analysis can help to speed software delivery. It can pick up, as a preliminary to check-in, errors and weaknesses in code that can happen incidentally to even the most experienced developer. It can give the team a measure of technical debt, and remove the obvious 'noise' from code before it is reviewed. Vishwas introduces a popular Code-quality inspection tool, SonarQube, and takes you through the basics of using it with C# and Java. … Read more

Code Smells: Raw Strings and the Subtle Syntax Catastrophe

All sorts of complex data can be represented as a string but that doesn't mean you can treat them merely as strings. There are so many things that can go wrong if you assume that generic string operations such as concatenation can serve to create complex markup, expressions, codes and serialised objects. It pays instead to create dedicated builders for any such complex data that you may need to create. Michael Sorens explains some defensive coding to make for a more robust application.… Read more

Securing Web Applications

If you are developing a web application, almost every design decision you make can introduce a security flaw if you get it wrong. Although attacks are becoming more common, and more widely reported, the same common errors continue to provide the most opportunities for hackers. OWASP provides a 'top ten' security problems. Vishwas here describes them and explains how to avoid them… Read more

LINQ Debugging and Visualization

LINQ is certainly extraordinarily useful. It brings the power of query expressions to C#, allowing an easy way of getting the data you need from a variety of data sources. Up to now, there hasn't been a VS debugger for LINQ that gives you the means to visualise the data at every point in the chain. Michael Sorens, a keen LINQ user, describes a third-party tool that now promises to make using LINQ something we can all participate in.… Read more

Development Delusions: That it is Enough to Build a Better Mousetrap

You've written a superb, clever, application that you are trying to encourage your colleagues to use. They're not interested. Why? You've neglected the documentation. Surely, the saying goes 'Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door'? Nope, not without comprehensive and complete documentation and marketing, it won't. Documentation is the secret of ensuring that good software will succeed. … Read more

Managing Packages Using Windows PowerShell

Windows hasn't had a package manager in the style of the Advanced Packaging Tool (APT) of Linux distributions. Apt-get is a great way of installing packages and other software. We have Chocolatey, of course which has a growing library of software and even allows you to automatically update software. Now PowerShell has an 'official' way of using any system, such as NuGet, Chocolatey, GitHub or PSget. It is definitely useful and likely to mature into an indispensable tool for Windows users. Nicolas explains why… Read more

4 Keys to a Clean Angular Implementation

Can there be true separation of concerns with MVC? Not entirely, especially when Angular's templates allow you so much flexibility; but there is a great deal to be gained from following guidelines to ensure that all business logic is performed in the code-behind as directed by the controller or its delegate, and that all operations on the model are done in the controller: Michael Sorens explains the four essential guidelines for an easily-maintained system.… Read more

Going Interactive with C#

For some time now, C# programmers have gazed enviously at the interactive capabilities of F#, Python and PowerShell. For rapid prototyping work and interactive debugging, dynamic languages are hard to beat. C# Interactive slipped into view quietly, without razzmatazz, in Visual Studio 2015 Update 1. It's good, it's worth knowing about; and Tom Fischer is intent on convincing you of that.… Read more

How to Build a Search Page with Elasticsearch and .NET

Although SQL Server's Full-Text search is good for searching text that is within a database, there are better ways of implementing search if the text is less-well structured, or comes from a wide variety of sources or formats. Ryszard takes ElasticSearch, and seven million questions from StackOverflow, in order to show you how to get started with one of the most popular search engines around.… Read more

Improving Web Page Performance

Visitors to a website are put off by having to wait for pages to load. Additionally, Google uses the metric to rank your site. Why, when there are tools and techniques around to help reduce web page lethargy, do we still experience slow page-loads? David Berry provides the simple ways of finding and fixing the problems.… Read more

Behaviour Driven Development Part 3 – Benefits of using BDD Programming Methodology

Behaviour Driven Development requires the use of ubiquitous language to clearly state the requirements for a software project. As Sunil Pardasani explains, this clarity can bring substantial benefits to your organisation, reducing misunderstandings, competing visions, and setting clear goals that are directly tied to the development process.… Read more

Behaviour Driven Development: Part 2 – Implementing Scenarios and Step Definitions in Specflow

In Behaviour-driven Development, the scenarios that you work out with the participants in the development in order to specify the acceptance criteria of a feature are recorded in a language that clearly describes the way that a feature should works. The same code can then, via a utility such as SpecFlow, create the unit tests that are subsequently used to write the code, and finally the user-acceptance tests.… Read more

Safe(r) Custom User-Authentication

If you are still storing passwords with MD5 hashing you're doing it wrong. The .NET platform provides a Cryptography library that allows you to develop PBKDF2 user authentication to the standards of the Open Web Application Security Project. Tom Fischer explains the background, shows a solution, and discusses the issues.… Read more

Behaviour Driven Development Overview Part 1 – Ubiquitous Language

Behaviour Driven Development is an Agile methodology that aims to allow software development and management teams to use shared tools and processes to communicate and collaborate, It describes the behaviour of the application in a language that is understood by business analysts, testers, developers in order to minimize misunderstandings and make the development process more visible. This structured description or 'Ubiquitous Language' then serves to define much of the testing. … Read more