IIS Express

April 30, 2011

Introduction

Tired of developing ASP.NET web sites with the ASP.NET Development Server (Cassini) or the IIS version that was installed along with your Windows operating system?

Cassini works great in most cases, but sometimes you want to test some functionality (SSL,…) that it cannot handle and you have to go through the hassle of hosting your site in IIS.

Let’s quickly setup IIS Express…

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IntroductionWeb Development

This article quickly details the steps you need to perform in order to enable support for the Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) in ASP.NET (classic or MVC). Let’s use a very small demo application to show you how you can do this.

Integrating WF in ASP.NET is something I had to do in the last few projects I worked on. So I thought I’d build a small sample application that shows you the bare minimum of code required in order to achieve this. Let’s build a sample application step by step…

Remark: This article is not a primer on WF. Some basic understanding of WF is required.

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Ogone Payment Services

April 8, 2010

Introduction

You are building an e-commerce web application and you need to support several payment methods (Visa, Mastercard…etc.) so that your customers can easily pay their orders. Rather than implementing this yourself you decide to rely on a trusted third-party provider to provide these services for you.

A well-known company from Belgium that provides payment services is Ogone. They provide over 40 international and local payment methods. They handle the payment transactions between your customers, your online shop and the providers of payment methods (e.g. Visa).

Ofcourse you have to pay a small sum for each transaction handled by Ogone, but that buys you integrated fraud protection, security, tools to manage your payments…and much more. The cost of implementing all of this yourself is far greater.

So you signup for an Ogone account and decide to integrate their system into your web application.

How can we realize this? Let’s find out…

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IntroductionASP.NET MVC
My previous post dealt with how to use Magento‘s API with WCF. Another aspect of Magento I came across is it’s extremely flexible support for theming.

You can design a new theme that looks radically different from the default one. Not only can you change the images and colors in the cascading style sheets, you can also redefine the regions (header, content, footer…) that make up a page. Per region you can specify which HTML gets injected into it. This gives you maximum customization power for theming your site.

Theming in ASP.NET is supported out-of-the-box. Using the App_Themes folder you can customize the look and feel of your site, however cumbersome this system may be.

Magento is built using the MVC pattern, just like the ASP.NET MVC Framework. And that is the focus of this article. How do we go about implementing theming in ASP.NET MVC?

Let’s get started…

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IntroductionWeb Development

The ASP.NET membership feature reduces the amount of code you have to write to authenticate users and store their credentials. To quote MSDN:

“The ASP.NET membership gives you a built-in way to validate and store user credentials. You use the ASP.NET membership with Forms authentication and / or with the ASP.NET login controls for authenticating users.”

The membership provider needs to be specified in the Web.config configuration file. You can use your own custom provider or one of the default providers that ships with the .NET Framework, such as the SqlMembershipProvider provider.

All of the user related data is stored in a set of tables used by the ASP.NET membership system. In most cases you’ll use one set of tables per web application. However you can also reuse the same set to store the user credentials of multiple web applications. This effectively enables you to create one web application that acts as a portal allowing you to log in to one of these “virtual” applications.

However this isn’t possible out of the box. You have some work ahead of you, before you can support such dynamic applications.

Let’s get started…

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Entity Framework ObjectContext

February 21, 2009

IntroductionWeb Development

It’s been a good two months since the last post. Today I finally found some spare time to write a new article about .NET. This will be the first article on this blog focusing solely on the Entity Framework. More in particular about using the Entity Framework in different environments such as Windows Applications and in an ASP.NET environment.

The Entity Framework has some drawbacks that will hopefully be addressed in the second release, but in its current state it’s already a really useful technology to use for database access.

This article will not discuss every feature of the Entity Framework as that would entail writing an entire book. The primary focus is on how to deal with the ObjectContext in different environments such as a regular Windows Application and a Web Application (ASP.NET). Let’s get started…

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IntroductionWeb Development

The purpose of this article is to create a slick looking and easy to use menu for an ASP.NET enabled website. In order to accomplish this we’ll use the standard functionality of the ASP.NET Menu web control and enhance the look purely by using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).

For those of you familiar with CSS the title of this article will surely ring a bell. The CSS used to enhance the look and feel of the ASP.NET Menu control is decribed in a widely known article on A List Apart, entitled “Sliding Doors of CSS“.

The CSS used to improve the look and feel of the menu is thoroughly explained in the article on A List Apart. Credit when credit is due. Thank Douglas Bowman for supplying us with the CSS. Be sure to read his article first if you are not familiar with it.

The focus of this article is on how to simulate such a menu in an ASP.NET environment. Let’s get started…

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