C#, Tools

3rd party open source .NET libraries to add to your toolbox

It’s always a pleasure to see the community help each other out in ways we think are unimaginable. One of the best way some people help, is to open source their hard work into libraries, so you don’t have to code the behavior yourself. It’s always hard to know what’s out there, so in this post, I want to give a shootout to some of the .NET libraries I find could definitely enhance your application(s) and if not, beef up your toolbox. As a developer, it’s good to know they exist, so you can increase your knowledge of the available tools out there. They definitely can help you out in the future. Note that I am listing here some libraries…

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Angular, Web

Custom control validation in Angular

Validation is an integral part of a web application. Making sure that a first validation pass is done on the client side can (to some extent) help you cleanse your data and show useful messages to your users when the input data is invalid. Angular comes with a pre-determined set of validators, and you can find find some validators libraries on GitHub, but sometimes this is not enough as you need custom rules for validating your data. Since form validation can occur through reactive forms or template driven forms, let’s go over each of them to see how we can add a custom validator in each case. Custom validator through reactive forms Validation can occur on a formControl or on a…

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C#, Team Services

Accessing TFS/VSTS 2017 programmatically

Being able to have access to the data in Team Foundation Server (TFS)/Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) can be useful for automating processes where, for instance, you want to either create custom reports, or trigger certain actions based on certain conditions in your development process. Prior to TFS 2017 (and VSTS), the known method was to use the NuGet packages Microsoft.TeamFoundationServer.Client to perform such tasks. With the arrival of TFS 2017/VSTS, Microsoft introduced a REST API that can be used to access the same data. This is a great news as this enables multiple programming languages to access TFS/VSTS. In this post, I will show you how to access your data using both the package and through the API. Accessing TFS/VSTS…

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C#, Visual Studio

How to debug your .NET applications and packages without the actual source

Debugging is a big part of a developer’s job. It becomes even more critical when things don’t happen quite right in production. If you are lucky, your production application has been compiled with the symbols (PDBs or Program Database). Since I always tend to forget how to debug in such a way, I am writing it here as reminder to myself, but also to remind you that the world does not stop here if you did not compile the pdbs with your production application. To be able to debug, a copy of Visual Studio is needed. Debugging a .NET application when the source code is unavailable Debugging an application when the source is unavailable can now be done with tools…

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Angular, C#, Web

Secure your Angular/ASP.NET Core application with Anti-forgery token

Security has always been at the forefront of Web Applications. There are so many security concerns one has to think of when developing web applications. Today, I want to share with you guys how to secure a Single Page Application (SPA) from Cross-site request forgery (CSRF or XSRF) using Angular 4. If you’re still using Angular 2 this works as well but I recommend upgrading to 4. It’s easy and they made the code faster and smaller (maybe a topic for another day ;-]) By default, the Angular core HTTP library will look for a token in the cookie with the name XSRF-TOKEN and add it to the request. Thanks to the CookieXSRFStrategy provided by Angular, Angular does that part for you. However,…

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Angular, Web

Demystifying a few Angular2 concepts for starters

Being immersed in the JavaScript frameworks world can be intimidating. Today, I will try to demystify a few concepts and perhaps at the same time answer some questions that someone starting with Angular2 will most probably have. The framework is mature enough at this point in time to be able share some of the basics, but useful, things that one should have in mind when using it. Angular2 uses TypeScript TypeScript is a subset of JavaScript that is strongly typed, unlike JavaScript which is dynamically typed. Without going into too much details, it basically means that the compiler will not let you put a type into another. For instance, assigning a number (may it be a short, int, double, etc) to a…

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Tools, Visual Studio, Web

Synchronizing node version with your environment in Visual Studio 2017

Visual Studio 2017 is official finally out and Microsoft did a tremendous job in listening to their user base. They simplified the install process, enhanced the speed of the load of the projects, enhanced their IntelliSense and debugging tools to say the least. If you have not tried it yet, go and grab yourself a copy today! The community edition is free and is available to everyone! On that note, one may remember the nodejs binding problem that would occur in Visual Studio 2015 when it comes to gulp and node-sass

This happens because Visual Studio has a set of paths that are searched to find node/npm etc. By default Visual Studio 2017 comes with Node 5.4.1 and npm 3.3.4 shipped. As…

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Documentation

Why you should have release notes

Building software is exciting. You get your first release out there, rock back your chair or celebrate with your team and overall everyone is happy. The word goes out and people start using what you’ve built. Exciting! Like any living software, you start improving your software and fix some bugs. There are a few times where I am looking at software (may it be a full blown application or plugins), I see that a new version is out, but I don’t see what has been changed. I also often come across releases where the major version has changed. As per semver, a major version means that one makes incompatible API changes. However, do developers really do follow that? Some may want to…

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Software Architecture

The importance of good logging

Lately, as you may have noticed through my other posts, I’ve been doing a lot of migration and DevOps. I’ve had my fair share of problems and the fact that I was able to skim through the logs for clues helped me put everything into production. I want to discuss in this post the importance of good information logging whether it is general information for the user or errors occurring in the application. Often we see applications not having any logs or the logs they provide are poor in content. Every system is different; not every system is configured the same way and/or has the same applications installed. Here are some points that should be followed by every developer when it comes…

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Continuous Integration, Web

ASP.NET Core web.config publishing blues

I’ve been working on being able to use Octopus Deploy to deploy ASP.NET Core applications through IIS and I was faced with an interesting challenge. When publishing to a File System through the Visual Studio Publish command, it will trigger a PowerShell script that essentially will call Microsoft Web Deploy V3 (msdeploy) to put your FileSystem up to date with your release. But before calling MSDeploy, it will update (or should I say overwrite) your web.config with the proper handlers that match your application. This means that it will create a generic web.config and removing all the settings you may want. The ASP.NET team is aware I believe of the fact that the publishing tool is limited and thus in need of some customization features…

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