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Building a “front-end build pipeline” from a C# devs perspective - Part 2

In the previous post, we looked at how we can use Gulp to run tasks for us. And in that post we used it to create tasks for transpiling LESS and TypeScript into CSS and JavaScript. But the example was very small and simple. It only contained 1 LESS file and 1 JavaScript file. But what if we have more than 1? Well, that’s when we need to start bundling the files together, and potentially minify them so that they are faster to download. Luckily, this is a piece of cake to do using Gulp. So in this post, we will have a look at how to do that, as well as how to get some TypeScript/JavaScript tests thrown in there as well.

Dislaimer: The solution will still be VERY small and simple. But at least it will be made big enough to be able to use bundling and minification. Which to be honest just means that we need more than one file of each type…

I assume that you have read the last post, and that if you are following along on your machine, you will need to be done with everything that was done in that post…

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Posted: Nov 10 2014, 14:10 by ZeroKoll | Comments (0) |
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Building a “front-end build pipeline” from a C# devs perspective - Part 1

I started building web-based software professionally around year 2000, just before the big IT crash in Sweden. It started out being just hacing together HTML, mostly using tables, and a little JavaScript. But slowly evolved into building ASP applications with VB Script and COM-components in VB. Since then, I have been in and out of the webdevelopment scene a whole bunch of times, and very little has changed. It is still HTML/CSS/JavaScript over HTTP…

Yes, on server-side there have been some changes. First an abstraction into WebForms, and then back to MVC. And to me, ASP.NET MVC is pretty similar to classical ASP in many ways. But the front end has pretty much stayed the same. It is still good ol’ HTML and JavaScript…and CSS of course. However, having been away from it for a little while now, coming back I realize that the scene has changed. A lot… Yes, the languages are unfortunately the same, but the methods have changed a lot.

The thing that has changed the most is that we are using MUCH more JavaScript and CSS. MUCH more. And that creates new requirements. Requirements like bundling and minifying, as well as testing even our front-end code. And in a lot of cases, we are authoring our code in other languages and have them “compiled”, or “transpiled”, into JavaScript and CSS, to make up for their “shortcomings”. Whether it be using CoffeScript or Dart for you JavaScript, or LESS or SASS for your CSS, it needs processing before we can use it… And this new way of building things has created the need for a front-end build pipeline… At least if you want to be really productive.

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Posted: Nov 04 2014, 19:10 by ZeroKoll | Comments (0) |
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The code from my SweNug presentation about what OWIN is, and why it matters…

Most of you can ignore this post completely! But if you attended SweNug today (September 10th), you know that I promised to publish my code. So here it is!

Code: SweNug.Owin.zip (2.30 mb)

I’m sorry for the ridiculous size of the download, but all the solutions have NuGet package restore enabled, which places an exe to restore NuGet packages in the project. This exe is quite sizable, so the download gets a bit large. On the other hand, including all the NuGet packages would make it even larger…

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to drop me a line!

Posted: Sep 10 2014, 19:29 by ZeroKoll | Comments (0) |
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Manually configuring OWIN WS-Federation middleware and accepting encrypted tokens

In my previous post, I showed how to do a simple configuration of WS-Federation using WIF, or whatever it is called now that it is part of the framework, to enable federated authentication in ASP.NET. Something that was previously done using a tool, but now either has to be done at the start of the application, or manually.

But what about OWIN? As all new security stuff is moving to OWIN, how do we get it to work there? Well, by default, it is ridiculously simple. And that has been the whole goal with this new model.

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Posted: Aug 21 2014, 13:29 by ZeroKoll | Comments (0) |
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Configuring an ASP.NET site to use WS-Federation

After having blogged a couple of times about how to build a simple STS, how to use claims based authentication in MVC 4.5 and how to set up federation with Azure Access Control Service, I thought it might be time to post a quick walkthrough of how to set up a simple federation with an existing STS.

Why did I think of that right now? Well, the pretty awesome “Identity and Access Tool” extension to Visual Studio has been removed from later versions of Visual Studio, making setting up federation a manual task. Unless you do it as you set up your application... And having been playing around with federation for a couple of days now in a project that wasn’t set up from scratch, I decided to just add a quick blog post on how to do a simple set up with the least amount of effort.

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Posted: Aug 18 2014, 14:35 by ZeroKoll | Comments (0) |
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Combining ASP.NET MVC and Web API for content negotiation goodness

Ok, so this post sprung out of an idea that I have had in my head for a while. I know it will probably be solved better in ASP.NET v.Next, and can probably be solved in a bunch of other ways using only Web API or only MVC, but I wanted to see if I could use both to do it…

So what is IT? Well… In Web API, we have the ability to use content negotiation out of the box. Unfortunately, that content negotiation is, at least by default, based around serializing to XML or JSON. It doesn’t include all the view goodness that MVC has. There is no simple way to ask Web API to return a Razor view… So if I want to have content negotiation to handle both serialized data and views, we need to do some work…

On top of that, my solution would work nicely together with an existing MVC application, making it “easy” to add API features and content negotiation to the existing MVC URLs.

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Posted: Jun 13 2014, 12:34 by ZeroKoll | Comments (0) |
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Code from my MVVM presentation at DevSum14

During my MVVM presentation yesterday, I promised to upload the code to my blog. So here it is! Go ahead and run the application, put some breakpoints in there and see what is actually happening. It should give you a good baseline for a simple, and small “pay for play” MVVM framework. And if you have any questions, Just ask them in the comments, or via e-mail or Twitter…

Download: FiftyNine.MVVM.zip (517.57 kb)

Posted: May 23 2014, 08:30 by ZeroKoll | Comments (0) |
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Understanding OWIN – more on the IAppBuilder abstraction and middleware creation

In my last couple of posts, I have talked about OWIN. What it is, how it works, why it is interesting and so on. I have talked mostly about the hosting side of it, and a bit about how we can plug into the OWIN pipeline using what is called middleware… However, so far, the middleware has been ridiculously simple, and done very little, which isn’t really helpful I guess. And besides not doing very much interesting work, they have also not interacted very much with the request pipeline. Most of them, or maybe even all of them, have just terminated the pipeline and returned a simple response…

In this post, I want to take a look at how OWIN abstracts the server, and the request and response, and also how we can use this abstraction to extend the functionality of our pipeline.

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Posted: May 20 2014, 13:29 by ZeroKoll | Comments (0) |
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Another day, another TechEd

Once again, I was lucky enough to get a spot as a speaker at TechEd USA. This year, I am speaking about the SOLID principles, and about ASP.NET Web API. So far, I have managed to get one talk under my belt, and I personally think it went well!

An interesting, and kind of sucky part about TechEd this year is the fact that it has been sold out, and put in a location where there is not enough even enough room for everyone to attend the keynote sessions. Speakers were asked to not attend it, but instead watch it in one of the “overflow rooms”. Unfortunately, even these seemed to overflow. So I watched the keynote on a big screen TV in the exhibition area.

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Posted: May 15 2014, 01:03 by ZeroKoll | Comments (0) |
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Understanding OWIN – more on hosting

My last post about OWIN covered a little bit about the different hosting options, and then quite a bit about OWIN middleware. However, I found the hosting coverage to be a little weak, so I thought I would do one more, much shorter post, on just the different hosts available.

As mentioned before, there are 4 different OWIN hosts available from Microsoft. 3 from project Katana and one from project Helios.

Actually, there are 5. There is also a test host that can be used to test OWIN middleware in Unit tests etc in-memory, instead of having to open a port and listen for incoming requests…

The first, and simplest to get started with is the Katana self-host. But since we saw that being used in the last post, I will skip that one…

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Posted: May 13 2014, 00:13 by ZeroKoll | Comments (0) |
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