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ASP.NET MVC - A deeper look: Part-II

Posted By:Gaurav Arora       Posted Date: April 26, 2009    Points: 25    Category: ASP.NET    URL: http://www.dotnetspark.com  
 

ASP.NET MVC - A Step Ahead Series: Part-II


This article is only for learning purpose and to enhance the ASP.Net MVC skills. The A Step Ahead Series containing few chapters to describe the same.

History

In Part-I we have learnt few basics of the ASP.Net MVC, including features and containing the creation of a sample application. In this entire tutorial we will continue the same application with other concepts.

Introduction


This part of tutorial expands the previously created project. Let's remind the last tutorial in following steps:


  1. The MVC pattern separates the components of an MVC web application, which allows the more controls of the individual parts of that application.
  2. MVC pattern separates objects into Model, View and Controllers
  3. The MVC pattern helps you create applications that separate the different aspects of the application (input logic, business logic, and UI logic), while providing a loose coupling between these elements. The pattern specifies where each kind of logic should be located in the application. The UI logic belongs in the view. Input logic belongs in the controller. Business logic belongs in the model. This separation helps you manage complexity when you build an application, because it enables you to focus on one aspect of the implementation at a time. For example, you can focus on the view without depending on the business logic.
  4. Steps to create an ASP.Net MVC application :

    • Start your Visual Studio2008 : Start ->Programs -> Visual Studio2008
    • On the File menu, click New Project.
    • In the upper-right corner, make sure that .NET Framework 3.5 is selected.
    • Under Project types, expand either Visual Basic or Visual C#, and then click Web [I have opted C#]
    • Under Visual Studio installed templates, select ASP.NET MVC Web Application.
    • In the Name box, enter MVCApplicationStepAhead.
    • In the Location box, enter a name for the project folder.
    • If you want the name of the solution to differ from the project name, enter a name for the solution in the Solution Name box.
    • Select Create directory for solution and click OK

MVCApplicationStepAhead - At a glance


The folder structure of an MVC project differs from that of an ASP.NET Web site project. The MVC project contains the following folders:


  • Content Folder : This folder contains the style sheets. Basically this folder having responsible files for page layout, design etc.
  • Controller Folder : As ot pronounced from name this folder contains the controller files like AccountController.cs and HomeController.cs.
  • Models Folder : Contains Data Model files.
  • Script Folder : Contains Script files.
  • View Folder : For view page files. This folder contains three subfolders: Account, Home, and Shared. The Account folder contains views that are used as UI for logging in and changing passwords. The Home folder contains an Index view (the default starting page for the application) and an About page view. The Shared folder contains the master page view for the application.



 

Creating the Routes


One of the powerful new features that ASP.NET MVC brings to the table is the ability to customize the URLs that access your application. The URL routing feature explicitly breaks the connection between physical files on disk and the URL that is used to access a given bit of functionality. This is important for Search Engine Optimization as well as general usability of the website.
This is done by creating a route table in the global.asax file in the MVC Application. Luckily for us, the defaults included in the template work perfectly this application.

Finally, we are ready to start creating application:

Scope :


Scope of our Test application is


  • Creation of an Interface for employees to:
  • Defining their roles
  • Getting Roles
  • Checking the availability of an Employee [whether retiree or not]


 

Requirement :


We need for above


  • A Storage where we put records - The Model
  • An Interface where user can interact - The Viewer
  • A media through which all activities could be inspected - The Controller

Selecting Application :


We have assigned tasks for .Net and we need MVC, so, the best selection of language is ASP.NET MVC.
Now, let's start creating above one-by-one [I assume that there is no predefined file exists]:

Creation of Model


First o f all as have discussed we want a Container where we store our data. Here What I mean of Container , ofcourse, a Database.
Here are three options for you to choose container of this application:


  1. Go with the existing database file EmployeeDB.mdf under App_data folder of application.
  2. Use the available script EmployeeDB.sql available under App_data folder of application to create above database
  3. Finally, follow bellow mentioned steps to create a new database from / within the environment :
  4. Select App_data folder Choose New From File -> New -> File option , or
  5. Right Click the App_data to add new database file.
  6. Create a Database with name EmployeeDB
  7. Create a Table ERoles following is the query for this :


 


/*******************************************
*This script creates
****** database EmployeeDB
****** Table Roles
********************************************/

IF EXISTS (SELECT name FROM sys.databases WHERE name = N'EmployeeDB')
DROP DATABASE [EmployeeDB]
Go
CREATE DATABASE [EmployeeDB]
GO

USE [EmployeeDB]
GO

IF EXISTS (SELECT * FROM sys.objects WHERE object_id = OBJECT_ID(N'[dbo].[Roles]') AND type in (N'U'))
DROP TABLE [dbo].[Roles]
GO

/********************************************************************
******This script is a part of ASP.NET MVC-A Step Ahead Series
****** Written by : Gaurav Arora
****** Reach author at : webmaster@msdotnetheaven.com
****** Anyone can use this for educational purposes.
**********************************************************************/

SET ANSI_NULLS ON
GO
SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER ON
GO

CREATE TABLE [dbo].[Roles](
[Id] [int] IDENTITY(1,1) NOT NULL,
[Role] [nvarchar](300) COLLATE SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS NOT NULL,
[IsRetiree] [bit] NOT NULL,
[HireDate] [datetime] NOT NULL,
CONSTRAINT [PK_Roles] PRIMARY KEY CLUSTERED
(
[Id] ASC
)WITH (IGNORE_DUP_KEY = OFF) ON [PRIMARY]
) ON [PRIMARY]
GO

SET ANSI_NULLS OFF
GO
SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER OFF
GO

 

  • Fill some initial values into new created table either from Environment or Query analyzer :

    USE [EmployeeDB]
    GO

    INSERT INTO [dbo].[Roles]([Role],[IsRetiree],[HireDate])
    VALUES('Manager - Resource',0,'01/01/2005')
    GO
    INSERT INTO [dbo].[Roles]([Role],[IsRetiree],[HireDate])
    VALUES('Manager - Technical',0,'01/11/1999')
    GO
    INSERT INTO [dbo].[Roles]([Role],[IsRetiree],[HireDate])
    VALUES('Member - Technical Staff',0,'01/11/2007')
    GO
    INSERT INTO [dbo].[Roles]([Role],[IsRetiree],[HireDate])
    VALUES('Sr. Member - Technical Staff',0,'11/11/2007')
    GO
    INSERT INTO [dbo].[Roles]([Role],[IsRetiree],[HireDate])
    VALUES('Lead Member - Technical Staff',1,'11/11/1986')
    GO

    Alternatively, you can also used available stored procedures. I am not discussing about Stored Procedure here.
    Finally, you have a database with table.
    Note: You can change the name of above objects as per your feasibility.
    With the invention of LINQ, its very easy to solve the smut problems in applications. Here to defining a Model.
    There are many tools to generate this task like :

    1. LINQ To SQL
    2. nHibernet
    3. Entity Framework

    I prefer to use LINQ to SQL, although above three are likely to be same but I always use LINQ to SQL.

    To do the same :

    Right click on Models folder and select Add New Item -> LINQ To SQL -> EmpRole.dbml

    Now, just pick and drop your object of Container i.e. ERoles table on Method Pane.
    Alternatively, you can create a new class from tool box by defining all the elements.
    Finally, click on 'Save' when done.

    Many author says that the next step should be adding the logics but my opinion is you should have at-least one interface to interact user then may go for logics.

    So, lets start to create a UI:

    Creation of Views


    Right Click on Home folder under Views folder to add new Views.
    Select Add -> View Create.aspx, Home.aspx these are the two views we need here.

    Now Double click on Index.aspx and put following lines there:

    First include namespace:


    <%@ Import Namespace="MVCApplicationStepAhead.Models" %>

    Now, rewrite the above with following code:





    Employee Roles




    Employee Roles



      <%foreach (RoleE roleE in (IEnumerable)ViewData.Model)
      {%>

    • <%if (roleE.IsRetiree)
      { %>

      <%= roleE.HireDate.ToShortDateString() %>
      --
      <%= roleE.Role1%>

      <%}
      else
      { %>
      Change Role as Retiree
      <%= roleE.HireDate.ToShortDateString() %>
      --
      <%= roleE.Role1 %>
      <% } %>

    • <% } %>




    Add New Task





    The above piece of code - just defining the activities of getting Available roles of Employee, adding new roles with Employee, changing Employee current roles.
    In Create.aspx page we pull some new roles, use following code:

    <%@ Page Language="C#" AutoEventWireup="true" CodeBehind="Create.aspx.cs" Inherits="MVCApplicationStepAhead.Views.Home.Create" %>









    Add New Role















    As you can check here we are using postmethod.
    Do not confuse with both above two pages, very soon you will get all the answers of your queries:

    Creation of Controllers:


    Click on Controllers folder and add new MVC controller, named as HomeController.cs

    Put the following lines there:

    using System;

    using System.Collections.Generic;
    using System.Linq;
    using System.Web;
    using System.Web.Mvc;
    using System.Web.Mvc.Ajax;
    using MVCApplicationStepAhead.Models;

    namespace MVCApplicationStepAhead.Controllers
    {
    public class HomeController : Controller
    {
    private EmpRoleDataContext dbEmpRole = new EmpRoleDataContext();

    //Display a list of Roles
    public ActionResult Index()
    {
    var roles = from r in dbEmpRole.RoleEs orderby r.HireDate descending select r;

    //return View();
    return View(roles.ToList());
    }

    //New Role form
    public ActionResult Create()
    {
    return View();
    }

    //Adding new Roles

    public ActionResult CreateNew(string roleDescription)
    {
    //New role to database
    RoleE newRole = new RoleE();
    newRole.Role1 = roleDescription;
    newRole.IsRetiree = false;
    newRole.HireDate=DateTime.Now;

    dbEmpRole.RoleEs.InsertOnSubmit(newRole);

    return RedirectToAction("Index");
    }

    //Mark that Role has been Completed
    public ActionResult Complete(int Id)
    {
    //database tasks here
    var roles = from r in dbEmpRole.RoleEs where r.Id == Id select r;

    foreach (RoleE match in roles)
    match.IsRetiree = true;

    dbEmpRole.SubmitChanges();

    return RedirectToAction("Index");
    }

    }
    }

    Finally, we reach to conclusion:
    Now you can build application or run application:
    Start the above application by pressing F5
    Add some new roles, change roles to retiree etc.
    Conclusion

    The ASP.NET MVC provides us a huge availability to represent our application in of MVC manner:
    The folder structure of an MVC project differs from that of an ASP.NET Web site project. The MVC project contains the following folders:

    • Content Folder : This folder contains the style sheets. Basically this folder having responsible files for page layout, design etc.
    • Controller Folder : As ot pronounced from name this folder contains the controller files like AccountController.cs and HomeController.cs.
    • Models Folder : Contains Data Model files.
    • Script Folder : Contains Script files.
    • View Folder : For view page files. This folder contains three subfolders: Account, Home, and Shared. The Account folder contains views that are used as UI for logging in and changing passwords. The Home folder contains an Index view (the default starting page for the application) and an About page view. The Shared folder contains the master page view for the application.

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