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Using ASP.Net to Develop a Mobile Friendly Website

A constant increase is being noted in the number of people accessing websites on their smartphones, tablets, and phablets. So it has becomes essential for web developers to optimize the look, feel and performance of websites for different types of mobile devices. Microsoft has upgraded ASP.Net with a set of features that makes it easier for developers to create mobile friendly websites within a shorter span of time. If you are planning to build mobile friendly websites using ASP.Net, it is time to understand its features relevant for your project.

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ASP.Net Features that Effectuate Mobile Friendly Website Development

Mobile Web Server Controls
You have option to create mobile web pages directly from the MobilePage base class. After creating the pages, you can add mobile web server controls from the System.Web.Mobile namespace. The .NET Framework provides several adapters that support these mobile web server controls. As most of these controls adhere to unified adapter architecture, they will behave differently based on the requesting device. Thus, it becomes easier to create mobile version of websites by targeting different mobile devices.

ASP.Net Mobile Controls
While developing a mobile friendly website, developers often have to write lengthy and complex code. But ASP.Net allows you to avoid writing additional code by creating mobile pages using Visual Studio. Like ASP.Net Web server controls, you have option to use several mobile controls to accomplish specific tasks without putting any extra effort. You can optimize the mobile version of a website by using controls like Calendar, AdRotator, Image, Link, MobilePage, ObjectList, TextBox, TextView and Form. The data submitted by the users can also be authenticated using controls like CompareValidator, CustomValidator, RangeValidator, RegularExpressionValidator, and RequiredFieldValidator.

Browser Detection Support
Both ASP.Net Web Forms and MVC are designed with built-in browser detection support. So you can use the properties of Request.Browser object to identify the characteristics of requesting mobile device. Along with the manufacturer and model of the mobile devices, these properties can also be used to identify their screen size, supported media and data formats, and input methods, i.e., keypad, touch or joystick. The option to identify the features of the requesting device will help you optimizing the mobile version of a website for new mobile devices.

Option to Keep Website Content Unaltered
Normally, the web pages are designed for large desktop-sized screens. Also, most users access these websites through fixed-line broadband connections. So many operators alter the content of web pages dynamically through proxy servers to make them the content relevant for mobile devices. When the HTML markup or CSS is altered by operators, it will have a huge impact on user experience. ASP.Net enables you to keep your website content unaltered by simply by using the Response.Cache.SetNoTransforms() method. The methods can also be used while creating mobile friendly websites using ASP.Net Web Forms and MVC.

Maintaining Sessions without Using Cookies
Unlike web browsers, most mobile devices do not support cookies. So developers find it daunting to save information about a particular user session across multiple requests. Normally, ASP.NET locates the user session across server round trips through an identifier. The identifier is stored by the ASP.NET session object through client-side cookies. However, ASP.Net allows developers to capture the session ID, and redirect the user to a new URL that contains the session ID. You can simply configure the session state to store ID in session state without relying on cookies.

You also have option to use the System.Web.Mobile namespace provided by ASP.NET to create mobile friendly websites without putting any extra effort. The mobile web server controls further makes it easier for you to create web pages supported by a variety of mobile devices. On the whole, ASP.Net comes with a set of features to meet the most recent trends in mobile friendly website development.

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How has website performance & scalability improved with ASP.NET?

ASP.NET is the short form of Active Server Pages.NET and web technologies as well as web pages are created by virtue of this Microsoft created product. Programmers as well as developers find this tool to be extremely valuable since rich dynamic web sites along with web applications can be built through compiled languages such as C# and VB. Apart from script languages other .NET languages can be used as well. This is a well favoured technology which acts as boon for the websites that need their content frequently updated. The scalability and performance of a website is drastically improved in the following ways.

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Compiled code- The amount of code needed for construction of large applications is dramatically reduced through this. In fact, the code comes compiled since the technology is server side scripting based. This leads to the code being processed on windows server itself before being displayed on web browser. This makes the execution of such applications a lot faster than the normal interpreted scripts.

Strict coding needs- The coding standards are quite strict, almost forcing developers to adhere to it. A proficient engineering approach is thus promoted for application development, resulting in a code that has fewer bugs in general than its usual ASP counterparts.

Language support- With ASP, Jscript as well as VBScript are supported. But with this platform, standard programming languages that include C++, Visual Basic and C# are supported.

Third party controls- The last few years have seen a rapid growth in the ASP.NET community. A huge base of excellent quality third party controls is contained by the platform which can help in speeding up of the development time, thus in consequence the cost as well. Additionally, automatic state management is provided by it as well to control web pages. This is often known as server controls. There is also the flexibility of creating customized and new server controls from the controls that already exist.

Programming model that is event-driven- All web page related objects expose events which the code may process. Handling events like Change, Click and Load through code helps in reduction of program complexity and increase of organization.

Page and object caching- Built-in features are provided for caching of web pages that are frequently requested on the server. Both pages as well as objects may be cached which leads to dramatic increase of performance. The advanced caching system allows the specification of the things that need caching and which do not; you can even specify the time when the cached information should be recalled instead of performing new requests. Additionally, there are features which help in localizing of content meant for particular languages along with culture. The features can even detect browser capabilities.

Higher scalability- There are some great in-built scalability features in it that includes maintenance of session state over servers along with load balancing of multi-processors.

User authentication- User authentication based on forms is supported by the software which includes unauthorized logins redirected automatically and cookie management. User accounts as well as roles are allowed here which provides a high granularity to control access to pages and objects.

On-the-fly updates- By virtue of this platform it is possible to update deployed web applications on the fly. There is no need to restart the server.

Supportive- Full support is provided by it for many established and new web standards including XML and CSS.

When we analyse how ASP.NET has affected the performance as well as scalability of websites, we must remember the reason behind the creation of this framework; the main aim of Microsoft was to cater to the changing demands and needs so that dynamic web applications as well as web pages can be built. Thus, the various benefits highlighted here leave behind no doubt that this is indeed a precious development tool which offers plenty of freedom to developers.

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Some Of The Best ASP.Net CMS’s With Their Features

A Content Management System can be defined as a computer program, that is designed to allow editing, publishing, modification along with maintenance from a centralized interface. These content management systems provide various procedures that come in handy while managing the workflow in a definite collaborative environment.

You will find a lot of ASP.Net CMSs which are astoundingly useful as well as user friendly. Let us discuss a few of them along with the features they come up with.

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DNN (DotNetNuke)

DNN or DotNetNuke as it was previously known as, is an extensible, scalable, open source as well as secured Content Management System that powers innumerable websites all over the world. DNN today is one of the most adored, popular and acceptable open source Content Management System, that is based on Microsoft.NET. This particular platform is designed to be used as a CMS as well as an ASF or Application Development Framework. The platform can also be used for creating and deploying modular and interactive sites or web application quickly, without much hassle whatsoever. The application is mature and stable, and is extremely easy to install. It has a strong community and it gives the users a wide number of options for plug-ins along with the themes.

Umbraco

It is a fully-featured Open source Content Management System that has the flexibility to run the smaller campaigns, or brochure sites through various complex applications that are designated for some of the best Fortune 500 companies and the most famous media sites. This CMS is quite easy to learn or use. All these features make it one of the perfect CMSs, when it comes to web designing or developing web sites along with creating content. It is user-friendly, easily customizable, robust and fit for running on even the largest or the most complex sites. The modern User Interface that the CMS comes up with, its pure .NET architecture and its active community make it one of the best web CMSs. It supports MVC as well as WebForms, it is open source and contains options of paid support as well as add-ons.

MojoPortal

This is another extensible, user-friendly, fully featured as well as mobile friendly CMS as well as WAF or Web Application Framework, that is written in C# ASP.NET. It comes up with blogs, forums, Google/Bing Maps, Contact Form, Calendar, Polls, Newsletters, e-commerce, surveys and a lot more. It supports MS SQL 2005/08/AqlAzure, MySQL, etc. So far as the development of customized applications is concerned, this is one of the most preferred CMSs as it has the ability to behave like a starter kit for the more advanced .NET sites along with portals. It is also considered to be the strongest standalone CMS. It is user-friendly and is easy to be learned – a fact that makes it so much adored. Its strong community is also a notable feature. This makes troubleshooting less cumbersome as well as simple.

Kentico

This ASP.NET CMS comes up with a free version that needs a site to display the logo of Kentico. However, the paid version, which is also termed as the premium version is designed to remove the ads as well as offers and this offers an extra tinge of functionality to the CMS. When it comes to the beginners, this is one of the best CMSs, with some astounding support for e-commerce as well as social sharing.

It is actually an Enterprise Web CMS that is designed with the objective of providing a comprehensive feature set that can be used to build intranets, websites, e-commerce solutions, community sites, various types of marketing animations, multi-site management etc. The CMS can be designed to have as many as 70 modules along with 400 configurable web parts as well as source codes to meet the customized needs of the clients. It is this flexibility that makes the CMS so much popular.

Another user-friendly feature of this CMS is its highly configurable platform, which can easily be modified as well as extended to meet the clients’ requirements. All the pages of this CMS are properly organized in the form of tree hierarchy. This makes the platform, user-friendly, thus helping the small as well as the enterprise level sites to handle the CMS alike, without any problem whatsoever.

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We provide .net application development services. If you would like to hire .net developers from our team, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

Why Should .Net Developers Care About Node.js – Few Reasons

Prior to discussing about the importance of knowledge about Node.js for the .NET developers, it is important to know what Node.js is. Node.js is a typical type of software platform that is strategically built for the server-side usage along with networking applications. These applications are basically written in JavaScript and they can be run within runtime on Mac and Windows OS as well as Linux without any changes whatsoever.

Now it is imperative for the developers to have a substantial knowledge about Node.js and let us discuss – why.

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The first and foremost reason is because the platform has tremendous extent of scalability. Indeed, an astounding technology has been used to develop the platform and that is why with the help of this platform, the expertise of a .NET developer reaches an altogether new height.

This platform is in fact a pleasant surprise for a developer. There are quite a number of nodal modules that will help make the transition of .NET to Node less painstaking as well as time consuming. Hence, even if someone is master in .NET development it is imperative to know this platform as this will make life easier for the developer in question.

iinode
This particular module would allow hosting Nodal applications inside the IIS on the Windows. This provides substantial advantages to the Nodal apps as IIS supports lifetime management and a considerable amount of support for the web gardens, integrated security and so on.

httpsys
This is another drop-in replacement for the in-built HTTP stack of Node that uses the kernel-mode http.sys driver in the Windows so as to provide an enhanced as well as high-quality performance along with kernel-level output caching. This naturally helps the .NET developers a lot when it comes to development.

Node-sqlserver
This a model that was designed and developed for querying against the local as well as the cloud based SQL servers from within the Node apps. This counts in terms of effectiveness so far as .NET development is concerned.

Passport-wiondowsauth
This particular module provides an integrated windows authentication to the applications of various Nodes. These are somewhat similar to the traditional integrated auth experience so far as ASP.NET is concerned. It also comes in handy in case of form based authentication as it depends upon the passport.js authentication module.

edge
edge.js is another module that makes way for a solid Node/.Net integration. It will allow the developer to call any arbitrary .NET code from within any Node application. Any .NET code can be shoehorned into any async delegate and that will be very much usable. This provides a tremendous extent of advantage when it comes to integrating it with the existing .NET code library. Newer Node applications can be written and this will come in handy for the valuable core functionalities that are written in .NET, without the need of re-writing them in Javascript afresh.

While this platform is a remarkable technology, the most significant benefit is that it does not have to depend on the thread pools for the purpose of achieving a definite asynchrony. It helps in encouraging various asynchronous scripting codes that are to be used on a server. If and when a particular request waits for a definite operation, it has the capacity of releasing the threat in question for responding to another request at the same time.

In fact, the platform encourages various non-blocking behaviors. Though the platform is itself single threaded, it does not remain preoccupied so as to make callbacks waiting and can actually accommodate an increased amount of traffic than what a conventional web server like Apache or IIS does per thread.

This offers a huge advantage to the development of .NET by speeding up the synchronization process of the operation. Hence, so far as development is concerned, the platform provides a huge shot in the arm by making the development easier, quicker and most importantly, less complicated.

You can hire developers from top custom .net development company in India who can help you build web applications according to your ideas within allocated budget and time schedules.

We provide .net development services. If you would like to hire asp.net developers from our team, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

Everything a .Net Developer Wants to Know about VS2013

The Visual Studio 2013 has been incorporated with a number of brand new features with the intention of enhancing the productivity of this integrated development environment. The features, some of which are absolutely new and others- extensions of the productivity power tools- are meant to save time and efforts on part of the developers too. Now, using the VS2013 and deriving the maximum benefits out of it requires the .net developers to stay aware of certain aspects of this development environment introduced by Microsoft.

Here is a thorough overview of the features that have been newly introduced and that the developers should be aware of:

Introduction of CodeLens

asp.net application developmentCodeLens is often considered to be one of the best features introduced in the Visual Studio in the last few years. Being an altogether new feature, CodeLens demands the developers to learn about it in details. CodeLens can be enabled from the options dialog while one can also enable specific information offered by this innovative feature. Useful information including that of the reference counter is aligned with the code editor. Now, each of the class contains information such as that of the reference number, code changes, test methods, time changes and so on. It has to be remembered in this respect that the CodeLens can also be combined with the CodeMap for more effective use.

Enhancement of the Scrollbar

The enhanced scrollbar has now been made a part of the Visual Studio 2013. This feature, which had initially come up as a popular productivity power tool extension, provides developers with visual cues about the file on the vertical scrollbar. The scrollbar markers, on the other hand, allows viewing of the location of errors, bookmarks, breakpoints, warning and so on right on the file. The idea is to make information easily accessible for all as, one does not need to move away from the present position to gather information about the various other parts of the files.

Incorporation of Peek Definition

Clicking on some type brings the developers to a new option, called ‘Peek Definition’ and this offers them with another window while also displaying information about the chosen type. The incorporation of the Peek Definition was with the purpose of letting the developers stay in context of the respective codes even at the time of browsing through definitions.

The feature saves a lot of time as, the developers can now go through the definitions without losing track of the particular code, on which they happen to be working at the moment. You are also not required to leave the original file. The Peek View in the VS2013 is read only although attempts are being made to enable editing of this feature too.

Auto Brace Complete Option

The auto brace complete feature enables automatic addition of quotes, braces, brackets and closing parenthesis just as the developer types the code in the Editor. The auto brace complete option is yet another feature that worked as the productivity power tool and is now included in the VS2013. Alongside, specialized completions for the various languages like C++ and so on have also been added.

While the above-mentioned ones are the features that the developers must be conscious about when it comes to using the VS2013, there are few more that adds to the efficiency of the integrated development environment. These are

  • JavaScript navigational dropdowns
  • EcmaScript 6 Support
  • New HTML editor
  • Browser link
  • URL rewrite intellisense in web.config
  • Open sourcing web essentials
  • Few CSS/Less trics

Keeping all these features in mind certainly would help developers during .Net web development.

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How to use the new CORS support in Web API 2

Many exciting new features have been enabled in ASP.NET Web API 2. This framework enables easy building of HTTP services which will reach many clients across a broad spectrum including mobile devices as well as browsers. The addition of several features has idealized this platform.

Some of the most remarkable features are attribute routing(on top of convention-based routing), Open Web Interface for .NET or OWIN self hosting, Web API Odata, IhttpActionResult and the most significant is the Cross Origin Resource Sharing which has taken the cyber world by storm.

asp.net developersCORS is the short form of Cross-Origin Resource Sharing; this standard allows web pages the ability of making Ajax requests to other domains. Same-origin policy which has been implemented on browsers is relaxed; previously this policy limited calls to be just within same domain with cross-domain calls not being allowed. CORS defines the interaction of the browser along with server so that cross origin calls can be made. API supports this in its 2nd version and it is compliant with standards of W3C.

CORS is already supported by majority of modern browsers. But if we want to enable support for API services, first of all we will be needing a few assemblies to ensure that this is done smoothly. We will need System.Web.Cors.dll which is not dependent on System.Web.Http.dll or System.Web.dll and contains core CORS library; System.Web.Http.Cors.dll which contains CORS enabling library on Web API which is dependent on System.Web.Http.dll as well as System.Web.Cors.dll.

When upgrading and installing the package from nightly builds, the first thing that you have to do is create new API project by starting with new template.

Since you do not need Microsoft.AspNet.Mvc.FixedDisplayModes package, the second step is to uninstall it. In fact uninstalling this is necessary as you will be prevented from updating to recent nightly build.

The 3rd step is installing Microsoft.AspNet.WebApi.Cors package from nightly builds. Set the package source and it will enable you to see CORS package.

After that, the 4th step is to fix binding redirects that are there in web.config, otherwise there will be errors. which is existing must be replaced which will enable the smooth running of the applications.

After that you can try it out by browsing test clients available on some sites and making a fast cross-origin request. You will find Test APIs and all you have to do is click there and paste the URL on your API. Click “Send” and it will show request failed since CORS is not enabled on API by default. Now you have to enable CORS by calling config.EnableCors (new EnableCorsAttribute()). Now you have enabled CORS for all controllers and all origins will be allowed.

While we enable this a few scenarios should be considered. While enabling this, HttpConfiguration has a new method of extension added to it which will enable global support per action or per controller.

When calling EnableCors, global settings can be defined. For example we can enable the sharing globally which will allow all headers, origins and methods. EnableCorsAttribute has many settings which are easy to configure. The controller can be scoped with the support as well. You just have to call EnableCors without the provision of a global setting. Then the EnableCorsAttribute can be declared so that the controller is enabled with the support. It can also be enabled on single action in a similar manner.

An action or controller can be excluded from EnableCors as well simply by using DisableCors attribute. Custom IcorsPolicyProvider can be implemented as well so that policies or settings related to the support from other sources can be loaded dynamically.

One thing to remember when testing this with IE is that the port is not considered by IE as part of Security Identifer or the origin which is used for enforcement of Same Origin Policy. So test clients and Web API on different local hosts will hinder cross-origin requests.

You can hire asp.net developers from top .net application development companies in India who can help you build ASP.NET applications within allocated budgets and time schedules.

We provide .net application development services. If you would like to discuss with an expert .net web developer from our team, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.