Key things to optimize, speed up performance for your web app…

Whether you design, build, test, maintain, or manage applications, you need to consider performance. If your software does not meet its performance objectives, your application is unlikely to be a success. If you do not know your performance objectives, it is unlikely that you will meet them. The key things that you can do or focus before you start looking at performance of any web application. It is important to follow the orders:


  1. Minimize your TCP Round Trips / Server Requests from your page.
  2. Minimize client blocking / load blocking.
  3. Minimize latency / the distance from your content to your user.
  4. Server / Code optimization

ToolKits

What is Empty Cache?

When users come to your site, your images are loaded into their browser’s cache.

How often does this happen on your live site?

Do you know if/ how often images are cached on your site?

Loading images, css, js etc. from your server to a client browser takes time, bandwidth and resources.

More coming…stay tuned… 🙂

MVC Routes, Controllers: Actions and Parameters – Part 2

We know little bit  how routing works from Part 1. Lets get into RouteConfig.cs to find a new route. This is only something you need if the default route doesn’t work for you. Let me show you a scenario where new route can help. Lets expect the user comes into the application and search for book by its name. ex.: “books/MVC5” or “books/WCF” or “books/WebAPI”.

In this case the second entry in the url or the second segment in the path is not an action identifier it is a parameter. So it can be MVC5 or WCF or WebAPI or anything.

The default route wont work in this scenario and we don’t want to create an action to our controller for every book name we have, we just want to pass the action as a parameter.  So let us find a new route for this. This is also important that where we should put the new route to the route collection table, because the order is significant.

What the routing engine will do is evaluate each map route that we placed into that route collection and the first one that matched the url will win. The default route we have had is very greedy and it matches nearly any url. So let us add a new one that will satisfy our needs:

route

routes.MapRoute(
name: “Book”,
url: “Book/{name}”,
defaults: new {controller = “Book”, action = “Search”, name = UrlParameter.Optional}
);

Now let us examine our previous url:/Home/Contact

Does our new route satisfy the url needs? the answer is No. Because we have clearly mentioned the controller name is “Book”, so the url will go to next one and invoked the home controller. But if we type url like “/Book/MVC5”, our newly created route will satisfy the url need and invoked the controller. But we didn’t create any controller yet. So we will get 404 error. Let us create a controller named “BookController”.

1

2

If we build the application and try the same url we had before, it will still give us the error. Because according to route configuration it will look for an action / controller public method named “Search”, which is not currently available. Let us create that too and  as we didn’t create any view for this controller let us render text contents for testing purpose.

3

Now build and run the application and type /book, and we have a result, we will see the text on the browser that we have inside controller action.

Always try to avoid the fat controller.Now the question is : what is a fat controller, shortly we can say that:

  • If a controller has domain logic
  • If a controller serves too many requests / too many actions

Never, Ever let your controller suck the life-blood of your domain logic. Controller should be only responsible for:

  • Validating Input
  • Prepare the view
  • Calling Model
  • Return the view / Call another action

Let me point out that, Actions are nothing but public methods inside of a controller class. Anytime you add a public class or controller action, ask a question to yourself “is it url addressable?”. If your answers is No, then the code should not be inside your controller move it somewhere else.

Also don’t write any public method that you don’t expect to access via url. Just keep that in mind and move forward.

Let us try to pull the name value from the url, we can get that by using the following:

var name = RouteData.Values[“name”];

But ASP.NET MVC makes that even more easier to access because you add a parameter to an action. What the MVC framework will do is that try to find something that matches with the parameter name and will just give it to you. It will do everything to populate that parameter, it will look all around the request . It will look into the routing data, so things will be picked from the url. It will looked into the query string  and also at posted form values.

Let us add a parameter to that Action method:

public ActionResult Search(string name)

In the case to /Book/WCF , the MVC framework will see , I need a parameter called “name” , so extract something called name for  routedata/ querystring / etc..

Let us get that name by using

var bookName = Server.HtmlEncode(name); // to avoid some sort of malicious script, tag or something like that

That was all for today. As we move further, we will see more advanced features… Keep Smiling 🙂

IIS 7 deployment : ASP.NET 4.0 Routing and Ext.NET


Few days ago, i got a problem during deployment an ASP.NET 4.0 website on IIS7 with default app pool. The website includes asp.net 4 routing feature and ext.net in the website. But when tried to access the ext.net enable pages, we found nothing over there, it was just a blank page. The configuration was as follows:

For ext.net Install and Setup i used the following steps for visual studio 2010 sp1:

1) To start you will need to download the Ext.Net latest version from http://www.ext.net/.
2) Unzip the contents of the zip file into a new directory.
3) Open the directory and copy the following five files to your projects /bin directory:

a) Ext.Net.dll b) Ext.Net.Utilities.dll c) Ext.Net.xml d) Newtonsoft.Json.dll e) Newtonsoft.Json.xml

4 ) In the solution explorer make sure the view all files button is selected.
5) Expand the /bin directory to display all files and Click the refresh button at the top
6) select each of the new files you just added to the /bin directory (shift + click)
7) Right click and choose “Include in Project”

8) In solution Explorer Click the properties button for your project (top left button).
9) Click on References tab on the left. You should see all references in the center.
10) Click the Add button and then the browse tab.
11) Browse to your projects /bin directory (were you copied the DLL’s to) and select the 3 DLL’s and click ok.
12) Under Imported namespaces scroll to the bottom and click on the checkboxes for the following:

a) Ext b)Ext.Net c) Ext.Net.Utilities d) Newtonsoft e) Newtonsoft.Json

13) Open your web.config file. You will need to add the following to your config file.

<configuration>
<section name="extnet" type="Ext.Net.GlobalConfig" requirePermission="false" />
<configSections>
<system.web>
<httpHandlers>
<add path="*/ext.axd" verb="*" type="Ext.Net.ResourceHandler" validate="false" />
</httpHandlers>
<httpModules>
<add name="DirectRequestModule" type="Ext.Net.DirectRequestModule,Ext.Net" />
</httpModules>
</system.web>
<system.webServer>
<validation validateIntegratedModeConfiguration="false"/>
<modules>
<add name="DirectRequestModule" preCondition="managedHandler"
type="Ext.Net.DirectRequestModule, Ext.Net" />
</modules>
<handlers>
<add name="DirectRequestHandler" verb="*" path="*/ext.axd" preCondition="integratedMode" type="Ext.Net.ResourceHandler" />
</handlers>
</system.webServer>

Now follow the steps to add Ext.Net in your visual studio toolbox:

# Open a .aspx file to exit in visual studios. We do this so items are displayed within your toolbox (if its a .vb, .cs, etc it will not display items).
# Next click on your toolbar and click add tab. Name this tab something (Ext.Net)
# Right click under this tab click choose items
# Click the Browse button under “.NET Framework Components”
# If no errors are displayed you should now see all the components under the new tab.

Before you begin I would suggest doing a Build Clean and Rebuild to confirm all the new changes are set.
To use Ext.Net within your page requires 2 changes to an existing page. A register tag and the resourcemanager tag.

At the top of your page (under the page directive) add the following which will give you access to the Ext.Net DLL :

<%@ Register Assembly="Ext.Net" Namespace="Ext.Net" TagPrefix="ext" %>

Next find your BODY tag and add the following:

<ext:ResourceManager ID="ResourceManager1" runat="server" />

And For routing : configure an ASP.NET Web site or Web application for routing, you first need to add a reference to the System.Web.Routing assembly. The SP1 installation for the .NET Framework 3.5 will install this assembly into the global assembly cache, and you can find the assembly inside the standard “Add Reference” dialog box. You’ll also need to configure the routing module into the ASP.NET pipeline. The routing module is a standard HTTP module. For IIS 6.0 and earlier and for the Visual Studio Web development server, you install the module using the <httpModules> section of web.config, as you see here:

<httpModules>
<add name=”RoutingModule”
type=”System.Web.Routing.UrlRoutingModule,
System.Web.Routing,
Version=3.5.0.0, Culture=neutral,
PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35″/>
</httpModules>

URL rewriting implementations typically perform their work during the BeginRequest event, which is the earliest event to fire during a request. With URL routing, the route matching and selection of a route handler occurs during the PostResolveRequestCache stage, which is after the authentication, authorization, and cache lookup stages of processing. I will need to revisit the implications of this event timing later in the column.

To run a Web site with routing in IIS 7.0, you need two entries in web.config. The first entry is the URL routing module configuration, which is found in the <modules> section of <system.webServer>. You also need an entry to handle requests for UrlRouting.axd in the <handlers> section of <system.webServer>. Both of these entries as follows:

<system.webServer>
<modules runAllManagedModulesForAllRequests=”true”>

<add name=”UrlRoutingModule”
type=”System.Web.Routing.UrlRoutingModule,
System.Web.Routing, Version=3.5.0.0,
Culture=neutral,
PublicKeyToken=31BF3856AD364E35″ />
</modules>
<handlers>

<add name=”UrlRoutingHandler”
preCondition=”integratedMode”
verb=”*” path=”UrlRouting.axd”
type=”System.Web.HttpForbiddenHandler,
System.Web, Version=2.0.0.0, Culture=neutral,
PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a” />

</handlers>
</system.webServer>

The runAllManagedModulesForAllRequests attribute requires a value of true if you want to use the extensionless URLs as I’ve done in this sample. Also, it might seem strange to configure an HTTP handler for UrlRouting.axd. This is a small workaround that the routing engine requires in order for routing to work under IIS 7.0. The UrlRouting module actually rewrites the incoming URL to ~/UrlRouting.axd, which will rewrite the URL back to the original, incoming URL.

THE PROBLEM

The problem was ext.net worked fine after removing routing related code from the site. But we need both of them work together.

Then we we tried to find a workaround for that problem and got few links on google, we compiled them and apply one by one and finally we got the solution to use both of them together.

SOLUTION

The solution was as follows:

1) Remove httpHandlers and httpModules from system.web
2) Configure system.webServer like the following:

<system.webServer>
<modules runAllManagedModulesForAllRequests=”true”>
<add name=”DirectRequestModule” type=”Ext.Net.DirectRequestModule, Ext.Net”/>
</modules>
<handlers>
<add name=”DirectRequestModule” type=”Ext.Net.DirectRequestModule, Ext.Net”/>
</handlers>
</system.webServer>

3) Configure global.asax:
RouteTable.Routes.Ignore("{resource}.axd/{*pathInfo}");
RouteTable.Routes.Ignore("admin/{*pathInfo}");// this is because we used the ext.net in the admin module

That was all and the website is running without any conflict.

The reasons we use ext.net :

1) It has a *simple* design model that is followed consistently throughout the code
2) The upgrade path from v.0.33 to v.1.1 to v.2.02 was smooth and mostly uneventfull (i.e. it worked as it should!) with the exception of the grid component that was really a hard nut to crack (for the upgrades that is)
3) flexibility over choosing the best combination of extsjs+glue+custom code or full extsjs+custom code. For example, for a long time although I used extjs for almost everything I relied on YUI’s XHR calls for actually doing AJAX stuff and it worked as a charm
3) excellent UI with a lot of really helpfull examples

My First Experience with MVC3 and Entity Framework Code First

Problem
My first working with MVC3 and Entity Framework Code First was quite time consuming.I made a model, two controllers and the views generated automatically.I build it and it was successful.But when i press F5, I got the following error:
Server Error in ‘/’ Application.
A network-related or instance-specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server. The server was not found or was not accessible. Verify that the instance name is correct and that SQL Server is configured to allow remote connections. (provider: SQL Network Interfaces, error: 26 – Error Locating Server/Instance Specified)

I was using SQLServer 2005(Not SQLExpress ) but that was not the problem i configured the connection string like the following:

Solution:
If you look at the above image you will find that my DBContext name is “MyFirstMvcAppContext” and my connectionstring name was “ApplicationServices”. Here was the problem!!
For Entity Framework Code First connectionstring name should match the name of the DB Context . when i used connectionstring name “MyFirstMvcAppContext” instead of “ApplicationServices”, the site run successfully.