Thursday, August 8, 2013

Web Essentials Goodness - Paste XML/JSON As Classes

I recently have been working on project where I have been evaluating some vendor APIs. Across the multiple vendors the responses have been in either XML or JSON. Since I am most familiar with .NET development, I have been creating my testing clients in C# after verifying the responses from the API with Fiddler. So in many cases once I have seen the XML/JSON output, I want to be able to download that data into my application as a class. Thankfully, the Web Essentials Visual Studio extension by Mads Kristensen, includes two excellent options. Paste XML As Classes and Paste JSON As Classes. With these two options ( from the File->Paste Special menu) when you have a class open you can paste any JSON or XML object and the extension will generate a class that corresponds to the document for you. In some cases (especially with XML) you may need to perform some additional clean up of local variable names, etc. But in the long run this has saved me lots of keystrokes. Below are a couple of examples.

JSON Object
Corresponding Class created with Paste JSON as Classes

XML Object

Corresponding Class created with Paste XML as Classes

As I stated earlier, the variable names in the classes created for this XML object could use a little clean up, but with a good refactoring tool, this should not be a difficult task and something that I find much more enjoyable than creating the entire file by hand.

Hope that you find this useful and that it can save you some time.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Web Api - Ninject & IHttpControllerActivator

I was reading through the following blog posts today by Mike Seemann:
  • Dependency Injection and Lifetime Management with ASP.NET Web Api
  • Dependency Injection in ASP.NET Web Api with Castle Windsor
In his posts, Mike shows how to use the IHttpControllerActivator to wire up Dependency Injection (DI) without using the built in IDependencyResolver in the Web Api bite. After reading through both of these, I was inspired to create the Ninject based equivalent DI leveraging the IHttpControllerActivator.

Here is the class that I created for this:

A complete sample application is available from

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


If you are planning to use ELMAH - Error Logging Modules and Handlers with your MVC application , I would like to recommend the following resources to assist you.

  • Logging Errors with ELMAH and MVC 3 - This is a great 5 part walk through of how to setup Elmah within your MVC 3 (and MVC 4) application and even includes a great way to log JavaScript errors as well. It covers the following:
    • Setup
    • Notifications
    • Filtering
    • HandleErrorAttribute
    • JavaScript
  • Elmah.MVC NuGet Package - "for painless integration of ELMAH into ASP.NET MVC". Provides the following:
    • Custom route and Handler (uses /elmah by default instead of /elmah.axd), but you can specify your own  as well.
    • Prebuilt HandleErrorAttribute
    • Supports both C# & VB.NET applications
    • Configurable authorization rules
So, if you are using ELMAH with ASP.NET MVC, please do yourself and favor and checkout these resources to make using ELMAH easier and better. And if you are not currently using ELMAH, I would urge to consider using it, as it provides easy and simple error logging for your MVC or WebForms ASP.NET applications. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

VS 2012 Color Theme Editor Extension & ReSharper 7.0

I just installed the excellent Visual Studio Extension - VS 2012 Color Theme Editor. This is the newly updated version that is compatible with VS 2012. I was running this on VS 2010 and loved being able to use some of the built in or create my own custom color theme. One of my favorite improvements with the VS 2012 version is the ability to mix the editor/IDE experience of the built in Light & Dark themes in VS 2012. Two of the available options in the Color Theme Editor are "Light with Dark Editor" and "Dark with Light Editor". I have chosen the "Light with Dark Editor" option and have been loving it so far.

One thing to be careful with right now however, is that there is an issue with the Theme menu that is added to the VS menu bar with this extension if you also have ReSharper 7.0 installed. The menu should show you all of the available built-in Color Themes and allow you select one, however, that list is not displaying properly when ReSharper 7.0 is installed. However, there is a workaround -- You can still access and select the themes by selecting Tools->Options->Environment->General and these new color themes are listed in the drop down menu there.Also the Editor behavior is a little off as well and it cannot properly show the available themes to allow you copy one of those as your starting point. Hopefully the author will work with JetBrains to figure out the issues and get this fixed before too long.

Update: This issue has been corrected with the release of version 2.1 of the extension. If you are running ReSharper, please make sure to update to this version or a later release.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

WordPress on IIS 7

Today I installed WordPress on IIS 7.X (Windows 2008 R2 Server). The initial setup was very easy thanks to the use of the Web Platform Installer (WebPI) I selected the following options:


  • PHP 5.3.10
  • MySQL Windows 5.1
  • WordPress
It was very simple to setup and within about 10-15 minutes (including) download times, I had a WordPress site running with IIS 7.X on my Windows 2008 R2 server.

One thing of  note was that WordPress wanted to update to a later release and when I clicked the Update button, it kept failing with an error of being unable to unzip the update. After some searching I found this article - WordPress and Plugin Updates on IIS7 Fail a Lot that walked me through the steps to get the update working by modifying permissions for the IUSR and Network Service accounts on my server.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

RegEx: Remove Line Numbers

Found this Regex to replace any line starting with one or more numbers followed by colon -
I used this today for removing line numbers from code a snippet I copied off of a web page.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

NuGet Package Restore Tips

I recently have started using the NuGet Package Restore option in all of my .NET projects. This is a great new feature that was enabled with NuGet version 1.6. I followed this blog post Cleaning Up Your Git Repository for NuGet 1.6 and saw my repository size shrink drastically, a very good thing.

However, I noticed that when I enabled Package Restore that Git was excluding my NuGet.exe file in the solution .nuget folder. This was based on my having a *.exe entry in my .gitignore file. I was able to manually add the file by issuing the command git add -F NuGet.exe from the git command line. This worked but I wanted to find a better way. I tried a few different entries in the .gitignore file unsuccessfully. Then today, I had this issue again and did some more research and found this Answer on StackOverflow about putting an additional .gitignore file in the .nuget folder and explicitly including all executables via a !*.exe line. This worked great.