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If you have been using the Membership features that ship with ASP.NET, I'm sure you're familiar with the CreateUserWizard control that lets a user sign up for an account on your site. One of the features of this control (in cooperation with the Membership services) is to check whether a given user name is already taken and display an appropriate message if that's the case. This is an excellent feature as it makes sure no two users can end up with the same user name.
One of the problems with this check is that it takes place at the server. This means the page goes through a full post back which takes some time. Even worse, due to security settings on the control, the two password fields are reset so the user has to enter them again in case they chose an existing user name. It would be a lot easier if you could check the user name before the page is posted back using a bit of client side script. With ASP.NET AJAX and Page Methods, this is a walk in the park.
I am a big fan of CodeRush and Refactor! from DevExpress and have been one for quite some time. In my office we jokingly refer to CodeRush and Refactor as the "arrow guy" as my colleagues initially just saw a bunch of arrows pointing to code in my code editor when I gave a first demo of the product. But, obviously, the products do a lot more. They really make me more productive in writing .NET code. But better yet, they help me write good, optimized and organized code. Features like renaming code elements, renaming files to match the type they contain, optimizing namespaces, extracting methods and the many new refactorings that come with the new "Code Issues" feature are huge time savers. Recently I installed the latest version that comes with DXperience 9.1.3. This release includes many cool new refactorings and new features in Code Issues that help you optimize your code with a single click. I can really recommend downloading a trial version and see for yourself if you haven't already done so.
But lately I am wondering if I am not just a fan, but addicted to the products instead. I witnessed the following signs of addiction while working with computer programs in general:
People often ask me how I like Vista and whether I think it’s better than Windows XP or not. My standard reply is that I would have switched to Windows Vista for IIS 7 alone (I also do like many other Vista features, and thus prefer Vista over XP but that’s beside the point here). In my opinion, IIS 7 is in many respects a lot better than its predecessor IIS 6 which runs on Windows XP and Server 2003. Besides the many new features that IIS 7 brings, it has one big advantage over the version running on Windows XP: it allows you to create multiple web sites that can run at the same time. No more messing around with tools like IIS Admin Pro although it was extremely useful in working around the limitations of IIS on Windows XP.
But with a new release of a complex piece of software as IIS is also comes the need for more knowledge and background information of the product. This is where the Wrox book Professional IIS 7 written by Kevin Schaefer et al proved to be very useful.
Note: this is the last part in a series of six. If you rather read this entire series off-line, you can buy the series as a convenient PDF document that comes with the full source. Besides the convenience, buying the PDF will also make you feel good as it shows your appreciation for the articles and helps me pay the bills for my server and hosting so I can keep running imar.spaanjaars.com and continue to provide you with great content. For more details, check out this post that shows you how you can buy the entire series right now.
This is part 6 of a six-part series of articles on N-Layer design. This article series builds on top of my three part series on N-Layer design that I released in early 2007. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to check out these articles first, as a lot of code and concepts used in this new series is explained in detail in the older series.
In this last article in the series, I'll deal with security in your N-Layered web application.
As you may know, my Contact Manager application used in my new series on N-Layer design using ASP.NET 3.5 is fully localizable. That is, the site is available in two languages - English and Dutch - and users can choose the language they want to see the site in. The concepts behind the localization process are all built in to the ASP.NET framework and didn't require a lot of work from my side.