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|1/8/2014 10:22 AM|
Back in August 2006 I wrote an article about replacing the built-in Application Services providers (such as the Membership and Roles providers) with a new provider targeting a Microsoft Access database, instead of a SQL Server database. This solution has worked well for many people who didn't have access to SQL Server on their production machine, or couldn't (or didn't want to) spend a lot of money for an extended hosting package that includes SQL Server.
I wrote the article using Visual Studio 2005 and the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 which was the bomb at that time. And while you can continue to use the concepts explained in the article in web sites that target ASP.NET 4 today without any modifications (you can easily consume .NET 2.0 DLLs in an ASP.NET 4 web site), you may run into some issues when you also want to compile the Access Providers assembly against .NET 4.
In this article I'll show you how to make the Access Providers work under an ASP.NET 4.0 web site.
Many moons ago, in January 2007 to be exact, I wrote an article about storing files in the database using ASP.NET 2.0 and SQL Server. One of the features of the application I demonstrated in the article was the ability to switch between storing the actual file in the database, or saving it on disk. In both cases, meta data such as the content type and the original name were saved in the database, but by changing a configuration setting called DataStoreType you could determine if the actual file was saved on disk, or stored in an NText column in the database together with the meta data. In February of the same year, Steven Bey suggested to rewrite the application and base it on the provider model that has become a quite popular design pattern since it was introduced for the ASP.NET Application Services that appeared in ASP.NET 2.0. I added Steven's suggestion to my "Things to do when I have the time for them" list. And today is the day I finally found the time to do it. In this article I'll show you how I changed the application using the provider based model so you can switch between different providers, including various flavors of SQL Server and Microsoft Access. Adding support for other data stores then becomes really simple.
Since version 2.0, ASP.NET ships with a set of the so called Application Services, including Membership, the Role Manager, Personalization, Profile and the SqlWebEventProvider. To enable these features, you have a few options. The most common way is to just start using one of the features, such as Login control on an ASPX page. The default setup is configured to automatically create a SQL Server database in the App_Data folder of a site with the services already enabled. Another very common way, to get more control over the setup is to use the aspnet_regsql tool. This GUI or command line tool gives you more control over the SQL Server and database you're targeting and the exact features you want to install. The downside of this tool is that you need to run it locally and need the permissions to execute it.
I recently discovered that you can also manage the application services programmatically.
Ever since Microsoft released ASP.NET in 2002, web developers have been able to use a powerful platform to build a wide range of web applications and services. But this power comes at a price. Getting started with ASP.NET takes quite some time and effort. Before you can run your first Hello World page, you need to download and install a lot of software, taking up quite a bit of time and bandwidth. You need Visual Web Developer (Express), you need SQL Server (Express or any other version) and you may need IIS if you want to test out more realistic scenarios, some of which require special privileges for the account you use on your machine. Once you have all the tools, the real work begins. My latest book, Beginning ASP.NET 4 in C# and VB needed 803 pages to take you from a developer newbie to a competent ASP.NET web developer.
In other words, you're facing quite some hurdles when you want to start developing web applications on the Microsoft platform, especially if you're a hobbyist web developer.
To make the Microsoft stack more appealing to beginning web developers, Microsoft is introducing WebMatrix.
UPDATE: Links to the MVC site on the URL mvc.spaanjaars.com are no longer active, now that the site is live at imar.spaanjaars.com.
I just uploaded a new version of my web site in MVC to mvc.spaanjaars.com. This new version has the following features: