Blog moved to www.chakkaradeep.com

14 08 2008

www.chakkaradeep.com is now live and from today I would be blogging over there 🙂

It was a tough decision to choose between WordPress and Graffiti CMS. At the end, I chose Graffiti CMS 8)

This blog will not deleted and will be here with all the posts for your reference.

Please do visit www.chakkaradeep.com – my new home 😀





SQL Server 2008 is now RTM

7 08 2008

The long wait is over! SQL Server 2008 is now RTM and is also available in MSDN for MSDN Subscribers! Cant wait to download and play with it 8)

sql-server-2008-rtm





Generating WCF Proxy using SvcUtil.exe

7 08 2008

Visual Studio 2008 has made our WCF life a lot easier with the ability to self-host the services and also allow debugging in our service.

What if we were pushed to a situation wherein we need to use the tool svcutil.exe to create our proxy for the client…hmm… 🙂

To do so, we need to have our service running. Once the service is up and running, we could generate the proxy by the following command (replace the tags correspondingly) :

   1: svcutil /t:code http://<service_url> 
   2:       /out:<file_name>.cs /config:<file_name>.config

Here is my example :

   1: C:\Users\Chaks\Documents\Visual Studio 2008\Projects\MyService\MyServiceHost>
   2: svcutil /t:code http://localhost:8731/Design_Time_Addresses/MyService/WcfService/ 
   3: /out:MyServiceProxy.cs /config:MyServiceProxy.config
   4: Microsoft (R) Service Model Metadata Tool
   5: [Microsoft (R) Windows (R) Communication Foundation, Version 3.0.4506.648]
   6: Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation.  All rights reserved.
   7:  
   8: Attempting to download metadata from 'http://localhost:8731/Design_Time_Addresse
   9: s/MyService/WcfService/' using WS-Metadata Exchange or DISCO.
  10: Generating files...
  11: C:\Users\Chaks\Documents\Visual Studio 2008\Projects\MyService\MyServiceHost\MyS
  12: erviceProxy.cs
  13: C:\Users\Chaks\Documents\Visual Studio 2008\Projects\MyService\MyServiceHost\MyS
  14: erviceProxy.config

Now we can add this .cs file to the Client project and copy the .config file contents to the Client’s app.config file and execute the client 8)

We can also instruct svcutil to generate the proxy in the preferred language we want :

   1: svcutil /t:code /language=VB 
   2:      http://localhost:8731/Design_Time_Addresses/MyService/WcfService/ 
   3:          /out:MyServiceProxy.vb /config:MyServiceProxy.config

But svcutil already identifies the language with the extension of our output file name 8)





Bloggers Dinner @ TechEd

6 08 2008

I got my invite yesterday for the Bloggers Dinner @ TechEd. Bloggers @ Tech Ed is designed to help the New Zealand blogging community with both practical advice and an exclusive opportunity to network with other key bloggers in New Zealand.

The dinner will be held on September 1st at Sky City Convention Centre, Auckland.

The best part of the event is that its being hosted and keynoted by Scott Hanselman 🙂

See you there 8)





ASP.NET Ajax CalendarExtender and Validation

1 08 2008

ASP.NET Ajax toolkit has a CalendarExtender control which is very cool as you can associate the CalendarExtender to a a TextBox and also to a Button/ImageButton so that you can popup the calendar.

Below is the code to get started with CalendarExtender:

<asp:TextBox 
    ID="TextBox1" 
    runat="server" 
    width="300pt" />
<asp:ImageButton 
    ID="btnCalenderPopup"
    Width="16" Height="16" 
    runat="server" 
    ImageUrl="~/images/calender.bmp" 
    CausesValidation="False" />
<ajaxToolkit:CalendarExtender 
    ID="CalendarExtender1"
    runat="server" 
    TargetControlID="TextBox1" 
    PopupButtonID="btnCalenderPopup" 
    Format="dd/MM/yyyy" />

And here is the output:

calender-extender-1

and,

calender-extender-2

Wait! What’s that grayed text in the textbox that says – Enter the Date of Birth (dd/mm/yyyy)

Certainly that’s not the part of CalendarExtender 🙂 , but part of ASP.NET Ajax Toolkit 8) . We can use the TextBoxWatermarkExtender which can display watermarked (grayed) texts on controls. Below is the code for our CalendarExtender :

<ajaxToolkit:TextBoxWatermarkExtender  
    ID="WatermarkExtender1"
    runat="server" 
   TargetControlID="TextBox1" 
   WatermarkCssClass="watermarked" 
   WatermarkText="Enter the Date of Birth (dd/mm/yyyy)" />

And below is the CSS style that’s used with this watermark extender :

.watermarked
{
    color: #C0C0C0;
    font-style: italic;
}

All looks good now and the user is happy the way Calendar pops up, choosing the date and also the fact that he can type in the date in the textbox in the desired format. Now comes the problem – Date Validation! – How are we going to validate the entered date? – I had to validate that the date entered is not more than today’s date.

There are two ways to do it :

1) Using Javascript (with our CalendarExtender)

2) Using RangeValidators for our textbox

Using Javascript:

The CalendarExtender has a property called OnClientDateSelectionChanged which can be set to a piece of javascript which can do the job for us. Below is the code:

<ajaxToolkit:CalendarExtender
    ID="CalendarExtender1"
     runat="server" 
    TargetControlID="TextBox1"
    PopupButtonID="btnCalenderPopup" 
    OnClientDateSelectionChanged="checkMyDate"
    Format="dd/MM/yyyy" />

and below is the javascript:

<script type="text/javascript">
function checkDate(sender,args)
{
    var dt = new Date();        
    if(sender._selectedDate > dt)
    {
        sender
            ._textbox
            .set_Value(dt.format(sender._format));
    }
}
</script>

Using RangeValidator:

Since we use a TextBox control to display our date once we choose from the calendar or to manually input the date, RangeValidators can be used to check whether the date is within a given range (minimum & maximum). Below is the code for RangeValidator :

<asp:RangeValidator 
    ID="RangeValidator1"
    runat="server" 
    ControlToValidate="TextBox1" 
    ErrorMessage="*Please enter proper date" 
    Type="Date" Display="Dynamic" />

And in your page load event we can set our maximum and minimum date values :

RangeValidator1.MinimumValue 
      = new DateTime(1600, 01, 01).ToString("dd/MM/yyyy");
RangeValidator1.MaximumValue 
     = DateTime.Now.ToString("dd/MM/yyyy");

With these two methods you can easily validate the date. And yes, using both would sometimes lead you to race conditions where choosing a date from the calendar might be an invalid date and the RangeValidators would immediately come to the focus.