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European ASP.NET Core Hosting :: ASP.NET Core 2.0 MVC Filters

clock January 28, 2019 09:58 by author Scott

The following is tutorial how to run code before and after MVC request pipeline in ASP.NET Core.

Solution

In an empty project update Startup class to add services and middleware for MVC:

        public void ConfigureServices
            (IServiceCollection services)
        {
            services.AddMvc();
        } 

        public void Configure(
            IApplicationBuilder app,
            IHostingEnvironment env)
        {
            app.UseMvc(routes =>
            {
                routes.MapRoute(
                    name: "default",
                    template: "{controller=Home}/{action=Index}/{id?}");
            });
        }

Add the class to implement filter:

    public class ParseParameterActionFilter : Attribute, IActionFilter
    {
        public void OnActionExecuting(ActionExecutingContext context)
        {
            object param;
            if (context.ActionArguments.TryGetValue("param", out param))
                context.ActionArguments["param"] = param.ToString().ToUpper();
            else
                context.ActionArguments.Add("param", "I come from action filter");
        } 

        public void OnActionExecuted(ActionExecutedContext context)
        {
        }
    }

In the Home controller add an action method that uses Action filter:

        [ParseParameterActionFilter]
        public IActionResult ParseParameter(string param)
        {
            return Content($"Hello ParseParameter. Parameter: {param}");
        }

Browse to /Home/ParseParameter, you’ll see:

 

Discussion

Filter runs after an action method has been selected to execute. MVC provides built-in filters for things like authorisation and caching. Custom filters are very useful to encapsulate reusable code that you want to run before or after action methods.

Filters can short-circuit the result i.e. stops the code in your action from running and return a result to the client. They can also have services injected into them via service container, which makes them very flexible.

Filter Interfaces

Creating a custom filter requires implementing an interface for the type of filter you require. There are two flavours of interfaces for most filter type, synchronous and asynchronous:

    public class HelloActionFilter : IActionFilter
    {
        public void OnActionExecuting(ActionExecutingContext context)
        {
            // runs before action method
        } 

        public void OnActionExecuted(ActionExecutedContext context)
        {
            // runs after action method
        }
    } 

    public class HelloAsyncActionFilter : IAsyncActionFilter
    {
        public async Task OnActionExecutionAsync(
            ActionExecutingContext context,
            ActionExecutionDelegate next)
        {
            // runs before action method
            await next();
            // runs after action method
        }
    }

You can short-circuit the filter pipeline by setting the Result (of type IActionResult) property on context parameter (for Async filters don’t call the next delegate):

    public class SkipActionFilter : Attribute, IActionFilter
    {
        public void OnActionExecuting(ActionExecutingContext context)
        {
            context.Result = new ContentResult
            {
                Content = "I'll skip the action execution"
            };
        } 

        public void OnActionExecuted(ActionExecutedContext context)
        { }
    } 

    [SkipActionFilter]
    public IActionResult SkipAction()
    {
       return Content("Hello SkipAction");
    }

For Result filters you could short-circuit by setting the Cancel property on context parameter and sending a response:

        public void OnResultExecuting(ResultExecutingContext context)
        {
            context.Cancel = true;
            context.HttpContext.Response.WriteAsync("I'll skip the result execution");
        } 

        [SkipResultFilter]
        public IActionResult SkipResult()
        {
            return Content("Hello SkipResult");
        }

Filter Attributes

MVC provides abstract base classes that you can inherit from to create custom filters. These abstract classes inherit from Attribute class and therefore can be used to decorate controllers and action methods:

  • ActionFilterAttribute
  • ResultFilterAttribute
  • ExceptionFilterAttribute
  • ServiceFilterAttribute
  • TypeFilterAttribute

Filter Types

There are various type of filters that run at different stages of the filter pipeline. Below a figure from official documentation illustrates the sequence:

 

 

Authorization

 

 

This is the first filter to run and short circuits request for unauthorised users. They only have one method (unlike most other filters that have Executing and Executed methods). Normally you won’t write your own Authorization filters, the built-in filter calls into framework’s authorisation mechanism.

Resource

They run before model binding and can be used for changing how it behaves. Also they run after the result has been generated and can be used for caching etc.

Action

They run before and after the action method, thus are useful to manipulate action parameters or its result. The context supplied to these filters let you manipulate the action parameters, controller and result.

Exception

They can be used for unhandled exception before they’re written to the response. Exception handling middleware works for most scenarios however this filter can be used if you want to handle errors differently based on the invoked action.

Result

They run before and after the execution of action method’s result, if the result was successful. They can be used to manipulate the formatting of result.

Filter Scope

Filters can be added at different levels of scope: Action, Controller and Global. Attributes are used for action and controller level scope. For globally scoped filters you need to add them to filter collection of MvcOptions when configuring services in Startup:

            services.AddMvc(options =>
            {
                             // by instance
                options.Filters.Add(new AddDeveloperResultFilter("Tahir Naushad")); 

                // by type
                options.Filters.Add(typeof(GreetDeveloperResultFilter));
            });

Filters are executed in a sequence:

1. The Executing methods are called first for Global > Controller > Action filters.

2. Then Executed methods are called for Action > Controller > Global filters.

Filter Dependency Injection

In order to use filters that require dependencies injected at runtime, you need to add them by Type. You can add them globally (as illustrated above), however, if you want to apply them to action or controller (as attributes) then you have two options:

ServiceFilterAttribute

This attributes retrieves the filter using service container. To use it:

Create a filter that uses dependency injection:

    public class GreetingServiceFilter : IActionFilter
    {
        private readonly IGreetingService greetingService; 

        public GreetingServiceFilter(IGreetingService greetingService)
        {
            this.greetingService = greetingService;
        } 
        public void OnActionExecuting(ActionExecutingContext context)
        {
            context.ActionArguments["param"] =
                this.greetingService.Greet("James Bond");
        } 

        public void OnActionExecuted(ActionExecutedContext context)
        { }
    }

Add filter to service container:

services.AddScoped<GreetingServiceFilter>();

Apply it using ServiceFilterAttribute:

[ServiceFilter(typeof(GreetingServiceFilter))]
public IActionResult GreetService(string param)

TypeFilterAttribute

This attributes doesn’t need registering the filter in service container and initiates the type using ObjectFactory delegate. To use it:

Create a filter that uses dependency injection:

    public class GreetingTypeFilter : IActionFilter
    {
        private readonly IGreetingService greetingService; 

        public GreetingTypeFilter(IGreetingService greetingService)
        {
            this.greetingService = greetingService;
        } 

        public void OnActionExecuting(ActionExecutingContext context)
        {
            context.ActionArguments["param"] = this.greetingService.Greet("Dr. No");
        } 

        public void OnActionExecuted(ActionExecutedContext context)
        { }
    }

Apply it using TypeFilterAttribute:

[TypeFilter(typeof(GreetingTypeFilter))]
public IActionResult GreetType1(string param)

You could also inherit from TypeFilterAttribute and then use without TypeFilter:

public class GreetingTypeFilterWrapper : TypeFilterAttribute
{
   public GreetingTypeFilterWrapper() : base(typeof(GreetingTypeFilter))
   { }


[GreetingTypeFilterWrapper]
public IActionResult GreetType2(string param)
 



European ASP.NET Hosting :: How to Add Custom 404 and Error Pages in ASP.NET

clock January 23, 2019 10:26 by author Scott

I post this to remind myself how we got this working for both ASP.NET and static files, both for remote and local requests on IIS 7 and IIS 7.5.

<httpErrors> over <customErrors>

<customErrors> in web.config is a construct for specifying custom error pages for requests handled by ASP.NET. In other words, static files such as HTML files or directory (“friendly”) URLs are not handled.

<httpErrors> configures error pages in IIS itself, outside the web application. This handles all requests, whether they’re in fact handled by ASP.NET or IIS natively.

We ignore customErrors altogether and only use httpErrors.

Displaying a static HTML file

This is useful for error codes such as 500 where the ASP.NET web application in itself may suffer problems:

<httpErrors errorMode="Custom" defaultResponseMode="File">
    <clear />
    <error statusCode="500" path="Static\html\error.html"/>
</httpErrors>

Displaying an ASP.NET page

This displays an ASP.NET page when a 404 error occurs, without rewriting the URL (the visitor will still see the requested URL in the address bar):

<httpErrors errorMode="Custom" existingResponse="Replace">
  <remove statusCode="404" subStatusCode="-1" />
  <error statusCode="404" path="/Errors/404.aspx" responseMode="ExecuteURL"/>
</httpErrors>

Note that we skip the <clear /> element and simply remove the standard 404 handling (in order to avoid an exception caused by duplicate elements for the 404 status code).

Redirecting to another URL

ExecuteURL can only be used to execute an ASP.NET file within the same application. If we want to redirect to another application, or possibly an entirely different external URL, we use the Rewrite response mode with an absolute URL:

<httpErrors errorMode="Custom" existingResponse="Replace">
  <clear />
  <error statusCode="404" path="http://www.bing.com" responseMode="Redirect"/>
</httpErrors>

Make sure HTTP errors is enabled in IIS

For this to work you have to make sure the HTTP Errors feature is installed for IIS, otherwise you’ll just get an empty 404 response:



ASP.NET Core 2.2.1 Hosting - HostForLIFE.eu :: What Is SSL Or TLS?

clock January 15, 2019 10:10 by author Peter

Many people are using these terms interchangeably. But the correct term is TLS. Well, let us understand what this TLS is and why we really need it.
 
Most of us are already aware that HTTP is a plain text protocol which doesn’t have its own transport security mechanisms. In other words, HTTP is a protocol which sends the data to a server and gets a response without any built-in feature or mechanism to protect the data packet against tampering.
 
To protect our packet which is traveling through HTTP, some sort of secure tunneling is required and that secure tunneling is provided by a protocol called TLS, a.k.a., SSL. Here, HTTP and TLS come together.
 
Usually, people associate SSL/TLS with encryption, but that is not the only feature SSL provides. There are a few more features, such as -
  • Server Authentication – It makes sure that the communication with the right server is made.
  • Veracity Protection – It promotes integrity and makes sure that no one in between is reading our data.
  • Confidentiality – It makes sure that no one should know what data is being transmitted.
Associating the above features with HTTP makes HTTPS more reliable and authentic. Now, the question arises --  how to achieve this or how to implement this SSL. Wait for my next blog to learn more about SSL certificates.

HostForLIFE.eu ASP.NET Core 2.2.1 Hosting
European best, cheap and reliable ASP.NET hosting with instant activation. HostForLIFE.eu is #1 Recommended Windows and ASP.NET hosting in European Continent. With 99.99% Uptime Guaranteed of Relibility, Stability and Performace. HostForLIFE.eu security team is constantly monitoring the entire network for unusual behaviour. We deliver hosting solution including Shared hosting, Cloud hosting, Reseller hosting, Dedicated Servers, and IT as Service for companies of all size.



ASP.NET Core 2.2.1 Hosting - HostForLIFE.eu :: How To Serialize Nonstandard Enum Values?

clock January 7, 2019 11:35 by author Peter

Introduction
.NET client libraries that integrate with third-party APIs occasionally need to compromise on how enum values are represented in model classes. For example, an API that requires values to be expressed in all uppercase letters force the creation of an enum similar to:

public enum YesNoMaybeEnum  
 {  
     YES,  
     NO,  
     MAYBE   
 }  


While this will compile, it violates .NET naming conventions. In other cases, the third party may include names that include invalid characters like dashes or periods. For example, Amazon's Alexa messages include a list of potential request types that include a period in the names. These values cannot be expressed as enumation names. While this could be addressed by changing the data type of the serialized property from an enumeration to a string, the property values are no longer constrained and any suggestions from Intellisense are lost.

This article demonstrates how to eat your cake and have it, too. Using attributes and reflection, values can be serialized to and deserialized from JSON.

Serialization with EnumDescription
Let's say we need to serialize values that include periods. Creating an enum like the following generates compile time errors,

public enum RequestTypeEnum  
{  
    LaunchRequest,  
    IntentRequest,  
    SessionEndedRequest,  
    CanFulfillIntentRequest,  
    AlexaSkillEvent.SkillPermissionAccepted,  
    AlexaSkillEvent.SkillAccountLinked,  
    AlexaSkillEvent.SkillEnabled,  
    AlexaSkillEvent.SkillDisabled,  
    AlexaSkillEvent.SkillPermissionChanged,  
    Messaging.MessageReceived  
}  

The EnumMember attribute defines the value to serialize when dealing with data contracts. Samples on Stack Overflow that show enumeration serialization tend to use the Description attribute. Either attribute can be used or you can create your own. The EnumMember attribute is more tightly bound to data contract serialization while the Description attribute is for use with design time and runtime environments, the serialization approach in this article opts for the EnumMember. After applying the EnumMember and Data Contract attributes, the enum now looks like,

[DataContract(Name = "RequestType")]    
public enum RequestTypeEnum    
{    
    [EnumMember(Value = "LaunchRequest")]    
    LaunchRequest,    
    [EnumMember(Value = "IntentRequest")]    
    IntentRequest,    
    [EnumMember(Value = "SessionEndedRequest")]    
    SessionEndedRequest,    
    [EnumMember(Value = "CanFulfillIntentRequest")]    
    CanFulfillIntentRequest,    
    [EnumMember(Value = "AlexaSkillEvent.SkillPermissionAccepted")]    
    SkillPermissionAccepted,    
    [EnumMember(Value = "AlexaSkillEvent.SkillAccountLinked")]    
    SkillAccountLinked,    
    [EnumMember(Value = "AlexaSkillEvent.SkillEnabled")]    
    SkillEnabled,    
    [EnumMember(Value = "AlexaSkillEvent.SkillDisabled")]    
    SkillDisabled,    
    [EnumMember(Value = "AlexaSkillEvent.SkillPermissionChanged")]    
    SkillPermissionChanged,    
    [EnumMember(Value = "Messaging.MessageReceived")]    
    MessageReceived    
}    

The EnumMember attribute is also applied to enum members without periods. Otherwise, the DataContractSerilizer would serializes the numeric representation of the enumeration value. Now we can define a DataContract with,
[DataContract]  
public class SamplePoco  
{  
    [DataMember]  
    public RequestTypeEnum RequestType { get; set; }  
}
 

And serialize it to XML with,
SamplePoco enumPoco = new SamplePoco();  
enumPoco.RequestType = RequestTypeEnum.SkillDisabled;  
DataContractSerializer serializer = new DataContractSerializer(typeof(SamplePoco));  
 
var output = new StringBuilder();  
using (var xmlWriter = XmlWriter.Create(output))  
{  
    serializer.WriteObject(xmlWriter, enumPoco);  
    xmlWriter.Close();  
}  
string xmlOut = output.ToString();   


This generates the following XML,
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-16"?><SamplePoco xmlns:i="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xmlns="http://schemas.datacontract.org/2004/07/EnumSerializationSample"><RequestType>AlexaSkillEvent.SkillDisabled</RequestType>  
</SamplePoco>  


DataContract serialization is sorted out, but doesn't yet address JSON serialization.

JSON Serialization

If you need to work with any REST API endpoints, then you'll need to support JSON. The NewtonSoft JSON has its own serialization strategy, and so the EnumMember attribute needs to be leveraged to integrate with it using a custom JsonConverter, but before taking that step, the enumation value must be read from the attribute.

This method accepts an enum value and returns the string value in the EnumMember attribute.
private string GetDescriptionFromEnumValue(Enum value)  
        {  
 
#if NETSTANDARD2_0  
            EnumMemberAttribute attribute = value.GetType()  
                .GetField(value.ToString())  
                .GetCustomAttributes(typeof(EnumMemberAttribute), false)  
                .SingleOrDefault() as EnumMemberAttribute;  
 
            return attribute == null ? value.ToString() : attribute.Value;  
#endif  
 
#if NETSTANDARD1_6 || NETSTANDARD1_3 || NET45 || NET47  
 
            EnumMemberAttribute attribute = value.GetType()  
                .GetRuntimeField(value.ToString())  
                .GetCustomAttributes(typeof(EnumMemberAttribute), false)  
                .SingleOrDefault() as EnumMemberAttribute;  
 
            return attribute == null ? value.ToString() : attribute.Value;  
            
#endif  
              throw new NotImplementedException("Unsupported version of .NET in use");  
        }  


There's a subtle difference between the .NET Standard 2.0 implementation and the others. In .NET Standard 1.6 and prior versions, use the GetRuntimeField method to get a property from a type. In .NET Standard 2.0, use the GetField method to return the property of a type. The compile-time constants and checks in the GetDescriptionFromEnumValue abstract away that complexity.  

Coming the other way, a method needs to take a string and convert it to the associated enumeration.
public T GetEnumValue(string enumMemberText)   
{  
 
    T retVal = default(T);  
 
    if (Enum.TryParse<T>(enumMemberText, out retVal))  
        return retVal;  
 
      var enumVals = Enum.GetValues(typeof(T)).Cast<T>();  
 
    Dictionary<string, T> enumMemberNameMappings = new Dictionary<string, T>();  
 
    foreach (T enumVal in enumVals)  
    {  
        string enumMember = enumVal.GetDescriptionFromEnumValue();  
        enumMemberNameMappings.Add(enumMember, enumVal);  
    }  
 
    if (enumMemberNameMappings.ContainsKey(enumMemberText))  
    {  
        retVal = enumMemberNameMappings[enumMemberText];  
    }  
    else  
        throw new SerializationException($"Could not resolve value {enumMemberText} in enum {typeof(T).FullName}");  
 
    return retVal;  
}  

The values expressed in the EnumMember attributes are loaded into a dictionary. The value of the attribute serves as the key and the associated enum is the value. The dictionary keys are compared to the string value passed to the parameter and if a matching EnumMember value is found, then the related enum is returned and so "AlexaSkillEvent.Enabled" returns RequestTypeEnum.SkillEnabled.
Using this method in a JSON Converter, the WriteJson method looks like the following,
public class JsonEnumConverter<T> : JsonConverter where T : struct, Enum, IComparable, IConvertible, IFormattable
{  
 
    public override void WriteJson(JsonWriter writer, object value, JsonSerializer serializer)  
    {  
        if (value != null)  
        {  
            Enum sourceEnum = value as Enum;  
 
            if (sourceEnum != null)    
            {  

                string enumText = GetDescriptionFromEnumValue(sourceEnum);  
                writer.WriteValue(enumText);  
            }  
        }  
    }  


Please note that an enum constraint is applied to the generic type class declaration. This wasn't possible until C# version 7.3. If you cannot upgrade to use C# version 7.3, just remove this constraint.

The corresponding ReadJson method is,
public override object ReadJson(JsonReader reader, Type objectType, object existingValue, JsonSerializer serializer)  
{  
      object val = reader.Value;  
      if (val != null)  
    {  
        var enumString = (string)reader.Value;  
          return GetEnumValue(enumString);  
    }  
      return null;  
}  


Now the class definition needs to apply the JsonConverter class to the RequestType property,
[DataContract]  
public class SamplePoco  
{  
    [DataMember]  
    [JsonConverter(typeof(JsonEnumConverter<RequestTypeEnum>))]  
    public RequestTypeEnum RequestType { get; set; }  
 
 

Finally, the SamplePoco class is serialized to JSON,
SamplePoco enumPoco = new SamplePoco();  
enumPoco.RequestType = RequestTypeEnum.SkillEnabled;  
string samplePocoText = JsonConvert.SerializeObject(enumPoco);  
This generates the following JSON,
{  
"RequestType":"AlexaSkillEvent.SkillEnabled"  
}  

And deserialing the JSON yields the RequestTypeEnum.SkillEnabled value on the sample class.

string jsonText = "{\"RequestType\":\"AlexaSkillEvent.SkillEnabled\"}";  
SamplePoco sample = JsonConvert.DeserializeObject<SamplePoco>(jsonText); 

HostForLIFE.eu ASP.NET Core 2.2.1 Hosting
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