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October 13, 2017 | Paul D. Sheriff

Configuration Settings for Angular Applications – Part 2

In the previous blog post on creating a configuration settings system for Angular, you learned to create a configuration settings service to retrieve default settings for your application. You first learned to hard-code a settings class with values, then how to read those same settings from a JSON file.

August 28, 2017 | Paul D. Sheriff

Displaying a Wait Message on an MVC Page

When a user clicks on a button on a web page, there can be a delay between posting back to the server and the next action that happens on the screen. The problem with this delay is the user may not know they actually clicked on the button and tries to hit the button again. It is important to give immediate feedback to the user so they know that the application is doing something. This post will show you how to disable the button, display a pop-up message and gray out the background before the post back happens thereby providing feedback to our user.

June 14, 2017 | Paul D. Sheriff

Keep Your Software Up-To-Date

Yes, it is always a struggle to keep your software up-to-date, but it is vital that you do so. Microsoft and Apple upgrade their operating systems every couple of years. Sometimes, when they do this, they break compatibility with their older operating system (OS). While this might be fine for most software, sometimes it does cause older software running on the new OS to break. If you have older software such as software written using Visual Basic 6 or earlier, FoxPro, PowerBuilder, and others, this means you are at risk of your software no longer working.

SIDEBAR: In late 2017 two new viruses appeared on the scene; Meltdown and Spectre. These viruses attacked vulnarabilities identified in CPUs. Thus, these viruses attack Microsoft and Apple OS's equally. Thus, no time is better than now to make sure you have applied the latest service packs to your operating systems as both companies have updated their OS's to mitigate these threats.

June 13, 2017 | Paul D. Sheriff

Generate Better Code, Faster!

Are you or your developers writing stored procedures by hand? Are they creating duplicate CRUD (Create Read Update Delete) logic in multiple places? If so, you should consider a code generator.

June 13, 2017 | Paul D. Sheriff

New Pluralsight Course on Unit Testing Released by Paul Sheriff

Pluralsight is your go-to website for thousands of developer videos. Paul now has 13 courses available in the Pluralsight library. His latest is described below...

June 5, 2017 | Paul D. Sheriff

Extend Classes using Extension Methods

Extension methods allow you to add your own custom method to an existing type. While this seems like a cool feature, there are a few reasons to use extension methods sparingly.

May 30, 2017 | Paul D. Sheriff

Generics Eliminate Duplicate Code

 Prior to .NET 2.0 when you needed a single method to work with different data types the only way to accomplish this was to pass an ‘object’ data type to that method. Working with the object data type introduces performance problems and bugs that can occur at runtime. The alternative is to create a new method for each data type that you wished to work with. This introduces a maintenance nightmare and leads to a larger API for programmers to learn. An example of using individual methods is shown in the code snippet that follows. Notice the calls to two different “ConvertTo” methods; ConvertToInt and ConvertToDateTime. The only difference between these two methods is the data types being passed in as parameters.

May 22, 2017 | Paul D. Sheriff

String Handling Tips

 When working with strings, you should take advantage of certain classes and methods to avoid performance and memory problems. A key item to remember about .NET string is that they are immutable. Immutable means that strings are read-only and the value cannot be changed after it is created. If you add more data to the original string, a new instance of a string class is created to hold the new string and the old memory is marked for garbage collection. Thus, if you are doing a lot of string manipulation, you can create performance and memory issues in your application.

April 17, 2017 | Paul D. Sheriff

An Alternative to HTML Tables

I have long had a problem with using HTML tables to display data to the user. I have an even bigger problem with editing on a table, but that is a different discussion. An HTML table is easy to implement for a developer, and this is normally why developers use them. However, a table is not always the best method for conveying data to a user, especially when that data is most likely viewed on a mobile device. Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule, but these should be "the exception" and not the rule. There are many reasons why a table is not suitable for user consumption.

March 27, 2017 | Paul D. Sheriff

Use LINQ to XML Instead of a Database

When people think of having to store data for their applications, a database such as SQL Server immediately comes to mind. However, XML files are very handy for storing data without the overhead of a database. Using XML files to cache often-used, but seldom changed data such as US state codes, Country code, employee types and other validation tables can avoid network round-trips to a database, and potentially speed up your application. In addition, XML files are great for off-line applications where a user needs to add, edit and delete data when they can’t connect to a database.

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