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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.

March 20, 2017 | Paul D. Sheriff

8 Questions to Ask to Determine if you should be in the Cloud

Everyone wonders if they should be moving to the cloud. Here are 8 starter questions you should ask yourself. Are you...

March 6, 2017 | Paul D. Sheriff

Using MVVM in MVC Applications – Part 2

This blog post continues from where the last blog post left off. You are going to learn to search for products. You also learn how to handle all post backs through a single method in your MVC controller. You will add code to check for no rows being returned, and display a message to the user. Finally you break up the single page into multiple partial pages.

March 6, 2017 | Paul D. Sheriff

Using MVVM in MVC Applications – Part 1

This blog post is the first in a series of four posts to discuss how to use a Model-View-View-Model (MVVM) approach in an MVC application. The MVVM approach has long been used in WPF applications, but has not been prevalent in MVC applications. Using a View Model class in MVC makes good sense as this blog post illustrates. You are going to be guided step-by-step building an MVC application using the Entity Framework and a View Model class to create a full CRUD web page.

March 6, 2017 | Paul D. Sheriff

Using MVVM in MVC Applications – Part 3

This blog post continues from the last two blog posts that you can find here.

February 6, 2017 | Paul D. Sheriff

PDSA is now Fairway Technologies!

PDSA has merged with Fairway Technologies! This is definitely a case of one + one = three! When two great companies, that have made customer service a priority, come together, the end result is spectacular for our clients. With this merger, Fairway now has over 50 employees to help serve our customers in everything from Java to Oracle to SQL Server to .NET.

January 18, 2017 | Paul D. Sheriff

Unit Testing Using the Command Line

This is another in my series of blog posts on unit testing. If you are not familiar with unit testing, go back and read these posts.

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