Creating code for coding - Generating a functional website in asp.net with one click
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Have you ever felt like doing same tasks or writing similar code repetitive times?
For example creating a new web application, creating a database, running aspnet_regsql.exe, creating roles, writing web.config, creating a new form for login, coding the login...
What about having it at once with one click at all?
Some years ago I was faced to an "easy request"; convert an excel file into an application.
The deadline was one week, easy huh?
Opening the excel file it was nothing less than hundreds of sheets, this day I have decided to create a virtual programmer i.e. code to create code.
In one week the application was done.
How it works?
Basically the idea of the virtual programmer has the following features:
The current article shows up how to get in one click the following tasks/code:
Note: Yes! There are many tools to perform the same task! But the idea here is the approach of creating code for coding helping to get rid of doing repetitive work and saving time. It means more time for coffee :-)
Creating a database
Our first task is to create a database, we can do this by the following code:
... SqlCommand command = connection.CreateCommand(); command.CommandText = "CREATE DATABASE " + dbname; connection.Open(); command.ExecuteNonQuery(); connection.Close(); ... // ! removed validations in the example above
Now we should run aspnet_regsql manually once again. Instead we will call SqlServices which will perform the same operation to create the aspnet tables in the DB.
... SqlServices.Install(dbname, SqlFeatures.All, connectionstring); ...
Creating the web.config
The next task should be edit manually the web.config... But why?
We will read a template file, i.e. web_config.txt, perform a tag replacement and then save the output web.config file.
sContents = TextFileHelper.ReadTextFile("web_config.txt"); sContents = sContents.Replace("@CONNECTIONSTRING@", connectionstring); sContents = sContents.Replace("@APPLICATIONNAME@", applicationname); ... TextFileHelper.WriteTextFile("web.config", sContents); ...
Adding roles and users
To add roles and users to the aplication we do have again template files. They are configure_aspx.txt and configure_aspx_cs.txt.
The concept is the same: read the template file, substitute the tags and create the output files configure.aspx and configure.aspx.cs.
sContents = TextFileHelper.ReadTextFile("configure_aspx_cs.txt"); sContents = sContents.Replace("@ROLE1@", role1); sContents = sContents.Replace("@ROLE2@", role2); ... sContents = sContents.Replace("@USER1@", user1); sContents = sContents.Replace("@USER2@", user2); ... sContents = sContents.Replace("@USER1ROLE@", user1role); sContents = sContents.Replace("@USER2ROLE@", user2role); ... TextFileHelper.WriteTextFile("configure.aspx.cs", sContents); ...
The code on configure.aspx.cs
UserHelper.AddRole("@ROLE1@"); UserHelper.AddRole("@ROLE2@"); ... UserHelper.CreateUser("@USER1@", "@PWD1@", "@ROLE1@"); UserHelper.CreateUser("@USER2@", "@PWD2@", "@ROLE2@"); ...
After running the code above it is just call the configure page configure.aspx through the browser and voila you do have the skeleton of an asp.net application with SQL Authentication.
Running the application
Fill up the application name and your connection string.
Click Proceed and voila, you do have a database and a functional website.
The website files are generated one folder under your application exe / Output / chosen application name.
Now in VS go to File / Open Website and open your new application.
Set your virtual path to /
And run the configure.aspx. It will create the roles and an admin user.
Log using the credentials admin adminpwd
And here you are at default.aspx
Points of Interest
This is only a sample where you can code to create your code.
Think on the tasks you repetitively perform and create your own virtual programmer.