Write C# method that returns DataSet from Stored Procedure

Suppose you are writing a Helper class in your .Net Project that uses ADO.Net in the Data Layer. And you need to call Stored Procedures a lot. Writing a generic Helper method that takes in an Array of SqlParameters can be used so that you don’t have re-write the same code of calling the Stored Procedure again and again.

Below is the code that I’ve used as a general approach to call Stored Procedure and return DataSet:

public static DataSet ExecuteProcedureReturnDataSet(string connString, string procName,
            params SqlParameter[] paramters)
{
	DataSet result = null;
	using (var sqlConnection = new SqlConnection(connString))
	{
		using (var command = sqlConnection.CreateCommand())
		{
			using (SqlDataAdapter sda = new SqlDataAdapter(command))
			{
				command.CommandType = System.Data.CommandType.StoredProcedure;
				command.CommandText = procName;
				if (paramters != null)
				{
					command.Parameters.AddRange(paramters);
				}
				result = new DataSet();
				sda.Fill(result);
			}
		}
	}
	return result;
}

Another way to call Stored Procedure would be to return a single value from the Stored Procedure like a string. You can use the below method to return only a String:

public static string ExecuteProcedureReturnString(string connString, string procName,
            params SqlParameter[] paramters)
{
	string result = "";
	using (var sqlConnection = new SqlConnection(connString))
	{
		using (var command = sqlConnection.CreateCommand())
		{
			command.CommandType = System.Data.CommandType.StoredProcedure;
			command.CommandText = procName;
			if (paramters != null)
			{
				command.Parameters.AddRange(paramters);
			}
			sqlConnection.Open();
			var ret = command.ExecuteScalar();
			if (ret != null)
				result = Convert.ToString(ret);
		}
	}
	return result;
}

Example of SqlParameter array to be passed to the above methods can be as follows:

SqlParameter[] params =
{
	new SqlParameter("@name", name),
	new SqlParameter("@year", year)
};

Change Javascript attribute for asp.net textbox using c#

Suppose we have the following asp.net textbox in a UserControl with the onfocusout javascript method that passes validation as 50000 characters.

<telerik:RadTextBox TextMode="MultiLine" ID="txtComments" onfocusout="return CheckLength(this, 50000);" Height="100px"  runat="server" CssClass="TextMulti" Width="99%" EnableSingleInputRendering="False">
</telerik:RadTextBox>

For a particular scenario, you may need to change the number of characters to say 6000.

This can be done dynamincally in the UserControl C# code as below:

txtComments.Attributes["onfocusout"] = "return CheckLength(this, 6000);";

Authorize WebAPI request with ActionFilterAttribute

Action filters let you use pre and post processing logic which can be applied globally, to an action method or Controller class. These are generally used for applying logic for logging, caching, authorization etc. which can be shared across Controllers.

For adding Authorization to a WebAPI, we can use ActionFilterAttributes to enable strict access for a particular role or user. The ActionFilterAttribute class below implements the authorization logic.

The base ActionFilterAttribute class has the following methods that you can override as per the MS documentation:

  • OnActionExecuting – This method is called before a controller action is executed.
  • OnActionExecuted – This method is called after a controller action is executed.
  • OnResultExecuting – This method is called before a controller action result is executed.
  • OnResultExecuted – This method is called after a controller action result is executed.

As an example, you have a class called TokenFilter that inherits from ActionFilterAttribute. This class overrides the following methods OnActionExecuting and OnActionExecuted as below:

public class TokenFilter : ActionFilterAttribute
{


	public override void OnActionExecuting(HttpActionContext actionContext)
	{
		try
		{
			if (CheckValidHeaders(actionContext))
			{
				var auth_token = actionContext.Request.Headers.GetValues("access-token").FirstOrDefault();
				
				var ValidateObj = MyUtils.ValidateToken(auth_token);
				if (!ValidateObj.IsAuthenticated)
				{
					var error = MyUtils.GetNotSignedInErrorMessage();
					var response = actionContext.Request.CreateResponse(System.Net.HttpStatusCode.Unauthorized, error);
					actionContext.Response = response;
				}
				else
				{
					if (!ValidateObj.IsDurationValid)
					{
						auth_token = MyUtils.GenerateToken(email);
						actionContext.Request.Headers.Remove("access-token");
						actionContext.Request.Headers.Add("access-token", auth_token);
					}

					HttpContext.Current.Items.Add("access-token", auth_token);
					
				}
			}
			else
			{
				var response = actionContext.Request.CreateResponse(System.Net.HttpStatusCode.Unauthorized, "error message");
				actionContext.Response = response;
			}
		}
		catch (Exception ex)
		{
			var response = actionContext.Request.CreateResponse(System.Net.HttpStatusCode.Unauthorized, "error message");
			actionContext.Response = response;
		}
	}

The above code OnActionExecuting will check for valid Headers in the request, Validates the auth token and also generates the token if required. The new auth token is again injected into the Request Headers.

The OnActionExecuted method is as below:

public override void OnActionExecuted(HttpActionExecutedContext actionExecutedContext)
{
    var auth_token = HttpContext.Current.Items["access-token"].ToString();
    actionExecutedContext.Response.Headers.Add("access-token", auth_token);
    var email = HttpContext.Current.Items["emailid"].ToString();
    actionExecutedContext.Response.Headers.Add("emailid", email);
}

Similary, other custom headers can be used to Authorize the request.

The below Authorize Filter class will authorize the user based on email id:

public class AuthorizeUserAttribute : ActionFilterAttribute
{
	bool IsinRole = false;
	public override void OnActionExecuting(HttpActionContext actionContext)
	{
		if (HttpContext.Current.Request.Headers["emailid"] != null)
		{
			var email = HttpContext.Current.Request.Headers["emailid"].ToString();
			 IsinRole = MyUtils.Checkroles(email, "admin");
			if(!IsinRole)
			{
				var response = actionContext.Request.CreateResponse(System.Net.HttpStatusCode.Unauthorized, "error message");
				actionContext.Response = response;
			}
		}

	}
}

The below controller will use the TokenFilter and AuthorizeUser attributes to use the Filter out Unauthorized users as below:

[TokenFilter]
[AuthorizeUser]
public class ValuesController : ApiController
{

}

So any Action method that gets called for this Controller, has to have a valid token and a valid role Authorized to access this Controller.


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Set Project Build Order in Visual Studio

In order to set the Build order for your Solution, right-click on the Solution in Solution Explorer and Select Project Build Order:

Your Project Dependencies should be set correctly which is used to determine the Build order by Visual Studio.

The image below shows the Project references added in the Business layer to determine that the DTO and Persistence Projects should be built first before the Business layer Project.

The Project Build order will make sure the required dlls are available for the Api to compile correctly.

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Handle WebDriver browser prompt for ADFS credentials Selenium C#

While working on Automating the UI using Selenium C#, you might encounter a scenario where a website requires to be authenticated with ADFS. The browser would prompt the user to provide the AD domain credentials to authorize for accessing the website. So automating this scenario with the Selenium C# API, would require you to provide the domain credentials programatically.

The WebDriver used is Firefox with Geckodriver. Another post explains the working of the automation and initialization of the WebDriver in detail here.

Code sample is as shown below:

public static IWebDriver driverWeb;
driverWeb.Navigate().GoToUrl(link);
try
{
	driverWeb.SwitchTo().Alert().SendKeys("Username" + Keys.Tab + "Password");
	driverWeb.SwitchTo().Alert().Accept();
}
catch { }

try
{
	driverWeb.FindElement(By.Id("acknowledgeCookieId")).Click();
}
catch { }

Take screen-shot of webpage with Firefox and Geckodriver using Selenium with C#

Gecko is a web browser engine used in many applications developed by Mozilla Foundation and the Mozilla Corporation. It is a proxy for using W3C WebDriver-compatible clients to interact with Gecko-based browsers, in this case, Firefox. Gecko Driver acts as the bridge between your script in Selenium and the Firefox browser.

Firefox browser implements the WebDriver protocol using an executable called GeckoDriver.exe. This executable starts a server on your system through which all interaction happens. It translates calls into the Marionette automation protocol by acting as a proxy between the local and remote ends.

To generate the screenshot, the web page will be loaded in the Firefox WebDriver and the height of the window adjusted appropriately. Every GeckoDriver process spawns 4 Firefox processes which you can check through Task Manager. The Preview generation logic can be written as a Web Service and hosted on IIS. The AppPool would require to be run with LocalSystem permission to enable communication between GeckoDriver and Firefox WebDriver.

The below code will run Firefox WebDriver in headless mode:

public static IWebDriver driverWeb;
public static FirefoxOptions optionsFirefox;
static int totalWidth = 1024;
static int additionalHeight = 220;
static int additionalHeightOffset = 2180;
static int normalHeight = 768;
static int explicitWaitTime = 5;

Setup browser profile:

static Firefox()
{
	try
	{
		optionsFirefox = new FirefoxOptions();
		FirefoxProfile profile = new FirefoxProfile();
		profile.SetPreference("permissions.default.desktop-notification", 1);
		profile.AcceptUntrustedCertificates = true; //Accept SSL certificates which have expired
		profile.AssumeUntrustedCertificateIssuer = false; //Firefox assumes untrusted SSL certificates are coming from untrusted issuer 
		profile.SetPreference("general.useragent.override", Convert.ToString(ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["driverUserAgent"]));
		profile.SetPreference("layout.css.devPixelsPerPx", "0.9");
		optionsFirefox.Profile = profile;
		optionsFirefox.AddArgument("-headless");
		KillExistingProcesses();
		initializeWebDriver();
	}
	catch (Exception e)
	{
		throw e;
	}
}

Initialize Web Driver:

public static void initializeWebDriver()
{
	try
	{
		FirefoxDriverService service = FirefoxDriverService.CreateDefaultService(Convert.ToString(ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["driverPath"]));
		service.HideCommandPromptWindow = true;
		driverWeb = null;
		driverWeb = new FirefoxDriver(service, optionsFirefox, new TimeSpan(0, 0, Convert.ToInt16(ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["setDriverTimeout"])));
		driverWeb.Manage().Timeouts().ImplicitWait = new TimeSpan(0, 0, Convert.ToInt16(ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["setPageLoadTimeout"]));
		driverWeb.Manage().Timeouts().PageLoad = new TimeSpan(0, 0, Convert.ToInt16(ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["setPageLoadTimeout"]));
	}
	catch
	{
		//log exception.
	}
}

Generate Preview:

//This method will be called from a Rest Service and returns a byte array for image.
public byte[] getImage()
{
	byte[] imageDataWeb;
	try
	{
		if (driverWeb == null)
		{
			lock (padlockWeb)
			{
				//double lock check for thread-safety.
				if (driverWeb == null)
				{
					initializeWebDriver();
				}
			}
		}

		if (getHttpResponseCode(link))
		{
			lock (driverWeb)
			{
				driverWeb.Navigate().GoToUrl(link);
				Thread.Sleep(100);
				/*Start Area: Get rendered page height/width and adjust browser accordingly*/
				try
				{
					var javaScriptExecutor = driverWeb as IJavaScriptExecutor;
					var waitPage = new WebDriverWait(driverWeb, TimeSpan.FromSeconds(explicitWaitTime));
					bool readyCondition(IWebDriver webDriver) => (bool)javaScriptExecutor.ExecuteScript("return document.readyState == 'complete'");
					waitPage.Until(readyCondition);

					string HeightScript = "return document.body.scrollHeight";
					long totalHeight1 = (long)javaScriptExecutor.ExecuteScript(HeightScript);
					int totalHeight = (int)totalHeight1;
					if (totalHeight == 0)
					{
						totalHeight = normalHeight + additionalHeight;
					}
					else
					{
						if (totalHeight <= additionalHeightOffset)
						{
							totalHeight += additionalHeight;
						}
					}
					driverWeb.Manage().Window.Size = new Size(totalWidth, totalHeight);
				}
				catch (Exception e)
				{
					_txtSource.TraceEvent(TraceEventType.Error, 0, e.Message);
					_txtSource.TraceEvent(TraceEventType.Error, 0, e.StackTrace);
					_txtSource.Flush();

					driverWeb.Manage().Window.Size = new Size(totalWidth, normalHeight + additionalHeight);
				}
				/*End Area: Get rendered page height/width and adjust browser accordingly*/

				screenshot = ((ITakesScreenshot)driverWeb).GetScreenshot().AsByteArray;

				if (screenshot.Length == 0)
				{
					throw new Exception("Website not responding.");
				}

				driverWeb.Navigate().GoToUrl("about:blank");
				driverWeb.Manage().Window.Size = new Size(totalWidth, normalHeight);
				return screenshot;
			}
		}
		else
		{
			imageDataWeb = returnErrorImage(); //return error image.
		}
		return imageDataWeb;

	}
	catch (Exception e)
	{
		//log exception
		imageDataWeb = doExtractEmptyPage();
		return imageDataWeb;
	}
	finally
	{
		imageDataWeb = null;
	}
}

Standard deviation using C# and Ruby

Standard Deviation definition states:

A quantity expressing by how much the members of a group differ from the mean value for the group.

The logic below calculates the Standard Deviation for the population of values. If the data is being considered a population on its own, we divide by the number of data points, say N. If the data is a sample from a larger population, we divide by one fewer than the number of data points in the sample, n-1. So you can change the formula accordingly.

Ruby code sample:

#sample = Array[1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8]
sample = Array[1,2,3,4,5]

def calc_standard_deviation(values)
    avg = values.sum {|x| x.to_f} / values.size.to_f
    Math.sqrt(values.sum {|x| (x.to_f - avg.to_f) ** 2} / values.size)
end

puts "Standard Deviation is: " + calc_standard_deviation(sample).to_s

Run the Ruby code to test as below in VS Code:

PS C:\code\Ruby test> ruby .\stdDev.rb
#Ruby Output: Standard Deviation is: 1.4142135623730951

C# code sample:

static void Main(string[] args)
{
	//double[] sample = new double[8] { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 };
	double[] sample = new double[5] { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 };

	Console.WriteLine("Standard Deviation is: " + StdDev(sample));
}

public static double StdDev(IEnumerable<double> values)
{
	// Get the mean.
	double mean = values.Sum() / values.Count();

	// Get the sum of the squares of the differences
	// between the values and the mean.
	var squares_query =
					from double value in values
					select (value - mean) * (value - mean);
	double sum_of_squares = squares_query.Sum();

	return Math.Sqrt(sum_of_squares / values.Count());
}

C# Output: Standard Deviation is: 1.4142135623731

Update json value using Newtonsoft library C#

We recently had a scenario where we needed to update the empty json array key questions with items having certain json key-value pairs containing user information.

Sample below shows part of the json to be updated:

"screens": [
                {
                  "uid": "<guid>",
                  "body": {
                    "text": "...",
                    "questions": []
                  }
			  }
		  ]

After update:

"screens": [
                {
                  "uid": "<guid>",
                  "body": {
                    "text": "...",
                    "questions": [
                      {
                        "uid": "another guid",
                        "name": "1st name",
                        .... other items
                      },
                      {
                        "uid": "another guid",
                        "name": "2nd name",
                        .... other items
                      }
                    ]
                  }
		}
	]

Below is the sample code that first removes the empty questions array and then adds it back after filling in the User information:

foreach (JToken token in jScreenItem["body"].Children())
{
	JProperty p = token as JProperty;
	if (p != null && p.Name.Contains("questions"))
	{
		token.Remove();
		break; //breaking when empty questions array is removed.
	}
}
foreach (JToken token in jScreenItem["body"].Children())
{
	JProperty p = token as JProperty;
	if (p != null && p.Name.Contains("text"))
	{
		JProperty jquestions = new JProperty("questions", JArray.FromObject(jUsers));
		token.AddAfterSelf(jquestions);
		break; //breaking when filled questions array is added.
	}
}

jUsers above is an array of Objects containing user information.