DotNet Spain Conference 2016… I was there!

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El pasado miércoles se celebró en Madrid el mayor evento del año en tecnologías de desarrollo Microsoft. Un evento al que han asistido más de 1700 personas de forma presencial y unos cuantos miles más en streaming por Internet.

Y sólo puedo decir una cosa: ha sido una experiencia cojonuda a todos los niveles.

Me he rencontrado con viejos amigos y he conocido otros nuevos, he podido asistir a algunas sesiones ‘pata negra’ de otros colegas, he visto y oído al gran jefe Satya Nadella, y para rematarlo he tenido la oportunidad de poner mi granito de arena con una sesión sobre ‘async best practices’ la cual, por el feedback recibido parece ser que ha gustado a mucha gente, así pues… ¿qué más se puede pedir?

Como bastante gente me ha preguntado, aquí os dejo las slides de mi sesión, así como el código con las demos y la demo sorpresa final:

Slides on Slideshare

Code on GitHub

https://github.com/lluisfranco/AsyncBestPracticesDemos2016

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https://github.com/lluisfranco/AsyncDatabaseCancellationDemo

La verdad es que hacía bastantes años que no hacía una sesión para tanta gente, y os tengo que confesar que los 5 minutos antes de empezar fueron ‘complicadillos’. La ventaja es que al fin y al cabo todos los frikis somos como una gran familia, de modo que al empezar la sesión y empezar a hablar de nuestras cositas los nervios desaparecieron desde el minuto cero y todo fue como una seda.

Felicitaciones

Un 10 para la organización. Después de haber podido organizar unos cuantos eventos por mi cuenta y saber lo complicado que es, no quiero ni imaginarme lo que tiene que ser montar un evento de este calibre… chavales, lo habéis bordado. Os podéis tomar unos días de merecidas vacaciones :D

Creo poder decir sin lugar a dudas que ha sido el mejor evento al cual he asistido en España. Felicidades a todos!

Y como al fin y al cabo este es mi blog, me voy a dar un poco de autobombo, que coño! ;)

Aquí van algunos tuits, gracias a todos por el buen feedback!

 

 

HowTo: Send Notifications from SQL Server using SignalR

sr

Overview

In our current project we’ve to push some notifications directly from the database server (SQL Server 2014) to different apps. For example, we’ve scheduled some SSIS (SQL Server Integration Services) projects that pre-calculates large amounts of data. And well, should be nice notify all the apps when new data is available without unnecessary round trips to database. And you know? we’re already using SignalR in our apps… so, why not try to build a lightweight client for sending SignalR notifications?

Dear architects, please, don’t judge me :P

The idea

  1. I finally decided to create a small project in C# that connects to our SignalR (which is self-hosted in a Windows Service). That project contains a single method for sending notifications with a message (just a string for simplify).
  2. Once the project is ready and tested, the next step is create an ASSEMBLY, that is, a module that contains class metadata and managed code as an object in an instance of SQL Server. By referencing this module, common language runtime (CLR) functions, stored procedures, triggers, user-defined aggregates, and user-defined types can be created in the database.
  3. And finally, create a Stored Procedure that use our previous assembly CLR function (for isolation purposes and decoupling), and then use it in our SSIS projects with a simply ‘Execute SQL Task‘ when the process finalizes.

Creating the C# project

Create a blank class Library project and add the SignalR client (Nuget will add depending assemblies -like Newtonsoft.Json- automatically)

addSignalRClient

Once we added SignalR Client references to the project we need to create the C# method, so let’s add a class item to the project with this code:

public class SqlServerNotificationsClientService
{
    internal static HubConnection hubConnection = null;
    internal static IHubProxy hubProxy = null;
    [SqlFunction()]
    public static void SendMessageToHub(
        string severURL, string hubName, string hubMethod, params object[] args)
    {
        try
        {
            if (hubConnection == null || isConnectionClosed())
                hubConnection = new HubConnection(severURL.Trim()) 
                { Credentials = CredentialCache.DefaultNetworkCredentials };
            if (hubProxy == null || isConnectionClosed())
                hubProxy = hubConnection.CreateHubProxy(hubName.Trim());
            if (isConnectionClosed())
                hubConnection.Start().Wait();
            if(args.Length == 0)
                hubProxy.Invoke(hubMethod.Trim()).Wait();
            else
                hubProxy.Invoke(hubMethod.Trim(), args).Wait();
        }
        catch (Exception exc)
        {
            SqlContext.Pipe.Send(string.Format("{0}.{1} error: '{2}'{3}", 
                hubName.Trim(), hubMethod.Trim(), exc.Message, Environment.NewLine));
        }
    }

    private static bool isConnectionClosed()
    {
        return !(hubConnection.State == ConnectionState.Connected
            || hubConnection.State == ConnectionState.Reconnecting
            || hubConnection.State == ConnectionState.Connecting);
    }
}

Note: Before continue, take a look to the last parameter ‘args’. This parameter allows you to pass a different number of arguments to this method, which is nice because when we invoke the hub’s method we can use the same argument type. Unfortunately this argument type is not compatible with SQL CRL and will crash when creating the Stored Procedure in the database :( So we need to change this argument to a simple string.

This code is just an example, maybe would be a better idea split it into different methods (remember the ‘S’ of SOLID?) :)

Let’s assume the code is ok and is able to connect and send the notification. Now…

Create the SQL Assembly

In order to deploy your assemblies to a SQL Server you need the same version of the .NET Framework installed on the server. Yep, it’s too obvious but…

Create a folder in the server called ‘C:\SQLServerAssemblies’ (or wherever you want) and copy all the assemblies generated by the previous project.

signalRClientBaseAssemblies

But we’ve not finished yet… Now we’ve to add some related assemblies (assemblies dependencies). Otherwise, assembly creation will fail.

signalRClientFullListAssemblies

You can find these assemblies in the same server, in the correct version of .NET Framework. In my case:

C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319 -> Microsoft Framework 4.5

Once we’ve all the necessary assemblies copied, let’s create the assembly. First we need to activate some things in the server:

ALTER DATABASE Falcon SET trustworthy ON

exec sp_configure 'show advanced options', 1;
GO
RECONFIGURE;
GO

exec sp_configure 'clr enabled', 1;
GO
RECONFIGURE;
GO

exec sp_configure 'show advanced options', 0;
GO
RECONFIGURE;
GO

CREATE ASSEMBLY Falcon_SqlProxy from 
  'C:\SQLServerAssemblies\Falcon.NotificationsClient.SqlProxy.dll' 
WITH PERMISSION_SET = UNSAFE 


signalRSqlAssemblies

Yes! Assemblies created successfully in SQL Server ;)

Creating the SP

Finally we only need to create the Stored Procedure. I recommend you use a custom schema. I’ve created one called ‘clr’

CREATE PROCEDURE clr.SendMessageToHub
@url nchar(125) ,
@hubName nchar(75),
@hubMethod NCHAR(75),
@message NVARCHAR(MAX)
AS
EXTERNAL NAME [Falcon_SqlProxy].[Falcon.NotificationsClient.SqlProxy.SqlServerNotificationsClientService].SendMessageToHub

Remember the note? Have you changed the last argument of the method  SendMessageToHub to a string?

If you did it and copied all the assemblies to the folder it should have worked like a charm ;)

Now it’s time to test our SP… Success!

signalR_SPOk

Bonus:

If you wanna use this SP from a SSIS project to send notifications to your apps, just add a Execute SQL Task to your project and configure the SQL statement:

signalRExecuteSQLTask

Hope this helps! :)

Curiosity: What happens if you remove all the Trim() in the c# code? Why connection to SignalR fails? ;)

See you,

DotNet Spain Conference 2015

Este fin de semana he tenido la oportunidad de participar en el mayor evento de la comunidad .NET en España hasta la fecha.

Se ha realizado en la Universidad de Alcalá, con record de asistentes. Cosa que no me extraña viendo la cantidad de charlas y hands on lab que se han realizado en varios tracks en paralelo. La verdad es que ha sido un éxito a todos los niveles, y sólo puedo decir que va a ser difícil superarlo en futuras ediciones. Se ha puesto el listón muy alto! :D

dotnetspain

En lo que respecta a mi, tuve la gran suerte de presentar -y que me aprobaran- una charla conjunta con mi colega Alex Casquete, sobre buenas prácticas sobre async, algo que precisamente no es mainstream pero que curiosamente ha tenido una aceptación muy buena. De hecho ha sido mejor de la que yo pensaba que podía tener en un principio, así que muchas gracias a todos por tanto feedback positivo!

Os dejo aquí las slides de la charla y las demos que utilizamos, ya que -para mi sorpresa- me las ha pedido bastante gente:

Sin embargo, en un evento como este no todo son sesiones técnicas. Lo mejor de todo es que he tenido la oportunidad de volver a encontrarme con un montón de viejos conocidos, con los que compartir buenos momentos y algunas cervezas, de modo que el networking ha sido… fantástico!

Os dejo con algunas fotos del eventazo. Gracias a todos! :D

How to: Remove diacritics (accents) in C# strings

cs

Quick note: How to remove diacritics (accents) from a C# string?
Use this extension method ;)

public static string RemoveDiacritics(this string input)
{
    var stFormD = input.Normalize(NormalizationForm.FormD);
    var len = stFormD.Length;
    var sb = new StringBuilder();
    for (int i = 0; i < len; i++)
    {
        var uc = System.Globalization.CharUnicodeInfo.GetUnicodeCategory(stFormD[i]);
        if (uc != System.Globalization.UnicodeCategory.NonSpacingMark)
        {
            sb.Append(stFormD[i]);
        }
    }
    return (sb.ToString().Normalize(NormalizationForm.FormC));
}

How to: Server Side Filter database (Entity Framework + DevExpress Filter control)

Imagine you have a table with millions of rows. It’s not a good idea showing all these data in a grid or similar, and it doesn’t matter you’re developing a web or desktop application… It’s not a good idea at all.

In these cases we should use conditional filters applied in the data source (usually a database) to get part of the information and return only the rows that match with the specified criteria. Using this technique the amount of network traffic could be reduced to a hundreds of rows or less, depending on the criteria.

There are different ways of accomplish that, but today I’d like to focus on apply this technique using a control from the DevExpress suite: The Filter Editor control.

DXFilterControl

 

As you can see the control looks nice, and it’s quite simple to use: You just need to link this control to another (usually a Grid or Tree), and automatically will retrieve the columns and values information from the source control. Then you’ll be able to filter the linked control and get a filter string which you can reuse later in other controls of the suite.

However the previous filter has the disadvantage that is a client filter, and is applied after we retrieve all the rows from the data source, not before. Our goal have to be apply the filter before getting the information.

Today I’ve been playing a little bit with this control, using a SQL Server database that contains a products table with 3.7 million rows and Entity Framework 6.0 as an ORM.

Note: For this test I’d like to use a SQL Tabled-Valued Function to access the data instead of using the default DbSet, because it’s supposed that I’ve to do some hard calculations inside the function. But you can also use the EF DbSet directly, as usual.

EFModel

Now our goal here is:

  1. Create at runtime a filter over the Products table using the filter control.
  2. Parse that filter string and adapt it to the EF syntax.
  3. Append the filter to the mapped function (thx to IQueryable!) before execution.
  4. Finally, execute the filtered query against the data source

First we need to add an EF designer (we won’t use Code First because we’re going to map a Tabled valued function with is not supported). And add the table Products and the GetAllProducts function.

In our form, we just need to add a couple of Devexpress controls: A GridControl and a FilterControl, linked using the FilterControl SourceControl property (this allows the filter control to retrieve the names and data types of the grid columns).

DynamicFiltersEF

Then we’ll add three buttons. The first one will retrieve the first 25.000 rows from the database (previously I’ve tried to get all rows from table, but the app crashed with an OutOfMemory exception ;))

The second button (this is the interesting one) will execute the current filter from the FilterControl.

Let’s code:

The first button is really simple. It’s just a query over the GetAllProducts function adding a where clause which will be resolved later (because EF is based on IQueryable<T>) when calling ToListAsync method.

private async void simpleButton1_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
    using (var context = new TestBigDbEntities())
    {
        var filteredproducts = context.GetAllProducts().Where(p => p.ProductId <= 25000);
        await ExecuteQueryAsync(filteredproducts);
    }
}

private async Task ExecuteQueryAsync(IQueryable filteredProducts)
{
    clock.Restart();
    productBindingSource.DataSource = await filteredProducts.ToListAsync();
    clock.Stop();
    Text = clock.ElapsedMilliseconds.ToString("n2");
}

For the second button we need something more. Something that allows us to translate the filter into a valid where clause, and append it to the function.  The good news are that this functionality is provided natively by Devexpress:

private async void simpleButton2_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
    var converter = new DevExpress.Data.Linq.CriteriaToEFExpressionConverter();
    using (var context = new TestBigDbEntities())
    {
        var filteredproducts =
                DevExpress.Data.Linq.Helpers.CriteriaToQueryableExtender.AppendWhere(
                context.GetAllProducts(),
                converter,
                filterControl1.FilterCriteria);
        await ExecuteQueryAsync(filteredproducts);
    }
}

All we’ve to do is that:

Clean and simple. The first one creates a converter for translating the filter into EF syntax, while the second one appends the filter to the EF function using the previous converter.
And finally, here’s the SQL in the profiler. Exactly what I’ve expected.

SQLProfiler

So well… if you’re using Devexpress in your current project there’re no excuses for not including dynamic filters that user can save and reuse at runtime, uh? :P

Happy coding!

Bonus

The third button code shows how to get the TSQL syntax from the Filter control, that you can use it to query the database directly ;)

private void simpleButton3_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
    var tsql = DevExpress.Data.Filtering.CriteriaToWhereClauseHelper.
        GetMsSqlWhere(filterControl1.FilterCriteria);
    MessageBox.Show(tsql);
}

BonusTSQLFilter

Extract extra large Icon from a file, including network paths!

Edit (04/16/2014): Added a new function called GetBitmapFromFolderPath, which returns the associated icon from the path to a Folder (or drive!).

image

Sometimes we are required to show a list of files with their associated icons. This task sounds quite easy, and in fact it is… Except if you have to deal with files in network paths or you want to get different icons sizes, apart the typical 32×32.

If you want to achieve this using managed code (the easy way), there is a static method called ExtractAssociatedIcon under the class Icon to achieve that, but sadly this method doesn’t work with UNC paths neither return other sizes that 32×32 pixels.

In my current project I needed to show four different icons sizes (including the extra-large icon, also called “jumbo”), so I’ve decided to use some functions and structures from the Win32 API. Of course, if anyone knows a better way to do it, please contact with me ASAP :)

First, let’s see the final code:


private static IntPtr GetIconHandleFromFilePath(
    string filepath, IconSizeEnum iconsize)
{
    var shinfo = new Shell.SHFILEINFO();
    const uint SHGFI_SYSICONINDEX = 0x4000;
    const int FILE_ATTRIBUTE_NORMAL = 0x80;
    const int ILD_TRANSPARENT = 1;
    uint flags = SHGFI_SYSICONINDEX;
    var retval = SHGetFileInfo(filepath, FILE_ATTRIBUTE_NORMAL,
        ref shinfo, Marshal.SizeOf(shinfo), flags);
    if (retval == 0) throw (new System.IO.FileNotFoundException());
    var iconIndex = shinfo.iIcon;
    var iImageListGuid = newGuid("46EB5926-582E-4017-9FDF-E8998DAA0950");
    Shell.IImageList iml;
    var hres = SHGetImageList((int)iconsize, ref iImageListGuid, out iml);
    var hIcon = IntPtr.Zero;
    hres = iml.GetIcon(iconIndex, ILD_TRANSPARENT, ref hIcon);
    return hIcon;
}

In this code we’re using several API calls. Here’s the tricky part:

First, we need to make call to the SHGetFileInfo function that receives a reference to a structure of type SHFILEINFO, which contains the index of the icon image within the system image list. We will use this index later.

Then we’ve to make is a second call to the SHGetImageList function that receives an output parameter with an IImageList structure, which is modified within the function.

This struct retrieve a COM interface and we need to keep in mind a couple of things:

a) We must use the GUID of this interface in the declaration:

[ComImportAttribute()]
[GuidAttribute(“46EB5926-582E-4017-9FDF-E8998DAA0950”)]
[InterfaceTypeAttribute(ComInterfaceType.InterfaceIsIUnknown)]

b) And in the improbable case you are going to deploy your project over XP, remember that SHGetImageList is not exported correctly in XP. For this reason you must hardcode the function’s entry point. Apparently (and hopefully) ordinal 727 isn’t going to change…

Once we have that COM interface, we only need to call its GetIcon method, passing a parameter with the desired size, and obtaining a handle to the icon by reference.

After having the handle its really simple create an Icon from the handle, and then convert to a Bitmap, BitmapSource or other:


public static System.Drawing.Bitmap GetBitmapFromFilePath(
 string filepath, IconSizeEnum iconsize)
{
    IntPtr hIcon = GetIconHandleFromFilePath(filepath, iconsize);
    var myIcon = System.Drawing.Icon.FromHandle(hIcon);
    var bitmap = myIcon.ToBitmap();
    myIcon.Dispose();
    DestroyIcon(hIcon);
    SendMessage(hIcon, WM_CLOSE, IntPtr.Zero, IntPtr.Zero);
    return bitmap;
}

Tip: It’s very important don’t forget to destroy the resources (Icon) when working with the Win32 API!

This method calls the previous one, obtains the icon’s handle and then creates the icon using the handle. Then creates a bitmap from the icon, destroys the icon and returns the bitmap.

I’ve also created an enumeration with the different flags values:

private const int SHGFI_SMALLICON = 0x1;
private const int SHGFI_LARGEICON = 0x0;
private const int SHIL_JUMBO = 0x4;
private const int SHIL_EXTRALARGE = 0x2;
private const int WM_CLOSE = 0x0010;

public enum IconSizeEnum
{
 SmallIcon16 = SHGFI_SMALLICON,
 MediumIcon32 = SHGFI_LARGEICON,
 LargeIcon48 = SHIL_EXTRALARGE,
 ExtraLargeIcon = SHIL_JUMBO
}

Finally, retrieving the icon from a file (inclusive if it’s in a network location) and specify the desired size it’s as easy as:

var size = ShellEx.IconSizeEnum.ExtraLargeIcon;
var ofd = new OpenFileDialog();
if (ofd.ShowDialog() == System.Windows.Forms.DialogResult.OK)
{
    labelFilePath.Text = ofd.FileName;
    pictureBox1.Image = ShellEx.GetBitmapFromFilePath(ofd.FileName, size);

}

image

Hope this helps! ;)

Download the source code.

Global Windows Azure Bootcamp

On April 27, something very cool is happening. A bunch of Windows Azure MVP’s and community activists are organizing a Global Windows Azure Bootcamp. This is a completely free, one-day training event for Windows Azure, all organized by the community, and presented in person all over the World.

clip_image001

I’m not sure if this is the largest community event ever – it is very cool to see how many places this event is happening.  Below is the location map as it stands today – and new locations are being added daily. Right now there are almost 100 locations and several thousand attendees already registered to take part.  Browse the location listings to find a location near you.

clip_image003

If you are interested in learning about Windows Azure or want more info, checkout the Global Windows Azure Bootcamp website to learn more about the bootcamps.  Then find a location near you, sign-up and attend the event for free, and get involved with the Windows Azure community near you!

Hope this helps,