Melvyn Harbour

Software Developer living in Cambridge, England and working for Red Gate

  • Using StackExchange to produce Ask SQL Server Central

    StackExchange has recently gone to beta, allowing people to set up sites using the same platform that runs StackOverflow. As my team maintains SQL Server Central, we decided to take advantage of this and set up Ask SQL Server Central. We’re not sure where we’re going to go with it yet, as it takes quite a different model to the rest of the site, which mainly features articles and traditional forums, but we felt that some people might find it a useful way of finding information, and it was pretty straightforward to do, so we dived in.

  • Automated Web Testing

    One of the things about ASP.NET MVC that's particularly pushed is how easy it makes unit testing. Another aspect I think is particularly exciting is improving the ability to perform automated front-end testing. One of our web testers here at Red Gate has started looking into this and seeing what can be done to add automated front end testing to some of the sites we look after. He's put the first post of a series looking into this up at:

  • Combining ASP.NET MVC and ASP.NET Charting Controls

    As ScottGu recently posted on his blog, Microsoft have recently released a set of charting components. Several people followed up with comments on his post asking whether it was possible to use them with ASP.NET MVC. The good news is that it certainly is, if you are using ASP.NET as the View engine (the default). And there's actually relatively little that you have to do. This post outlines the steps you'll need to take to get it up and running.

  • MVC ModelBinder and Localization

    One of the great things about the way in which the Microsoft ASP.NET MVC Framework is being developed is the fact that the team are publishing the source code as they go along. This makes it very simple to dig into the framework when something slightly surprising is happening and figure out exactly how it is supposed to work. A good example of this cropped up for us yesterday when looking at a form posting scenario using DateTimes. We were dealing with an Action Method that looked something like this:

  • C# 4.0 Duck Typing and mocking extension methods

    Seeing some of the early blog posts from people who are at PDC, I have thus far been paying most attention to the information starting to come out about C# 4.0. In particular, this focus will look at Dynamic Lookup and the dynamic type. In particular, this should be able to be used to solve a problem with mocking objects where you are using extension methods.

  • ANTS Profiler 4 Links

    ANTS Profiler 4 has been out a short while now, and there's already some traffic cropping up relating to it. I thought I'd just drop in a quick couple of links to interesting blog articles about it:

  • How to use the ASP.NET MVC ModelBinder

    One of the new features in the latest build of ASP.NET MVC is the ModelBinder, which is provided to allow Action methods to take complex types as their parameters. Previously, action methods were only able to take simple types such as strings and integers as their parameters. The new ModelBinder provides the facility to build complex types from component parts that (for example) may be part the result of submitting a form with several fields. To see an example of this in action, we will first need a fairly simple class to work with. The following class definition will typically be placed in the Models directory. I have left the using statements at the start of the file as an 'exercise for the reader'!

  • ASP.NET MVC Codeplex Preview 5

    ASP.NET MVC Codeplex preview 5 went live last night. Available here. I haven't had a dig into it yet to have (just downloading now), but according to the release notes, some of the highlights include: