Tuesday, April 22, 2008

ASP.NET tips

From Dorian: Here is a summary of the tips I’ve come up with so that you can build websites that can be deployed with precompilation.

TIP: Don’t use duplicate class names

While developing ASP.Net will keep all your pages and controls in separate dlls. It groups some controls together into one dll if they are in the same folder but at other times is keeps them separate. I’ve not determine exactly how it chooses. With this partitioning you would not very lucky run into a problem with two classes in your web site with the same name. If you attempt to merge the site into one dll (using aspnet_merge) however it would fail. I recommend naming your classes based on the directory structure using an _ instead of a slash. That will keep class names unique.

TIP: Don’t assume .ascx or .master files exist

Whilst in a development environment the .ascx and .master files exist under the website. After precompilation they do not. Never assume that they exist. The reason for doing this would be dynamic user control loading. Dynamic user control loading should be done by attempting to load the class and caching its presence. You will need to catch an exception to detect failure. I’ve spent a couple of hours looking for a work around and there is none that I can see.

TIP: Don’t reference generated classes

The following shows examples of good and bad. Whilst the bad code will work while you develop you will not be able to deploy with precompiliation.

User Control Reference

Dim singleProductDisplay As ASP.bvmodules_controls_singleproductdisplay_ascx = DirectCast(row.FindControl("SingleProductDisplay"), ASP.bvmodules_controls_singleproductdisplay_ascx)


Dim singleProductDisplay As BVModules_Controls_SingleProductDisplay = DirectCast(row.FindControl("SingleProductDisplay"), BVModules_Controls_SingleProductDisplay)

Master Page Reference

If TypeOf Me.Master Is ASP.bvadmin_bvadminproduct_master Then
DirectCast(Me.Master, ASP.bvadmin_bvadminproduct_master).ShowProductDisplayPanel = False


If TypeOf Me.Master Is BVAdmin_BVAdminProduct Then
DirectCast(Me.Master, BVAdmin_BVAdminProduct).ShowProductDisplayPanel = False

ASP.Net Precompilation

ASP.Net precompilation has a variety of options. You can chose to leave your aspx and ascx files in place and precompile the rest. This lets you change the HTML of those controls after deployment without recompilation. This is the same as VS2003 did it. You can chose to precompile everything. And you can go one step further to merge all the dlls into one big dll. For both VS2005 and VS2008 you can install a Web Deployment Project type into VS that will make it easier to do all this.

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