November, 2012

Extending Web API Help Page with information from attributes

Because more information leads to better documentation

Web API help page, available for your Web API via the Nuget package or built into the Web API template if you used the ASP.NET Fall Preview installer, is an extremely useful tool for documenting your API. That is, both for the external users that will consume the API, but also for your own development team, especially if the API is part of a larger internal ecosystem of applications and you need an automated, quick and easy reference for everyone to be able to look at.

Recently, I have been asked how you could automate the exposure of some additional information about the API, such as whether an action requires authorization or what are the potential response status codes.

And sure enough, it is very easy to do.

More after the jump.

Continue reading

Realtime ASP.NET Web API tracing with SignalR

Because with SignalR, everything can get really exciting

The latest ASP.NET Fall Update, released recently, introduced the Web API tracing package into the Web API core. It is the default implementation of ITraceWriter, built around the System.Diagnostics, allowing you to easily trace what’s going on inside your API and output that into the debugger’s console.

On this very blog, we discussed a similar approach a couple of months ago already, by building an NLog powered trace writer for your Web API.

Today, let’s take all this a step further, and build something much more exciting – a realtime Web API trace, powered by SignalR.

Continue reading

ASP.NET Web API and dependencies in request scope

Because in request scope is easy to do with Web API

Regardless of what types of applications you are building with Web API, sooner or later you will run into a situation where you need to scope certain dependencies to the lifetime of a web request.

Examples of these types of in request scope dependencies could be loggers, unit of work implementations, NHibernate session, RavenDB session, Mindscape Lightspeed UnitOfWork or many other. Fortunately, this is very easy to do with Web API and an IoC container.

More after the jump.

Continue reading

Adding Session support to ASP.NET Web API

Because you might need it one day

First the disclaimer. Yes, there are a lot of problems with using session in your ASP.NET applications. Moreover, by default, HTTP (and by extension, REST) is stateless – and as a result each HTTP request should carry enough information by itself for its recipient to process it to be in complete harmony with the stateless nature of HTTP.

So if you are designing a proper API, if you are a REST purist, or if you are Darrel Miller, you definitely do not want to continue reading this article. But if not, and you find yourself in a scenario requiring session – perhaps you are using Web API to facilitate your JS or MVC application, and you want to sync the state of Web API with the state of MVC easily, or you simply want a quick and easy way to persist state on the server side – this article is for you.

More after the jump.

Continue reading

ASP.NET Fall 2012 update (preview) is out – what’s new for Web API developers?

Because BUILD brings us some nice updates

This evening, Microsoft has released a Fall 2012 Update to ASP.NET. The release brings a whole set of goodies for ASP.NET developers, including SignalR (now officially part of ASP.NET), C# FB app project template, Windows Azure Authentication and more. Jon Galloway has the updates very nicely summarized here.

Of course, as you’d expect, there are plenty of updates regarding Web API. Let’s have a look at them.

More after the jump.

Continue reading