Centralized exception handling and request validation in ASP.NET Core

One of the most common things that I have seen developers working with ASP.NET Core struggle with, is the way to centrally and consistently handle application errors and input validation. Those seemingly different topics are really two sides of the same coin.

More often than not, exceptions are just allowed to bubble all the way up and left unhandled, leaving the framework the responsibility to convert them to a generic 500 errors. In many other situations, exception handling is fragmented and happens in certain individual controllers only. With regard to input validation, we often have completely customized ways of notifying the client about input issues or – at best – we leave everything to the framework and let it work its defaults via the ModelState functionality.

What I wanted to show you today is how you can introduce a consistent, centralized way of handling exceptions and request validation in an ASP.NET Core web application.

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Solution-wide Nuget package version handling with MsBuild 15+

Last year I blogged about a way to handle NuGet package versions at the solution level for .NET SDK-based csproj project files (so those using <PackageReference /> entries to define their NuGet dependencies).

That approach worked reasonably well, but was entirely custom – as it simply relied on defining reusable MsBuild properties to handled the versions, which created a bit of overhead.

With MsBuild 15 and newer, you can actually do it in a much more elegant way. Let’s have a look.

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Overriding externally set headers and HTTP status codes in ASP.NET Core

I was working on an interesting issue in an ASP.NET Core recently. An external framework was responsible for creating an HTTP Response, and I was only in control of a little component that customized some internal behaviours (via a relevant extensibility point), without being able to influence the final response sent over HTTP.

This is common if you think about extending things like CMS systems or specialized services like for example Identity Server. In those situations, more often than not, the framework would be highly opinionated in what it is trying to do at the HTTP boundaries and as a result, trying to override the HTTP status codes or headers it produces may not be easy.

Let’s have a look at a simple generic workaround.

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Controllers as action filters in ASP.NET Core MVC

It is common to leverage action filters when building MVC applications – this was the case in classic ASP.NET MVC, in ASP.NET Web API and is a still widely used technique (with much richer support!) in ASP.NET Core MVC.

What is not commonly known though, is that it’s possible for controllers to act as their own filters – so let’s have a look at this feature today.

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Dependency injection into actions in ASP.NET Core MVC 2.1

A few years ago I blogged about dependency injection directly into actions in ASP.NET Web API. The idea is quite simple – instead of injecting all of your dependencies via the controller’s constructor, you can inject them as parameters into the action handling a given HTTP request.

This can help you prevent over-injection in the constructor; I also like this approach because it’s very verbose and clear – an action explicitly manifests what it needs to handle the request and gets just that, nothing more.

It actually works out of the box in ASP.NET Core, so let’s have a look at that and some related configuration.

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dotnet-script – now on .NET Core 2.1 runtime, with C# 7.3 support and more!

In the previous post, I announced that dotnet-script is now built as global tool and can be installed using .NET Core 2.1 preview SDK. However, by that time it was still based on .NET Core 2.0 runtime (it was possible to build and install .NET Core 2.0 tools using .NET Core 2.1 preview SDK).

Now we have even more cool news to announce – because dotnet-script is now a true .NET Core 2.1 application, and can be used to run scripts on top of .NET Core 2.1 runtime. We release quite often so let me do a quick rundown of all the new features since my last blog post.

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Generic and dynamically generated controllers in ASP.NET Core MVC

One of those recurring themes that seem to come back fairly regularly among .NET web developers, is the usage of generic controllers to define endpoints in their Web APIs. I have witnessed these discussions as part of ASP.NET MVC, then ASP.NET Web API and most recently in ASP.NET Core MVC.

While I don’t necessarily see a huge need or benefit for generic controllers, I can imagine that – especially in enterprise context – there are scenarios where exposing similarly structured, “cookie-cutter” CRUD endpoints quickly and seamlessly, could possibly have some business value.

Let’s have a look at generic controllers then, and how we could also dynamically feed types into them.

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Lightweight .NET Core benchmarking with BenchmarkDotNet and dotnet-script

Today I wanted to show you something that I hope could be a very useful addition to your .NET Core development toolbox, and that is an ultra-lightweight of doing performance benchmarking for your code using BenchmarkDotNet and dotnet-script.

We just released 0.19.0 of dotnet-script, that supports benchmarking, yesterday.

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