A guide to asynchronous file uploads in ASP.NET Web API RTM

It’s been 2 weeks since Web API has been released, and in a post highlighting the changes, I mentioned I will write an updated tutorial on file upload.

File upload is quite an important topic for Web API endpoitns or for API-driven applications, and sure enough there are some nice changes to the MultiPartFormDataStreamProvider, which, contrary to its versions in the Beta and RC allow easy and flexible model for dealing with uploaded data. On the other hand, these changes between Beta-RC-RTM, mean many of the upload-related posts found in the Web API community (this blog included) no longer work properly.

Let’s have a look at how you could now upload files to your ASP.NET Web API.

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Supporting OData $inlinecount with the new Web API OData preview package

OData support in Web API is arguably one of its hottest features. However, it’s support in Web API has been a bumpy ride – initially, OData was supported in a limited way only, and ultimately ended up being yanked altogether from the Web API RTM. It is however stil lpossible to use OData with Web API, only in a slighly different form , as an external NuGet package, which, in its pre-release alpha format was published last Wednesday, along the Web API RTM release.

This package is called Microsoft ASP.NET Web API OData and is a joint effort by Microsoft’s Web API and OData teams. Alex James has written a great introduction to the package, so I recommend reading it.

In the meantime, let me show you how to add $inlinecount support as for the time being, it’s still not provided there out of the box.

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ASP.NET Web API is released! What’s new in Web API RTM and how to use it!

If you have been following this blog for a while now (and if not, I really hope you will!), you’d know that I am a big fan of Web API. I have been blogging a lot about Web API, through its beta, RC stages and even about features that were only available through the Codeplex builds and I have to say that it is a terrific bridge between CLR and HTTP and fits really nicely into the existing landspace of web technologies.

With that said, today is a really big and important day, as Web API has been publicly released in its RTM version. This effectively means that you have binaries you can safely use in production scenarios and take advantage of all the great features of the framework. You can download MVC4 (including Web API) RTM here.

Let’s go through the new features in RTM.

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Testing routes in ASP.NET Web API

The question that often comes up when talking to developers and clients about Web API solutions is how exactly should you go about testing your route configuration in Web API? Some would perhaps argue that in certain cases, especially if you stick to RESTful approach, this type of testing wouldn’t even be necessary, because the convention over configuration provided by the framework means that you effecitvely end up testing something that’s internal working of Web API.

With that said, especially when you have complex routes, or when you break the Restful approach and provide RPC-style API, or if you have your API actions decorated with HTTP verbs that don’t match the action names, you probably want to (and probably should, if you ask me) test the API routing to make sure certain requests end up in proper places.

Let’s deal with this interesting problem.

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Knockout.js pro tips – working with templates

Just like last time, when we discussed observable arrays, I wanted to share a few (hopefully) useful tips about working with templates in Knockout. This is not going to be a comprehensive look into templating with knockout – there are plenty of resources that cover that – but rather a collection of smaller pieces of advice that could make you life easier.

Again, familiarity with Knockout is assumed.

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Adding OpenID authentication to your ASP.NET MVC 4 application

I am currently working on an MVC4 project that allows users to authenticate through OpenID. I don’t think I need to convince anyone about the benefits for both parties that come with that. Users don’t have to register at your site, and you have less of those tedious account maintance tasks.

Although it’s apparently coming later on as a built-in feature into the Visual Studio templates (Damien Edwards showed that stuff for Web Forms during aspConf), let me show how you can very quickly add simple OpenID support to your MVC4 application.

More after the jump.

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Knockout.js pro tips – working with observable arrays

Recently, I have been blogging mainly about Web API, but many people have been asking me about Knockout.js. And rightfully so, because it is one of the most robust Javascript client side technology right now.

I blogged about KO a couple of times here before, but I thought it might be a nice change to do it in a new format. Instead of a one big, end-to-end solution, let’s do a set of “pro tips”, small pieces of real-life advices for your Knockout solutions.

This article assumes a working knowledge of Knockout.

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BSON (Binary JSON) and how your Web API can be even faster

I have been reading the wishlist at Web API Codeplex repository recently, and noticed that one of the most popular requested features, is to add support for BSON (Binary JSON) media type (6th on the list).

Of course all it takes to include BSON into your Web API is to simply write a media type formatter for it, and since JSON.NET already has great BSON support, it is actually quite easy.

Now, you might be asking a question, why to do it in the first place? Isn’t JSON enough? Well, the main reason is performance, as according to JSON.NET tests, BSON would produce output that’s often smaller than JSON (up to 25%). It is also much quicker to encode and decode, as for simple types there is no parsing to/from their string representation.

Let’s do it then.

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Everything you want to know about ASP.NET Web API content negotiation

One of the key concepts in ASP.NET Web API, lying pretty much at the heart of it, is content negotiation – or simply conneg. I really believe that, before you start developing Web API solutions, you need to understand conneg well.

I thought it would be interesting to try to explain content negotiation in detail – what it is, what it does, and why it does that, especially as I have seen a lot of questions, misconceptions and misunderstandings around it on various boards or question sites.

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Deploy your ASP.NET Web API application to Windows Azure in 3 minutes

Over the past months I have been blogging about ASP.NET Web API a lot. One question that I haven’t really addressed, is how to send this beast to production – because it’s one thing to develop something, and completely different to have it up and running in live environment.

While so many members of the community have really enjoyed Windows Azure since it has been unveiled in the new shape recently, a lot of people are still uncertain how to work with it – because, well, “cloud” has always sounded a little enterprise-like. I thought it might help people to have a quick step-by-step guide on how you could really easily deploy your app to Azure (using Git!).

More after the jump.

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