Category Archives: AthleticHost

Building DotNetNuke Modules Using Web Forms MVP

I have been looking for a good framework that would encourage good development practices through separation of concerns and testability in my DotNetNuke modules. I was listening to Scott Hanselman’s Hanselminutes Podcast #202 and discovered Web Forms MVPTatham Oddie and Damian Edwards have developed a framework for those us of us who are using web form’s in our projects.

Web Forms MVP provides some interesting features.  A few of the features include:

  • Composite views
  • Asynchronous tasks
  • Shared presenters
  • Presenter messaging
  • Works with HttpHandlers and web services.
  • Custom presenter factories to allow IOC integration.
    To start you will need Web Forms MVP CTP 7 if you are going to be developing for DotNetNuke.   I intially struggled with CTP 6 and through Tatham’s quick responses on the Web Forms MVP Google Group found there was a fix for this in CTP 7.  CTP 7 should be released soon, however, it looks like you should be able to build it from the source until then.

The power of the MVP pattern allows for us to have clean markup in our user control and the ability to isolate and test the logic that drives the form.  Web Forms MVP uses the supervising presenter pattern with the model loosely following the presentation model pattern.

    The following example is a  simple ‘contact us’ form.   This first pass of the contact form will just display a friendly ‘thank you’ message.  Later posts will include persistence and notification features for the contact form. 

image image

Since the view doesn’t contain any logic it can be laid out using embedded code blocks (<%= Model.FirstName %>)

<%
    panelContactUs.Visible = Model.ShowForm;
    panelMessage.Visible = !Model.ShowForm; 
%>        
<fieldset id="panelContactUs" runat="server" visible="true" class="cssform">
    <legend>Please enter your information and we will contact you soon.</legend>
    <p>
        <asp:Label ID="lblFirstName" runat="server" Text="First name:" AssociatedControlID="txtFirstName"></asp:Label>
        <asp:TextBox ID="txtFirstName" runat="server"></asp:TextBox>
    </p>
    <p>
        <asp:Label ID="lblLastName" runat="server" Text="Last name:" AssociatedControlID="txtLastName"></asp:Label>
        <asp:TextBox ID="txtLastName" runat="server"></asp:TextBox>  
    </p>
    <div style="margin-left: 150px;">
        <asp:Button ID="btnSubmit" runat="server" Text="Submit" onclick="btnSubmit_Click" />
    </div>  
</fieldset>

<div id="panelMessage" runat="server">
    <p>Dear <%=Model.FirstName %> <%=Model.LastName %>,</p>
    <p>
    Thank you for your interest in AthleticHost.  We are looking forward to working with 
    you to bring your athletic department online.  
    </p>
    <p>
    We will be contacting you soon to discuss your the specific needs of your athletic program.  
    </p>
    <p>
    Please feel free to contact us at <a href="mailto:support@athletichost.com">support@athletichost.com</a>
    </p>
    <p>
    Sincerely,<br />
    Aaron Jackson<br />
    Athletic Host
    </p>
</div>

The code behind for the control is only responsible for binding the view to the presenter and passing along the events that occur in the view, so that the presenter can react to them.  Here is the code behind for the ViewContactUs control.

[PresenterBinding(typeof(ContactUsPresenter))]
partial class ViewContactUs : PortalModuleBase, IActionable, IContactUsView
{
    protected override void OnInit(EventArgs e)
    {
        PageViewHost.Register(this, Context);
        base.OnInit(e);
    }
    protected void btnSubmit_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
    {
        OnSubmit(txtFirstName.Text, txtLastName.Text);
    }

    public event EventHandler<SubmitContactUsEventArgs> SubmitContactUs;
    private void OnSubmit(string firstName, string lastName)
    {
        if (SubmitContactUs != null)
        {
            SubmitContactUs(this, new SubmitContactUsEventArgs
                                      {
                                          FirstName = firstName, 
                                          LastName = lastName
                                      });
        }
    }

    private ContactUsModel model;
    public ContactUsModel Model
    {
        get
        {
            if (model == null)
                throw new InvalidOperationException("The Model property is currently null, however it should have been automatically initialized by the presenter. This most likely indicates that no presenter was bound to the control. Check your presenter bindings.");

            return model;
        }
        set
        {
            model = value;
        }
    }
}

Binding the view to the presenter is normally handled by inheriting from MvpUserControl, however the ViewContactUs control needs to work with DNN.  DNN modules need to inherit from  DNN’s PortalModuleBase and since multiple inheritance is not possible in C# we have a problem.   Thankfully we can override the OnInit method and register our view with a single line of code.

protected override void OnInit(EventArgs e)
{
    PageViewHost.Register(this, Context);
    base.OnInit(e);
}

Views that don’t have any events would be complete at this point.  Views that react to events, such as, the click event on submit button in ContactUs need to be passed to the presenter.    The presenter is responsible for subscribing to the view events when it is bound to the view.  Look at the constructor of the ContactUsPresenter below.  You can see the SubmitContactUs event on the view being subscribed to by the ContactUsPresenter. 

public class ContactUsPresenter : Presenter<IContactUsView>
{
    public ContactUsPresenter(IContactUsView view) 
        : base(view)
    {
        View.SubmitContactUs += View_SubmitContactUs;
        view.Model.ShowForm = true;
        view.Model.Message = string.Empty;
    }

    public override void ReleaseView()
    {
        View.SubmitContactUs -= View_SubmitContactUs;
    }

    void View_SubmitContactUs(object sender, SubmitContactUsEventArgs e)
    {
        View.Model.FirstName = e.FirstName;
        View.Model.LastName = e.LastName;
        View.Model.Message = e.FirstName + " " + e.LastName;
        View.Model.ShowForm = false;
    }
}

Finally, a look at the unit test that was written for the presenter.  I choose to use xUnit and Moq to handle the testing.    Since the view implements the IContactUsView interface the unit test can mock the view and allow for the presenter to be tested without dependencies on DNN.   In fact, this presenter could be reused on any other web forms project.

[Fact]
public void ContactUsPresenter_Sets_Message_OnSubmit()
{
    // Arrange
    var view = new Mock<IContactUsView>();
    view.SetupAllProperties();
    var presenter = new ContactUsPresenter(view.Object);

    // Act
    view.Raise(v => v.Load += null, new EventArgs());
    view.Raise(v => v.SubmitContactUs += null, 
        new SubmitContactUsEventArgs("Chester", "Tester", 
            "ctester@test.com", "http://www.test.com", 
            "This is a test of the emergancy broadcast system..."));  
    presenter.ReleaseView();

    // Assert
    Assert.Contains("Chester Tester", view.Object.Model.Message);
    Assert.Equal("Chester", view.Object.Model.FirstName);
    Assert.Equal("Tester", view.Object.Model.LastName);
    Assert.False(view.Object.Model.ShowForm);
}

Download the ContactUs module source.

YUI Compressor and NAnt

I have been working on creating a DotNetNuke Skin for AthleticHost.com.   In order to simplify deployment of the skin I wanted to add it as an extension to DNN rather that upload it via FTP.   I choose to use NAnt to build the extension install file.   In an effort to increase page performance I decided that the CSS and JavaScript files should be compressed and choose the YUI Compressor for the job.

I created two targets.  One to minify the JavaScript and another for the CSS.

<target name="JavaScript.minify">
<foreach item="File" property="filename">
  <in>
    <items>
      <include name="${temp.dir}/**/js/**/*.js"/>
    </items>
  </in>
  <do>
    <echo message="${filename}" />
    <exec program="java" workingdir="${YUICompressor.dir}">
      <arg value="-jar" />
      <arg value="yuicompressor-2.4.2.jar" />
      <arg value="--type" />
      <arg value="js" />
      <arg value="-o" />
      <arg value="${filename}.min" />
      <arg value="${filename}" />
    </exec>
    <move file="${filename}.min" tofile="${filename}" overwrite="true" />
  </do>
</foreach>
</target>
<target name="Css.minify">
<foreach item="File" property="filename">
  <in>
    <items>
      <include name="${temp.dir}/**/*.css"/>
    </items>
  </in>
  <do>
    <echo message="${filename}" />
    <exec program="java" workingdir="${YUICompressor.dir}">
      <arg value="-jar" />
      <arg value="yuicompressor-2.4.2.jar" />
      <arg value="--type" />
      <arg value="css" />
      <arg value="-o" />
      <arg value="${filename}.min" />
      <arg value="${filename}" />
    </exec>
    <move file="${filename}.min" tofile="${filename}" overwrite="true" />
  </do>
</foreach>
</target>

The “Deploy” target then calls the “Css.minify” and “Javascript.minify”

<call target="JavaScript.minify" />
<call target="Css.minify" />

Download the full NAnt script.

Resouces:
http://developer.yahoo.com/yui/compressor/
http://nant.sourceforge.net/

AthleticHost.com will be using DotNetNuke

athletichost_logo_143    DotNetNuke-Logo

I have been working on site for Timberline High School Athletics for the last four years.  The site has become an important tool for the athletic department and used by the parents and student athletes to get news and information about the schools sports programs.

Through my experience with Timberline I have discovered that many high school athletic programs do not have a website or have a very poor website that is not well maintained.   I have been working over the past several months to create a hosting service that will provide websites for high school athletic programs.  The websites will be designed to be easily maintained by athletic directors, coaches, and team parents. 

AthleticHost.com will be using DotNetNuke (DNN) as the core platform for these sites.  DNN was chosen for the following reasons:

  • The ability to have many websites (a.k.a. portals) on a single DNN installation.
  • Site templates will allow for new sites to be quickly created.
  • Built in hosting model that includes security and payment features.
  • Skinning system that allows each portal to have its own look-and-feel.   This is important because many niche web hosts sites all look the same.  I want each school to have it’s own look-and-feel.
  • A security model that will allow separate security configurations for the athletic director, coaches, and team parents.
  • A good set of core modules.

Hosting at AthleticHost.com will be available May 1, 2010.