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Announcements from Google Cloud Next 2018 — like method Body (MSIL Code) Encryption / Code Virtualization of Google’s rivals — highlight just how far the cloud has come in a few years. AI and intelligent automation are changing the ways companies compete. Members of the C-suite need to contemplate a broader spectrum of issues than technology alone.

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NET Framework provides several techniques that are extremely useful and efficient and that can provide high levels of reuse for interface declarations and runtime code. Although the general public’s view of computer programmers as a breed apart might be less than complimentary, we are really no different from any other people when it comes to having a hatred of dull, repetitive work. When writing code, experienced programmers are constantly on the lookout for ways to encapsulate chunks that are reusable and save the effort of having to write the same code repeatedly. However, when building Web pages and Web-based interfaces for your applications, it can be difficult to choose the obvious or the most efficient approach for creating reusable content.

NET assemblies, is also prevalent in Web pages. These components work much better when instantiated within an executable application where they have a longer lifetime. NET, the ideal solution from a component point of view is to use native . These are, of course, the building blocks of ASP. NET itself, and they provide the classes that implement all the ASP.

NET controls we use in our pages. Techniques for Creating Reusable Content Before delving too deeply into any of the specific techniques for creating reusable content, we’ll briefly summarize those that are commonly used within ASP. NET as they are in “classic” ASP. They are also more efficient than in ASP because ASP. This means that the include process will be required only the first time the ASP. NET page is referenced, and it will not run again until recompilation is required. The content of the include file becomes just a part of the assembly.

Of course, the same include file is likely to be used in more than one page. Any change to that file will therefore cause all the assemblies that depend on it to be recompiled the next time they are referenced. This makes include files extremely useful for items of text or declarative HTML that are reused on many pages but that change rarely. An example is a page footer containing the Webmaster’s contact details and your copyright statement. Including Dynamic Text Files in an ASP. It generates a disk-based log file as it runs and allows the name and location of the log file to be specified.

We place the log file in a folder that is configured as a virtual Web application root and then insert it into an empty ASP. Including a Log File in an ASP. The first is one that has long annoyed users of classic ASP. NET control declarations within the file and setting the properties of these controls at runtime. For example, if the include file contains the code shown in Listing 5. 2, you can make the Webmaster’s email address visible or hide it by setting the Visible property of the Panel control at runtime, as shown in Listing 5. 3 prove that the include file is inserted into the page before ASP.

NET gets to compile the page, the include file has already been inserted into it. This doesn’t mean that you can’t use them, but it does mean that you’re unlikely to get WYSIWYG performance from the tool. However, this may not be important for things like footers or other minor sections of output. The simplest, and yet extremely powerful, approach introduced with ASP. NET is the concept of user controls.

NET, user controls are control objects in their own right. This means that a user control is instantiated by ASP. NET and becomes part of the control tree for the page. It also means that it can implement and expose properties that can be accessed by other controls and by code written within the hosting page. 1 Reusing user controls in multiple ASP.

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Registering and Inserting a User Control A user control is written as a separate file that must have an . It is then registered with any page that needs to use it, via the Register directive. All the properties of the System. You can set the values of properties that are specific to this user control in exactly the same way. If you want to try out this control, go to the sample pages for this book. It can be just declarative HTML or client-side code and text, or it can include ASP. Note that you can’t insert an instance of the same user control into itself.

The nested user control would then insert another instance of itself again, ad infinitum, creating a circular reference. If you need to nest user controls, you must create a hosting instance that references a different file that is identical in content except that it does not contain the reference to the nested control. Of course, this isn’t obligatory, but it does mean that you need to bear in mind some obvious limitations to the content user controls include if you are to use them more than once. These should be placed in the hosting page so that they occur only once. ID that is assigned to the user control. The simplest output cache declaration specifies the number of seconds for which the output generated by ASP.

NET for the page should be cached and reused, and it specifies which parameters sent to the page can differ to force a new copy to be generated. When there are many different cached versions, the process tends to be self-defeating. User controls allow you to divide a page into sections and manage output caching individually for each section. NET page, but it affects only the output generated by the user control. User controls are designed to be instantiated within more than one ASP. True”, the same cached output is used for all the pages that host this user control.

The Downsides of User Controls Although user controls provide a great development environment for reusable content, they also have a couple of downsides that you must consider. The first and most obvious of these is that they are specific to an ASP. In most cases, this is not a real problem. User controls tend to be specific to an application. For example, if you implement a footer section for all your pages as a user control, it probably makes sense for it to be used only within that application. NET page, the source of a user control is just a text file that must be present in the Web site folders. It’s unlikely that you could build up your own software megacorporation just by selling user controls.

There is, however, a technique that effectively tackles this issue from the opposite direction: You can create a master page or template for the site and base all the pages on this master page or template. However, bear in mind that ASP. NET pages from a master page. In fact, using master pages and using templates are generically very similar, and both produce compiled pages that are cached for use in subsequent requests. NET Assemblies The next step up the ladder of complexity versus flexibility is to create reusable content as a native . The controls provided in the box with ASP.

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They encapsulate the code and logic, making it harder for others to steal any intellectual property they contain. Second, user controls can expose events that you can handle in the hosting page, exactly as the standard ASP. Local and Machinewide Assembly Installation In many cases, when you build custom controls as assemblies, you’ll probably want to use them only within the ASP. NET application for which they were designed.

As long as the assembly resides in the bin folder of the application, it will be available to any ASP. However, as just mentioned, you can make a control or an assembly available machinewide by installing it in the GAC. There must be a way for a control to be uniquely identifiable among all other controls, aside from its name. Because the assemblies that implement controls can be installed anywhere on the machine, the filename of the assembly is not sufficient to uniquely identify it. There must be a way to specify the version of the control so that new versions can be installed for applications that require them, while the existing version can remain in use for other applications. NET Framework requires that assemblies must be digitally signed using public key encryption techniques to protect the assemblies from malicious interference with the code. You can meet all three of these requirements by applying a strong name to an assembly.

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You create a strong name by using a utility named sn. After the assembly has been compiled, you can add it to the GAC by using the gacutil. NET Framework Configuration Wizard, or Windows Installer. NET pages that use the control must include a Register directive that specifies the assembly name, version, culture, and public key. Important: The text string specified for the Assembly attribute of the Register directive must all be on one line and not broken as it is here due to the limitation of the page width. You also need to understand the event sequence and the life cycle of controls.

However, to quote that oft-used saying, “it’s not rocket science. You can quickly pick up the knowledge you require. Components via COM Interop Using components is a great way to provide encapsulated and reusable content, as you’ve seen in the preceding sections of this chapter. NET Framework, you can create a wrapper that exposes the interface in a format that allows managed code to access it. NET manifest that describes the component and that acts as a connector between the component and the . The overall process is referred to as COM Interop, and it provides a path to move to . NET without having to rewrite all the business logic and custom components required in an existing or new application immediately, although you should consider this to be a temporary measure and aim to build native components as part of the process when and where possible.

Using wrapped COM components affects the performance of your pages. Component If you are building an application by using Visual Studio . NET, you can create a type library wrapper by simply adding to your project a reference to the component. You right-click the References entry in the Solution Explorer window and select Add Reference. In the Add Reference dialog that appears, you go to the COM tab and select the component or library you want to use. Alternatively, you can use the Type Library Import utility provided with the .

To use it, you specify the COM component DLL name and add any options you want to control specific features of the wrapper that is created. You can find a full list of these options in the locally installed . Using the tlbimp Utility As an example of how to use the Type Library Import utility provided with the . NET Framework, let’s look at an example of how to create a wrapper for a fictional custom COM component. To create the wrapper, you would copy the DLL to a temporary folder and navigate to this folder in a command window. 6 that the name of the new DLL is the name of the namespace declared within the component, not the filename of the original component DLL. This is required to allow ASP.

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NET to find the type library when it is imported into a page. 6 Executing the tlbimp utility to generate a wrapper for a COM component. Now you would copy the new wrapper DLL into the bin folder of an application and use the component in ASP. NET pages just as you would a native .

You’d use an Import directive to import the type library wrapper, and then instantiate the component by using the classname. You could use the full namespace. However, you do not import the System. NET is not directly compatible with components that are single threaded or apartment threaded. Single-threaded components are not suitable for use in ASP or ASP. NET anyway, so this factor should not be an issue.

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Until the arrival of the . To overcome any issues with running apartment-threaded components in ASP. NET to adopt a threading model that matches the requirements of Visual Basic apartment-threaded components. True” attribute to a page that creates instances of apartment-threaded components before the request is scheduled, you will encounter much more significant performance degradation. You should always create instances of any apartment-threaded components you need in a Page event such as Page_Load or Page_Init. Announcements from Google Cloud Next 2018 — like those of Google’s rivals — highlight just how far the cloud has come in a few years. AI and intelligent automation are changing the ways companies compete.

Members of the C-suite need to contemplate a broader spectrum of issues than technology alone. ERP applications such as Oracle and SAP’s are open to exploit and under attack, according to a new report referenced in a US-CERT warning. When one cute little source for data gets you thinking about the world of really big data. Setting and sticking to business goals and engaging end users are among the ways to help your CRM implementation succeed. Does your company’s most recent software development project make you feel uncomfortable? The ACM is helping technology workers and leaders navigate tricky ethics questions.