Welcome!

Silverlight Authors: Automic Blog, Michael Kopp, Jyoti Bansal, Kaazing Blog, Steven Mandel

Related Topics: Microsoft Cloud, Machine Learning , Silverlight

Microsoft Cloud: Blog Feed Post

Templated Helpers in ASP.NET MVC 2 (VS2010 Beta 2 Version)

Templated Helpers are one of the new features in ASP.NET MVC 2

Templated Helpers are one of the new features in ASP.NET MVC 2. The other day, Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 came out and some of you may have noticed that it comes pre-equipped with a beta release of ASP.NET MVC 2. In short a templated helper is a way of using various combinations of implicit and explicit rules to automatically place partial controls wherever particular data types need to appear, either in edit mode or display mode.

So let's say you have a DateTime property on your model called MeetingDate. Rather than make every single view write its own (potentially contrasting!) code to render dates in view mode and in edit mode, you can now do something like this:

<%= Html.DisplayFor( m => m.MeetingDate ) %>
<%= Html.EditorFor( m=> m.MeetingDate) %>

The DisplayFor helper will look at the data type of the thing you're looking for and try and figure out how to render that item. If you don't override convention, it will look in the Shared/DisplayTemplates folder for a DateTime.ascx control. If you want the display template to be specific to a certain controller, it can also look under the Views/(ControllerName)/DisplayTemplates folder. This same rule applies to EditorFor. It will look for the special EditorTemplates folder to try and find a suitable control. By "control" here I'm actually referring to a partial view since technically there are no controls in the traditional ASP.NET sense in MVC.

There's another HTML helper that you can use in your top-level view to invoke the partial-view location heuristics for an entire model just by doing:

<%= Html.EditorForModel () %>

This will examine the data type of your strongly-typed view and go look in an EditorTemplates folder to find the appropriate partial view.

Finally, there's another way you can supply hints to the templated helper system. That's through the use of the UIHint attribute. The UIHint actually allows you to decorate your view model (you are using an isolated view model and not working against persistance objects directly, aren't you?) with hints as to which editor should be used. This is fantastic for drop-down lists because the underlying value of a dropdown list is usually the ID of the lookup column, which is just an Int. You can't infer from Int that you want the Country dropdown vs. the State dropdown vs. the Weapons dropdown. To tell the engine which template you want, you can use the UIHint attribute as follows:

[UIHint("CustomerStatusDropDown")]
public CustomerStatus CustomerStatus { get; set; }

Where CustomerStatus is another view model object that you've got with a Name/ID pair (In my case I did it this way to accomodate the data coming from an ADO.NET Data Service). When you do Html.DisplayFor on this particular property of this particular class, it will override the normal algorithm and go look for a DisplayTemplate called CustomerStatusDropdown.ascx. When you do Html.EditorFor, it will look for a file called CustomerStatusDropDown.ascx but in the EditorTemplates directory. This allows you to simply, cleanly, and elegantly control how you display and edit lookups.

If you want, you can control the template selection directly from the EditorFor method call:

<%= Html.EditorFor 
( cust => cust.BirthDate, "DateTime_jQuery") %>

You might use a pattern like this in order to allow some pages to edit date/times with a jQuery picker instead of a traditional date/time picker. The possibilities are endless.

The reason why I'm blogging about this now, only a few days after Beta 2 comes out, is because I think this way of arranging your UI is so, absolutely, positively crucial to a clean, elegant, easy to maintain ASP.NET MVC application that everybody should be getting in the habit of using templated helpers now so that by the time VS 2010 hits RTM, the use of templated helpers will be old hat and we'll all be one step closer to ridding the world of "tag soup" forever.

p.s. If you invoke some of these EditorFor and DisplayFor helpers without actually having a suitable control in the EditorTemplates or DisplayTemplates directory, you might find some pretty interesting results. For example, if you do EditorForModel, and there isn't a control for that data type in your EditorTemplates directory, the system will actually use Reflection. It will sift through the public properties of your model, and for each property it will do the equivalent of invoking EditorFor and LabelFor on that property. In short, it will scaffold you up a "best guess" editor for your entire object. The reason this is in a "p.s." is because such scaffolding is great for smoke testing, but rarely lasts long.

More Stories By Kevin Hoffman

Kevin Hoffman, editor-in-chief of SYS-CON's iPhone Developer's Journal, has been programming since he was 10 and has written everything from DOS shareware to n-tier, enterprise web applications in VB, C++, Delphi, and C. Hoffman is coauthor of Professional .NET Framework (Wrox Press) and co-author with Robert Foster of Microsoft SharePoint 2007 Development Unleashed. He authors The .NET Addict's Blog at .NET Developer's Journal.

@ThingsExpo Stories
"We've been engaging with a lot of customers including Panasonic, we've been involved with Cisco and now we're working with the U.S. government - the Department of Homeland Security," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We provide IoT solutions. We provide the most compatible solutions for many applications. Our solutions are industry agnostic and also protocol agnostic," explained Richard Han, Head of Sales and Marketing and Engineering at Systena America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calligo, an innovative cloud service provider offering mid-sized companies the highest levels of data privacy and security, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calligo offers unparalleled application performance guarantees, commercial flexibility and a personalised support service from its globally located cloud plat...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
"The Striim platform is a full end-to-end streaming integration and analytics platform that is middleware that covers a lot of different use cases," explained Steve Wilkes, Founder and CTO at Striim, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We are focused on SAP running in the clouds, to make this super easy because we believe in the tremendous value of those powerful worlds - SAP and the cloud," explained Frank Stienhans, CTO of Ocean9, Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
DX World EXPO, LLC., a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
"MobiDev is a Ukraine-based software development company. We do mobile development, and we're specialists in that. But we do full stack software development for entrepreneurs, for emerging companies, and for enterprise ventures," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
While the focus and objectives of IoT initiatives are many and diverse, they all share a few common attributes, and one of those is the network. Commonly, that network includes the Internet, over which there isn't any real control for performance and availability. Or is there? The current state of the art for Big Data analytics, as applied to network telemetry, offers new opportunities for improving and assuring operational integrity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Frey, Vice President of S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, discussed the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insights from the vast t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EnterpriseTech has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. EnterpriseTech is a professional resource for news and intelligence covering the migration of high-end technologies into the enterprise and business-IT industry, with a special focus on high-tech solutions in new product development, workload management, increased effic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CHEETAH Training & Innovation will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CHEETAH Training & Innovation is a cloud consulting and IT training firm specializing in improving clients cloud strategies and infrastructures for medium to large companies.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datanami has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datanami is a communication channel dedicated to providing insight, analysis and up-to-the-minute information about emerging trends and solutions in Big Data. The publication sheds light on all cutting-edge technologies including networking, storage and applications, and thei...
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...