ServiceStack extensibility using MEF

A while back, I had started playing with the Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF) from Big Mike – an extensibility framework that lets you discover components that implements your interface, thus allowing you to do Software Composition. For close to a year now, I have also been playing with ServiceStack – a clean and elegant Open Source solution for Web Services.

I’ve wondered for quite a while now if the two could be combined, i.e. if it was possible to do Service Composition by using MEF and ServiceStack. I figured it could be done, but could never find the time to verify my assumptions…until now.

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ServiceStack extensibility using MEF

Uploading a file and getting back its URL with AWS

I was playing with Amazon Web Services (AWS) over the weekend, trying out a few things including Amazon S3 for file storage. Unfortunately I could not find a quick and easy way to upload an image and retrieve its URL in single call in the AWS SDK…so I got creative
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Uploading a file and getting back its URL with AWS

Forms authentication with NancyFx

In theses past weeks, I’ve been playing around with NancyFx – a simple web framework a la Ruby Sinatra. So far it has been a joy to use. While I still love ASP.NET MVC, I find myself a bit more appreciative each day of the simplicity of Nancy.

One of the thing that I had set out to do was to build a simple registration module using Forms Authentication for a sample app, and to verify that the authentication worked by trying to access a secured module.

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Forms authentication with NancyFx

Sub-directory look up with MEF

At my current job, I had to implement a Scheduling system for our banking clients. The requirement was for it to be pluggable, i.e. it should be able to pickup schedulable items/tasks that their developers or our support team would give it. It had to be secure, and it had to be able to handle long running tasks.

My solution for this was to use Quartz.NET as my Scheduling engine, which I encapsulated inside a windows Service. To access it, my web application would make calls to WCF service hosted inside the Windows Service, which used a UserNamePasswordValidator to prevent unauthorized access to the service. The remaining requirement to meet was that of the schedulable tasks. The solution: MEF.

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Sub-directory look up with MEF

Using DTOs with NHibernate

For a better understanding of what Data Transfer Objects (DTOs) are, I suggest these nice articles from Big Mike and Oracle. My simplistic definition of a DTO:

A stripped down version of your data layer entity that lacks some of the fields and validation mechanisms the true entity would have, and which is exposed for encapsulation needs (in this case, hiding the internal representation of your entities).

Out of the box, NHibernate has support for DTOs, using what they call a ResulTransformer.
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Using DTOs with NHibernate