Wednesday, October 22, 2014

InfoQ panel discussion on improving architecture

I watching this video the other day where a panel discusses 'What is the Best Way to Improve Architecture'. These guys have some really interesting insights on MicroServices, CQRS and EventSourcing.

So go and check it out here.

Monday, October 20, 2014

How we're writing CodedUI tests

A couple of sprints ago I had a bit too much time on my hands and our tester was short on time. Therefore, my colleague and me decided to help him out by writing some of the CodedUI tests for him.

We started out by looking at the way they had been doing it thusfar, but we could see some room for improvement. So we set out two write CodedUI tests that were:

  1. Easy to maintain
  2. Supported re-use of steps
  3. Easy to read

This is what we ended up with:

public void SomeScreen_Should_ShowStufIfSomething()
    var category = "Whatever";

    var page = new LoginPage(this.TestedPage.BrowserInstance)

    page.ModelRows.Single(x => x.Category == category).HasSomething.Should().BeFalse();
Inspiration to write code like this came from this blogpost and this library.

What we do is we create a class per page. We create a couple of partials for that class, one for the page.cs, page.operations.cs and page.elements.cs.

The page.cs only contains the page URL, and in some cases some more stuff like items that indicate that the page is done loading as soon as they appear:

public partial class LoginPage : TestPageBase
    public LoginPage(){}
    public LoginPage(BrowserWindow browser): base(browser){}

    public override string PageUri
        get { return "/"; }
Then we have the .elements.cs file which contains read-only properties that point to elements on the page:
public partial class LoginPage
    private HtmlComboBox BankOrRoleDropDown
        get { return Browser.FindAllById("bank", PropertyExpressionOperator.Contains).FirstOrDefault(); }
    private HtmlEdit PasswordBox
        get { return Browser.FindAllByName("ww").FirstOrDefault(); }
And we've got the operations.cs file:
public partial class LoginPage : TestPageBase

    public HomePage Login(string role, string password)

        this.BankOrRoleDropDown.SelectedItem = role;
        this.PasswordBox.Text = password;

        return new HomePage(this.Browser);

    public HomePage LoginAsAdmin()
        return this.Login("Username", "Password");
The tests just use sequences of the page.operations methods which are linted together because we implemented it fluently. In order to make querying the page a bit more easy, we wrote a generic helper, which you can find below. Lesson for use devs was to put more classes and id's on stuff that needed to be identified. Now, since all the testers adopted this way of writing CodedUI tests, the developers contribute in making the .elements.cs files for a page they made, so that writing the codedUI operations become a breeze.
public static class BrowserWindowExtensions

    public static T FindFirstByClass(this UITestControl browser, string @class, PropertyExpressionOperator searchOption = PropertyExpressionOperator.Contains) where T : UITestControl, new()
        return browser.FindAllByClass(@class, searchOption).FirstOrDefault();

    public static T FindFirstById(this UITestControl browser, string id, PropertyExpressionOperator searchOption = PropertyExpressionOperator.EqualTo) where T : UITestControl, new()
        return browser.FindAllById(id, searchOption).FirstOrDefault();

    public static IEnumerable FindAllById(this UITestControl browser, string id, PropertyExpressionOperator searchOption = PropertyExpressionOperator.EqualTo) where T : UITestControl, new()
        return browser.FindAllByKeyCharacteristic("id", id, searchOption);
    public static IEnumerable FindAllByClass(this UITestControl browser, string @class, PropertyExpressionOperator searchOption = PropertyExpressionOperator.Contains) where T : UITestControl, new()
        return browser.FindAllByKeyCharacteristic("class", @class, searchOption);
    public static IEnumerable FindAllByName(this UITestControl browser, string name, PropertyExpressionOperator searchOption = PropertyExpressionOperator.EqualTo) where T : UITestControl, new()
        return browser.FindAllByKeyCharacteristic("name", name, searchOption);

    public static IEnumerable FindAllByKeyCharacteristic(this UITestControl browser, string keyCharacteristic, string keyCharacteristicValue, PropertyExpressionOperator searchOption) where T : UITestControl, new()
        var element = (T)Activator.CreateInstance(typeof(T), browser);
        element.SearchProperties.Add(keyCharacteristic, keyCharacteristicValue, searchOption);
        var result = element.FindMatchingControls().ToTypedList().ToList();
        return result;

    public static IEnumerable ToTypedList(this UITestControlCollection collection) where T : UITestControl, new()
        var result = new List();
        collection.ToList().ForEach(control => result.Add((T)control));
        return result;

Cool! I just got a pull request!

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a NuGet package because I like Common.Logging and I was under the impression that the NLog adapter for it was getting old. So, I 'rolled my own', checked it in on NuGet and put the source online in GitHub.

A couple of days ago, I got a pull request from someone who's fixed a bug in my code! Did I just start en open source project and did I just get contributers !? ;) Awesome.

The library is nothing, but I'm enjoying the fact that someone's using it and love the constructive way of working together.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Git tools for Windows

On one of the .NET Rocks! podcasts the other day, I heard about SourceTree which is the Atlassian client for managing Git repositories on your windows machine ( or mac ). I've been using GitHub for windows thusfar, but this indeed looks very nice and I'm a fan of most Atlassian stuff.

GitHub Windows is the one I've been using thusfar. I believe I heard about this tool on Hanselminutes. It looks very nice and works very easy, which also means that the actual Git stuff is abstracted from the user a bit more.

Also on the podcast, tortoisegit was mentioned. When I was using SVN, this was my go-to-tool for doing SVN. This seems to be doing the same thing, but for Git.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Deadlocks in Async/Await

While trying to figure out what the problem is with our app ( link ) I've been reading up on deadlocks that can occur while doing Async/Await the wrong way. Here's a very insightful article on how deadlocks occur and how they can be avoided.
Basically, if you've got async methods that you're forcing to execute synchronously ( with either .Wait or .Result ) you have to be careful. I would have considered that a code smell and as it turns out, that's true!

So check out this blog post by Stephen Cleary:

Friday, October 17, 2014

I need AngularJS service instances, not singletons

One of the apps we're working with has a bunch of WebApi controllers and a bunch of AngularJS controller talking to them.

So we've got the backend URLs like:
- /api/typeA
- /api/typeB
- /api/typeC
- /api/typeD
- /api/typeE

Yes, we could bundle all the types in one WebApi, but then the object would become quite big and the saving part would require more logic. So we've got separate controllers for every type.

Most controllers only implement GET and POST and we were discussing an elegant way to get that into our app. There were a couple of options:
- Create a Angular service for every WebApi controller
- Create one service that takes the URL with every call
- Do something else ...

AngularJS only provides singletons ( link ) but I would really love to create a service instance that talks to a specific WebApi controller. Therefore I've sent a POC over to my colleague in which I suggest to have Angular inject a factory ( which is a singleton ), which is then able to build instances for each of the WebAPI controllers.

Here's my fiddle:

Unresolved: Async/Await call doesn't return. Forcing sync does

We've created this WebApp a while ago that nicely implemented WebApi async calls. Everything seems to have been working fine up until a point in time in which the async/await seems to have stopped working. I can't get my head around what's happened, but the async/await calls don't seem to be returning the control. If anyone has a solution - please do let me know!

StackOverflow question here:

Even Jon Skeet got involed, but didn't come up with a solution. I'm thinking it's either deadlocks (although I REALLY can't see where), or it's some configuration issue.