Web API load testing with Visual Studio webtest

This is the first post about load testing with Visual Studio webtest. This series of posts is describing load testing on a Visual Studio Web API.

This first post is about setting up the Visual Studio webtest for the demo Web API project with Visual Studio 2015. We’re using the latest version of the .NET Framework so we can use all the latest cool stuff in our code.

Setup the project

  1. Create a new WebApi project and don’t forget to set the .NET Framework version to 4.6. Remember, I use the new Visual Studio 2015 RTM version.
  2. Create a new class library and call it “Extensions”.
  3. In the Extensions project, add a reference to “Microsoft.VisualStudio.QualityTools.WebTestFramework”. This project is for creating custom extension for Visual Studio webtests.
  4. Add again a new project. Choose a “Web Performance and Load test Project” project. I called mine “WebApiTest”.
  5. Add a reference from the test project to the Extensions project so we can use the extensions in the webtests.

So, the first thing is done. Setting up the project is the easy part. Now comes the testing part.

When you created the test project, a new empty webtest is created. We are now going to change the request so we can test it.

  1. Rename the webtest to ValuesTest because we are going to test the ValuesController of the Web Api project.
    ValuesTest_New_WebServiceRequest
  2. Right click your ValuesTest and add a “Web Service Request”. Change the url to “http://localhost:26159/api/values” (your portnumber can be different).
  3. Change the method from POST to GET.
  4. Run your test and you will get a 401 unauthorized request back.
  5. Remove the Authorize attribute on the ValuesController
  6. Run the webtest again and now you will get a status 200 with as response “Binary Data”. This is off course your JSON response message.

Now we have to validate your response message because we don’t know if your test is sending the correct message.

  1. Right click your web request and select “Add Validation Rule”.
  2. A window appears. Select the “Find text” validation rule.
    Webstest add validation rule
  3. Enter in the “Find text” property the value “value3”.
  4. Run your test and your test will fail on the validation rule.
    Find text validation rule value3 failed
  5. Change the “Find text” property to “value2”.
  6. Run the test again and now your test will be valid.
    Find text validation rule value2 passed

Ok. The foundation is done for the testing part. We have a test project and a source project that must be validated. The extensions part isn’t used yet. This will be done in the next part. In that part we are going to create a more detailed ValidationRule that really understand JSON reponses. Then we don’t have to “find text” in the reponse but we can search for a property that we want to validate.

Code Analysis test results

Create custom code analysis rules in Visual Studio 2013

This blog explains how to create custom code analysis rules in Visual Studio 2013 and how to debug them in Visual Studio 2013.

Create a custom code analysis rule

Start with creating a new class library. Rename the generated ‘Class1’ to ‘BaseRule’.
Add references in your class library to:

  • FxCopSdk
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Team Tools\Static Analysis Tools\FxCop\\FxCopSdk.dll
  • Microsoft.Cci
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Team Tools\Static Analysis Tools\FxCop\\Microsoft.Cci.dll
  • Microsoft.VisualStudio.CodeAnalysis
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Team Tools\Static Analysis Tools\FxCop\\Microsoft.VisualStudio.CodeAnalysis.dll

In the BaseRule class we have to identify how the rules are named and where they could be found. To do this change the code in the BaseRule class.

Now we have the framework for our new custom code analysis rules. In this example we are creating a custom rule that says that fields are not allowed. We are creating this rule because our team doesn’t want any fields in Data Transfer Objects (DTO).

We name the custom rule ‘NoFieldsAllowed’, so create a class with the name ‘NoFieldsAllowed’. The rule is inherit from our BaseRule so we can give the name of the rule to the base class.

Next we have to say for which type of access modifiers the rule is made for. We can do this be overriding the ‘TargetVisibility’ property. We want to make this rule for all access modifiers so we have to use ‘TargetVisibilities.All’.

The setup for the rule is complete so we can write the implementation. Override the ‘Check’ method for a ‘Member’. Cast the member that you get as parameter to a ‘Field’. Check if the Field is ‘null’. If so, the check is not for this member.

If this member is a field we have to create a ‘Problem’ and a ‘Resolution’. To create a resolution you must create a ‘Rules.xml’ file in your project.

You can add the following information to the ‘Resolution’:

  • Display name of the rule.
  • Rule description.
  • One or more rule resolutions.
  • The MessageLevel (severity) of the rule. This can be set to one of the following:
    • CriticalError
    • Error
    • CriticalWarning
    • Warning
    • Information
  • The certainty of the violation. This field represents the accuracy percentage of the rule. In other words this field describes the rule author’s confidence in how accurate this rule is.
  • The FixCategory of this rule. This field describes if fixing this rule would require a breaking change, ie a change that could break other assemblies referencing the one being analyzed.
  • The help url for this rule.
  • The name of the owner of this rule.
  • The support email to contact about this rule.

Now we have the information to show as a Resolution. We only have to show it to the user in Visual Studio. So expand the ‘Check’ method by creating a ‘Resolution’ and add it to the ‘Problems’ list of the base class.

Test your Custom code analysis rule

To test your custom rule we can add some fields to your custom rule class. So add under the ‘Check’ method the following fields.

To test this we are going to change the “Start Action” of your class library. Open the properties of your class library and navigate to the ‘Debug’ tab.

Change the ‘Start Action’ to ‘Start external program’. Use as external program ‘FxCopCmd.exe’ from your Visual Studio directory. For me it is: ‘C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Team Tools\Static Analysis Tools\FxCop\FxCopCmd.exe’.

Use as Command line arguments: ‘/out:”results.xml” /file:”WebCommBack.CustomCodeAnalysisRules.dll” /rule:”WebCommBack.CustomCodeAnalysisRules.dll” /D:”C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Team Tools\Static Analysis Tools\FxCop”‘.

Use as working directory your debug folder in the bin folder of this class library.

Now run your application with Debug. You will see a command prompt showing up. This will check your fields with your rules. The outcome of the test will be written in your debug folder. There you will find a ‘results.xml’ file. If you open it in ‘Internet Explorer’ you will see the information. Of course you can open it in every xml tool.

Code Analysis test results

If your test is what you’ve expected, you can use your custom code analysis dll in your ruleset for your application. See here the outcome an application that uses the custom dll.

Code Analysis application results

Best Visual Studio extensions and applications

The list of tools beneath are tools that I use every day! Some are extensions for Team Foundation Server but also extensions for Visual Studio, awesome Nuget packages or general tools.
It are the best Visual Studio extension and applications that I could find.

Visual Studio Extensions

  1. EnterpriseLibrary.Config
    This is a handy tool for your Enterprise Library packages. With this tool you can edit your config with an interface.
  2. GhostDoc
    I use the free version of this but you also have a payed version of this.  With this tool you can generate your summaries above your code. It will also generate documentation for parameters, properties, field, methods etc.
  3. NuGet Package Manager
    I think there is no explanation needed for this…
  4. Target Framework Migrator
    With this extension, you can change all (if you want) your projects to a specific version of the .NET Framework with just one click.
  5. Team Foundation Server Power Tools
    Extra handy things for getting some information out of your TFS server.
  6. Web Essentials
    Handy tools for developing web applications. This allows you to minify and bundle your Javascript code and gives you other things like intellisence for extra languages in Visual Studio.
  7. Wix Toolset
    There is no MSI installer anymore in Visual Studio 2012. You can still use Wix to create your MSI installers.
  8. Recent workitems
    Show a list of last 5 associated workitems in your pending changes window
  9. Last workitem
    Select your last associated workitem
  10. AutoMerge
    AutoMerge your changeset over branches in TFS.
  11. Code Review Checkin policy
    A checkin policy for checking you have requested a code review.
  12. DevExpress CodeRush
    Faster coding and shortcuts in Visual Studio
  13. My History
    Your last history items like workitems or changesets
  14. Sandcastle
    Help file generator for your code.

Applications

  1. TFS Team Project Manager
    Manage your TFS team projects.

NuGet packages

  1. StyleCop
    Create defaults for your team about documentation and code formats.
  2. StyleCop Checkin Policy
    My own checkin policy for validating your StyleCop rules.
  3. Ninject
    Very easy dependency container for fast building applications.
  4. CuttingEdge.Conditions
    Small syntax for creating validation of your objects.
  5. NBuilder
    Generate test data based on your own POCO class.
  6. AutoMapper
    Map your classes from type A to B with just own line of code.
Localization featured

MVC localization validation

This is not the first time that I write about mvc localization validation. The last time that I wrote about this was back in 2012 when I wrote the blog “Localization validation in MVC“. This blog post helped a lot of people with this question on StackOverflow.

In this blog post I create a website with localization for English and Dutch. I will use a DateTime as an example property to display and edit this property for validating the localization. This because the Dutch localization is dd-MM-yyyy and in English we have MM\dd\yyyy.

Technology used

Now I want to write a new post that uses all the latest technology in the MVC world at this moment. At this moment the latest version of Visual Studio is Visual Studio 2013 Update 3. The latest version of MVC is: 5.2.2. This is also the version that we use in combination with .NET Framework 4.5.1.

Setup MVC localization validation

New project

Create a new MVC 5 ASP.NET Web Application in Visual Studio with the use of the .NET Framework 4.5.1. When it is created, update all your Nuget packages about MVC.

Web.config

Some people say that you have to alter the web.config to use localization. This is true when you create a website for a particular localization. In this tutorial I want to create a website that is compatible with multiple cultures from all over the world. Of course you can create a website in English but some people prefer their own language. In this tutorial I will create a website in English and Dutch (I’m from the Netherlands).

So we don’t edit the web.config. We don’t set any culture or UI culture in the web.config. In that way, the default culture is the culture of the pc or (if set) the culture of the browser.

Culture selector

The user should be able to overwrite the default culture from his browser or pc. Maybe the user wants to use another culture than his default culture for your website. So we create some code to create a list with the cultures that you have setup to support in your website.

Code for creating the list of cultures and select a culture different to your browser culture. Add this code in your “_Layout” page in example your menu or footer:

Create a static class called CultureHelper and past the following code:

The “SupportedCultures” field contains the list of supported cultures for your website.

We must also make the Culture of the client available in your project. You have to do this in every request. So go to your Global.asax and add the following event:

Create a new CultureController in your project and paste the following code:

Add a new route above the default route in your RouteConfig.cs.

Create a folder in the root of your project called “Localizations”. Add a Resource file called “Labels.resx” in that folder. This is your English resource file so the default language is the English language. Set the Access Modifier to Public. Copy the Labels resource file for the other languages. For Dutch is this: Labels.nl-NL.resx. So when the user switches from culture or the browser has another culture set, the right resource file is automatically chosen.

DateTime Example

Now we have the right culture of the user, we need an example so we can prove it actually works. So we create an object with a DateTime property. In that way we can display and edit that property in the different cultures. Remember that the Dutch language has a different date format than the English language.

Because all the browser are displaying date textboxes different, we create our own until the HTML 5 specification is finally done. Also, the older browsers don’t support HTML 5 so we must create our own textbox with jQuery UI datepicker.

To do this, we create a new EditorTemplate. If you never done this before, don’t worry it is very easy. Create a new folder called “EditorTemplates” in your “Shared” folder in the “Views” folder. In the EditorTemplates folder, create a new view called “Date”.

Now when a Date field is used for editing, the editortemplate is automatically used. Paste the following code in the Date editortemplate.

Initialize the Datepicker

Now we have created an editor for editing, the jQuery datepicker should be created. Because we also create the datepicker for a specific culture, the right language file of the jQuery datepicker should be selected as well. You can find the url of the language file in the documentation/source code from the jQuery datepicker documentation page.

Add the following code in the _Layout page just after setting up jQuery and jQuery UI.

This code finds the right language file and add it to the page for the current (selected) culture.

This code creates the datepicker in the right culture.

Test the editor

To test the editor, create an object with a DateTime property. See the following example for the class “Member”:

The EditorTemplate is selected because we have used the “DataType” attribute with the “DataType.Date” value. You could also use the “UIHint” attribute.

If you generate (scaffold) a new Edit or Create view, change the code for the Birthday property to:

Now run your project and try to edit or create a member object. You now should see a textbox with a jQuery UI datepicker inside. When you select a date from the datepicker, the format of the date should be the format of the culture you requested. Also the validation should be right for the Culture you have selected.

Conclusion

Now you have a culture independent website with a jQuery datepicker in the culture that the user wants. You can upload this website to every server you want. You don’t have to set any culture on the server because this solution is culture independent. This is easy for me in the Netherlands because now I can create a Dutch website that I can upload to Microsoft Azure (in azure you have en-US culture) without any problems.

Trigger a CI build after a gated checkin

We want to trigger a CI build after a gated checkin because we have two builds in our company. One with a gated checkin for fast building and very important test. The other build is for code analysis and long running tests. Because we don’t want to wait very long on our CI build we have created that QM build. The problem is that the QM isn’t triggered anymore after changing the CI build to a Gated checkin build.

I found a blogpost for TFS 2010. Because TFS 2013 is slightly different, I thought I would give it an update.

This is how to fix it for TFS 2013

  1. Create an argument called “NoCIOption” of the type boolean with default True.
    CreateDisableCiArgument
  2. Set the metadata information so you understand the argument in your build definition.
    MetadataDisableCiBuild
  3. Use the argument in the TFS 2013 build template. You can find the property under “Run on agent” and then “Get sources from Team Foundation Version Control”. Go to the properties window and change the hard coded “True” in the NoCIOption property to the argument you just created.
    SetDisableCiArgument

Now checkin your changes of the teamplate and use (if you don’t already have) the template in your CI build (the one with the gated checkin). Change the new argument to “false”.

Now your second build (our QM) is also triggered again.

Add image to sandcastle

I wanted to know how to add image to sandcastle. The documentation of sandcastle is long but I didn’t found a good sample of how to add an image to the welcome page.

I use Sandcastle Help File Builder to generate documentation for my applications. I also have a nice welcome page called “Welcome.aml”.

In the welcome page I have a section of the architecture of the application. I wanted to add an image of the architecture schema. The problem was that I didn’t found anywhere how to do this. The problem was that I didn’t use the id of the image but the name of the image. The solution was just to just use the id.

The solution

So to add an image from the “Media” folder into a new section:

 

Edit outlook.com contacts in android

Edit outlook.com contacts in android is a real pain. But in this post I will explain to you have to fix this.

Because Google and Microsoft are in some kind of war in what the best way is to edit contacts, you could be having troubling with editing your Outlook.com contacts in Android. Follow these steps to edit your Outlook.com contacts again.

  1. If you have installed the Outlook.com application out of the play store, remove it from your device.
  2. Go to Settings -> Accounts & Sync
  3. Check if there isn’t any outlook.com account is enabled
  4. Add an Exchange ActiveSync account (do not use the outlook.com account)
    1. Account name: whatever you want
    2. email adres: your outlook.com email adres (could also be hotmail, msn, live etc)
    3. Server adres: m.hotmail.com
    4. username: again your full email-address
    5. password: your outlook.com email-address password
    6. Enable SSL
    7. Leave the rest default
  5. Click next and select only to sync the Contacts.
  6. Finish the setup (wait a while to finish the syncing of your contacts). Now you can edit your contacts and they are synced to your outlook.com account.

To use your calendar (and shared calendars) from outlook.com, you have to download the outlook.com application (again) from the play store. Login like you always do but do not sync your contacts. To setup the colors of your calendar in Android you can use the set calendar color application.

Download files from TFS server with PowerShell

If you want to download files from TFS with PowerShell, you will need to write a script that can access the TFS Server and access the folder on your drive.

This script uses a server path in the TFS server and download some files under that server path to the drop folder of your build. If you don’t use a build, you can change then environment variables. This script is created because of an original question on StackOverflow.

 

TFS Power tools 2013 update 2 are released

The TFS Power tools 2013 update 2 are released a few days ago. Strange that there isn’t any notification in your Visual Studio 2013 environment. This update gives you better support for the new features in TFS 2013 Update 2.

You first have to uninstall the old version before installing the new version. If you want PowerShell support, you have to choose the custom installer in the wizard.

Download

You can download the update in the Visual Studio gallery by following this link:
http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/f017b10c-02b4-4d6d-9845-58a06545627f

TFS delete build definition timeout

When you do a tfs delete on a build definition and you receive a timeout, you probably have to many builds in your TFS server. Even if you delete all the build for your build definition, tfs still stores all the builds in your TFS Server. Just like your TFS Team projects, you have to delete and then destroy the builds. After that, you could delete the build definition completely.

The only way to do this is, is to delete and destroy the builds in pieces. You can only do that by the command prompt.

I created a PowerShell script that loops through the builds for a specific build definition and deletes all the builds before a specific date. So if your build is maybe a year old, you could start the script a year back from now and loop through all the builds until let’s say two months ago. You could skip the number of days you want. I set the days to skip to 15 because I have a lot of builds each month and otherwise the TFS server has trouble to delete the bigger chunks.

Save the PowerShell file as “DeleteBuildDefinition.ps1” and execute it in your Visual Studio command prompt. You can execute the PowerShell file in your VS command prompt with the following command:

tfs delete build definition timeout