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An ultra-fast, light-weight MVC framework developed for ASP.NET Core that uses a powerful HTML templating engine, supports RESTful web services, includes an extensible security system, and is simple to setup & configure.

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README.md

Datasilk Logo

Datasilk Core MVC

An MVC Framework for ASP.NET Core

Datasilk Core is an ultra-fast, light-weight alternative to ASP.NET Core MVC, it supports Views using HTML with mustache variables, hierarchical Controller rendering, and RESTful web services.

Installation

From Nuget

  1. Include the Nuget Package Datasilk.Core.Mvc within your ASP.NET Core project.

From Github

  1. Add this repository to your ASP.NET Core project as a submodule:

    git submodule add https://github.com/Datasilk/Core

Startup.cs

Make sure to include the middleware within Startup.cs.

public virtual void Configure(IApplicationBuilder app, IWebHostEnvironment env)
{
	app.UseDatasilkMvc(new MvcOptions()
	{
		IgnoreRequestBodySize = true,
		WriteDebugInfoToConsole = true,
		LogRequests = false,
		Routes = new Routes(),
		ServicePaths = new string[] { 'api' },
		DefaultController = 'home',
		DefaultServiceMethod = 'Get',
		InvokeNext = true
	});
}

Page Requests

All page request URLs are mapped to controllers that inherit the Datasilk.Core.Web.IController interface. For example, the URL http://localhost:7770/products would map to the class MyProject.Controllers.Products. Each controller contains one method, Render, which is used to serve a web page to the user's web browser.

/Views/Home/home.html

<div class="hero">
	<h1>{{title}}</h1>
	<h3>{{description}}</h3>
</div>

/Controllers/Home.cs

namespace MyProject.Controllers
{
    public class Home: Datasilk.Core.Web.Controller
    {
        public override string Render(string body = "")
		{
			//render page
			var view = new View("/Views/Home/home.html");
			view["title"] = "Welcome";
			view["description"] = "I like to write software";
			AddScript("/js/views/home/home.js");
			return view.Render();		
		}
	}
}

In the example above, a user tries to access the URL http://localhost:7770/, which (by default) will render the contents of the MyProject.Controllers.Home class. This class loads /Views/Home/home.html into a View object and replaces the {{title}} & {{description}} variables located within the home.html file with the text, "Welcome!" & "I like to write software". Then, the page returns the contents of view.Render().

Controller Hierarchy

You could create controllers that inherit other controllers, then return base.Render(view.Render()) to create a cascade. This would be useful to have a base controller that renders the header & footer of a web page, while all other controllers render the body.

/Views/Shared/layout.html

<html>
    <head>...</head>
    <body>{{content}}</body>
</html>

/Controllers/Layout.cs

namespace MyProject.Controllers
{
    public class Layout: Datasilk.Core.Web.Controller
    {
        public override string Render(string body = "")
		{
			//render layout
			var view = new View("/Views/Shared/layout.html");
			view["content"] = body;
			return view.Render();
		}
	}
}

/Controllers/Home.cs

namespace MyProject.Controllers
{
    public class Home: Layout
    {
        public override string Render(string body = "")
		{
			//render page
			var view = new View("/Views/Home/home.html");
			return base.Render(view.Render());		
		}
	}
}

In the example above, the Home controller inherits from the Layout controller class, then calls base.Render, which will allow the Layout controller to inject the home page HTML content into the body of the HTML layout.

NOTE: MyProject.Controllers.Home is the default class that is instantiated if the URL contains a domain name with no path structure.

Controller Routing

To render Controllers based on complex URL paths, the MVC framework relies heavily on the first part of the request path to determine which class to instantiate. For example, if the user accesses the URL http://localhost:7770/blog/2019/11/09/Progress-Report, Datasilk Core MVC initializes the MyProject.Controllers.Blog class.

The request path is split up into an array and passed into the PathParts field within the Datasilk.Core.Web.Controller class. The PathParts array is used to determine what type of content to load for the user. If we're loading a blog post like the above example, we can check the PathParts array to find year, month, and day, followed by the title of the blog post, and determine which blog post to load.

namespace MyProject.Controllers
{
    public class Blog: Datasilk.Core.Web.Controller
    {
        public override string Render(string body = "")
		{
			if(PathParts.length > 3){
				//get blog entry
				var date = new Date(PathParts[1] + "/" + PathParts[2] + "/" + PathParts[3]);
				var title = PathParts[3] || "";
				var view = new View("/Views/Blog/entry.html");
				//get blog entry from database using date & title
				var entry = Blog.GetEntry(date, title);
				view.Bind(entry);
				return view.Render();
			}
			else
			{
				//get blog home page
				var view = new View("/Views/Blog/blog.html");
				return view.Render();
			}           
		}
	}

Access Denied

If your web page is protected behind security and must display an Access Denied page, you can use:

return AccessDenied<Login>(this)

from within your Datasilk.Core.Web.Controller class Render method, which will render a controller of your choosing with a response status code of 403. The above example renders the Login controller.

500 Error

If your controller experiences an error, you can show another controller:

return Error<BrokenPage>(this)

from within your Datasilk.Core.Web.Controller class Render method, which will render a controller of your choosing with a response status code of 500. The above example renders the BrokenPage controller.

404 Error

If your controller processes an unknown request path, you could show a 404 not found error:

return Error404<NotFound>(this)

from within your Datasilk.Core.Web.Controller class Render method, which will render a controller of your choosing with a response status code of 404. The above example renders the NotFound controller.

Web Services

The Datasilk Core MVC framework comes with the ability to call RESTful web APIs. All web API calls are executed from Datasilk.Core.Web.IService interfaces.

Example

namespace MyProject.Services
{
    public class User: Datasilk.Core.Web.Service
    {
		[POST]
		public string Authenticate(string email, string password)
		{
			//authenticate user
			//...
			if(authenticated)
			{
				return Success();
			}
			else
			{
				return AccessDenied("Incorrect email or password");
			}
		}
	}
}

In the example above, the user would send an AJAX POST via JavaScript to the Uri /api/User/Authenticate to authenticate their email & password. The data sent to the server over HTTPS would be formatted using the JavaScript function, JSON.stringify({email:myemail, password:mypass}), and the data properties would be mapped to C# method arguments.

Web Service Response

All Datasilk.Core.Web.Service methods should return a string. You can easily return a JSON object as well. Use the built-in method JsonResponse(dynamic) to ensure that the ContentType for your response is set to text/json.

return JsonResponse(new {id, firstname, lastname});

Routes.cs

If you would like to map requests to controllers & services directly, create a new class that inherits Datasilk.Core.Web.Routes. For example:

using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Http;
using Datasilk.Core.Web;

public class Routes : Datasilk.Core.Web.Routes
{
    public override IController FromControllerRoutes(HttpContext context, Parameters parameters, string name)
    {
        switch (name)
        {
            case "": case "home": return new Controllers.Home();
            case "login": return new Controllers.Login();
            case "dashboard": return new Controllers.Dashboard();
        }
        return null;
    }

    public override IService FromServiceRoutes(HttpContext context, Parameters parameters, string name)
    {
        switch (name)
        {
            case "": case "user": return new Services.User();
            case "dashboard": return new Services.Dashboard();
        }
        return null;
    }
}

Why Routing?

By routing new class instances using the new keyword, you bypass the last resort for Datasilk Core MVC, which is to create an instance of your Controller or Service class using Activator.CreateInstance, taking 10 times the amount of CPU ticks to instatiate. You don't have to use routing, but it does speed up performance slightly.

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An ultra-fast, light-weight MVC framework developed for ASP.NET Core that uses a powerful HTML templating engine, supports RESTful web services, includes an extensible security system, and is simple to setup & configure.

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