Sunday, August 14, 2011

ASP.NET MVC 3 and jQuery templates - Part2

In part 1, we saw the basic implementation of jQuery template with the help of html file. In this part we'll look into a simple implementation using ASP.NET MVC 3. Following few steps will define the steps I've followed to create the sample which helps readers to dive into the code with better understanding.

First created an empty ASP.NET MVC3 web application. Then created a model by adding an Employee class in the Models folder.

Snippet 1(Model - Employee)

public class Employee
{
    public string EmployeeId { get; set; }
    public string EmployeeName { get; set; }
    public int Experience { get; set; }
    public string Designation { get; set; }
}

For the purpose of this example have created a SampleData class in the Models folder.

Snippet 2 (SampleData)

public class SampleData
{
    #region Class Level Variables
    private List<Employee> projectMemberList;
    #endregion

    #region Properties
    public List<Employee> ProjectMemberList
    {
        get
        {
            if (projectMemberList == null)
            {
                LoadProjectMemberList();
            }
            return projectMemberList;
        }
        set { projectMemberList = value; }
    }
    #endregion

    #region Public Methods
    public IEnumerable<Employee> GetProjectMembersWithExpGreaterThan(int experience)
    {
        return ProjectMemberList.Where(emp => emp.Experience > experience);
    }
    #endregion

    #region Private Methods
    private void LoadProjectMemberList()
    {
        projectMemberList = new List<Employee>();

        projectMemberList.Add(new Employee { EmployeeId = "E1001", EmployeeName = "Member1", Experience = 7, Designation = "Project Lead" });
        projectMemberList.Add(new Employee { EmployeeId = "E1002", EmployeeName = "Member2", Experience = 4, Designation = "SSE" });
        projectMemberList.Add(new Employee { EmployeeId = "E1003", EmployeeName = "Member3", Experience = 9, Designation = "Tech Lead" });
        projectMemberList.Add(new Employee { EmployeeId = "E1004", EmployeeName = "Member4", Experience = 3, Designation = "SE" });
        projectMemberList.Add(new Employee { EmployeeId = "E1005", EmployeeName = "Member5", Experience = 5, Designation = "Team Lead" });

    }
    #endregion

}

Next in the Controllers folder have created a ProjectMemberDetailsController.

Snippet 3 (ProjectMemberDetailsController)

public class ProjectMemberDetailsController : Controller
{
    
    public ActionResult ProjectMemberList()
    {
        return View();
    }

    [HttpPost]
    public JsonResult ProjectMemberList(string experience)
    {
        SampleData sampleData = new SampleData();

        if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(experience) || experience.Equals("All"))
        {
            return Json(sampleData.ProjectMemberList, JsonRequestBehavior.AllowGet);
        }
        else
        {
            return Json(sampleData.GetProjectMembersWithExpGreaterThan(int.Parse(experience)), JsonRequestBehavior.AllowGet);
        }

    }
}

Finally added a ProjectMemberList.cshtml file under the Views/ProjectMemberDetails folder.

Snippet 4 (ProjectMemberList)   

@model String
@{
    ViewBag.Title = "ProjectMemberList";
}
<h2>
    ProjectMemberList</h2>
<script src="@Url.Content("~/Scripts/jquery.unobtrusive-ajax.js")" type="text/javascript"></script>
<script src="http://ajax.aspnetcdn.com/ajax/jquery.templates/beta1/jquery.tmpl.js"
    type="text/javascript"></script>

<script id="memberDetailTemplate" type="text/html">
    <tr>
        <td>
            ${EmployeeName}
        </td>
        <td>
            ${Experience}
        </td>
        <td>
        {{if Designation == 'Tech Lead'}}
        <span style="color:Green; font-weight: bold;">${Designation}</span>
        {{else}}
        <span style="color:Blue;">${Designation}</span>
        {{/if}}            
        </td>
    </tr>  
</script>
<script type="text/javascript">
    $(document).ready(function () {
        $.ajax({ type: "POST", url: "ProjectMemberDetails/ProjectMemberList", success: jsonProjectMemberListSuccessCallback });
    });

    function jsonProjectMemberListSuccessCallback(data) {
        var targetElement = $('#memberData');

        targetElement.empty();

        $("#memberDetailTemplate").tmpl(data).appendTo('#memberData');
    }
</script>
<div id="loadingFeedback" style="display: none; color: Red; font-weight: bold;">
    <p>
        Loading details....
    </p>
</div>
@using (Ajax.BeginForm(new AjaxOptions
{
    LoadingElementId = "loadingFeedback",
    OnSuccess = "jsonProjectMemberListSuccessCallback",
    Url = Url.Action("ProjectMemberList")
}))
{
    <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="5">
        <thead>
            <tr style="font-weight: bold;">
                <td>
                    Member Name
                </td>
                <td>
                    Experience
                </td>
                <td>
                    Designation
                </td>
            </tr>
        </thead>
        <tbody id="memberData">
        </tbody>
    </table>
    <p>
        @Html.Label("", "Member with experience greater than : ")
        @Html.DropDownList("experience", new SelectList(new[] { "All", "1", "2", "3", "4", "5", "6", "7", "8", "9" }, (Model ?? "All")))
        <input type="submit" name="Submit" value="Submit" />
    </p>   
   
}

The ProjectMemberList view will automatically use the /Views/Shared/_Layout.cshtml as the layout/master page which is specified in the /Views/_ViewStart.cshtml file.

In order to run invoke the specific action by default, have modified the RegisterRoutes method of MvcApplication class in the Global.asax.cs file as follows:

Snippet 5 (Default Route - Global.asax.cs)

public static void RegisterRoutes(RouteCollection routes)
{
    routes.IgnoreRoute("{resource}.axd/{*pathInfo}");

    routes.MapRoute(
        "Default", // Route name
        "{controller}/{action}/{id}", // URL with parameters
        new { controller = "ProjectMemberDetails", action = "ProjectMemberList", id = UrlParameter.Optional } // Parameter defaults
    );

}

After doing the above changes, when the application is run, the URL ProjectMemberDetails/ProjectMemberList is invoked which in turn invokes the ProjectMemberList action in the ProjectMemberDetailsController. The ProjectMemberList() action returns the related view and this execution happens when the page is first rendered. When the page is rendered, the script we specified in the $(document).ready(...); will be executed. Since we've made a jQuery AJAX call over there with type "POST" and URL("ProjectMemberDetails/ProjectMemberList"), it causes an AJAX call over our action ProjectMemberList(string experience) with attribute [HttpPost] which returns the required result in JSON format. The jQuery script, handles the returned result with the success callback method we specified, which renders the data using the jQuery template on the client side.

The main thing need to be noted is the ProjectMemberList(string experience) action in the ProjectMemberDetailsController which returns the result in the JSON format(JsonResult). Also our view is designed in such a way that the specific action is invoked only using the AJAX call.

You might have also observed that, a predefined dropdown list and a submit button are accompanied inside the AJAX Form represented by @using (Ajax.BeginForm(..)){...} with relevant AjaxOptions as parameter. This AJAX Form ensures that every submit made through the Form will be made as AJAX request. Hence if any submit is made through the submit button click, the ProjectMemberList action specified in the AjaxOptions is invoked passing the option selected in the dropdown list. It is the ASP.NET MVC framework that renders the parameter value, since the parameter specified is same as the name of the dropdown list.

Summary
As a general practice, in the above specified scenarios, the first time when the view is rendered (as the AJAX call won't happen), we'll be using the partial view for rendering the templated region and as we used AJAX Forms, further submit will be directed as AJAX calls. But here, I've specified an example of making an AJAX request from jQuery inside the $(document).ready(...);, because several developers having questions about raising the AJAX request during the initial rendering of the view, which is also answered here.

References
http://api.jquery.com/jQuery.ajax/


Update - 05Nov2011 (Representing the implementation with {{each}} template tag and handling date)

Based on the question asked, I'll specify the modification need to be done to the snippets above in order to see the implementation of {{each}} template tag and displaying date values.

Scenarios included : Have added two more columns Technical Expertise and Date of Joining for display and modified the sample data based on that.
In the case of technical expertise, I receive the list of string values and display each item in the list inside the div element.
In the case of joining date, the received date need to be converted to Date() type in javascript and then formatted accordingly. There exists several ways to achieve that. For this sample I'll use the way specified in one of the stackoverflow.com questions. Here are the refered links - http://stackoverflow.com/questions/206384/how-to-format-a-json-date and http://blog.stevenlevithan.com/archives/date-time-format.

Following are the changes need to be done in the above specified snippets to view the updated example.

Changes in Snippet 1(Model - Employee)
Add two more properties.

public class Employee
{
    public string EmployeeId { get; set; }
    public string EmployeeName { get; set; }
    public int Experience { get; set; }
    public string Designation { get; set; }
    public List<string> TechnicalExpertise { get; set; }
    public DateTime JoiningDate { get; set; }
}

Changes in Snippet 2 (SampleData)
Alter the LoadProjectMemberList methods as follows.

private void LoadProjectMemberList()
{
    projectMemberList = new List<Employee>();

    projectMemberList.Add(new Employee { EmployeeId = "E1001", EmployeeName = "Member1", Experience = 7, Designation = "Project Lead", TechnicalExpertise = new List<string> { "ASP.NET", "C#", "Silverlight" }, JoiningDate = DateTime.Now.AddYears(-4) });
    projectMemberList.Add(new Employee { EmployeeId = "E1002", EmployeeName = "Member2", Experience = 4, Designation = "SSE", TechnicalExpertise = new List<string> { "ASP.NET", "C#" }, JoiningDate = DateTime.Now.AddYears(-2) });
    projectMemberList.Add(new Employee { EmployeeId = "E1003", EmployeeName = "Member3", Experience = 9, Designation = "Tech Lead", TechnicalExpertise = new List<string> { "ASP.NET", "C#", "Silverlight" }, JoiningDate = DateTime.Now.AddYears(-6) });
    projectMemberList.Add(new Employee { EmployeeId = "E1004", EmployeeName = "Member4", Experience = 3, Designation = "SE", TechnicalExpertise = new List<string> { "ASP.NET", "VB.NET" }, JoiningDate = DateTime.Now.AddYears(-3) });
    projectMemberList.Add(new Employee { EmployeeId = "E1005", EmployeeName = "Member5", Experience = 5, Designation = "Team Lead", TechnicalExpertise = new List<string> { "ASP.NET", "C#" }, JoiningDate = DateTime.Now.AddYears(-4) });

}

Changes in Snippet 4 (ProjectMemberList)
Download and add the "date.format.js" file from http://blog.stevenlevithan.com/archives/date-time-format. Then add the script reference in the page.
In our case it is


<script type="text/javascript" src="@Url.Content("~/Content/MVC3TestApp2/Scripts/date.format.js")"></script>

Replace the related matching items with the following snippets.
Replacement 1:

<script id="memberDetailTemplate" type="text/html">
    <tr>
        <td>
            ${EmployeeName}
        </td>
        <td>
            ${Experience}
        </td>
        <td>
        {{if Designation == 'Tech Lead'}}
        <span style="color:Green; font-weight: bold;">${Designation}</span>
        {{else}}
        <span style="color:Blue;">${Designation}</span>
        {{/if}}            
        </td>
        <td>
        {{each(i,technology) TechnicalExpertise}}
            <div style="font-style:italic;border-width : 1px; border-style: dotted;">
            ${i + 1}. ${technology}
            </div>
        {{/each}}
        </td>
        <td>
            ${FormattedDate}
        </td>
    </tr>  
</script>

Replacement 2:

function jsonProjectMemberListSuccessCallback(data) {
    var targetElement = $('#memberData');

    targetElement.empty();
    
    for (var i in data) {
        var date = eval(data[i].JoiningDate.replace(/\/Date\((\d+)\)\//gi, "new Date($1)"));
        var formattedDate = date.format("m/dd/yyyy");
        data[i].FormattedDate = formattedDate;
    }

    $("#memberDetailTemplate").tmpl(data).appendTo('#memberData');
}


Replacement 3:

<table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="5">
    <thead>
        <tr>
            <th>
                Member Name
            </th>
            <th>
                Experience
            </th>
            <th>
                Designation
            </th>
            <th>
                Technical Expertise
            </th>
            <th>
                Date of Joining
            </th>
        </tr>
    </thead>
    <tbody id="memberData">
    </tbody>
</table>


Now in the resultant you can see the respecitve columns related values.

4 comments:

  1. Nicely done. Something that was causing me trouble was whether or not I needed the {{each}} for the json array and with your example I see I didn't need that. Next problem I have is with DateTime. just shows Date######## .

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you. {{each}} template tag is required based on the scenario and kind of template you're going to use. I've modified the sample to address the issues you faced and specified the modifications need to be done as a seperate update section in the post itself. Please view the "Update - 05Nov2011 (Representing the implementation with {{each}} template tag and handling date)" section in the above post. Let me know whether it helps your case.

    ReplyDelete
  3. thx bro, nice work

    ReplyDelete

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This work by Tito is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.