Current SPA (beta) is not compatible with MVC 4 RC

Topics: ASP.NET Single Page Application
Jun 3, 2012 at 3:54 PM

As majority of MVC NuGet packages have been updated to RC, SPA is still in Beta and depending on old packages (AspNetWebApi). This is not a big deal but the problem is that SPA no longer works.

After updated MVC to RC, Html.UpshotContext().DataSource() throws:

Could not load file or assembly 'System.Json'...

After installing NuGet package for System.Json, another exception occurs:

Method not found: 'System.Collections.Generic.IEnumerable`1<System.Web.Http.Filters.IFilter> System.Web.Http.Controllers.HttpActionDescriptor.GetFilters()'.

As the return type of this function was changed to ICollection<>.

Can this problem be fixed or do we need to wait for SPA RC release? When is the release planned?

Jun 3, 2012 at 5:03 PM

We won't be shipping a version of the SPA add-on just yet. The Beta bits started as a prototype but is not quite where we want it to be. As a result we felt it was better to wait and get it to a better place first so stay tuned for more in this area!

When we swapped to using JSON.NET we removed any dependency on System.Json and are not going to ship it moving forward as the functionality has been superseeded by JSON.NET.

Hope this helps,

Henrik

Jun 3, 2012 at 5:54 PM
Edited Jun 3, 2012 at 6:01 PM

Thank you for your quick response.

Nevertheless, what about the other exception? SPA simply does not work. Is there a workaround? Nightly build of SPA?

Jun 4, 2012 at 1:26 AM

Henrik, I want to thank you for the many time saving improvements in MVC 4, including but not limited to Web Api.  When beta came out we were just starting a new project and evaluated Web Api, DataController and Upshot as the technology to use for client-server communications.  We recognized it's short-comings and realized we would need to write code to compensate (for example its inability to handle entity framework code first many-to-many relationships).  Nevertheless, Asp Net SPA was the best tool we could find.

I've seen the commits that suggest Upshot can now handle the many-to-many, and it's inability to serialize nulls also appears to be fixed.  Is there a happy path to at least get upshot in it's basic form working again?

Jun 4, 2012 at 2:44 AM

Agree David.. we are of the same opinion .., light weight SPA with DataController appears the best choice ( DataCOntroller instead of DBDataController to reduce the dependencies on EF).

I don't mind writing some code , skipping the scaffolding etc the current position is I got the SPA code from the RC branch , it builds and I gets a bit further. It currently has an issue trying to serialize a keyvalue pair when it gets the metadata

Ben

Jun 4, 2012 at 4:27 AM
bklooste wrote:

Agree David.. we are of the same opinion .., light weight SPA with DataController appears the best choice ( DataCOntroller instead of DBDataController to reduce the dependencies on EF).

I am curious, when you are using the DataController instead of the DbDataController (something that I agree with BTW) are you applying the LinqToEntitiesMetadataProvider to your DataController? Also, are you copying the SetChangeSetConflicts code from the DbDataController into your own code so that concurrency errors are correctly copied into the changeset?

Jun 4, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Hi Colin your way ahead of me :-) Im  still trying to get a handle on what the best build to use for the Microsoft.* assemblies and HTML

 Im not convinced that runtime determination of metadata is good and would prefer a partial file... for the current project I had the meta data and than pasted it into the js viewmodel.  When I tried it the extention  method seemed to support DataController  but  the serialization has an error on the keyvalue pair below

Could not determine JSON object type for type System.Collections.Generic.KeyValuePair`2[System.String,Newtonsoft.Json.Linq.JToken

So I was more worried about getting an ok build version right before digging too deep .

 

Im also not convinced on whether to use Json/Web api  or just use a DomainService  ( with a new product this is a tough call as teh Ria domain service backend should be more mature allowing me to focus on the client stiff with less distractions)

 public static class MetadataExtensions
    {
        [SuppressMessage("Microsoft.Design", "CA1004:GenericMethodsShouldProvideTypeParameter", Justification = "Following established design pattern for HTML helpers.")]
        public static IHtmlString Metadata<TDataController>(this HtmlHelper htmlHelper) where TDataController : DataController
        {
            HttpControllerDescriptor controllerDescriptor = new HttpControllerDescriptor
            {
                Configuration = GlobalConfiguration.Configuration, // This helper can't be run until after global app init.
                ControllerType = typeof(TDataController)
            };

            DataControllerDescription description = DataControllerDescription.GetDescription(controllerDescriptor);
            IEnumerable<DataControllerMetadataGenerator.TypeMetadata> metadata =
                DataControllerMetadataGenerator.GetMetadata(description);

            JToken metadataValue = new JObject(metadata.Select(
                m => new KeyValuePair<string, JToken>(m.EncodedTypeName, m.ToJToken())));

            return htmlHelper.Raw(metadataValue);
        }

 

 
 

Jun 4, 2012 at 11:40 AM

bklooste,

The JSON dictionary problems you are having are because one of the changes in the underlying ASP.NET Web API in RC is switching to JSON.NET instead of DataContractJsonSerializer. They serialize a number of things differently including dictionaries and dates - with great improvement over what DataContractJsonSerializer did. 

You should be able to switch back to the DataContractJsonSerializer by switching out the default formatters through HttpConfiguration.

I haven't tried out the new bits yet, but off the top of my head Upshot may not handle the new  serialization properly even if you get the server side working without changing out the formatter to use the old serializer, will have to check that out.

Jun 4, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Since we have a requirement to persist either SQL Server or Oracle, we are using Entity Framework and code first tools.  Being already dependent upon Entity, it might make sense for us to use DBDataController if we need the metadata on the client (SPA is only a couple of months old to me and I errantly omitted the "DB" from DBDataController above.) We have also noted the concurrency methods in DBDataController that we would need to write should we not use DBDataController.

Our debate is not between DBDataController and DataController.  Our debate is between DBDataController and Upshot that currently isn't supported and no longer works vs Web Api which is supported and some other means of communicating with the client.

I'm working with the RC libraries as a base, adding libraries such as Microsoft.Web.Http.Data, Microsoft.Web.Http.EntityFramework and upshot from aspnetwebstack to see if there is a happy path to restoring some work I've already submitted.  If anyone has already done this and can provide some insight, I'd be grateful.  If I figure out a happy path, I'll post it.

Jun 4, 2012 at 11:36 PM
Edited Jun 5, 2012 at 4:52 AM

Hi David,

Im also using EF but Data Controller  has a few advantage's that make it worth it.

- Main back end dependencies is Web API ( which is not that hard)  and some attributes like keys. With a new product the lower the dependencies the better.

- I Can use repositories /BL layers better. This is not always so important from a layering point of view but rather upshot is a bit fussy eg no cycles and when I hit things id rather have the flexibility to adjust the DTO object tree.  ( Especially with the older serializer) I dislike hacks like removing back references from my code first model or setting them all to null.

re:

"Our debate is not between DBDataController and DataController.  Our debate is between DBDataController and Upshot that currently isn't supported and no longer works vs Web Api which is supported and some other means of communicating with the client."

Im interested more in upshot as a gathering /viewmodel tool rather than for back to front integration. Im not aware of any other tools that can understand EF /.NET annotations eg Keyattribute and posting back   the bulk changes. ( plenty of tools can read thats the easy part) .

At this point im evaluating the Domain Service with upshot. Will let you know if i have any break throughs with upshot and Data Service , Brian has given me something to go on. .

 

Jun 6, 2012 at 9:11 AM
Edited Jun 6, 2012 at 9:47 AM
HenrikN wrote:

We won't be shipping a version of the SPA add-on just yet. The Beta bits started as a prototype but is not quite where we want it to be. As a result we felt it was better to wait and get it to a better place first so stay tuned for more in this area!

...

Henrik

We are working on a new application and we need SPA. We use nightly NuGet packages, as described here http://blogs.msdn.com/b/henrikn/archive/2012/06/01/using-nightly-asp-net-web-stack-nuget-packages-with-vs-2012-rc.aspx

Can you please publish AspNetWebApi.Data and SinglePageApplication nightly packages, so we can continue with the latest bits of SPA?

Latest packages currently available are:

<package id="AspNetWebApi.Data" version="4.0.20221.15125" />
<package id="SinglePageApplication" version="4.0.20221.15125" /> 

 but they won't work with the nightly packages (currently version 4.0.20605.0).

Pawel

Jun 6, 2012 at 9:41 AM
Sorry, we're not planning to ship SPA packages for v.Current. You're best off for today to build the bits you need for yourself.
Jun 6, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Thank you for the info. I thought nightly MyGet feed http://www.myget.org/F/aspnetwebstacknightly/ will save me from building the web stack by myself.

Jun 6, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Normally it would, but we're not including any of the SPA things there (for starters, we don't even know if it works, and just as importantly, we have no time to dedicate to it if it does not). Forcing people who want to use the bits right now to compile them should give them a healthy warning that they're mostly on their own for now.
Jun 6, 2012 at 1:33 PM
ColinBlair wrote:
bklooste wrote:

Agree David.. we are of the same opinion .., light weight SPA with DataController appears the best choice ( DataCOntroller instead of DBDataController to reduce the dependencies on EF).

I am curious, when you are using the DataController instead of the DbDataController (something that I agree with BTW) are you applying the LinqToEntitiesMetadataProvider to your DataController? Also, are you copying the SetChangeSetConflicts code from the DbDataController into your own code so that concurrency errors are correctly copied into the changeset?

We also use DataController, because we have third-party DAO framework. We have a layer of POCO dto objects exposed by the controllers.
We apply implementation of the base MetadataProvider. We plan to handle concurrency errors in a similar way like DbDataController. 

Jun 6, 2012 at 4:32 PM
Edited Jun 6, 2012 at 4:34 PM

Hi,

I'm trying to make MVC 4 RC and SPA latest source (downloaded the aspnetwebstack yesterday, to be honest) work together (because with the beta nuget package it simply doesn't work), but without success yet (infinite loop of problem->resolve->problem->resolve).

I rebuilt Microsoft.Web.Http.(Data|Data.EntityFramework|Data.Helpers), System.Web.(Http|Http.WebHost) and System.Net.Http.Formatting and switched off them in my MVC project, which is updated to MVC RC from MVC beta.

I had also made a new upshot.js file, combined from the SPA sources and I'm continuously trying to adapt my backend and frontend code to the new environment, but it's quite painful.

A lots of problems resolved now, but new ones come all the time :)

Is there any chance to make it work or MVC RC contains too many breaking changes now? As I see, there is too many concept missmatch between spa and mvc rc (or maybe I'm trying to resolve the problem from the wrong direction).

Thank you,

Peter

Jun 6, 2012 at 4:54 PM
Here is my read on this:
- if you want to play with SPA, you really need to continue to do so in virtual machine with the MVC 4 Beta installed and using the latest NuGet package of SPA, which worked with the Beta.

Trying to lean forward in using SPA with the RC bits when it sounds like the team themselves have not even tried to get that working is futile because even if you get it working, it is all likely to change in ways that will break your workarounds with the next release from the SPA team to get it working with the RC.

On Wed, Jun 6, 2012 at 12:32 PM, peterporfy <notifications@codeplex.com> wrote:

From: peterporfy

Hi,

I'm trying to make MVC 4 RC and SPA latest source (downloaded the aspnetwebstack yesterday, to be honest) work together (because with the beta nuget package it simply doesn't work), but without success yet (infinite loop of problem->resolve->problem->resolve).

I rebuilt Microsoft.Web.Http.(Data|Data.EntityFramework|Data.Helpers), System.Web.(Http|Http.WebHost) and System.Net.Http.Formatting and switched off them in my MVC project, which is updated to MVC RC from MVC beta.

I had also made a new upshot.js file, combined from the SPA sources. I'm also trying to adapt my backend and frontend code to the new environment, but it's quite painful.

A lots of problems resolved now, but new ones come all time :)

Is there any chance to make it work or MVC RC contains too many breaking changes now? As I see, there is too many concept missmatch between spa and mvc rc (or maybe I'm trying to resolve the problem from the wrong direction).

Thank you,

Peter

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Jun 7, 2012 at 10:50 AM
I don't have any crystal ball on that, I was hoping Steve Sanderson or someone else from the product team could jump in and give a roadmap. Last I heard was shortly before the RC release and it sounded like they had hit the pause button on SPA to get the RC out and would resume work on it after. Don't know if that has happened yet, but waiting anxiously like the rest of you for the team to give us something to plan for before people start to write off this technology because of no information.

On Thu, Jun 7, 2012 at 4:26 AM, szabolcs_kurdi <notifications@codeplex.com> wrote:

From: szabolcs_kurdi

Brian, could you please shed some light on the state of the upshot library and its roadmap? We too are trying hard to hack it into a workable state, but considering the lack of commits in the upshot module and the recent problems it makes us think twice whether we want to fix it, wait or to search for some alternate solutions. We know perfectly that the SPA subsystem is not going to be part of the MVC release, but in the upcoming months will it be modified/patched so that it can be used with thefinal release of the MVC 4 framework? Thank you!

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-----------------------------------------



Jun 7, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Brian is exactly right -- this is merely hitting the pause button. We will be taking it up very soon but not in time for VS 2012 RTM. We simply have not been able to move it forward and so rather than doing a half-baked job we would rather wait and do it better. Unfortunately the existing bits will likely get broken even more before they get better -- currently we are entirely focused on locking down RTM. I do realize the pain to the beta users who jumped on the bandwagon but I do hope that you will stick around and help making SPA++ the best it can be so please stay tuned.

Henrik

Jun 7, 2012 at 4:58 PM
Edited Jun 7, 2012 at 5:06 PM
HenrikN wrote:

 I do hope that you will stick around and help making SPA++ the best it can be so please stay tuned.

Henrik

Henrik,

I've utilized this technology as it evolved from Silverlight Ria services, through Ria.js (as presented by Brad Olenick at MIX11) to SPA (as presented by Steve Sanderson at Techdays 2012 in Feb).  It is powerful to be able to create the database (EF) and extend all basic CRUD functionality to a javascript view-model on an HTML client by basically just creating a model.  This sets me free from the need to write boilerplate code, allows me focus on business logic, and enables me to deliver functionality to our end-users at a more rapid pace.

As for our current project, we are backing down to MVC 4 RC functionality including Web Api. 

Regarding SPA++, I have a dev vm configure as per your previous instruction and look forward to contributing once a vision is established.

Respectfully,

David C 

Jun 8, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Thank you Brian and Henrik for the responses.

We are going forward with the RC+SPA integration in-house anyway, I will make some blog post about it if we have any reasonable workaround.

I think SPA is going to be a great solution and I hope there will be a stable release in the near future.

Thanks for the great work so far and good luck for VS 2012 RTM.

 

Peter

Jun 8, 2012 at 12:40 PM

We reverted back to Beta+SPA for now. Can't wait to see reasonable workaround to go with the latest MVC+SPA. 

Please release the SPA pause button ASAP.

Jun 12, 2012 at 8:13 AM

We succeeded to go forward with the RC, and we continue to work with it. It's very specific to our needs, but I will try to apply the fixes to the deliverytracker|bigshelf beta (because these are the common spa examples) and will write a post about it later this week.

Jun 12, 2012 at 7:33 PM
Edited Jun 12, 2012 at 7:33 PM

That would be great, peterporfy and that would help me greatly!

Jun 18, 2012 at 2:36 AM

FYI Im working with RIA DomainService at the back end  and SPA as just the upshot javascript files , since this is all loosely coupled it is more maintable with a  product under development.  When SPA is mature its easy enough to swap out the domain services as these are just wrappers around my repositories.

Jun 18, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Here is a post which may help someone: http://peterporfy.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/deliverytracker-with-asp-net-mvc-4-rc/

Jun 29, 2012 at 10:49 AM
BrianNoyes wrote:
Here is my read on this:
- if you want to play with SPA, you really need to continue to do so in virtual machine with the MVC 4 Beta installed and using the latest NuGet package of SPA, which worked with the Beta.

Not necessarily. I noticed that my demo applications (built against MVC4 beta) still work on my brand new laptop with only MVC4 RC installed. You can still build SPA after upgrading to the RC by including the correct NuGet packages. I've created my own MyGet feed to try this out and this works nicely.

You're not really building SPA against the actual RC of course but at least you can do it on your regular dev machine with the RC installed. And it doesn't take all the work that is required in Peter Porfy's solution.

I've just now posted a how-to here:

http://bartjolling.blogspot.nl/2012/06/building-single-page-apps-with-aspnet.html

Jul 3, 2012 at 8:15 AM
BartJolling wrote:
BrianNoyes wrote:
Here is my read on this:
- if you want to play with SPA, you really need to continue to do so in virtual machine with the MVC 4 Beta installed and using the latest NuGet package of SPA, which worked with the Beta.

Not necessarily. I noticed that my demo applications (built against MVC4 beta) still work on my brand new laptop with only MVC4 RC installed. You can still build SPA after upgrading to the RC by including the correct NuGet packages. I've created my own MyGet feed to try this out and this works nicely.

You're not really building SPA against the actual RC of course but at least you can do it on your regular dev machine with the RC installed. And it doesn't take all the work that is required in Peter Porfy's solution.

I've just now posted a how-to here:

http://bartjolling.blogspot.nl/2012/06/building-single-page-apps-with-aspnet.html

Well, my goal was to make it work with the RC or newer, so we are able to use the new features of MVC4. It's definitely require more work but I believe the final migration will be easier once the stable SPA comes out. I started writing an article about BigShelf + RC, I hope I can publish it this week.

Aug 16, 2012 at 4:13 PM

Peter have you finish your article..,. I´ve follow Mr Bart post to set up my project and runs well but i live on the other site each time i run update-package :-|

 

Thanks

Aug 27, 2012 at 9:07 AM
Edited Aug 27, 2012 at 9:07 AM
jlsfernandez wrote:

Peter have you finish your article..,. I´ve follow Mr Bart post to set up my project and runs well but i live on the other site each time i run update-package :-|

 

Thanks

Hi,

I have already started the bigshelf article a month ago but unfortunately I had no time to finish it yet because I had higher priority todos in my spare time, but I hope I can publish it as soon as possible.

Bests,

Peter

Aug 27, 2012 at 2:02 PM
HenrikN wrote:

Brian is exactly right -- this is merely hitting the pause button. We will be taking it up very soon but not in time for VS 2012 RTM. We simply have not been able to move it forward and so rather than doing a half-baked job we would rather wait and do it better. Unfortunately the existing bits will likely get broken even more before they get better -- currently we are entirely focused on locking down RTM. I do realize the pain to the beta users who jumped on the bandwagon but I do hope that you will stick around and help making SPA++ the best it can be so please stay tuned.

Henrik

Hi,

Is there any news?

Thanks,

Peter

Aug 27, 2012 at 2:21 PM
Yes, would be great to get an RTM compatible Nuget out there, especially since my article on SPA/Upshot just came out in Code magazine. :)

On Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 10:02 AM, peterporfy <notifications@codeplex.com> wrote:

From: peterporfy

HenrikN wrote:

Brian is exactly right -- this is merely hitting the pause button. We will be taking it up very soon but not in time for VS 2012 RTM. We simply have not been able to move it forward and so rather than doing a half-baked job we would rather wait and do it better. Unfortunately the existing bits will likely get broken even more before they get better -- currently we are entirely focused on locking down RTM. I do realize the pain to the beta users who jumped on the bandwagon but I do hope that you will stick around and help making SPA++ the best it can be so please stay tuned.

Henrik

Hi,

Is there any news?

Thanks,

Peter

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Coordinator
Oct 4, 2012 at 4:55 AM

Hi everyone,

We just got the roadmap published today on this site. It's available at this location: http://aspnetwebstack.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=Roadmap

It includes details on the plans we have for building single page applications with rich client interaction, and awesome editor support in Visual Studio.

Please let us know your thoughts on this, and sorry for the delay!

Thanks,

Eilon

Oct 4, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Hi,

will you proceed the upshot project or is it abandoned?

Oct 4, 2012 at 4:51 PM

its abandoned.....

Oct 4, 2012 at 5:00 PM
Edited Oct 4, 2012 at 5:01 PM

It's great that the roadmap is available, but it doesn't really add anything substantive regarding SPA next steps and timeline.  Its good to see the comments regarding tooling, but it would be great to know what aspects of the beta are being kept and which are being abandoned (and why).  I saw another comment that said upshot was abandoned.  That makes no sense to me since it was the most attractive aspect of the entire beta.  Is there a replacement library for the same purpose?  I realize this may come off as very critical, but this entire endeavor has been frustrating.  It reminds me a lot of the Oslo project where a very exciting and powerful beta was introduced, but was gradually watered down and essentially destroyed.  I hate to come off as negative, but I don't see how another reaction is merited.

Oct 4, 2012 at 5:18 PM
Edited Oct 4, 2012 at 5:25 PM

Yes upshot.js was the whole point of SPA that everyone was attracted to....

I can't see how people will be attracted to SPA because of knockout.js when its not compatible with third party controls really....

Oct 4, 2012 at 5:41 PM
Agreed. This just seems like some mild rewording of an already vague roadmap. What people need to know are things like:
- Is there going to be a new NuGet package of SPA capabilities and if so when?
- Is the new stuff going to have any relation to what was there in MVC 4 Beta, or has that been abandoned in favor of an OData-centric approach, which is a subtext when I read the roadmap?
- What capabilities with the client side library (whatever it is called) have?

On Thu, Oct 4, 2012 at 1:18 PM, joshuadavidlee <notifications@codeplex.com> wrote:

From: joshuadavidlee

yes upshot.js was the whole point of SPA that everyone was attracted to....

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Coordinator
Oct 4, 2012 at 6:00 PM

We just refreshed the roadmap page to give more details on the timeframes and on the change in plans. We plan to release a preview in the Build conference timeframe and then RTM around the end of the year. The main change of focus is that we want to *first* improve the development experience for writing SPA type applications using existing popular javascript libraries. Once we get that shipped (end of year) we will then look to see if additional libraries are needed to add additional value to the experience. We are super committed to this space.

Oct 4, 2012 at 6:09 PM
Much better level of detail, thank you!
(Vested interest since I am doing a session at DevConnections on Exposing Data Services with ASP.NET Web API, and was planning on some brief coverage of DataControllers as well as primary focus on the new OData features. Guess I can leave the first part out and just give them the general idea of what is coming there.)

Any plans to have sessions on this at Build or is that just the release timeframe?

On Thu, Oct 4, 2012 at 2:00 PM, scothu <notifications@codeplex.com> wrote:

From: scothu

We just refreshed the roadmap page to give more details on the timeframes and on the change in plans. We plan to release a preview in the Build conference timeframe and then RTM around the end of the year. The main change of focus is that we want to *first* improve the development experience for writing SPA type applications using existing popular javascript libraries. Once we get that shipped (end of year) we will then look to see if additional libraries are needed to add additional value to the experience. We are super committed to this space.

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Oct 10, 2012 at 4:09 PM

upshot.js abandoned! I am gutted as I was planning on using SPA, knockout and upshot on my next project as it looked like a perfect way to code an occasionally connected mobile app and upload data when connected.

Does anyone have any sugesstions on a replacement library that is similar to upshot.js?

Thanks

Oct 10, 2012 at 4:21 PM
DarkDev wrote:

upshot.js abandoned! I am gutted as I was planning on using SPA, knockout and upshot on my next project as it looked like a perfect way to code an occasionally connected mobile app and upload data when connected.

Does anyone have any sugesstions on a replacement library that is similar to upshot.js?

Thanks

I haven't used it myself, but IdeaBlade has create BreezeJS which is similar.

Oct 11, 2012 at 5:46 PM
DarkDev wrote:

upshot.js abandoned! I am gutted as I was planning on using SPA, knockout and upshot on my next project as it looked like a perfect way to code an occasionally connected mobile app and upload data when connected.

Does anyone have any sugesstions on a replacement library that is similar to upshot.js?

Thanks

Yes, BreezeJS has a similar purpose. I have used it myself ... because my team wrote it :).  You can get the feel for it in a few minutes by watching the video.

Brian - I'll be showing a bit of it at my Dev Connections talk about Tools for JavaScript developers.