Friday, November 28, 2008

Currency Conversion Web Service with Asp .Net

I stumbled upon a excellent Currency Converter Web Service

So thought of blogging on consuming a web service with Asp .Net.

Start a new Asp .Net project and Add web reference to the above mentioned web service.

Here is the code for invoking the ConversionRate method.

CurrencyConvertor.CurrencyConvertor cc = new CurrencyConvertor.CurrencyConvertor();
double dblConv;
protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)

protected void btnUSDollar_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
dblConv = cc.ConversionRate(CurrencyConvertor.Currency.USD,
lblConversion.Text = dblConv.ToString();
A few useful web services
Related Blog
.Net Remoting Walkthrough

News - Microsoft User Group meeting

Thursday, November 27, 2008

AJAX .Net VIII : PasswordStrength Extender

PasswordStrength extender provides immediate feedback to the user about the strength of a password based on the site's Password Strength policy.

Add an Ajax Web Form or a classical Asp .Net Page and add a ScriptManager instead.
PasswordStrength extends a TextBox.
Add a TextBox and set the TextMode to Password. Add a PasswordStrength extender and set its TargetId to the TextBox.

HelpStatusLabelId Property
If you want extra information on the status of Password Strength you can use HelpStatusLabelId property.
Place a Label and set the HelpStatusLabelId Property of PasswordStrength extender control to the Label.

MinimumSymbolCharacters Property
The above example expects the user to enter 10 characters. But in many cases the site expects you to provide additional special characters, numeric characters and the like to make a strong password for this you can use properties like MinimumSymbolCharacters, MinimumLowerCaseCharacters, MinimumUpperCaseCharacters and MinimumNumericCharacters properties of PasswordStrength extender control.

In this example I am setting MinimumSymbolCharacters of PasswordStrength extender control to 1. As shown in the figure the user is expected to enter a special character to make it unbreakable.

PasswordStrength BarIndicator
We exploring TextIndicator option of PasswordStrength. It is possible to have BarIndicator for a PasswordStrength extender control.
You should have a CSS class for enabling BarIndicator as shown in the figure below.

Now you can specify the CSS class in BarBorderCssClass property.

cc1:PasswordStrength ID="PasswordStrength1" runat="server"
BarIndicatorCssClass = ""

The user is expected to provide BarIndicatorCSSClass property also. To make things simple I am omitting the value.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Themes in Asp .Net

Themes can be used to have a consistent look for User interface elements in Asp .Net.

Add a skin by selecting Skin from Add New Item dialog, give a good name, say Blue. This will create a folder called Blue inside App_Themes special folder.

A Skin File is used to set properties for Controls.

Select the newly created Skin file. Inside that you can specify the control properties as shown in the figure below.

Here I have specified the Text Box to have light Yellow BackColor and Button to have Light Blue BackColor.

Now go back to the Asp .Net page and create the visual interface. Set the StyleSheetTheme property of document to the newly created SkinFile.

Now the controls will inherit the properties you have specified in the skin file.

Setting site wide theme in web.config
Instead of setting StyleSheetTheme property for individual forms go to web.config and identify the Page tag and set theme attribute to the newly created skin file.

Instead of directly tweaking the properties by going to properties windows, I used to place a control in the Asp .Net page set appropriate properties then navigate to the source and cut the control's tag and paste it in the skin file. While doing so ensure that you remove the id attribute.

Adding CSS File to Themes
It is possible to have a CSS file in themes folder. Select the themes folder and select Add New Item from WebSite menu. All files related to the current selection ie. themes will appear. Select Style Sheet.

A style sheet can be used to specify html styles.

Here I am setting the background color of the form.

Related Blog
ASP.Net Master Page for Consistant look and feel for websites

WebParts in Asp .Net

Friday, November 21, 2008

Silverlight 3, WPF Positioning with ZIndex

You can use ZIndex property to change the order in which controls are rendered on a canvas.

The control with highest ZIndex value will be shown at the very top. Here Blue rectangle is having ZIndex 3, Yellow having ZIndex 2, so Blue rectanle will appear at the very top, followed by Yellow rectange and Cyan rectangle.

Programatically changing the ZIndex

private void Button_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
Canvas.SetZIndex(rectCyan, 4);