Category Archives: ASP.NET

Building Client (JavaScript) Custom Validation in ASP.NET MVC 4 using jQuery


I was recently asked by some students of mine how exactly is client custom validation done in ASP.NET MVC (4). I did this once before unobtrusive validation and jQuery in ASP.NET MVC 2.0 but then I lost contact with the implementation details.

In ASP.NET MVC 4 (this started in MVC 3) there is jQuery unobtrusive validation that works hand-in-hand with Data Annotations (a set of validation attributes that can decorate properties or even (view)model classes). I just remembered that you need to create a ValidationAttribute subclass and also implement IClientValidatable on it. Also you must decorate a property of the (View)Model with this attribute.

On the client side you need to write JavaScript code that provides a validation adapter and a validation function.

Let’s suppose we’d want to create an URL shortening service and on the “Add URL” page we’d have three fields :
- Original URL (textbox)
- Use custom slug (checkbox)
- Custom slug (textbox)

The “Original URL” textbox would be mandatory and the input format should be of a fully-qualified URL (for example “” :P )

The custom slug textbox would be mandatory ONLY if the “Use custom slug” checkbox would be checked. This is the tough part since validating this field requires knowledge of another field’s value (the checkbox in this case). And by tough I mean having to write actual code because there is no out-of-the-box validator for this (not on the server-side nor on the client-side).

This small tutorial will asume that you have knowledge of the ASP.NET MVC platform and C#. I will not go into detail on matters such as what is the MVC pattern, what is the controller, view etc.


Implementation – server side

Let’s start by creating a new ASP.NET MVC 4 web project (select “Internet site” template).
We’ll create a UrlController controller with an action called Add :

using System.Web.Mvc;

namespace MVC4_jQuery_Unobtrusive_Custom_Validation.Controllers
    public class UrlController : Controller
        public ActionResult Add()
            return View();

        public ActionResult Add(AddUrlViewModel userInput)
            if (ModelState.IsValid)
                // store the data
                // ...
                return RedirectToAction("Index", "Home");
            return View();

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Efficiently serving binary content from SQL Server in ASP.NET MVC – local user group talk

This will be a local user group talk that I’ll be having, in Bucharest on Tuesday 13th of November.

Storing large binary objects (usually image files) in the RDBMS has been a blessing but for some is unconceivable. We will explore different ways to do this, from worse to best and we will take advantage of a new feature introduced by SQL Server 2012.

The location is TeamNet Int’l HQ – Sema Parc, Splaiul Independenţei nr. 319, clădirea RiverView, etaj 8
Except an ID there is nothing else that you need to bring in order to participate to the event.
Further geographical details.

The most popular way to get there is by taking the subway as there is a station right near the building.

The official announcement can be found on RONUA’s site.

See you there!


Later edit : It’s been great! Not too many people but keen to learn new stuff. Here’s two pictures from the talk. Notice a new generation of programmers forming :)

Random performance findings

TL;DR version :

Upon a curiosity of mine I found out that WCF with basicHttpBinding can be easily beaten (performance-wise) by plain-old ASP.NET even if stripped down of transactions, reliability, security etc. (1500 req/sec vs  800 req/sec)

Also SQL Server Express can handle 1300 inserts per second easily and up to 4300 queries per second just as well. This on a 6+ million rows table and stored on the hard disk not in RAM.

Long version :

A few days ago I was thinking how I implemented a certain web service a few years ago, a few employers ago. Although it was quite fast and efficient it wasn’t scalable. I, then, thought how I should have implemented it.

The web service had to receive an incoming (public) HTTP request, check for a visitor cookie. If there was a visitor-identifying cookie it would check against a data store (in-memory dictionary at that time) to see if that visitor answered.

It was about inviting visitors of certain sites to an on-line survey. A new visitor would be presented with a pop-up box having a “yes”, a “no” and “X” (close) button.

The business rules stated that if the visitor answered yes, the answer would be stored, the pop-up would close and then a new tab/window would appear with the survey. If the visitor answered no, then the same things would happen except opening the survey. If the visitor closed the pop-up, the next time the pop-up would appear again. If the visitor closed three times the pop-up then (s)he wouldn’t be bothered anymore with the invitation.

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