20
Sat, Jul
2 New Articles

TechTip: Getting Started with Microsoft Visual Studio Express 2012

Microsoft
Typography
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

Learn Microsoft from the perspective of an RPG developer. Develop C# Web Applications using Visual Studio 2012.

 

Being a code junkie, I'm thoroughly enjoying all of the career changes I've been experiencing over the past few years, and fortunately I was able to work with some amazing people along the way. Upgrade that to being fortunate enough to be a writer for MC Press; having the opportunity to share these perspectives is a genuine treat. I have a lot of goodies to share in my new bag of tricks, but I have to get beyond the building blocks first. In this article, I'll cover how to add the Visual Studio IDE to your Developer toolbox and take it for a test drive with a simple web application.

 

We'll be installing Visual Studio 2012 Express, which is the latest and greatest C# Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Visual Studio is the de facto standard among C# developers. C# (pronounced "C Sharp") is the most popular programming language with Microsoft developers and is the successor to Visual Basic. C# is extremely similar to Java, and that's another topic in itself. The point is that if you learn one, you can easily transition over to the other. What I really enjoy about C# is that once you start playing with the code for applications, you can also those C# skills to use ASP.NET for your website development.

Download Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 Express

There are a few versions of Visual Studio Express available: one each for Applications, Web, and Mobile development. For this article, I'll be covering how to install the Visual Studio Express 2012 for Web version.

 

You can download Visual Studio Express 2012 directly from Microsoft. You can install directly from the website using the Web Platform Installer (Web PI), or you can download an ISO to burn to disk.

 

Prior to the installation (I chose the Web PI installation), the installer will check for any prerequisites that are needed on your computer.

042613TomSnyderfigure01

Figure 1: This is the Microsoft Visual Studio Express 2012 prerequisites list prior to installation.

 

During the installation, the installer automatically installs quite a few components, including the Microsoft Web Server Internet Information Services (IIS) 8.0 Express.

 

042613TomSnyderfigure02

Figure 2: Monitor the progress during the installation.

 

Upon successful completion of your Visual Studio installation, you will most likely receive a notification telling you that updates for Visual Studio are available. You may as well install those while you're at it.

 

042613TomSnyderfigure03 

Figure 3: Apply your updates.

 

Now your installation is complete and up to date with the latest and greatest Microsoft development tool. After my experience with installing the IBM Rational Application Developer (RAD) tool for the IBM i, this seemed like a piece of cake.

My First Microsoft MVC Web Application

With Visual Studio installed, you can start to work on your first web page. You could create just a simple HTML page, but we're going to do much more by taking advantage of the MVC 4 framework that's provided with Visual Studio 2012.

 

To create your web application, click on File > New Project. You'll be presented with the following options:

 

042613TomSnyderfigure04

Figure 4: Create your first Microsoft Web Application with the MVC 4 framework.

 

We'll be using the "Visual C#" Template. Under the "Web" option, we'll select "ASP.NET MVC 4 Web Application."

 

On the bottom of the screen, enter the "Name" of the project and the "Solution name." Then click the OK button.

 

On the next screen, we get to select how we'll be building our Web Application. For our example, we'll create an Internet Application using the Razor View Engine. Automatically setting up Unit Testing is a good practice and does not interfere with your coding. But when you're ready to use it, it will be there for you.
 
042613TomSnyderfigure05

Figure 5: Use Razor and Unit Testing for your Internet Application.

 

When you click OK, Visual Studio will create your project to include the MVC framework files and also initialize the configuration settings and create the default styling for your site. The HomeController.cs file will default to be your open-source code file that could be the beginning of your changes to the site.

 

042613TomSnyderfigure06 

Figure 6: The framework code is automatically created for an MVC 4 C# Web Application.

 

Without writing a single character of code, you can view your newly created website that will be running locally on your computer by clicking on the "DEBUG" menu bar option and selecting "Start Debugging." You could also use the F5 key as a shortcut.

 

042613TomSnyderfigure07 

Figure 7: Debug your Web Application.

 

Once the Web Application starts in debug mode, it will fire up your local IIS web server to display your new website.

 

042613TomSnyderfigure08 

Figure 8: Here's your newly built website with style.  Just add content.

 

When you have your site running in debug mode, you can set breakpoints in the code by double-clicking to the far left of the source code statements. Then, when the event is triggered through the website, your debugger will stop at the breakpoint, just as any other debugger would.

What's Next?

With my previous TechTip on Microsoft SQL Server 2012 and this article on Microsoft Visual Studio, I'm sure you can foresee where future articles are going...or can you? You'll have to tune in next time for the real fun stuff on how to use these tools.

 

I realize that following the bouncing ball of a Microsoft install isn't like working with exit points on the IBM i. But just take a quick skim over what's being proposed and imagine seeing all of those results after a few clicks. The task of going through the install may be worthy of a second look, especially if you have a specific direction to achieve specific results. Your new knowledge will then open up a whole world of questions and exploration into the new technology.

 

I hope you're enjoying my new series of TechTips that will expose you to what technologies are available outside of the IBM arena. I was raised in an IBM environment, so of course my first line of thinking is to look for features that I'm familiar with on the i. Finding equivalents is fun. But the real fun comes when you find completely new concepts and figure out how they can be leveraged on the i.

 

My current manager often uses the quote by Abraham Maslow: "If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." Well, with exposure to a wide variety of technological tools, you can better apply the right tool to the right problem.


 

Thomas Snyder

Thomas Snyder has a diverse spectrum of programming experience encompassing IBM technologies, open source, Apple, and Microsoft and using these technologies with applications on the server, on the web, or on mobile devices.

Tom has more than 20 years' experience as a software developer in various environments, primarily in RPG, Java, C#, and PHP. He holds certifications in Java from Sun and PHP from Zend. Prior to software development, Tom worked as a hardware engineer at Intel. He is a proud United States Naval Veteran Submariner who served aboard the USS Whale SSN638 submarine.

Tom is the bestselling author of Advanced, Integrated RPG, which covers the latest programming techniques for RPG ILE and Java to use open-source technologies. His latest book, co-written with Vedish Shah, is Extract, Transform, and Load with SQL Server Integration Services.

Originally from and currently residing in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Tom is currently involved in a mobile application startup company, JoltRabbit LLC.


MC Press books written by Thomas Snyder available now on the MC Press Bookstore.

Advanced, Integrated RPG Advanced, Integrated RPG
See how to take advantage of the latest technologies from within existing RPG applications.
List Price $79.95

Now On Sale

Extract, Transform, and Load with SQL Server Integration Services Extract, Transform, and Load with SQL Server Integration Services
Learn how to implement Microsoft’s SQL Server Integration Services for business applications.
List Price $79.95

Now On Sale

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS

LATEST COMMENTS

Support MC Press Online

$

Book Reviews

Resource Center

  • SB Profound WC 5536 Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. You can find Part 1 here. In Part 2 of our free Node.js Webinar Series, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Brian will briefly discuss the different tools available, and demonstrate his preferred setup for Node development on IBM i or any platform. Attend this webinar to learn:

  • SB Profound WP 5539More than ever, there is a demand for IT to deliver innovation. Your IBM i has been an essential part of your business operations for years. However, your organization may struggle to maintain the current system and implement new projects. The thousands of customers we've worked with and surveyed state that expectations regarding the digital footprint and vision of the company are not aligned with the current IT environment.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT Generic IBM announced the E1080 servers using the latest Power10 processor in September 2021. The most powerful processor from IBM to date, Power10 is designed to handle the demands of doing business in today’s high-tech atmosphere, including running cloud applications, supporting big data, and managing AI workloads. But what does Power10 mean for your data center? In this recorded webinar, IBMers Dan Sundt and Dylan Boday join IBM Power Champion Tom Huntington for a discussion on why Power10 technology is the right strategic investment if you run IBM i, AIX, or Linux. In this action-packed hour, Tom will share trends from the IBM i and AIX user communities while Dan and Dylan dive into the tech specs for key hardware, including:

  • Magic MarkTRY the one package that solves all your document design and printing challenges on all your platforms. Produce bar code labels, electronic forms, ad hoc reports, and RFID tags – without programming! MarkMagic is the only document design and print solution that combines report writing, WYSIWYG label and forms design, and conditional printing in one integrated product. Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Request your trial now!  Request Now.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericForms of ransomware has been around for over 30 years, and with more and more organizations suffering attacks each year, it continues to endure. What has made ransomware such a durable threat and what is the best way to combat it? In order to prevent ransomware, organizations must first understand how it works.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericIT security is a top priority for businesses around the world, but most IBM i pros don’t know where to begin—and most cybersecurity experts don’t know IBM i. In this session, Robin Tatam explores the business impact of lax IBM i security, the top vulnerabilities putting IBM i at risk, and the steps you can take to protect your organization. If you’re looking to avoid unexpected downtime or corrupted data, you don’t want to miss this session.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericCan you trust all of your users all of the time? A typical end user receives 16 malicious emails each month, but only 17 percent of these phishing campaigns are reported to IT. Once an attack is underway, most organizations won’t discover the breach until six months later. A staggering amount of damage can occur in that time. Despite these risks, 93 percent of organizations are leaving their IBM i systems vulnerable to cybercrime. In this on-demand webinar, IBM i security experts Robin Tatam and Sandi Moore will reveal:

  • FORTRA Disaster protection is vital to every business. Yet, it often consists of patched together procedures that are prone to error. From automatic backups to data encryption to media management, Robot automates the routine (yet often complex) tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAManaging messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. Messages need a response and resources must be monitored—often over multiple systems and across platforms. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events? Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAThe thought of printing, distributing, and storing iSeries reports manually may reduce you to tears. Paper and labor costs associated with report generation can spiral out of control. Mountains of paper threaten to swamp your files. Robot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing. Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAFor over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i. With batch job creation and scheduling at its core, the Robot Job Scheduling Solution reduces the opportunity for human error and helps you maintain service levels, automating even the biggest, most complex runbooks. Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:

  • LANSA Business users want new applications now. Market and regulatory pressures require faster application updates and delivery into production. Your IBM i developers may be approaching retirement, and you see no sure way to fill their positions with experienced developers. In addition, you may be caught between maintaining your existing applications and the uncertainty of moving to something new.

  • LANSAWhen it comes to creating your business applications, there are hundreds of coding platforms and programming languages to choose from. These options range from very complex traditional programming languages to Low-Code platforms where sometimes no traditional coding experience is needed. Download our whitepaper, The Power of Writing Code in a Low-Code Solution, and:

  • LANSASupply Chain is becoming increasingly complex and unpredictable. From raw materials for manufacturing to food supply chains, the journey from source to production to delivery to consumers is marred with inefficiencies, manual processes, shortages, recalls, counterfeits, and scandals. In this webinar, we discuss how:

  • The MC Resource Centers bring you the widest selection of white papers, trial software, and on-demand webcasts for you to choose from. >> Review the list of White Papers, Trial Software or On-Demand Webcast at the MC Press Resource Center. >> Add the items to yru Cart and complet he checkout process and submit

  • Profound Logic Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.

  • SB Profound WC 5536Join us for this hour-long webcast that will explore:

  • Fortra IT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators with intimate knowledge of the operating system and the applications that run on it is small. This begs the question: How will you manage the platform that supports such a big part of your business? This guide offers strategies and software suggestions to help you plan IT staffing and resources and smooth the transition after your AS/400 talent retires. Read on to learn: