Dapper and Dapper Async

11:02 AM Xun 1 Comments


Dapper is an object-relational mapping (ORM) solution for the Microsoft .NET platform. It is written for and used by stackoverflow. It has the signatures of a stackoverflow baby, hugely popular, no-bullshit/lightweight, effective and efficient, stellar performance.

We have been using Dapper for a couple of years. We love it, for its simplicity and performance. It is so simple, whether we do select, insert or update, whether we use stored procedures or ad-hoc sql.

using (var connection = new SqlConnection(myConnectionString))
                const string sqlStatement = @"select client_id As Id, client_name As Name from dbo.client with(nolock) ";
                return connection.Query(sqlStatement);

.NET async 

.net 4.5 came out about 2 years ago, and asynchronous programming with async and await is one of the big features. async/await allows you to define a Task that you can await on, and then continue execution once the work is done, all without blocking the calling thread unnecessarily. async and await operations took away the programmatic complexity from programmers, however, under the hood the compiler still does the heavy lifting of setting up a waiting context/state machine so a task can get back to exactly where it has begun.

 The overhead of async/await in NET 4.5 demonstrates that "Despite this async method being relatively simple, ANTS Performance Profiler shows that it’s caused over 900 framework methods to be run in order to initialize it and the work it does the first time that it’s run."

 It is agreed upon that async/await should be limited to only I/O heavy operations, web access, working with files, working with images.

How about database calls? Turned out database calls are by nature blocking. It blocks the calling thread even if you stamp your method as async and use the await keyword.

 To allow asynchronous database queries and other crud operation, dapper added a set of QueryAsync methods using .NET Framework 4.5's Task-Based Asynchronous Pattern. Under the hood, the asyn dapper methods uses connection.OpenAync, executeReaderAsync to allow connections to be opened and queried in asynchoronous mode.
      public static async Task> QueryAsync(this IDbConnection cnn, CommandDefinition command)
            object param = command.Parameters;
            var identity = new Identity(command.CommandText, command.CommandType, cnn, typeof(T), param == null ? null : param.GetType(), null);
            var info = GetCacheInfo(identity, param);
            bool wasClosed = cnn.State == ConnectionState.Closed;
            using (var cmd = (DbCommand)command.SetupCommand(cnn, info.ParamReader))
                    if (wasClosed) await ((DbConnection)cnn).OpenAsync().ConfigureAwait(false);
                    using (var reader = await cmd.ExecuteReaderAsync(command.CancellationToken).ConfigureAwait(false))
                        return ExecuteReader(reader, identity, info).ToList();
                    if (wasClosed) cnn.Close();

Should you use asynchronous database calls?

 Just because you can do it does not mean you should do it, says RickAndMSFT at here.


 It does your more harm than good if you queryAsync a small query that takes a few millisecond, however for long running database calls you may consider using querySync feature to avoid bottleneck and gain some responsiveness.

 Check out some benchmark testing from this article Asynchronous Database Calls With Task-based Asynchronous Programming Model (TAP) in ASP.NET MVC 4.


W3 layouts and mobile brower detection in Asp .net

2:36 PM Xun 2 Comments

Let's face it, designing a web template is quite some work, not to mention it takes an eye of aesthetics and the fact that it has to look good on both web and mobile devices. Yes, any web is declaring its own death if it looks crappy on mobile.  So unless you are a professional designer and swimming in loads of money, if you need a quick template, you probably just grab one out there and tweak it and style it to your heart's desire.

That is what I did. And that is why I am so delighted by the various templates at W3 layouts. It has a big collection, and FREE and RESPONSIVE. None of the other template sites come close. (Other popular ones are templates at http://html5up.net/, but frankly I think they are mostly ugly or perfunctory. WrapBootStrap has some nice ones, but they are not free, though most of them do not cost you most 4 cups of Starbucks.)

Peculiar enough, the templates at W3 layouts often come in three flavors: web, mobile, smart phone. It took me a while to find out that smart phones are for our regular mobile chops: IPhone, android, windows etc. And Mobile templates are designed to use wap 2.0 standards with xhtml where javaScript is not supported. Heck, I guess i can safely discard mobile templates.

Then, the nagging question (quotes from w3 layouts.com):

When we have responsive WEB template why we need separate SMARTPHONE and MOBILE template?

Responsive design is good for users having speed network connection (WIFI, 3G). Responsive design will load the whole HTML, CSS and images which are used for desktop design, users in slow data connection have to wait and spend lot of data, time and money to load page. To save users Money and load time we have to use separate design depending on device compatibility.

So I set out to create my little personal site with the fancy and pleasant designs of W3 layouts. Oops, seems that a big part of the world still has not convert to the Microsoft/Asp .net camp, sadly, seems that more and more developers are parting their ways from the gloriously clunky world of Microsoft. (Proof: Why I Left the .NET Framework).

So W3 layouts is in the php camp, and they use a bit of php code to detect user browsers/devices. I would love to use php, but with the time constraint, I am also happy to stick to asp.net.

So happily and quickly searching (since everything is out somewhere if you search!). I found the following nifty code to get just what I want (got to say it is much more neat and clever than the php code provided by w3 layouts.

C# code (from Mobile Device Detection in asp.net)

  public static bool IfBrowserIsMobile()
            Debug.Assert(HttpContext.Current != null);

            if (HttpContext.Current.Request != null && HttpContext.Current.Request.ServerVariables["HTTP_USER_AGENT"] != null)
                var u = HttpContext.Current.Request.ServerVariables["HTTP_USER_AGENT"].ToString();

                if(u.Length < 4)
                    return false;

                if (MobileCheck.IsMatch(u) || MobileVersionCheck.IsMatch(u.Substring(0, 4)))
                    return true;

            return false;

The following is the php counterpart: