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NHibernate Templates for Smart Code Generator

, 11 Dec 2007 CPOL
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Describes how to generate NHibernate objects and ASPX pages using Smart Code
Screenshot - img1.png


To learn more about Smart Code please read the next article, by clicking here.

The sample code and templates, are based in the next article NHibernate Best Practices with ASP.NET . In this excellent article, Billy McCafferty, describes best practices for leveraging the benefits of NHibernate 1.2, ASP.NET.

For this article we'll try to be original.....and we'll use the Northwind database as sample, but these examples will work with any databases

Bug Fix on ASPX templates, loading page by ID method

Code Generation, a brief overview

The Smart Code tool makes possible the automatic generation of programs and components that interact with database systems. It works by reading a database schema, allowing the user to set certain extended properties for tables and columns, and applying templates to each table in order to generate code. The templates are themselves programs that access the Smart Code Object Model to produce tailored programs and components. Although Smart Code comes with a set of basic templates, users may edit these or create their own to suit their particular project needs. Moreover, templates may be written in C# or VB.NET (or theoretically in any .NET language that supports the creation of dynamic-link libraries).

Quick Start Guide

Smart Code is a very powerful tool, and perhaps the best way to learn how to use it is to see a sample application running and then go back and examine which features of Smart Code were responsible for the application's functionality.

  • On the web.config and modify the connection.connection_string value
  • Play with the application, open up different pages and entering some data.
  • Open the Newin.scp project with the last release of Smart Code.
  • Compile the NHibernateTemplates and WebTemplates and Load the dlls into Smart Code.
  • Change some properties in Newin.scp project, this will show you the effect of different attribute settings and template assignments.

The NHibernate Template Libraries

The Sample package comes with one set of template libraries for generating 3- tier, web-form-based solutions that use NHibernate to access and modify data. This set of libraries is for generating code in C#; (future releases will support generating code in VB.NET).

In addition, the Sample package includes sample Northwind project in Visual Studio.NET to work with these sets of libraries, so that the generated code may simply be dragged-and-dropped into them.

The Domain Layer

For a description about the domain layer, click here

The Domain layer describing the data access objects and the classes of objects used to transport data between the tiers

Generating the Separated Interface, IDAOFactory

The IDAOFactory Interface provide methods to get objects as DAOs. This class serves as the abstract data. The template to generate the IDAOFactory for all entities in the Smart Code project is the IDaoFactory class in the NHibernateTemplates project.

IDAOFactory Interface

Notice, if you check the Item it Template run only one time, because it is an project level template.

The Code Generated for the IDAOFactory look like this:

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;

namespace Northwind.Core.DataInterfaces
    public interface IDaoFactory
        ICategoryDao GetCategoryDao();
        ICustomerCustomerDemoDao GetCustomerCustomerDemoDao();
        ICustomerDemographicDao GetCustomerDemographicDao();
        ICustomerDao GetCustomerDao();
        IEmployeeDao GetEmployeeDao();
        IEmployeeTerritoryDao GetEmployeeTerritoryDao();
        IOrderDetailDao GetOrderDetailDao();
        IOrderDao GetOrderDao();
        IProductDao GetProductDao();
        IRegionDao GetRegionDao();
        IShipperDao GetShipperDao();
        ISupplierDao GetSupplierDao();
        ITerritoryDao GetTerritoryDao();

The Data Interfaces

The template DataInterfaces generate code for supporting each one concrete DAO factory. Each factory is an is a database-independent implementation, where the implementations will be database specific.

The Template used to generate the DataInterfaces is shwon in the next figure:

The Data Interfaces

And the code generated, for the Product Table look like this

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using Northwind.Core.Domain;

namespace Northwind.Core.DataInterfaces
    /// Since this extends the IDao{TypeOfListItem, IdT} behavior, it's a good idea to 
    /// place it in its own file for manageability.  In this way, it can grow further without
    /// cluttering up IDaoFactory.
    public interface IProductDao : IDao<Product, System.Int32>


Mapping the Domain to the Database, HBM-XML files

The NHibernateTemplates project provide a class NHibernateHbm, to generate mapping files for NHibernate

Mapping the Domain to the Database, HBM-XML files

This Template generate the HBM files, for tables with single and composite Key and linking tables which will be recognised and the appropriate many-to-one or many-to-many mapping created

Hbm for Table with single key:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<hibernate-mapping xmlns="urn:nhibernate-mapping-2.2" assembly="Northwind.Core" namespace="Northwind.Core.Domain">
  <class name="Product" table="Products" >
    <id name="ID" type="System.Int32" column="ProductID">
      <generator class="identity"/>
    <property name="ProductName" column="ProductName" type="System.String" not-null="true" length="40"/>
    <many-to-one name="CategoryIDCategories" column="CategoryID" class="Category"  update="0"  insert="0" />
    <many-to-one name="SupplierIDSuppliers" column="SupplierID" class="Supplier"  update="0"  insert="0" />
    <bag name="OrderDetailses" table="Order Details" inverse="true" lazy="true" cascade="delete">
      <key column="ProductID" />
      <one-to-many class="OrderDetail"/>

Hbm for Table with composite key:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<hibernate-mapping xmlns="urn:nhibernate-mapping-2.2" assembly="Northwind.Core" namespace="Northwind.Core.Domain">
    <class name="EmployeeTerritory" table="EmployeeTerritories" >
    <composite-id name="ID" class="Northwind.Core.Domain.EmployeeTerritory+DomainObjectID">
        <key-property type="System.Int32" name="EmployeeID" column="EmployeeID" />
        <key-property type="System.String" name="TerritoryID" column="TerritoryID" />
    <many-to-one name="EmployeeIDEmployees" column="EmployeeID" class="Employee"  update="0"  insert="0" />
    <many-to-one name="TerritoryIDTerritories" column="TerritoryID" class="Territory"  update="0"  insert="0" />

The many-to-one and bag are created from the Foreing Key relationship between the tables (InReferences and OutReferences) these references are created when you build the Domain, the next figure shown this concept:

InReferences and OutReferences

Both tables Products and Territories are related by Out References (OutReferences), with the EmployeeTerritories (InReferences).

Generating the C# class

The NHibernateTemplates project provide the class NHibernateClass, to generate the C# class for NHibernate

Generating the C# class

As the mapping, the NHibernateClass support single and composite key, about the IDs please refeer to Generic IDs and Object Comparisons section in the NHibernate Best Practices with ASP.NET Article.

The next code shows a sample how the code for composite keys are generated:

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;

namespace Northwind.Core.Domain
    /// <span class="code-SummaryComment"><summary>
    /// EmployeeTerritory object for NHibernate mapped table EmployeeTerritories.
    /// <span class="code-SummaryComment"></summary>
    public class EmployeeTerritory : DomainObject<EmployeeTerritory.DomainObjectID>

        public class DomainObjectID
            private System.Int32 _EmployeeID;
            private System.String _TerritoryID;

            public DomainObjectID() { }
            public DomainObjectID(System.Int32 employeeID, System.String territoryID)
                _EmployeeID = employeeID;
                _TerritoryID = territoryID;

            public System.Int32 EmployeeID
                get { return _EmployeeID; }
                protected set { _EmployeeID = value; }

            public System.String TerritoryID
                get { return _TerritoryID; }
                protected set { _TerritoryID = value; }

            public override bool Equals(object obj)
                if (obj == this) return true;
                if (obj == null) return false;

                DomainObjectID that = obj as DomainObjectID;
                if (that == null)
                    return false;
                    if (this.EmployeeID != that.EmployeeID) return false;
                    if (this.TerritoryID != that.TerritoryID) return false;
                    return true;

            public override int GetHashCode()
                return EmployeeID.GetHashCode() ^ TerritoryID.GetHashCode();

        private Employee _EmployeeIDEmployees;
        private Territory _TerritoryIDTerritories;

        public EmployeeTerritory()

        public EmployeeTerritory(DomainObjectID id)
   = id;

        public virtual System.Int32 EmployeeID
            get { return; }

        public virtual System.String TerritoryID
            get { return; }

        public virtual Employee EmployeeIDEmployees
            get { return _EmployeeIDEmployees; }
            set { _EmployeeIDEmployees = value; }

        public virtual Territory TerritoryIDTerritories
            get { return _TerritoryIDTerritories; }
            set { _TerritoryIDTerritories = value; }

        public override int GetHashCode()
            return ID.GetHashCode();

Where EmployeeTerritory+DomainObjectID overrides the Equals and GetHashCode Methods.

Web Forms for Listing Records

SmartCode IDE

These templates generate Web Forms for listing records. All of them display records in an ASPGrid, 20 records at a time (by default), with controls for browsing the grid's contents; also, column headers may be clicked to sort rows and paging.

SmartCode IDE

Each row in the grid has hyperlinks to edit and view the corresponding record, and the pages include a "Add" button to create a new record. The grid is automatically populate when the page is loaded

Web Forms for Editing Records

SmartCode IDE

These templates generate Web Forms for creating and editing records.

SmartCode IDE

Moreover, these templates recognize attributes like the Control property has been set to ComboBox or Check Box.


The ComboBox control combinated with LOV property, produce custom DataTextField properties in the dropDown Web Control.



The possibilities for Smart Code templates are unlimited. Smart Code is an exceptionally powerful developer productivity tool. Coupled with the NHibernate templates you can write the base code for your application in a matter of minutes.

Web Application Project

The Sample Code uses the Web Application Project type of website for building web applications. This kind of web site is very similar to the .Net Framework 1.1 model.

You can get the installer for Web Application Projects at After downloading it you can just run it.


  • Minor bug fix in composite-key definition


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Danilo Mendez
Web Developer
United States United States
Danilo is the creator of SmartRules, a Business Rules Engine. He is an industry consultant working primarily with companies interested in implementing dynamic rules programming concepts to add flexibility to their architectures on web, CE, and desktop platforms. He operates his own website, Kontac, where you will find more information.

To contact Danilo, email him at

Comments and Discussions

GeneralUnable to download any thing Pinmemberjustintimberlake29-Aug-09 18:06 
QuestionSmartCode version problem PinmemberFrancesca Nardi28-Apr-09 6:23 
QuestionSmartCode version problem PinmemberFrancesca Nardi28-Apr-09 6:31 
AnswerRe: SmartCode version problem PinmemberDanilo Mendez Gamonal30-Apr-09 10:33 
GeneralCannot compile mapping document Pinmemberbrenor6-Apr-09 7:28 
GeneralStart using SmartCode PinmemberMarcoFIerro4-Feb-09 12:17 
GeneralRe: Start using SmartCode PinmemberLeonelCorso3-Apr-09 10:54 
GeneralCombine it with a visual designer PinmemberElGuroProgramador30-Jul-08 8:17 
GeneralSQL Create statements PinmemberElGuroProgramador30-Jul-08 8:08 
GeneralI can not download the studio Pinmembersonnywong30-Jun-08 0:19 
GeneralI don't get code for Stored Procedures PinmemberGerardo Palazuelos G.16-Jan-08 13:00 
GeneralRe: I don't get code for Stored Procedures PinmemberDanilo Mendez17-Jan-08 11:24 
Questionhow nhibernate-mapping.xsd was created PinmemberThanks for all the fish12-Dec-07 9:12 
GeneralRe: how nhibernate-mapping.xsd was created PinmemberDanilo Mendez12-Dec-07 11:31 
GeneralDomain Model VS Domain Tables Pinmemberomarvr7212-Dec-07 5:20 
GeneralRe: Domain Model VS Domain Tables PinmemberDanilo Mendez12-Dec-07 11:31 
QuestionHow to debug templates Pinmembergiammin20-Sep-07 6:35 
AnswerRe: How to debug templates PinmemberDanilo Mendez20-Sep-07 6:55 
GeneralRe: How to debug templates Pinmembergiammin20-Sep-07 7:11 
GeneralProject template checkbox Pinmembergiammin19-Sep-07 9:09 
GeneralRe: Project template checkbox Pinmembergiammin19-Sep-07 10:59 
no problem! i find out!
GeneralRe: Project template checkbox PinmemberDanilo Mendez20-Sep-07 6:47 
NewsVisual Studio Web Applications Projects is now part of VS 2005 SP1 [modified] PinmemberAbel Braaksma11-Sep-07 13:45 
Generalcannot assign views to template Pinmemberukungx15-Aug-07 5:18 
QuestionRe: cannot assign views to template Pinmemberukungx19-Aug-07 22:38 
AnswerRe: cannot assign views to template PinmemberDanilo Mendez5-Sep-07 2:17 
GeneralFor those who prefer Mapping.Attributes.... PinmemberDamonCarr14-Aug-07 4:09 
GeneralRe: For those who prefer Mapping.Attributes.... PinmemberDanilo Mendez14-Aug-07 5:57 
GeneralRe: For those who prefer Mapping.Attributes.... PinmemberDamonCarr20-Aug-07 7:09 
GeneralSome Changes to Make it work for me PinmemberAndi Baso11-Aug-07 20:09 
GeneralRe: Some Changes to Make it work for me PinmemberDanilo Mendez13-Aug-07 13:22 
GeneralRe: Some Changes to Make it work for me PinmemberAndi Baso13-Aug-07 17:45 
GeneralOracle connection problem PinmemberVladimirCh16-Jul-07 23:10 
GeneralRe: Oracle connection problem PinmemberDanilo Mendez17-Jul-07 2:32 
GeneralRe: Oracle connection problem Pinmemberghollins20-Jul-07 6:31 
GeneralRe: Oracle connection problem PinmemberVladimirCh20-Jul-07 6:40 
GeneralRe: Oracle connection problem [modified] PinmemberDanilo Mendez20-Jul-07 7:13 
GeneralRe: Oracle connection problem Pinmemberghollins20-Jul-07 7:40 
GeneralRe: Oracle connection problem Pinmemberghollins20-Jul-07 7:47 
GeneralRe: Oracle connection problem PinmemberDanilo Mendez21-Jul-07 8:40 
GeneralI can't open your site: Pinmemberpaulyuan7-Jul-07 22:53 
GeneralRe: I can't open your site: PinmemberDanilo Mendez Gamonal8-Jul-07 1:54 
GeneralRe: I can't open your site: Pinmemberpaulyuan9-Jul-07 22:52 
GeneralFew Items PinmemberStevieGen4-Jul-07 17:04 
GeneralRe: Few Items PinmemberDanilo Mendez Gamonal4-Jul-07 17:39 
QuestionJava/Hibernate PinmemberThe Wizard of Doze4-Jul-07 8:56 
AnswerRe: Java/Hibernate PinmemberDanilo Mendez Gamonal4-Jul-07 9:39 
GeneralRe: Java/Hibernate PinmemberThe Wizard of Doze4-Jul-07 11:18 
GeneralConnection String PinmemberStevieGen3-Jul-07 15:41 
GeneralRe: Connection String PinmemberDanilo Mendez Gamonal3-Jul-07 15:53 

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