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YaBlogEngine - A Tiny Blog Engine written in ASP.NET/C#

, 9 Feb 2012
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YaBlogEngine is a Tiny Blog Engine written in ASP.NET/C#
yablogengine - screenshot

Introduction

This article presents a very small scale blog engine using ASP.NET and SQLServer. The idea here is to understand how a rudimentary blog engine can be implemented with proper architecture.

Background

I have been a C++ programmer for 5 years writing core applications mainly dealing with graphics, multimedia and networking domain. After that, I started writing Windows applications using C# and WPF. Recently, I started writing websites using ASP.NET/C#/SqlServer. On this recent project, I got a chance to learn a lot about web development. Here I am taking care of one particular service starting from its Data layer to its presentation layer. Although the architecture here is not following a strict n-tier approach, that didn't stop me from learning and implementing the n-tier architecture for web applications. When my wife asked me about how things work in ASP.NET (she is more of a web designer than a developer), I created this small blog engine to explain to her the basics of ASP.NET websites and n-tier architecture.

Using the Code

We have tried to follow a proper n-tier architecture. The bottom most layer is the Data layer which contains the tables and stored procedures of SqlServer. On top of that, we have a Data Access Layer (DAL). This Data access layer is created as a separate solution so that the changes in DAL only need the recompilation of DAL and not the complete website. Also the changes in other areas outside this solution will not demand for DAL recompilation. On top of DAL, we have our Business Logic Layer(BLL). It is also in a separate solution for the same reason, and the Presentation layer is a website containing ASP.NET pages running on top of BLL.

yablogengine - database

The Data Layer

The first thing we need to do is to plan out the database schema that we will be using. Here is the snapshot of the database schema that I created.

yablogengine - database

Along with the schema, I also created few stored procedures for common operations on database. I like the idea of having stored procedures for all database operations as it is the most secure way of accessing the database (from the perspective of SQL injection). If you ask me, the best way to implement the DB operations is:

  1. Stored procedures
  2. Executing Parametrizec commands
  3. Dynamically creating queries by string concatenation (only when I absolutely have to because this is the worst way so I usually avoid it)

So the stored procedures that we have in this application are:

yablogengine - procedures

The Data Access Layer(DAL)

The data access layer talks to the database, retrieves the results and passes it to the business logic layer in the form of DataSets or DataTables. The DAL contains the following classes:

data access layer

The respective classes in this DAL are responsible for talking to the respective database tables. The common functions are moved inside the class Functions.

The Business Logic Layer(BLL)

The BLL takes care of manipulating the data as per the request from the user interface, have some additional checks and operations that need to be performed. The main classes in our BLL are:

Business logic layer

The Presentation Layer

The presentation layer contains the web forms that the user can access. The presentation layer is divided in two areas, one for the normal users to browse through the blog entries and the other for the administrator to add/change blog entries, categories and/or metadata. (Please see the source for detailed implementation.) I have not used the forms authentication or Windows authentication for this small website rather I am keeping track of users in my databases and authenticating and authorizing then programmatically. This was a design decision I made (perhaps not a good one) but more elegant solutions can be implemented too (since the main idea here was learning data access in n-tier apps, so I didn't).

The website runs in two modes:

  • User mode - Simply run the website after compiling the BLL and DLL
  • Admin mode - Run the website. Add /admin in the URL to go to the Admin mode (USERNAME: admin, password: 12345)

Points of Interest

The idea behind this exercise was to understand and implement n-tier data access architecture for beginners. But I am ready to take suggestions and add improvements so that this engine can further be improved.

History

  • 9 Feb 2012: YaBlogEngine's Version 1 implemented

License

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

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About the Author

Rahul Rajat Singh
Software Developer (Senior)
India India
I Started my Programming career with C++. Later got a chance to develop Windows Form applications using C#. Currently using C#, ASP.NET & ASP.NET MVC to create Information Systems, e-commerce/e-governance Portals and Data driven websites.

My interests involves Programming, Website development and Learning/Teaching subjects related to Computer Science/Information Systems. IMO, C# is the best programming language and I love working with C# and other Microsoft Technologies.
  • Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS): Web Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
  • Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS): Accessing Data with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
  • Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS): Windows Communication Foundation Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
 
If you like my articles, please visit my website for more: www.rahulrajatsingh.com[^]
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Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmemberfirozwebdesigner4-May-13 6:15 
AnswerArticle of the Day on Microsoft's site PinmemberRahul Rajat Singh14-Nov-12 15:52 
This article has been selected as Article of the Day on Microsoft's site http://www.asp.net/community[^] today(14 November 2012).
 
Rahul Rajat Singh
14 November 2012.

Every now and then say, "What the Elephant." "What the Elephant" gives you freedom. Freedom brings opportunity. Opportunity makes your future.

Questionsir Pinmemberpaulnap228-Aug-12 12:10 
AnswerRe: sir PinmemberRahul Rajat Singh28-Aug-12 18:23 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberHari.net3-Apr-12 18:40 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberThatsAlok20-Mar-12 23:19 
GeneralRegarding blog code PinmemberAparnashreenivas13-Mar-12 22:26 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberPrasanta_Prince15-Feb-12 22:33 
SuggestionDAL PinmemberEmad Mokhtar11-Feb-12 5:17 
GeneralRe: DAL PinmemberThatsAlok20-Mar-12 23:18 
GeneralRe: DAL PinmemberRahul Rajat Singh21-Mar-12 0:05 
QuestionDon't forget loose coupling Pinmembertuncaypeker9-Feb-12 21:04 
AnswerRe: Don't forget loose coupling PinmvpRahul Rajat Singh24-Mar-13 19:51 
AnswerRe: Don't forget loose coupling Pinmembermark merrens6-Aug-13 13:17 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberMikhail T. (devnoob)9-Feb-12 5:56 

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