JSON and XML to C# classes in Visual Studio

Although this feature is available for years in Visual Studio, I only recently discovered this gem that allows rapid generation of C# classes from either JSON or XML.

Here is how it works:

  1. Copy the JSON or XML code to the clipboard.
  2. In Visual Studio, go to Edit > Past Special and chose either Paste JSON as classes or Paste XML as classes.

Unit testing non-public types and members for .NET projects

Unit testing is usually used for testing public types and members. However, there are cases when you might need to test types or members that are not public. These could be internal classes or private helper methods, for instance. Whether that is proper unit testing or beyond its scope is not a discussion that I want to get into here. However, in this post, I will show how you can unit test non-public types and members from .NET assemblies.

When faced with the need for testing non-public types and members you can use several approaches:

  • change the accessibility to public; you can do that perhaps only for debug builds and keep the intended accessibility in release builds by using conditional compilation.
  • provide public members of a class that invoke private ones;
  • use reflection.

The first solutions involve changing the API only for the sake of the testing. The last solution avoids that but requires more work. To help with that, the Visual Studio unit testing framework provides some helper types that enable you to focus on the actual testing and be less concerned about the reflection details.

Changing the color schemes of your development tools

The tools I use the most as a developer include the command prompt, notepad, Visual Studio, and Total Commander. The trouble is, I don’t really like the default colors they come with. However, some of them can be customized with different color schemes. Some very popular color schemes are Solarized and OneHalf, both having a light and a dark version. In this article, I will show how to enable Solarized for them.

Memeful comments extension for Visual Studio

It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words. An animated GIF is probably worth even more. I have always wanted to show my reaction to code with pictures. Being able to display images along source code could have a lot of benefits beyond that. By inserting images within code we could better explain…

VisualC++ Is Now Available on Compiler Explorer

Matt Godbolt has announced today that the Visual C++ compiler is finally available on Compiler Explorer (https://godbolt.org/). Compiler Explorer is a website where you can write C/C++/Rust/Go/D code, compile it with various compilers and settings and see the resulted assembly code. #CompilerExplorer now has VS 2017 compilers! Huge thanks to @Microsoft and @apardoe! — Matt…

TDD with Live Unit Testing in Visual Studio 2017

Visual Studio 2017 Enterprise provides a feature called Live Unit Testing that enables developers to see live how changing C# and VB.NET code affects its corresponding unit tests. Among its features, it includes showing coverage information in the editor as you type, integration with the Test Explorer, including/excluding targeted test methods or projects for large…

Changing Windows password complexity requirements

I recently encountered a problem creating new logins with SQL Server. Something that has worked for years suddenly stopped with the following error: Password validation failed. The password does not meet Windows policy requirements because it is too short. Since SQL Server was using Windows local security policy I went and checked that at Security…