Highlights from Microsoft Build 2020

The Microsoft Build 2020 event happened this week, and, unlike all previous editions, it was a digital event only. Moreover, it was also free, so everybody could attend the 48 hours marathon. Microsoft made a lot of announcements and released various products and services for Windows, Azure, Office, Visual Studio, Edge, and more. In this post, I will summarize the things that I found the most interesting for me.

My book “Learn C# Programming” has been published

I am pleased to announce that my new book, Learn C# Programming, that I co-authored together with Raffaele Rialdi (Microsoft MVP/speaker) and Ankit Sharma (C# Corner MVP/Google Dev Expert/speaker) has been published at PacktPub. The book can be ordered at PacktPub and Amazon (ISBN 9781789805864).

This book is primarily intended for people that want to learn to program in C# for .NET. This book will not teach you the basics of programming but it will teach you the C# language from the very basics to the most advanced topics, and to the latest in C# 8, which is the current version of the language. However, if you are an experienced C# programmer, but want to learn the latest features from C# 8 or how to work with .NET Core, target multiple platforms, and migrate from .NET Framework, this book should be handy for you too.

C++/CLI projects targeting .NET Core 3.x

The .NET Core framework version 3.1 was released earlier this month, alongside with Visual Studio 2019 16.4 (which you must install in order to use .NET Core 3.1). Among the changes, it includes support for C++/CLI components that can be used with .NET Core 3.x, in Visual Studio 2019 16.4. However, not everything works out of the box. In this article, I will show how you can create and consume C++/CLI components targeting .NET Core 3.1.

Data-driven unit tests for managed code

The Microsoft unit testing code for managed code allows to create test methods that are executed with data automatically fetched from an external data source. This is very helpful because we can extend the data sets without modifying the test code. An external data source can be an SQL database, a CSV file or Excel document, an XML document, or anything else for which a provider for .NET exists. In this article, I will show how you can define test data using all these types of source and execute unit testing methods with it.

This feature is available only for .NET Framework.
At this time, data-driven unit testing from a data source is not supported for .NET Core.

Enabling TLS 1.2 in your .NET framework applications

A functionality of one of the products I’m working on suddenly stopped working without any code changes on our side. Our application connects to a web service to get some data and that no longer worked, our customers getting the following error in their logs “The underlying connection was closed: An unexpected error occurred on a send.” The first thing to do was checking whether the web service was still up and running as expected. The requests made with SoapUI or Postman were all successful, so it was actually something in our application that was actually wrong. So I decided to use Fiddler to look at how our requests look and what do we get back.

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.

Visual Studio 2017 Releases

Microsoft recently announced that it released version 15.5 of Visual Studio 2017 (and Visual Studio for Mac version 7.3). There are various improvements to performance and diagnostics (such as cutting the solution load times for large C# and VB projects by half), new features for C#, C++, F# development, and others. You can read the…

How to determine what CLR versions are installed using C++

You may have multiple versions of the .NET framework installed and used on your machine. The framework has two components: the set of assemblies that provide functionalities for your application, and the common language runtime (CLR) that handles the execution of the application. These two components are versioned separately. If you what to see what…

Field trip report from ITCamp 2016

Last week I have attended ITCamp in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. The conference has already established itself as the most important community-driven technology conference in Romania and lately, as the organizers put it, its focus has shifted from being a Microsoft-centric conference to a technology-centric conference. And this year it has been larger than ever before: 600…