ASP.NET Core is a free and open source modular web framework developed by Microsoft that runs on top of the full .NET Framework (Windows) or .NET Core (cross-platform). It has been made specifically for building efficient HTTP services that can be reached and consumed by a massive range of clients, including web browsers, mobile devices, smart TVs, web-based home automation tools, and more.
Angular is the successor to AngularJS, a world-renowned development framework born with the aim of providing the coder with the toolbox that is needed to build reactive and cross-platform web-based apps that are optimized for desktop and mobile. It features a structure-rich template approach based upon a natural, easy-to-write, and readable syntax.
Technically, these two frameworks have little or nothing in common: ASP.NET Core is mostly focused on the server-side part of the web development stack, while Angular is dedicated to covering all the client-side aspects of web applications, such as the User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX). However, both of them came into being because of a common vision shared by their respective creators: the HTTP protocol is not limited to serving web pages; it can also be used as a viable platform upon which to build web-based APIs to effectively send and receive data. This is the notion that slowly made its way through the first 20 years of the World Wide Web’s life and is now an undeniable, widely acknowledged statement and also a fundamental pillar of almost every modern web development approach.
As for the reasons behind this perspective switch, there are plenty of good ones, the most important of them being related to the intrinsic characteristics of the HTTP protocol: it’s rather simple to use, and flexible enough to match most of the development needs of the ever-changing environment that the World Wide Web happens to be in. This is not to mention how universal it has become nowadays: almost any platform that we can think of has an HTTP library, so HTTP services can reach a broad range of clients, including desktop and mobile browsers, IoT devices, desktop applications, video games, and so on.
The main purpose of this book is to bring together the latest versions of ASP.NET Core and Angular within a single development stack to demonstrate how they can be used to create high-performance web applications and services that can be used seamlessly by any clients.
Who this book is for
This book is for intermediate and experienced developers who already know about ASP.NET Core and Angular and are looking to learn more about them and understand how to use them together to create a production-ready Single-Page Application (SPA) or Progressive Web Application (PWA) using SQL Server and Entity Framework Core.
However, the fully documented code samples (also available on GitHub) and the step-by-step implementation tutorials make this book easy to understand even for beginners and developers who are just getting started.
What this book covers
Chapter 1, Getting Ready, introduces some of the basic concepts of the frameworks that we are going to use throughout the book, as well as the various kinds of web applications that can be created (SPAs, PWAs, native web apps, and more).
Chapter 2, Looking Around, is a detailed overview of the various back-end and front-end elements provided by the .NET Core and Angular template shipped with Visual Studio 2019, backed up with some high-level explanations of how they can work together in a typical HTTP request-response cycle.
Chapter 3, Front-End and Back-End Interactions, provides a comprehensive tutorial for building a sample ASP.NET Core and Angular app that provides diagnostic info to the end user by querying health check middleware using a Bootstrap-based Angular client.
Chapter 4, Data Model with Entity Framework Core, constitutes a journey through Entity Framework Core and its capabilities as an Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) framework, from SQL database deployment (cloud-based and/or local instance) to data model design, including various techniques to read and write data from back-end controllers.
Chapter 5, Fetching and Displaying Data, covers how to expose Entity Framework Core data using the ASP.NET Core back-end web API, consume that data with Angular, and then show it to end users using the front-end UI.
Chapter 6, Forms and Data Validation, details how to implement the HTTP PUT and POST methods in back-end web APIs in order to perform insert and update operations with Angular, along with server-side and client-side data validation.
Chapter 7, Code Tweaks and Data Services, explores some useful refactoring and improvements to strengthen your app’s source code and includes an in-depth analysis of Angular’s data services to understand why and how to use them.
Chapter 8, Back-End and Front-End Debugging, looks at how to properly debug the back-end and front-end stacks of a typical web application using the various debugging tools provided by Visual Studio to their full extent.
Chapter 9, ASP.NET Core and Angular Unit Testing, comprises a detailed review of the Test- Driven Development (TDD) and Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) development practices and goes into how to define, implement, and perform back-end and front-end unit tests using xUnit, Jasmine, and Karma.
Chapter 10, Authentication and Authorization, gives you a high-level introduction to the concepts of authentication and authorization and presents a narrow lineup of some of the various techniques, methodologies, and approaches to properly implementing proprietary or third-party user identity systems. A practical example of a working ASP.NET Core and Angular authentication mechanism based upon ASP.NET Identity and IdentityServer4 is included.
Chapter 11, Progressive Web Apps, delves into how to convert an existing SPA into a PWA using service workers, manifest files, and offline caching features.
Chapter 12, Windows, Linux, and Azure Deployment, teaches you how to deploy the ASP.NET and Angular apps created in the previous chapters and publish them in a cloud-based environment using a Windows Server 2019 or Linux CentOS virtual machine, as well as Azure App Service deployment.
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