ASP.Net MVC Walkthrough – Gears of Web

There so many great resources for learning ASP.Net MVC out there, especially on Scott Guthrie’s blog. I found that the approach taken by most bloggers in their tutorials involves writing a project, while it is a great way to get the some hands-on experience, it can be overwhelming to first understand the context of the project and then how the MVC framework handles the project.

In this walkthrough series, I will go through the beautiful ASP.Net MVC framework and attempt to explain its many cogs that interact to build powerful web applications. I won’t be going in to any projects that involve restaurants or nerds.

First let’s get the gears of war err… web.

Visual Studio 2010

You might have heard of it, it’s this amazing IDE we .Net-ers use. VS2010, like its predecessors comes in many editions. The VS2010 Express Edition is free and pretty sweet. Also, if you’re a student, don’t read any further and head over to DreamSpark and get yourself a fresh VS2010 Professional Edition. Yeah, pretty sweeter!

Web Platform Installer

This is something you might not have heard of. Using Web Platform Installer Microsoft distributes all its web components to us developers. It’s got everything. Get it. Now.


I have nothing else to say to you if you have not installed Nuget. It’s the one tool that every .Net developer needs besides Visual Studio. With it, you’ll be able to download from a plethora of community powered tools and projects that will make life and working with MVC a breeze.

Everything else

From here on, installing ASP.Net MVC 3 and updates for Visual Studio should be an easy exploration. Hint: Web PI. In my next post, I’ll write about all the basics and background to MVC. Stay tuned!

This post also appeared on the Go DevMENTAL blog.


Care Presentation at DevCamp Recap

DevCamp Toronto was a lot of fun with awesome speakers. Looking forward to more events from Make Web Not War, it’s a great place for open source and community talks. Loads to learn and enjoy!

To prepare for the presentation I had written up the gist of my presentation… and here it is with the slides!



Slide 1

I’m going to talk about Care, a cloud powered
application to help empower patients to take
an active role in their healthcare. I am also
going to talk about why and how we took Care
to the cloud. And of course I’ll talk about the technologies

Slide 2

Every idea spawns from some needs and the need for our application was brought into attention at Code Your Art Out in the summer. Now what are the needs?

Almost 80% of Ontarians over the age of 45 have a chronic condition but the time of healthcare professionals is limited so many have to manage their own conditions. The time between appointments for patients is usually long causing lack of communication and miscommunication of patients’ symptoms.

The adoptation of technologies is slow, in the healthcare industry at least, and it’s understandable, typical healthcare applications will cost about $30,000 in infrustructure and IT. Especially if you are focusing on non-profits, as we are, it is so expensive for them, deploying applications to solve problems become an impossible task for them.

Slide 3

To tackles these needs Care exists. Unlike most healthcare applications its aim is to solve a small and realistic problem.
In its core, it is a personal symptom management tool. It provides guided forms to record symptoms and create reports out of them. It’s a powerful yet simple way of involving patients in their care, also of providing healthcare professionals more accurate information about their patients and their symptoms. And how we involve our partners is by making
Care a family and group focused application so that patients can share this information with the people helping them through their conditions.

Slide 4

That just solves one part of the problem, connecting patients to their professionals. To solve the problem of lacking infrustructure we picked the cloud. By hosting applications on the cloud we’ll be saving thousands on infrustructure, IT and utilities. It provides for a secure hosting environment with amazing fault tolerance. As developers we have access to utility style software services with greater performance and features, something we can provide to our partners. And as
developers we get greater control over our software features and versions preventing fragmentations and giving us access in case some nasty bugs creep in.

Slide 5

Now what are the tools we used to build Care and how are the feasible for our non-profit partners?
Microsoft Windows Azure with its utility style platform, it’s cost effective for us to develop
using the technologies we want. We mainly a .Net firm so we love using ASP.Net MVC, it you’re
familiar with the MVC architecture, you’ll know that it’s a beautiful framework to work with.
For our ORM we use Entity Framework Code First which plays nicely with both MSSQL and MySql so we
can deploy which ever suits our partners’ needs. For the UI we leverage open source frameworks Blueprint, jQuery UI, Mobile. All of this is served through Nuget, my personal favorite to explore and find open source tools
to use.

Slide 6

Care wouldn’t be what it is without the support of its partners in Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada
and Hope and Cope working out of Montreal. We also need you to partner with us to
bring Care to patients who need it. We are also would love to connect with you and
hear about your ideas and experiences. You’ll find our company and myself on these Twitter handles.