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I tend to have about a dozen or so little tech projects loaded onto my machine at any given time — little web app ideas that I work on and stop, an occasional hackathon entry, something I’ve built working through a tutorial, a few experiments. I’ve gotten to really enjoy working with MongoDB over the past year, and I’ll usually add that in as a persistence layer when appropriate. One thing I’ve realized working off of a local MongoDB development server is all of those databases can accumulate, making it a little scary to experiment with different server configurations and…

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One of the advantages I love about using Angular is that the framework is truly “batteries included”. From the application architecture, to configuration, to third-party libraries, to testing setup, to extra compilation tools, it’s a set of really smart decisions that help get a fully featured browser application running quickly. For tasks like setting up scripts, compiling Typescript, CSS preprocessing, Webpack, and testing, the Angular CLI can save lots of tedious configuration.

Likewise, for independent projects, Node.js and Express can be great choices as they tend to be easy to deploy to a variety of platforms.

Combined with MongoDb for…

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In this post I’d like to demonstrate two simple tools that you can use to simulate fetching data from an API that can greatly facilitate frontend web development. This can be helpful for focusing on UI development without worrying about the server-side implementation of the project. It can also be helpful for setting up a proof-of-concept projects without having to worrying about protecting real data, or for setting up consistent fake data for end-to-end testing. …

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A common consideration for working with an ASP.NET Core application is how to store and retrieve values in configuration settings, as well as how to change and update them as the application moves to higher environments. It’s common to need sensitive values like passwords, API keys, and database connection strings in order to call out to other services, and these settings must be stored separately from the application’s source code. To help manage this process, ASP.NET …

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Introduction and prerequisites

In this post, we’re continuing our “walking skeleton” application where we build and deploy a minimal application with an ASP.NET Core WebApi and an Angular client. At this stage, the API is almost ready. We’ve got a controller that accepts a city location, a service that calls the third-party OpenWeatherMap API to return forecasts for that location, and in the last post we added the xUnit testing framework to describe the API. If you would like to start from the beginning, this is the first post.

The goal of this series, and this application, is to create a bare-bones, testable…

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Introduction and prerequisites

This post is part of an ongoing series where we build a “walking skeleton” application using ASP.NET Core and Angular as well as other technologies for deployment and testing. By now, our application is a minimally functional web API that organizes and returns weather data from a location. In this post, we will use xUnit to test how a service handles calls to a third-party API, then how a controller responds to a successful response. In the next post, we’ll then use those tests to scaffold some exception handling that’s missing from our classes right now. …

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This post is the second phase of work on a walking skeleton application, and part of a series where we build out and deploy a minimal-but-functional web application built with the ASP.NET Core and Angular frameworks. In the introductory post, I explained the intent of this series in more detail and set up and toured the boilerplate code for an ASP.NET Core WebApi application. In the next post, we made some initial configuration, and built out a controller and a service to be able to return data from a third-party API. Here, we will make our service a little more…

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This is article #1 in a series of tutorials that walks through building and hosting an Angular and ASP.NET Core web application. The application will have extremely minimal functionality — a Walking Skeleton — but it can serve as a template for building out functionality in more useful projects.

In the previous article, I gave a more detailed overview of this series and walked through preparing a development environment for .NET Core. I also created and explained the default boilerplate code that comes from creating an ASP.NET Core WebApi application. …

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(Part 0 of the Weather Walking Skeleton Series)


I first learned about the concept of a “walking skeleton” project when I was following Michael Hartl’s excellent Ruby on Rails tutorial. One of my favorite learning tools was an introductory chapter that builds out the simplest possible iteration of a Rails project from start to deployment in order to see the process of developing a web application end-to-end. …

Colored squares as splash image.
Colored squares as splash image.
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D3, or Data-Driven Documents, is still a top choice for data visualization in the browser. Part of its power is that it isn’t merely a charts library, but rather a way to add and manipulate DOM elements in response to data.

As these examples show, this provides seemingly limitless possibilities for original ways to illustrate with data as well as creative coding.

However, all of that power comes with a steep learning curve, and D3 requires some investment for it to become a reliable tool. If your use case is simply to add standard data charts to a front-end application…

Jeremy Wells

I am a second-career software engineer currently working in the public sector.

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