Exploring the ALT.NET Stack and ASP.NET MVC

I have been reading a ton of the ALT.NET bloggers and mailing list lately. They are constantly talking about the methodology of software development and the tools they use. On the concept front Domain Driven Design, Inversion of Control, Separation of Concerns and Test Driven Development are all popular topics that have been stewing in my mind. I also wanted to give some of the tools like Nhibernate, Rhino.Mocks and Ninject a try. I was also itching to get into the new Microsoft ASP.NET MVC code.

For the last couple months, I have been festering in the swamp of legacy vbnet spaghetti code and haven't had the time or motivation to write something fresh just for the sheer joy of creation. Friday, I kind of snapped, fired up Visual Studio 2008, downloaded the tool stack and started hacking away.

Things seemed to just click on all of the topics I had been reading about. I started out with NHibernate and getting a simple User entity to persist to a SQL Sever 2005 database. I then moved on to implementing the Repository Pattern for my User entity abstracting away the actual persistence to a DataProvider class wrapping NHibernate. By this time I had Factory Patterns all over the place, so I added a reference to Ninject.Core and got rid of those too. I then whipped out a MVC site to consume my new repository.

After an evening of furious experimentation, I had a complete database to web page end to end implementation of my User entity. I was stoked, still am. I am currently working on getting unit tests in place using Rhino.Mocks, integration tests on my data access layer and fully implementing CRUD in the MVC site. It is a hell of a lot of fun.

If anyone is interested in seeing what I am working on or want a simple example of using all these things together in an easily understandable way, I posted my work to CodePlex. If you are new to this stuff like I am, download it and check it out. If you are an old hat and want to give me some pointers or tips, please download it and fill me in.

If you work with me and happen to read my blog and are interested, I would love to talk to you about the project and what I learned and discovered. Hit me up.

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