Scott Hanselman

The whole of WordPress compiled to .NET Core and a NuGet Package with PeachPie

July 3, '18 Comments [17] Posted in DotNetCore
Sponsored By

Compiling WordPress to .NET CoreWhy? Because it's awesome. Sometimes a project comes along that is impossibly ambitious and it works. I've blogged a little about Peachpie, the open source PHP compiler that runs PHP under .NET Core. It's a project hosted at https://www.peachpie.io.

But...why? Here's why:

  1. Performance: compiled code is fast and also optimized by the .NET Just-in-Time Compiler for your actual system. Additionally, the .NET performance profiler may be used to resolve bottlenecks.
  2. C# Extensibility: plugin functionality can be implemented in a separate C# project and/or PHP plugins may use .NET libraries.
  3. Sourceless distribution: after the compilation, most of the source files are not needed.
  4. Power of .NET: Peachpie allows the compiled WordPress clone to run in a .NET JIT'ted, secure and manageable environment, updated through windows update.
  5. No need to install PHP: Peachpie is a modern compiler platform and runtime distributed as a dependency to your .NET project. It is downloaded automatically on demand as a NuGet package or it can be even deployed standalone together with the compiled application as its library dependency.

A year ago you could very happily run Wordpress (a very NON-trivial PHP application, to be clear) under .NET Core using Peachpie. You would compile your PHP into an assembly and then do something like this in your Startup.cs:

public void Configure(IApplicationBuilder app)
{
    app.UseSession();

    app.UsePhp(new PhpRequestOptions(scriptAssemblyName: "peachweb"));
    app.UseDefaultFiles();
    app.UseStaticFiles();
}

And that's awesome. However, I noticed something on their GitHub recently, specifically under https://github.com/iolevel/wpdotnet-sdk. It says:

The solution compiles all of WordPress into a .NET assembly and additionally provides C# wrappers for utilization of compiled sources.

Whoa. Drink that in. The project consists of several parts:

  • wordpress contains sources of WordPress that are compiled into a single .NET Core assembly (wordpress.dll). Together with its content files it is packed into a NuGet package PeachPied.WordPress. The project additionally contains the "must-use" plugin peachpie-api.php which exposes the WordPress API to .NET.
  • PeachPied.WordPress.Sdk defines abstraction layer providing .NET interfaces over PHP WordPress instance. The interface is implemented and provided by peachpie-api.php.
  • PeachPied.WordPress.AspNetCore is an ASP.NET Core request handler that configures the ASP.NET pipeline to pass requests to compiled WordPress scripts. The configuration includes response caching, short URL mapping, various .NET enhancements and the settings of WordPress database.
  • app project is the executable demo ASP.NET Core web server making use of compiled WordPress.

They compiled the whole of WordPress into a NuGet Package.

YES.

  • The compiled website runs on .NET Core
  • You're using ASP.NET Core request handling and you can extend WordPress with C# plugins and themes

Seriously. Go get the .NET Core SDK version 2.1.301 over at https://dot.net and clone their repository locally from https://github.com/iolevel/wpdotnet-sdk.

Make sure you have a copy of mySQL running. I get one started FAST with Docker using this command:

docker run --name=mysql1 -p 3306:3306 -e MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD=password -e MYSQL_DATABASE=wordpress mysql --default-authentication-plugin=mysql_native_password

Then just "dotnet build" at the root of the project, then go into the app folder and "dotnet run." It will show up on localhost:5004.

NOTE: I needed to include the default authentication method to prevent the generic Wordpress "Cannot establish database connection." I also added the MYSQL_DATABASE environment variable so I could avoid logging initially using the mysql client and creating the database manually with "CREATE DATABASE wordpress."

Look at that. I have my mySQL in one terminal listening on 3306, and ASP.NET Core 2.1 running on port 5004 hosting freaking WordPress compiled into a single NuGet package.

Wordpress under .NET Core

Here's my bin folder:

WordPress as a single DLL

There's no PHP files which is a nice security bonus - not only are you running from the one assembly but there's no text files for any rogue plugins to modify or corrupt.

Here's the ASP.NET Core 2.1 app that hosts it, in full:

using System.IO;
using Microsoft.AspNetCore;
using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Builder;
using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Hosting;
using Microsoft.Extensions.Configuration;
using PeachPied.WordPress.AspNetCore;

namespace peachserver
{
    class Program
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            // make sure cwd is not app\ but its parent:
            if (Path.GetFileName(Directory.GetCurrentDirectory()) == "app")
            {
                Directory.SetCurrentDirectory(Path.GetDirectoryName(Directory.GetCurrentDirectory()));
            }

            //
            var host = WebHost.CreateDefaultBuilder(args)
                .UseStartup<Startup>()
                .UseUrls("http://*:5004/")
                .Build();

            host.Run();
        }
    }

    class Startup
    {
        public void Configure(IApplicationBuilder app, IHostingEnvironment env, IConfiguration configuration)
        {
            // settings:
            var wpconfig = new WordPressConfig();
            configuration
                .GetSection("WordPress")
                .Bind(wpconfig);

            //
            if (env.IsDevelopment())
            {
                app.UseDeveloperExceptionPage();
            }

            app.UseWordPress(wpconfig);

            app.UseDefaultFiles();
        }
    }
}

I think the app.UseWordPress() is such a nice touch. ;)

I often get emails from .NET developers asking what blog engine they should consider. Today, I think you should look closely at Peachpie and strongly consider running WordPress under .NET Core. It's a wonderful open source project that brings two fantastic ecosystems together! I'm looking forward to exploring this project more and I'd encourage you to check it out and get involved with Peachpie.


Sponsor: Check out dotMemory Unit, a free unit testing framework for fighting all kinds of memory issues in your code. Extend your unit testing with the functionality of a memory profiler!

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

facebook twitter subscribe
About   Newsletter
Sponsored By
Hosting By
Dedicated Windows Server Hosting by SherWeb

Detecting that a .NET Core app is running in a Docker Container and SkippableFacts in XUnit

June 29, '18 Comments [5] Posted in Docker | DotNetCore | Open Source
Sponsored By

Container Ship by NOAA used under CCI have moved my podcast site over to ASP.NET Core 2.1 and I've got it running in a Docker container. Take a moment a check out some of the blog posts, as I've been blogging as I've been learning.

I've added Unit Tests as well as Selenium Tests that are also run with the XUnit Unit Test Runner. However, I don't want those Selenium Tests that automate Google Chrome to run within the context of Docker.

I tried to add an Environment Variable within my Dockerfile like this:

ENV INDOCKER=1

I figured I'd check for that variable and conditionally skip tests. Simple, right? Well, I decided to actually READ the Dockerfiles that my ASP.NET Core 2.1 app uses. Remember, Dockerfiles (and the resulting images) are layered, and with all things .NET, are Open Source. 

Looking at my own layers and exploring the source on Github, I see I'm using:

Nice, so I don't need to set anything to know I'm running .NET in a Container! I wouldn't have known any of this if I hadn't taken 15 minutes and exploring/asserted/confirmed my stack. Just because I'm running Docker containers doesn't mean it's not useful to take the time to KNOW what I'm running! Assert your assumptions and all that, right?

I added a little helper in my Tests:

private bool InDocker { get { return Environment.GetEnvironmentVariable("DOTNET_RUNNING_IN_CONTAINER") == "true";} }

Since I'm using XUnit, I decided to bring in the very useful helper Xunit.SkippableFact!

For example:

[SkippableFact]
public void LoadTheMainPageAndCheckTitle()
{
    Skip.If(InDocker, "We are in Docker, y'all!");
    Browser.Navigate().GoToUrl(Server.RootUri);
    Assert.StartsWith("Hanselminutes Technology Podcast - Fresh Air and Fresh Perspectives for Developers", Browser.Title);
}

SkippableFact lets me skip tests for basically any reason. I could help if I'm in Docker, as I'm doing here. Or, given that Selenium Tests will throw an "OpenQA.Selenium.WebDriverException" when it can't find the Selenium Web Driver, I could also do this, skipping because a specific Exception was through. Note this means it's a SKIP not a FAIL.

[SkippableFact(typeof(OpenQA.Selenium.WebDriverException))]
public void KevinScottTestThenGoHome()
{
   Browser.Navigate().GoToUrl(Server.RootUri + "/631/how-do-you-become-a-cto-with-microsofts-cto-kevin-scott");

   var headerSelector = By.TagName("h1");
   var link = Browser.FindElement(headerSelector);
   link.Click();
}

The results look like this:

Total tests: 22. Passed: 18. Failed: 0. Skipped: 4.
Test Run Successful.
Test execution time: 8.7878 Seconds

You could choose to Skip Tests if a backend, 3rd party API, or DB was down, but you still wanted to test as much as possible. I'm pretty happy with the results!


New Sponsor! Never type an invoice again! With DocSight OCR by ActivePDF, you’ll extract data from bills, invoices, PO’s & other documents using zonal data capture technology. Achieve Digital Transformation today!

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

facebook twitter subscribe
About   Newsletter
Sponsored By
Hosting By
Dedicated Windows Server Hosting by SherWeb

.NET Core and Docker

June 26, '18 Comments [4] Posted in Docker | DotNetCore | Open Source
Sponsored By

If you've got Docker installed you can run a .NET Core sample quickly just like this. Try it:

docker run --rm microsoft/dotnet-samples

If your Docker for Windows is in "Windows Container mode" you can try .NET Framework (the 4.x Windows Framework) like this:

docker run --rm microsoft/dotnet-framework-samples

vs-docker-toolsI did a video last week with a write up showing how easy it is to get a containerized application into Azure AND cheaply with per-second billing.

Container images are easy to share via Docker Hub, the Docker Store, and private Docker registries, such as the Azure Container Registry. Also check out Visual Studio Tools for Docker. It all works very nicely together.

I like this quote from Richard Lander:

Imagine five or so years ago someone telling you in a job interview that they care so much about consistency that they always ship the operating system with their app. You probably wouldn’t have hired them. Yet, that’s exactly the model Docker uses!

And it's a good model! It gives you guaranteed consistency. "Containers include the application and all of its dependencies. The application executes the same code, regardless of computer, environment or cloud." It's also a good way to make sure your underlying .NET is up to date with security fixes:

Docker is a game changer for acquiring and using .NET updates. Think back to just a few years ago. You would download the latest .NET Framework as an MSI installer package on Windows and not need to download it again until we shipped the next version. Fast forward to today. We push updated container images to Docker Hub multiple times a month.

The .NET images get built using the official Docker images which is nice.

.NET images are built using official images. We build on top of Alpine, Debian, and Ubuntu official images for x64 and ARM. By using official images, we leave the cost and complexity of regularly updating operating system base images and packages like OpenSSL, for example, to the developers that are closest to those technologies. Instead, our build system is configured to automatically build, test and push .NET images whenever the official images that we use are updated. Using that approach, we’re able to offer .NET Core on multiple Linux distros at low cost and release updates to you within hours.

Here's where you can find .NET Docker Hub repos:

.NET Core repos:

.NET Framework repos:

  • microsoft/dotnet-framework – includes .NET Framework runtime and sdk images.
  • microsoft/aspnet – includes ASP.NET runtime images, for ASP.NET Web Forms and MVC, configured for IIS.
  • microsoft/wcf – includes WCF runtime images configured for IIS.
  • microsoft/iis – includes IIS on top of the Windows Server Core base image. Works for but not optimized for .NET Framework applications. The microsoft/aspnet and microsoft/wcfrepos are recommended instead for running the respective application types.

There's a few kinds of images in the microsoft/dotnet repo:

  • sdk — .NET Core SDK images, which include the .NET Core CLI, the .NET Core runtime and ASP.NET Core.
  • aspnetcore-runtime — ASP.NET Core images, which include the .NET Core runtime and ASP.NET Core.
  • runtime — .NET Core runtime images, which include the .NET Core runtime.
  • runtime-deps — .NET Core runtime dependency images, which include only the dependencies of .NET Core and not .NET Core itself. This image is intended for self-contained applications and is only offered for Linux. For Windows, you can use the operating system base image directly for self-contained applications, since all .NET Core dependencies are satisfied by it.

For example, I'll use an SDK image to build my app, but I'll use aspnetcore-runtime to ship it. No need to ship the SDK with a running app. I want to keep my image sizes as small as possible!

For me, I even made a little PowerShell script (runs on Windows or Linux) that builds and tests my Podcast site (the image tagged podcast:test) within docker. Note the volume mapping? It stores the Test Results outside the container so I can look at them later if I need to.

#!/usr/local/bin/powershell
docker build --pull --target testrunner -t podcast:test .
docker run --rm -v c:\github\hanselminutes-core\TestResults:/app/hanselminutes.core.tests/TestResults podcast:test

Pretty slick.

Results File: /app/hanselminutes.core.tests/TestResults/_898a406a7ad1_2018-06-28_22_05_04.trx

Total tests: 22. Passed: 22. Failed: 0. Skipped: 0.
Test execution time: 8.9496 Seconds

Go read up on how the .NET Core images are built, managed, and maintained. It made it easy for me to get my podcast site - once dockerized - running on .NET Core on a Raspberry Pi (ARM32).


New Sponsor! Never type an invoice again! With DocSight OCR by ActivePDF, you’ll extract data from bills, invoices, PO’s & other documents using zonal data capture technology. Achieve Digital Transformation today!

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

facebook twitter subscribe
About   Newsletter
Sponsored By
Hosting By
Dedicated Windows Server Hosting by SherWeb

Using Flurl to easily build URLs and make testable HttpClient calls in .NET

June 23, '18 Comments [12] Posted in ASP.NET | DotNetCore | Open Source
Sponsored By

FlurlI posted about using Refit along with ASP.NET Core 2.1's HttpClientFactory earlier this week. Several times when exploring this space (both on Twitter, googling around, and in my own blog comments) I come upon Flurl as in, "Fluent URL."

Not only is that a killer name for an open source project, Flurl is very active, very complete, and very interesting. By the way, take a look at the https://flurl.io/ site for a great example of a good home page for a well-run open source library. Clear, crisp, unambiguous, with links on how to Get It, Learn It, and Contribute. Not to mention extensive docs. Kudos!

Flurl is a modern, fluent, asynchronous, testable, portable, buzzword-laden URL builder and HTTP client library for .NET.

You had me at buzzword-laden! Flurl embraces the .NET Standard and works on .NET Framework, .NET Core, Xamarin, and UWP - so, everywhere.

To use just the Url Builder by installing Flurl. For the kitchen sink (recommended) you'll install Flurl.Http. In fact, Todd Menier was kind enough to share what a Flurl implementation of my SimpleCastClient would look like! Just to refresh you, my podcast site uses the SimpleCast podcast hosting API as its back-end.

My super basic typed implementation that "has a" HttpClient looks like this. To be clear this sample is WITHOUT FLURL.

public class SimpleCastClient
{
private HttpClient _client;
private ILogger<SimpleCastClient> _logger;
private readonly string _apiKey;

public SimpleCastClient(HttpClient client, ILogger<SimpleCastClient> logger, IConfiguration config)
{
_client = client;
_client.BaseAddress = new Uri($"https://api.simplecast.com"); //Could also be set in Startup.cs
_logger = logger;
_apiKey = config["SimpleCastAPIKey"];
}

public async Task<List<Show>> GetShows()
{
try
{
var episodesUrl = new Uri($"/v1/podcasts/shownum/episodes.json?api_key={_apiKey}", UriKind.Relative);
_logger.LogWarning($"HttpClient: Loading {episodesUrl}");
var res = await _client.GetAsync(episodesUrl);
res.EnsureSuccessStatusCode();
return await res.Content.ReadAsAsync<List<Show>>();
}
catch (HttpRequestException ex)
{
_logger.LogError($"An error occurred connecting to SimpleCast API {ex.ToString()}");
throw;
}
}
}

Let's explore Tim's expression of the same client using the Flurl library!

Not we set up a client in Startup.cs, use the same configuration, and also put in some nice aspect-oriented events for logging the befores and afters. This is VERY nice and you'll note it pulls my cluttered logging code right out of the client!

// Do this in Startup. All calls to SimpleCast will use the same HttpClient instance.
FlurlHttp.ConfigureClient(Configuration["SimpleCastServiceUri"], cli => cli
.Configure(settings =>
{
// keeps logging & error handling out of SimpleCastClient
settings.BeforeCall = call => logger.LogWarning($"Calling {call.Request.RequestUri}");
settings.OnError = call => logger.LogError($"Call to SimpleCast failed: {call.Exception}");
})
// adds default headers to send with every call
.WithHeaders(new
{
Accept = "application/json",
User_Agent = "MyCustomUserAgent" // Flurl will convert that underscore to a hyphen
}));

Again, this set up code lives in Startup.cs and is a one-time thing. The Headers, User Agent all are dealt with once there and in a one-line chained "fluent" manner.

Here's the new SimpleCastClient with Flurl.

using Flurl;
using Flurl.Http;

public class SimpleCastClient
{
// look ma, no client!
private readonly string _baseUrl;
private readonly string _apiKey;

public SimpleCastClient(IConfiguration config)
{
_baseUrl = config["SimpleCastServiceUri"];
_apiKey = config["SimpleCastAPIKey"];
}

public Task<List<Show>> GetShows()
{
return _baseUrl
.AppendPathSegment("v1/podcasts/shownum/episodes.json")
.SetQueryParam("api_key", _apiKey)
.GetJsonAsync<List<Show>>();
}
}

See in GetShows() how we're also using the Url Builder fluent extensions in the Flurl library. See that _baseUrl is actually a string? We all know that we're supposed to use System.Uri but it's such a hassle. Flurl adds extension methods to strings so that you can seamlessly transition from the strings (that we all use) representations of Urls/Uris and build up a Query String, and in this case, a GET that returns JSON.

Very clean!

Flurl also prides itself on making HttpClient testing easier as well. Here's a more sophisticated example of a library from their site:

// Flurl will use 1 HttpClient instance per host
var person = await "https://api.com"
.AppendPathSegment("person")
.SetQueryParams(new { a = 1, b = 2 })
.WithOAuthBearerToken("my_oauth_token")
.PostJsonAsync(new
{
first_name = "Claire",
last_name = "Underwood"
})
.ReceiveJson<Person>();

This example is doing a post with an anonymous object that will automatically turn into JSON when it hits the wire. It also receives JSON as the response. Even the query params are created with a C# POCO (Plain Old CLR Object) and turned into name=value strings automatically.

Here's a test Flurl-style!

// fake & record all http calls in the test subject
using (var httpTest = new HttpTest()) {
// arrange
httpTest.RespondWith(200, "OK");
// act
await sut.CreatePersonAsync();
// assert
httpTest.ShouldHaveCalled("https://api.com/*")
.WithVerb(HttpMethod.Post)
.WithContentType("application/json");
}

Flurl.Http includes a set of features to easily fake and record HTTP activity. You can make a whole series of assertions about your APIs:

httpTest.ShouldHaveCalled("http://some-api.com/*")
.WithVerb(HttpMethd.Post)
.WithContentType("application/json")
.WithRequestBody("{\"a\":*,\"b\":*}") // supports wildcards
.Times(1)

All in all, it's an impressive set of tools that I hope you explore and consider for your toolbox! There's a ton of great open source like this with .NET Core and I'm thrilled to do a small part to spread the word. You should to!


Sponsor: Check out dotMemory Unit, a free unit testing framework for fighting all kinds of memory issues in your code. Extend your unit testing with the functionality of a memory profiler.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

facebook twitter subscribe
About   Newsletter
Sponsored By
Hosting By
Dedicated Windows Server Hosting by SherWeb

Using ASP.NET Core 2.1's HttpClientFactory with Refit's REST library

June 20, '18 Comments [11] Posted in ASP.NET | ASP.NET Web API | DotNetCore | Open Source
Sponsored By

Strong by Lucyb_22 used under Creative Commons from FlickrWhen I moved my podcast site over to ASP.NET Core 2.1 I also started using HttpClientFactory and wrote up my experience. It's a nice clean way to centralize both settings and policy for your HttpClients, especially if you're using a lot of them to talk to a lot of small services.

Last year I explored Refit, an automatic type-safe REST library for .NET Standard. It makes it super easy to just declare the shape of a client and its associated REST API with a C# interface:

public interface IGitHubApi
{
[Get("/users/{user}")]
Task<User> GetUser(string user);
}

and then ask for an HttpClient that speaks that API's shape, then call it. Fabulous.

var gitHubApi = RestService.For<IGitHubApi>("https://api.github.com");

var octocat = await gitHubApi.GetUser("octocat");

But! What does Refit look like and how does it work in an HttpClientFactory-enabled world? Refit has recently been updated with first class support for ASP.NET Core 2.1's HttpClientFactory with the Refit.HttpClientFactory package.

Since you'll want to centralize all your HttpClient configuration in your ConfigureServices method in Startup, Refit adds a nice extension method hanging off of Services.

You add a RefitClient of a type, then add whatever other IHttpClientBuilder methods you want afterwards:

services.AddRefitClient<IWebApi>()
.ConfigureHttpClient(c => c.BaseAddress = new Uri("https://api.example.com"));
// Add additional IHttpClientBuilder chained methods as required here:
// .AddHttpMessageHandler<MyHandler>()
// .SetHandlerLifetime(TimeSpan.FromMinutes(2));

Of course, then you can just have your HttpClient automatically created and passed into the constructor. You'll see in this sample from their GitHub that you get an IWebAPI (that is, whatever type you want, like my IGitHubApi) and just go to town with a strongly typed interfaces of an HttpClient with autocomplete.

public class HomeController : Controller
{
public HomeController(IWebApi webApi)
{
_webApi = webApi;
}

private readonly IWebApi _webApi;

public async Task<IActionResult> Index(CancellationToken cancellationToken)
{
var thing = await _webApi.GetSomethingWeNeed(cancellationToken);

return View(thing);
}
}

Refit is easy to use, and even better with ASP.NET Core 2.1. Go get Refit and try it today!

* Strong image by Lucyb_22 used under Creative Commons from Flickr


Sponsor: Check out dotMemory Unit, a free unit testing framework for fighting all kinds of memory issues in your code. Extend your unit testing with the functionality of a memory profiler.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

facebook twitter subscribe
About   Newsletter
Sponsored By
Hosting By
Dedicated Windows Server Hosting by SherWeb

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.