Storing data between requests in dbcontext

asp.net-core asp.net-core-mvc c# dbcontext entity-framework-core

Question

I have a page with server side rendering using razor, where you can add a couple of elements from different lists, fill some fields and create a request from it on submit.

Each time an item is added/taken from any list, I send a post with submit button to a specific action, e.g. "CustomerSelected". I do this, because I need to recreate additional view components for the added item. In these methods I would like to add added objects to the db context, so on submit I can just say SaveChanges() and not have to assemble everything in the same method. But in .net core db context is per request and it is advisable to keep it that way. In this case how can I store these temporary entity objects between requests so later if someone decides to submit them I can say SaveChanges() or discard them otherwise?

I would like to have something like this:

public IActionResult CustomerAdded(int customerId)
{
    var customer = _context.Customers.First(c => c.IdCustomer == customerId);
    var message = _context.Messages.First(m => m.IdMessage = _idMessage);
    message.Customers.Add(customer);
    return View();
}

public IActionResult ItemAdded(int itemId)
{
    var item = _context.Items.First(c => c.IdItem == itemId);
    var message = _context.Messages.First(m => m.IdMessage = _idMessage);
    message.Items.Add(item);
    return View();
}

public IActionResult Submit()
{
    _context.SaveChanges();
    return View();
}

If this is not possible then I was thinking about adding individual elements in each method and save them there and onsubmit I would build the last final element. But if someone closes their browser without submitting then I have incomplete data laying in my database. I would have to run some kind of job to delete those and it seems to be too much for such a simple task.

1
7
1/3/2019 9:47:00 AM

Popular Answer

It's not good idea to use server resources to track changes in such scenarios. In scenarios like shopping basket, list or batch editing it's better track changes at client-side.

Your requirement to get Views generated at server-side doesn't mean you need to track changes in DbContext. Get the index view and create view from server, but track changes on client. Then to save, post all data to the server to save changes based on the tracking info that you have.

The mechanism for client-side change tracking depends to the requirement and the scenario, for example you can track changes using html inputs, you can track changes using cookie, you can track changes using javascript objects in browser memory like angular scenarios.

Here is this post I'll show an example using html inputs and model binding. To learn more about this topic, take a look at this article by Phill Haack: Model Binding To A List.

Example

In the following example I describe a list editing scenario for a list of customers. To make it simple, I suppose:

  • You have a list of customers which you are going to edit at client. You may want to add, edit or delete items.
  • When adding new item, the row template for new row should come from server.
  • When deleting, you mark an item as deleted by clicking on a checkbox on the row.
  • When adding/editing you want to show validation errors near the cells.
  • You want to save changes at the end, by click on Save button.

To implement above scenario Then you need to create following models, actions and views:

Trackable<T> Model

This class is a model which helps us in client side tracking and list editing:

public class Trackable<T>
{
    public Trackable() { }
    public Trackable(T model) { Model = model; }
    public Guid Index { get; set; } = Guid.NewGuid();
    public bool Deleted { get; set; }
    public bool Added { get; set; }
    public T Model { get; set; }
}

Customer Model

The customer model:

public class Customer
{
    [Display(Name ="Id")]
    public int Id { get; set; }

    [StringLength(20, MinimumLength = 1)]
    [Required]
    [Display(Name ="First Name")]
    public string FirstName { get; set; }

    [StringLength(20, MinimumLength = 1)]
    [Required]
    [Display(Name ="Last Name")]
    public string LastName { get; set; }

    [EmailAddress]
    [Required]
    [Display(Name ="Email Name")]
    public string Email { get; set; }
}

Index.cshtml View

The Index view is responsible to render List<Trackable<Customer>>. When rendering each record, we use RowTemplate view. The same view which we use when adding new item.

In this view, we have a submit button for save and a button for adding new rows which calls Create action using ajax.

Here is Index view:

@model IEnumerable<Trackable<Customer>>
<h2>Index</h2>
<form method="post" action="Index">
    <p>
        <button id="create">New Customer</button>
        <input type="submit" value="Save All">
    </p>
    <table class="table" id="data">
        <thead>
            <tr>
                <th>
                    Delete
                </th>
                <th>
                    @Html.DisplayNameFor(x => x.Model.FirstName)
                </th>
                <th>
                    @Html.DisplayNameFor(x => x.Model.LastName)
                </th>
                <th>
                    @Html.DisplayNameFor(x => x.Model.Email)
                </th>
            </tr>
        </thead>
        <tbody>
            @foreach (var item in Model)
            {
                await Html.RenderPartialAsync("RowTemplate", item);
            }
        </tbody>
    </table>
</form>

@section Scripts{
    <script>
        $(function () {
            $('#create').click(function (e) {
                e.preventDefault();
                $.ajax({
                    url: 'Create',
                    method: 'Get',
                    success: function (data) {
                        $('#data tbody tr:last-child').after(data);
                    },
                    error: function (e) { alert(e); }
                });
            });
        });
    </script>
}

RowTemplate.cshtml View

This view is responsible to render a customer record. In this view, we first render the Index in a hidden, then set a prefix [index] for the fields and then render the fields, including index again, added, deleted and model id:

Here is RowTemplate View:

@model Trackable<Customer>
<tr>
    <td>
        @Html.HiddenFor(x => x.Index)
        @{Html.ViewData.TemplateInfo.HtmlFieldPrefix = $"[{Model.Index}]";}
        @Html.HiddenFor(x => x.Index)
        @Html.HiddenFor(x => x.Model.Id)
        @Html.HiddenFor(x => x.Added)
        @Html.CheckBoxFor(x => x.Deleted)
    </td>
    <td>
        @Html.EditorFor(x => x.Model.FirstName)
        @Html.ValidationMessageFor(x => x.Model.FirstName)
    </td>
    <td>
        @Html.EditorFor(x => x.Model.LastName)
        @Html.ValidationMessageFor(x => x.Model.LastName)
    </td>
    <td>
        @Html.EditorFor(x => x.Model.Email)
        @Html.ValidationMessageFor(x => x.Model.Email)
    </td>
</tr>

CustomerController

public class CustomerController : Controller
{
    private static List<Customer> list;
}

It will have the following actions.

[GET] Index Action

In this action you can load data from database and shape it to a List<Trackable<Customer>> and pass to the Index View:

[HttpGet]
public IActionResult Index()
{
    if (list == null)
    {
        list = Enumerable.Range(1, 5).Select(x => new Customer()
        {
            Id = x,
            FirstName = $"A{x}",
            LastName = $"B{x}",
            Email = $"A{x}@B{x}.com"
        }).ToList();
    }
    var model = list.Select(x => new Trackable<Customer>(x)).ToList();
    return View(model);
}

[GET] Create Action

This action is responsible to returning new row template. It will be called by a button in Index View using ajax:

[HttpGet]
public IActionResult Create()
{
    var model = new Trackable<Customer>(new Customer()) { Added = true };
    return PartialView("RowTemplate", model);
}

[POST] Index Action

This action is responsible for receiving the tracked item from client and save them. The model which it receives is List<Trackable<Customer>>. It first strips the validation error messages for deleted rows. Then removes those which are both deleted and added. Then checks if model state is valid, tries to apply changes on data source.

Items having Deleted property as true are deleted, items having Added as true and Deleted as false are new items, and rest of items are edited. Then without needing to load all items from database, just using a for loop, call db.Entry for each item and set their states and finally save changes.

[HttpPost]
public IActionResult Index(List<Trackable<Customer>> model)
{
    //Cleanup model errors for deleted rows
    var deletedIndexes = model.
        Where(x => x.Deleted).Select(x => $"[{x.Index}]");
    var modelStateDeletedKeys = ModelState.Keys.
        Where(x => deletedIndexes.Any(d => x.StartsWith(d)));
    modelStateDeletedKeys.ToList().ForEach(x => ModelState.Remove(x));

    //Removing rows which are added and deleted
    model.RemoveAll(x => x.Deleted && x.Added);

    //If model state is not valid, return view
    if (!ModelState.IsValid)
        return View(model);

    //Deleted rows
    model.Where(x => x.Deleted && !x.Added).ToList().ForEach(x =>
    {
        var i = list.FindIndex(c => c.Id == x.Model.Id);
        if (i >= 0)
            list.RemoveAt(i);
    });

    //Added rows
    model.Where(x => !x.Deleted && x.Added).ToList().ForEach(x =>
    {
        list.Add(x.Model);
    });

    //Edited rows
    model.Where(x => !x.Deleted && !x.Added).ToList().ForEach(x =>
    {
        var i = list.FindIndex(c => c.Id == x.Model.Id);
        if (i >= 0)
            list[i] = x.Model;
    });

    //Reditect to action index
    return RedirectToAction("Index");
}
4
1/6/2019 3:23:38 AM


Related Questions





Related

Licensed under: CC-BY-SA with attribution
Not affiliated with Stack Overflow
Licensed under: CC-BY-SA with attribution
Not affiliated with Stack Overflow