Space for Emmie Lewis-Briggman to ramble about various technologies and experiences. All opinions are my own. See disclaimer for details.

All posts in The Web


Background I had a need to read an Excel file in my data access layer for a WCF service.  I wanted to ensure that I can read the data from the Excel file without the need of any Office drivers etc. to be installed on the web server.  New office versions (since 2007) use XML in excel files.  According to MSDN, the new formats improve file and data management, data recovery, and interoperability with line-of-business systems. They extend what is possible with the binary files of earlier versions. Any application that supports XML can access and work with data in the Read more


Background Without using SharePoint designer, there sometimes is a need to modify the style properties of various elements on a SharePoint page. In enterprise environments, SharePoint designer is frequently turned off for valid reasons from users. I was asked last week to stop the text wrap for a SharePoint column in a list. My first thought was to use jQuery. Woohoo! I was able to easily use the jQuery library to modify CSS attributes for anything on the page. Check out how I did this in SharePoint 2010. jQuery Addition In this example, I want to modify the “Title” column Read more


Background I’ve gotten a lot of requests about how to extend the Razor WebGrid’s footer. It’s actually quite simple. The WebGrid is just a HTML table with headers, footers and rows. The WebGrid in System.Web.Helpers contains a parameter in WebGrid.Table for accessing the footer and applying a standard. This will allow consumers of the grid to have a “Master grid” to apply styles, headers, footers etc. We just need to create a HTMLHelper that will bind to the grid, create the footer and return the HTMLString output to the page. HTMLHelper Code In the example below, I created an extension Read more


Background According to Mary Jo Foley, SharePoint — in case you aren’t among its customers or partners who are deploying, maintaining and fixing it — is the server sibling of Office. It is a collection of six different servers bundled into a single back-end that provide content management, enterprise social networking, intranet search, portal creation and management and collaboration. It is a productivity and collaboration software that remains at the core of corporations around the world. As of 2009, Microsoft has been adding 20,000 SharePoint users per day, every day for the last five years, according to Jared Spataro, Director Read more


Background A widget in simple terms is a client side, browser based application, with small functionality, and which displays data coming from different sources.  I created a web widget for the Quote Me application in order to allow other applications to access my application data.  The application database is located in the cloud (Windows Azure Mobile Services).  I used the Web API to create a controller that will retrieve quote information from Azure.  ASP.NET Web API is a framework that makes it easy to build HTTP services that reach a broad range of clients, including browsers and mobile devices. ASP.NET Read more


Background I have a WinRT application called Quote Me.  I had an immediate need to allow the users to share my quotes via the People app in Windows 8. The only real way to accomplish this is to create a web application to provide a link for the share contract in WinRT. I decided to create a MVC application that will connect to my Azure database and display the quote. Some manipulation to the meta tag headers will be required in order to ensure that my share link displays properly in Facebook. Implementation in MVC I created a new WebAPI Read more


My Two Cents I ask myself this question a lot lately.  Why can’t we use REST services for almost everything?  What’s really stopping us?  Hmmm… I investigated to help me understand the clear differences between REST and SOAP services. I thought I would share my findings. After thorough research I concluded that 90% of the applications I write can use REST.  Some will argue with me and say that SOAP is more secure with WS standards etc. but what stops us from using security with REST.  There are definitely times where using SOAP services make sense and it is addressed Read more


Background I had a need to extend the MVC WebGrid in order to create a generic master grid for other developers. I had to standardize the WebGrid by providing a sort image based on direction, custom pager and grid action links. The ASP.NET MVC framework provides HTML helpers in order to provide an easy way to render HTML in a view. Creating an extension seemed helpful with enforcing the same look, feel and behavior throughout the application without needing a partial. In the static method WebGridFor, “this HtmlHelper helper” identifies that the code is an extension for HtmlHelper. The custom Read more