Review: HTTP the Right Way with ASP.NET Web API and MVC 4

DC .NET User Group’s (DC DNUG) June meeting, held in DC at the American College of Cardiology on June 19, featured the presentation “HTTP the Right Way with ASP.NET Web API and MVC 4” given by Steve Michelotti, a software engineer and Microsoft MVP.

The title of this presentation refers to the fact that until the recent release of the Web API component of the MVC 4 framework, HTTP was only partially implemented in .NET.  According to Michelotti, Microsoft released Web API, which fully implements RFC 2616 (the specification for the HTTP protocol), in response to the growth in the mobile computing market and the proliferation of web services.

The presentation covered a brief history of the MVC framework and how, with the inclusion of Web API, Microsoft is taking .NET in a more RESTful direction.  Michelotti also gave a very thorough explanation of REST and how some applications are deemed RESTful though they don’t comply with all the REST tenets.

Coding demos were interspersed throughout this presentation illustrating the features Web API provides including the use of filters and scaffolding.  Michelotti also performed unit testing on controllers, one of the many features of Web API that should make it easier to build HTTP services in .NET.  As an aside, he used Fiddler heavily, which is a pretty useful Visual Studio add-on for web debugging.

This presentation was dense with code, but organized and intelligible.  It was a fairly thorough introduction to the new features Web API provides.  It was clear from the presentation that Michelotti is experienced and well-informed.  A few times he was asked to go back to code he’d just written because he’d generated it so quickly.  Fortunately for everyone in attendance, he provided a link to his code and slides, which can be found here: https://github.com/smichelotti/WebAPI-presentation/tree/master/docs.

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