ASP.NET Core Basics: Project Creation

With ASP.NET Core released it seems like a good time to do a series of posts on the basics of this new platform starting with getting a new project up and running.  In this post I am going to walk through installation of ASP.NET Core and then move to project creation. This project will end up being a basic contact list application although there will not be much specific to that end goal in this post.

Installation

All the software needed for this post can be found at http://dot.net. I will be using Visual Studio 2015 in my examples and if you don’t have it installed already it can be downloaded using the Download Visual Studio 2015 button on the right of the above page or by clicking here. If you already have Visual Studio 2015 installed please ensure you have installed Update 3.

The next bit of software you will need is found by clicking the Download .NET Core 1.0 or clicking here. This page has a good write up getting started with .NET Core, but all you need is the install for .NET Core 1.0 for Visual Studio which can be found here.

To verify that .NET Core is installed open a command prompt and run  dotnet --version which will print the current version of .NET Core you have installed. As of this writing this my version is 1.0.0-preview2-003121. While .NET Core its self has been officially released the tooling is still in preview which is why the version contains preview2-003121.

Project Creation

Launch Visual Studio and from the File > New menu select Project…

NewProject

This will load the New Project dialog. On the left side under Templates > Visual C# > .NET Core select ASP.NET Core Web Application (.Net Core) or you can use the search box in the upper right of the screen to search for “ASP.NET Core Web Application (.Net Core)”.

NewProjectDialogContacts

Next on the New ASP.NET Core Web Application dialog select Web Application. This option creates an application with example MVC Views (razor) and an example controller. Notice the note that this template can be used for RESTful HTTP services as well. Next click the Change Authentication button.

NewAspNetCoreWebApplication

For this example I am going to use Individual User Accounts. This option adds UI, models, controllers, etc. to allow registration and management of user accounts. Since the option needs a database to store account information it include Entity Framework Core. Click OK on the Change Authentication dialog and then click ON new web application dialog.

ChangeAuthentication

Project Overview

After the creation process is finished got to the Solution Explorer window and you will see a set up similar to the following.

SolutionExplorer

I am going to point out a few of the files and folder that are part of a newly created application. Fist is  wwwroot which is where static files will be severed as long you are using the static files middleware.  This is where images, CSS and JavaScript should go.

appsettings.json is where you will find connection strings and logging settings by default. Your own settings can be added here as well.

project.json is where you will find all your project’s dependencies (using the NuGet UI or Package Manager console both write to this file), tools, frameworks, build options, runtime options, publish options and scripts are all defined. Thankfully this file has good support for intellisense if you decide to edit it manually. This file covers a lot, but for this introduction I am going to avoid digging into the specifics.

Startup.cs is the last file I want to call out. Its generated contents are fine for this example project, but it has a couple of functions you should be aware of. First ASP.NET Core comes with dependency injection built in and the  ConfigureServices function is where items are registered with the built in container. The second function is  Configure and this is the function where the HTTP request pipeline for your application is configured using various middleware.

Wrapping Up

At this point you have a web application that can be run (press F5 to run with the debugger attached or Ctrl + F5 to run without the debugger). With no code changes you now have a web application that has basic navigation, controllers, views and authentication.

With this series of post things are being kept intentionally short and focused on one or two main topics. Next week will build on this basic project by adding in the ability to manage contacts, using a new controller and associated razor view which will be persisted to a database using Entity Framework Core.

The code that goes with this post can be found in this GitHub repository.

 

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