Thursday, April 5, 2018

How to Import database from SQL Azure to local environment

One of the most frequent thing that developers always wanted to have a copy of the development database in local. In this blog i will pen down the steps on how to export and import a database from SQL azure instance to local machine and restore it on SQL server.


You will need an Azure account and get the credentials  from Azure web portal. 

Step 1:

Get the backup from the azure instance as follows,  Select the database → Right click → Tasks →  Export Data Tier Application.

Step 2:
Give a specific name for the backup file and save it in your desired location as follows,
Step 3: That's it you have taken a backup of the database from sql instance to your local. Lets restore it to the local. Copy the backed up database to your C drive. Now open the
PowerShell with administrator rights and navigate to C drive

Step 4: Lets download the powershell script to remove the master keyRemoveMasterKey.ps1have the script on the same drive in this case its C.

Step 5 : Run the script as follows,
 .\RemoveMasterKey.ps1 -bacpacPath "C:\identity.bacpac"
That's it, now you can restore it on MSSQL 2017 in your local environment.
Step 6: Connect to your local server, and click Databases → Import-Data-Tier-Application
Step 7 : Give a name for your database to restore. 

Now you will see everything in green!

That's it folks, now you should be easily able to restore your development database in your local environment.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Wear out the features of Azure CosmosDB with AspNetCore application

Azure CosmosDB (Azure Cosmos DB – Globally Distributed Database Service (formerly DocumentDB) | Microsoft Azure) is a super set of the service once known as “Azure Document Db”. In short: “Azure CosmosDB ” = “Azure Document Db” + new data types + new APIs.

You can try CosmosDB  for free on Azure or you can setup the CosmosDB on your local environment by following my previous blog. I am becoming a fan of .NET Core with all the features and it is getting better day by day . In this blog post i just wanted to take that initial steps of how to work with CosmosDB from .NET Core Client context. After reading this blog, you should be able to do the following with CosmosDB programmatically,

  • Create Database
  • Create Collection
  • Create Documents  
  • Query a Document  
  • Delete Database  
Pre-Requisities Needed:

I have the following in my local environment , hope you guys have already have😊, if not start setting up.
  • Windows 10 OS
  • Azure CosmosDB Emulator
  • Visual Studio Code editor with C# plugin
  • .NET Core 2.0
Ok folks, lets get started.

Step 1: Create .Net Core Console Application : 
As other tutorials, to make it simple I will be creating a dotnetcore console app to work with CosmosDB . With Net Core , we now  have a CLI. Lets create the new app with the following steps. (I’ve mentioned in the previous blog)
  1. Open command prompt or poweshell (Administrator Mode)
  2. Navigate to your folder where you need to create the app
  3. Execute the following command
dotnet new console -n CosmosCoreClient -o CosmosCoreClient

here -n denotes the name of the application, and -o tells the CLI to create a folder with that name and create the application inside the folder

Open the newly created project in Visual Studio Code. Execute the following command

Here is a screenshot of how it should look on your end:

I am using C# 7.1 feature to create a async Main method in my console app. For that, we will need to make a small change in our project file a little. Open CosmosDBClient.csproj file to edit. Add the following XML node to PropertyGroup node.


After changes, your csproj file should look like below:

Lets move to the core part of integrating CosmosDB with .netCore application and start building the features.

Step 2: Add CosmosDB Nuget Package

If you have followed the above steps, we have successfully created the application, next is to add reference to CosmosDB nuget package to get the client libraries. Advantage of these packages/libraries are, they make it easy to work with Cosmosdb.
  1. Open a command prompt and navigate to root of your project.
  2. Execute the following command
dotnet add package Microsoft.Azure.DocumentDB.Core

You might wonder the namespace has DocumentDB in it. In fact DocumetDB is where the whole journey started and hence the name sticks in Cosmos world too. If you now look at the project file a new reference for DocumentDB would have been added. Here is the screenshot of my project file.

Step 3: Creating Model for CosmosDB

Lets build the database. If you are new to CosmosDB you should know that CosmosDB has a query playground here It is a sandboxed environment with couple of databases and you can try around with different queries you can write against the database. For this post, lets create the database named Course locally.

Since we our application is to deal with the Courses we need 4 Models here.
  1. Course
  2. Session
  3. Teacher
  4. Student
Here are the Models of the above 4.


using Microsoft.Azure.Documents;
using Newtonsoft.Json;
using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
public class Course : Document
    [JsonProperty(PropertyName = "CourseId")]
    public Guid CourseId { get; set; }

    [JsonProperty(PropertyName = "Name")]
    public string Name
            return GetPropertyValue<string>("Name");
            SetPropertyValue("Name", value);

    [JsonProperty(PropertyName = "Sessions")]
    public List<Session> Sessions { get; set; }

    [JsonProperty(PropertyName = "Teacher")]
    public Teacher Teacher { get; set; }

    [JsonProperty(PropertyName = "Students")]
    public List<Student> Students { get; set; }


using System;

public class Session
    public Guid SessionId { get; set; }

    public string Name { get; set; }

    public int MaterialsCount { get; set; }


using System;

public class Teacher
    public Guid TeacherId { get; set; }

    public string FullName { get; set; }

    public int Age { get; set; }


using System;

public class Student
    public Guid StudentId { get; set; }
    public string FullName { get; set; }


Lets create the Client as the next step.

Step 4: Creating the Client

Next step you will need to instantiate the CosmosDb client before we do anything with the database. In order to connect to the local instance of the cosmosDb, we need to configure 2 things,

  1. URL of the CosmosDb instane
  2. Authentication key needed to authenticate.
As stated above, When you start the CosmosDb  local emulator, the db instance is available at https://localhost:8081. The authkey for local emulator is a static key and you can find it here in this article( This key works only with the local emulator and wont work with your Azure instance, you can find the key if you are using azure instance from the portal as mentioned in the answer. Here is the code snippet to instantiate the client:

static string endpointUri = "https://localhost:8081";
        static string authKey = "C2y6yDjf5/R+ob0N8A7Cgv30VRDJIWEHLM+4QDU5DE2nQ9nDuVTqobD4b8mGGyPMbIZnqyMsEcaGQy67XIw/Jw==";
        string dbName = "CourseDB";
        string collectionName = "Courses";
        static void Main(string[] args)
            Console.WriteLine("Press any key to run");



        private static async void Run()
            DocumentClient documentClient = new DocumentClient(new Uri(endpointUri),

When the method Run is exectued the Client is instantiated with the local CosmosDB emulator. 

Step 5: Lets start building the features

Next step is to build the features as listed above. Lets add the methods inside the Async method.

Creating Database:

To create a new database programmatically, we make use of CreateDatabaseAsync() or CreateDatabaseIfNotExistsAsync(). When creating the database we pass the database name. Here is the code snippet:

private static async Task<Database> CreateDatabase(DocumentClient documentClient)
            Database database = documentClient.CreateDatabaseQuery().Where(c => c.Id == "courseDatabase").AsEnumerable().FirstOrDefault();
            if (database == null)
                database = await documentClient.CreateDatabaseAsync(new Database()
                    Id = "courseDatabase"
            return database;
When you refresh the URL of local CosmosDB emulator, You should see the database created in your local db emulator as follows,

Creating Collection:

Once the database is created, we can then create a collection. We make use of CreateDocumentCollectionAsync() or CreateDocumentCollectionIfNotExistsAsync()

We will need to provide what is known as the database link (basically the URI at which the db can be reached) and the collection name to the create method. Here is the code snippet:

private static async Task<DocumentCollection> CreateDocumentCollection(DocumentClient documentClient, Database database)

            DocumentCollection documentCollection = documentClient.CreateDocumentCollectionQuery(database.CollectionsLink).Where(c => c.Id == "courseDocumentCollection").AsEnumerable().FirstOrDefault();

            if (documentCollection == null)
                documentCollection = await documentClient.CreateDocumentCollectionAsync(database.SelfLink, new DocumentCollection()
                    Id = "courseDocumentCollection"

            return documentCollection;

Now you should the the Collection for Course is created as follows,

Creating Document : 

After creating the database and collection, we can now create the documents. We make use of CreateDocumentAsync() for this purpose. We will need to pass the URI of the collection under which we want to create the document and the document data itself. In this example we make use of the Course data mode i showed earlier and pass it to the create method. Here is the code snippet: 

private static async Task CreateCourse(DocumentClient documentClient, DocumentCollection documentCollection)
            Course course = new Course()
                CourseId = Guid.NewGuid(),
                Name = "En",
                Teacher = new Teacher()
                    TeacherId = Guid.NewGuid(),
                    FullName = "Scott Hanselman",
                    Age = 44
                Students = new List<Student>()
                    new Student(){
                         FullName = "Trump",
                         StudentId = Guid.NewGuid()
                Sessions = new List<Session>(){
                    new Session(){
                        SessionId = Guid.NewGuid(),
                        Name = "CosmosDB",
                        MaterialsCount = 10
                    new Session(){
                        SessionId = Guid.NewGuid(),
                        Name = "Ch1",
                        MaterialsCount = 3
            Document document = await documentClient.CreateDocumentAsync(documentCollection.DocumentsLink, course);

You should see the document inserted in localdb Emulator as follows.

Querying Document:

Now that we have created a document, we can see how to query it. We can make use of CreateDocumentQuery() method for this purpose. We will need to pass the collection link on which we need to query. We can then build the query as a LINQ expression and the client library does the rest. This is the best part of the client library. It has the ability to translate your LINQ expression to cosmos REST URIs without me having to crack my head in constructing those URIs. Here is the code snippet:

private Course QueryCourse(Guid guid, String dbName, DocumentClient documentClient, string collectionName)
            Course selectedCourse = documentClient.CreateDocumentQuery<Course>(
                             UriFactory.CreateDocumentCollectionUri(dbName, collectionName))
                             .Where(v => v.Name == "CosmosDB")
            return selectedCourse;

Note that you will need to import System.Linq for the LINQ expression to work.

Deleting Database:

Finally, we can make use of DeleteDatabaseAsync() method to delete the database programmatically. We will need to provide the database link to the delete method. We can use the UriFactory.CreateDatabaseUri() helper method to create the database link. Here is the code snippet:

await documentClient.DeleteDatabaseAsync(UriFactory.CreateDatabaseUri(dbName)); 

Well, those are the main features that Azure CosmosDB client provides and if you are stuck with any of the steps above , you can check out the repository i have added with the samples.

Happy Coding! Lets spread Azure's CosmosDB to the world.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

How to configure localization on Asp.Net Core project

In this post I'll walk through the process of adding localization to an ASP.NET Core application. Localization in ASP.NET Core is almost similar to the way it works in the ASP.NET 4.X. You have to define a number of .resx resource files in your application, one for each culture you support. You then reference resources via a key, and depending on the current culture, the appropriate value is selected from the closest matching resource file.

As I stated above, concept of a .resx file per culture remains in ASP.NET Core, the way resources are used has changed quite a lot. In the previous version, when you added a .resx file to your solution, a designer file would be created, providing static strongly typed access to your resources through calls such as Resources.LoginString. In ASP.NET Core, resources are accessed through two abstractions, IStringLocalizer and IStringLocalizer, which are injected where needed via dependency injection. These interfaces have an indexer, that allows you to access resources by a string key. If no resource exists for the key (i.e. you haven't created an appropriate .resx file containing the key), then the key itself is used as the resource. ASP.NET Core introduced two interfaces namely IStringLocalizer and IStringLocalizer for implementing or developing localized applications. IStringLocalizer interface uses the ResourceManager and ResourceReader to provide user defined culture-specific resources at run time. This simple interface contains an indexer and an IEnumerable for returning localized strings to the application. IStringLocalizer doesn't require we to store the default language strings in a resource file.

Lets see how to add localization to your application step by step.

Step 1: As first step, add the Microsoft.AspNetCore.Localization NuGet package.  
  •   Microsoft.AspNetCore.Localization.Routing: Localization with routes, e.g.
  •   Microsoft.AspNetCore.Mvc.Localization: MVC Core Localization components, e.g. view localization, data annotation localization (Included in Microsoft.AspNetCore.Mvc)

Step 2: Lets configure the Startup.cs

public void ConfigureServices(IServiceCollection services)
    services.AddLocalization(o =>;
       o.ResourcesPath = "Resources";
The above configuration adds the necessary services for localization to the service container. It also specifies that we will use a folder called Resources to put our translation resources in.

Step 3: Let's add the request localization middleware to Configure in Startup:

public void Configure(IApplicationBuilder app, IHostingEnvironment env)
    IList<CultureInfo> supportedCultures = new List<CultureInfo>;
        new CultureInfo("en-US"),
        new CultureInfo("no"),
    app.UseRequestLocalization(new RequestLocalizationOptions
        DefaultRequestCulture = new RequestCulture("en-US"),
        SupportedCultures = supportedCultures,
        SupportedUICultures = supportedCultures
    app.UseMvc(routes =>
            name: "default",
            template: "{controller=Home}/{action=Index}/{id?}");

The three options we specify for the middleware are all important:The above step is necessary so that the culture for the request is set correctly. Note that it must be before any middleware that depends on the culture, such as MVC.
  • DefaultRequestCulture: This is the fallback that is used if we can't figure out which one should be used
  • SupportedCultures & SupportedUICultures: The cultures we wish to support
The above  middleware adds 3 providers for the request culture by default:
  • QueryStringRequestCultureProvider: Gets the culture from query string values
  • CookieRequestCultureProvider: Gets the culture from a cookie
  • AcceptLanguageHeaderRequestCultureProvider: Gets the culture from the Accept-Language request header
Most browsers send the Accept-Language header by default to all pages. 

Step 4: Adding the resource file
Last thing we need before we get to actually using the localization is a resource file.All we need to do is:
  •      Create a folder called Resources(Can be any name) in the project.
  •      Add a Resources file called SharedResources.en.resx .
  •      Add a line in the resource file with the Name set to Login and the Value to "Login To My System"

Step 5:  Create a file named SharedResources.cs to configure the type of Resource 

namespace SharedResourcesExample
    public class SharedResources

Step 6: Modify the constuctor of your controller say "HomeController" give us an IStringLocalizer

private IStringLocalizer<SharedResources> _sharedLocalizer;
public HomeController(IStringLocalizer<SharedResources> sharedLocalizer)
   _sharedLocalizer = sharedLocalizer;

Step 7To make the localization reflects on the HTML , you need to add the following  on the view

@inject IStringLocalizer<SharedResourcesExample.SharedResources> SharedLocalizer;

and the corresponding view as,


NOTE: I was stuck in an issue that localization worked on controller but not on the view. The fix is to check the namespace of SharedResource in the view, it should be the one that corresponds to the class we added.
If you are stuck with any of the steps, find the code in the sample project. That's all about setting up localization on an ASP.NET CORE project.

References :

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Setting up Azure CosmosDB with Visual Studio Code in Local Environment

Recently I started experimenting with Azure's CosmosDB and developed few applications using the same. To start with it this blog will help all the Azure/CosmosDB developers out there to easily setup with visual studio code. I will be sharing how to connect to Azure CosmosDB without using the portal in local machine.

To start with it, You should have visual studio code installed on your machine. If not download it from here.

We need to setup an extension with visual studio code as a initial step. Azure CosmosDB extension for visual studio code gives developers set of cool commands to work with CosmosDB. With the help of Azure CosmosDB extension developers can easily do the actions which could be done on the azure portal such as Create,delete,modify databases,Collections,views and documents. Also the hierarchical representation will provide a better way to understand the structure of database.

Step 1:

To start with, you must install the Azure CosmosDB from the market place. So, search for Azure Cosmos DB extension in the market place and click on install

Go to View - > Extensions or press Ctrl + Shift + X

Once the extension is installed, you can find Azure CosmosDB in explore section of visual studio code.

Step 2:

To explore the different types of commands with Azure Cosmos DB, open show all command palate and search for Cosmos. It will list down a different set of commands that you can play with,

Go to View - > Extensions or press Ctrl + Shift + P              

Step 3:

Now the extension is installed successfully. Lets see how to connect to Azure CosmosDB  in local machine. Move back to Azure CosmosDB extension section in the explorer panel. Sign in to Azure account to view the CosmosDB accounts inside the visual studio code alternatively you can select “Attach Database Account”

Select the specific Database Account API, in this case it is DocumentDB and enter the connection string copied from the portal

To get the connection string from the Azure Portal, navigate to the respective CosmosDB  Resource, and from the left side panel Settings –> Keys -> Connection String Copy the Primary Connection String.

Now you can see the database displayed with the account provided in the azure CosmosDB explorer pane.

That’s it Now you can Add, Modify Database, collection, and documents within Visual Studio Code. Play around with all the commands and features of the extension.

Step 4: Installing Azure Cosmos DB Emulator

Azure Cosmos DB Emulator provides a local environment that emulates the Azure CosmosDB service for your development. With the Azure Cosmos DB Emulator, you can develop and test your application locally, without creating an Azure subscription and without internet connection. With the extension we installed already you can connect with Local Emulator as well.
Download Azure CosmosDB emulator:
You can download emulator from Microsoft Download Center.
  1. Extract setup and run emulator exe.
  2. Once you completed the setup, type Azure Cosmos DB Emulator in Start menu.

Start the local Azure CosmosDB Emulator, and make sure it’s running. 

Verify the access by exploring the local emulator on this address.

https://localhost:8081/_explorer/index.html and you should see a screen as follows.

Step 5:
Once you verify your Azure Cosmos DB Emulator is running, you can go back to Visual Studio Code and try to attach the emulator by selecting Connected with Azure Cosmos DB Emulator option

After 1 or 2 minutes, you can find your local Cosmos DB data also mapped in Visual Studio Code.

As a developer I found this extension is very powerful and if you are developing Azure based solution with Visual Studio code, you must start exploring this.

Start building application with cosmosdb today 😊 Cheers!