Selectively Caching Values Inside HttpResponseMessage with Polly – caching series 3/3

Full source code here.

This is the last of three posts on caching with Polly. The first showed how to selectively cache HttpResponseMessages based on the status code of the response.

The second showed how to cache values inside the HttpResponseMessage rather than the whole of the response.

This final post will show how to selectively cache values inside the response based on the status of the response.

If you have read the previous posts the content of this will feel familiar.

Changes to Startup
Like the previous post, add a memory cache, a policy registry and a HttpClientFactory to the service collection.

public void ConfigureServices(IServiceCollection services)
{
    services.AddMemoryCache();
    services.AddSingleton<IAsyncCacheProvider, MemoryCacheProvider>();

    IPolicyRegistry<string> registry = services.AddPolicyRegistry();

    services.AddHttpClient("RemoteServer", client =>
    {
        client.BaseAddress = new Uri("http://localhost:5000/api/");
        client.DefaultRequestHeaders.Add("Accept", "application/json");
    });

    services.AddMvc().SetCompatibilityVersion(CompatibilityVersion.Version_2_1);
}

What’s new is in the Configure method, fist step is to add the registry to the method parameters, DI will take care of this for us.

public void Configure(IApplicationBuilder app, IHostingEnvironment env,
    IAsyncCacheProvider cacheProvider, IPolicyRegistry<string> registry)
{

Next is the cache filter, this one examines the tuple of int and HttpStatusCode and, if the HttpStatusCode is an OK the tuple will be cached for the duration specified. If the respones is not OK the filter will set the cache time to 0 which is interpreted as do not cache by the cache policy.

Func<Context, (int value, HttpStatusCode StatusCode), Ttl> cacheOnly200OkFilter =
	(context, result) => new Ttl(
		timeSpan: result.StatusCode == HttpStatusCode.OK ? TimeSpan.FromSeconds(5) : TimeSpan.Zero,
		slidingExpiration: true
	);

And this is the cache policy that uses the filter above to store the tuple.

IAsyncPolicy<(int, HttpStatusCode)> cachePolicy =
	Policy.CacheAsync<(int, HttpStatusCode)>(
		cacheProvider.AsyncFor<(int, HttpStatusCode)>(), 
		new ResultTtl<(int, HttpStatusCode)>(cacheOnly200OkFilter),
		onCacheError: null);

Lastly, add the policy to the registry.

registry.Add("cacheOnly200OkFilter", cachePolicy);

Changes to the Controller
Over in the CatalogController there many changes.

At the top I take in the HttpClientFactory and policy registry.

private readonly IHttpClientFactory _httpClientFactory;
private readonly IPolicyRegistry<string> _policyRegistry;

public CatalogController(IHttpClientFactory httpClientFactory, IPolicyRegistry<string> policyRegistry)
{
	_httpClientFactory = httpClientFactory;
	_policyRegistry = policyRegistry;
}

Inside the Get method, I setup grab the HttpClient from the HttpClientFactory, set the endpoint of the remote service, take the cache policy from the registry and setup the context for the cache policy to cache based on the incoming request. All of this is similar to normal usage of the Polly cache.

[HttpGet("{id}")]
public async Task<IActionResult> Get(int id)
{
    string requestEndpoint = $"inventory/{id}";
    var httpClient = _httpClientFactory.CreateClient("RemoteServer");

    var cachePolicy = _policyRegistry.Get<CachePolicy<(int, HttpStatusCode)>>("cacheOnly200Ok");
    Context policyExecutionContext = new Context($"GetInventoryById-{id}");	

As in the previous post I don’t call the HttpClient from inside the cache policy, instead I need to call something that returns the int and the HttpStatusCode. I use a local function that makes the request to the remote service, checks the response, deserializes the value and returns a tuple.

(int ItemsInStock, HttpStatusCode StatusCode) itemsInStockAndStatusCode =
    await cachePolicy.ExecuteAsync(context => MakeRequest(), policyExecutionContext);

// local function
async Task<(int count, HttpStatusCode statusCode)> MakeRequest()
{
    HttpResponseMessage response = await httpClient.GetAsync(requestEndpoint);

    if (response.IsSuccessStatusCode)
    {
        int itemsInStock = JsonConvert.DeserializeObject<int>(await response.Content.ReadAsStringAsync());
        return (itemsInStock, response.StatusCode);
    }

    return (0, response.StatusCode);
}

When the cachePolicy is executed it first checks if there is value already in the cache, if there is, that will be returned and the local function will not be called. If there is no value in the cache, the local function is called, if the response of the local function is in the 200 range, the value is stored in the cache.

At this point, the action method has not returned anything to its caller.

Below the local function I check the tuple returned from the call to the cache policy and return a response.

if (itemsInStockAndStatusCode.StatusCode != HttpStatusCode.OK)
{
     return StatusCode((int)itemsInStockAndStatusCode.StatusCode);
}
return Ok(itemsInStockAndStatusCode.ItemsInStock);

For clarity, here is the full Get method.

[HttpGet("{id}")]
public async Task<IActionResult> Get(int id)
{
    string requestEndpoint = $"inventory/{id}";
    var httpClient = _httpClientFactory.CreateClient("RemoteServer");

    var cachePolicy = _policyRegistry.Get<CachePolicy<(int, HttpStatusCode)>>("cacheOnly200Ok");
    Context policyExecutionContext = new Context($"GetInventoryById-{id}");

    (int ItemsInStock, HttpStatusCode StatusCode) itemsInStockAndStatusCode =
        await cachePolicy.ExecuteAsync(context => MakeRequest(), policyExecutionContext);

    async Task<(int count, HttpStatusCode statusCode)> MakeRequest()
    {
        HttpResponseMessage response = await httpClient.GetAsync(requestEndpoint);

        if (response.IsSuccessStatusCode)
        {
            int itemsInStock = JsonConvert.DeserializeObject<int>(await response.Content.ReadAsSt
            return (itemsInStock, response.StatusCode);
        }

        // it doesn't matter what int you use here, it won't be cached as the StatusCode is not a
        return (0, response.StatusCode);
    }

    if (itemsInStockAndStatusCode.StatusCode != HttpStatusCode.OK)
    {
         return StatusCode((int)itemsInStockAndStatusCode.StatusCode);
    }
    return Ok(itemsInStockAndStatusCode.ItemsInStock);
}

Here endeth the series on caching.

Full source code here.

dotnet new failing with Error: Invalid parameter(s)

If you are using Visual Studio Code and you want to add a new project to your workspace, the easiest thing to do is something like –

dotnet new xunit -f netcoreapp2.1

But you may get an error –

Error: Invalid parameter(s):
   -f netcoreapp2.1
      'netcoreapp2.1' is not a valid value for -f (Framework)

Here’s how to solve it.

Run –

dotnet --info

You will get a list of installed frameworks, your list will be different than mine –

This will show the list of frameworks installed 
.NET Core SDKs installed:
  2.1.202 [C:\Program Files\dotnet\sdk]
  2.1.402 [C:\Program Files\dotnet\sdk]
  2.1.503 [C:\Program Files\dotnet\sdk]
  2.2.203 [C:\Program Files\dotnet\sdk]

Choose a version of the framework that you want, in my case I’ll use 2.1.503

Run this –

dotnet new globaljson --sdk-version 2.1.503

Now run –

dotnet new xunit -f netcoreapp2.1

and the new project will be created.

Caching Values Inside HttpResponseMessage with Polly – caching series 2/3

Full source code here.

In this, the second of three posts on caching in Polly, I will show how to cache the values returned inside a HttpResponseMessage as opposed to caching the response with all its various elements.

The first post explained how to selectively cache a response, based on the Http StatusCode. The next post will show how to combine these two ideas and selectively cache the values inside the HttpResponseMessage.

Caching the whole response or the value
Caching the whole HttpResponseMessage is useful if your business logic depends on interrogating the response for values outside the main payload or you want a quick and easy caching solution.

If on the other hand, you only need the payload, there is no need to cache the whole response.

Both cases are plausible, and it is up to do decide which is more appropriate for your application.

How to cache the value inside HttpResponseMessage
The first step is to set the cache inside ConfigureServices.

public void ConfigureServices(IServiceCollection services)
{
    services.AddMemoryCache();
    services.AddSingleton<IAsyncCacheProvider, MemoryCacheProvider>();

Then in Configure, setup the policy to store the type you expect to find in the response. In this example it is in a int, but it could easily be a complex layered model representing anything.

public void Configure(IApplicationBuilder app, IHostingEnvironment env,
    IAsyncCacheProvider cacheProvider, IPolicyRegistry<string> registry)
{
    CachePolicy<int> cachePolicy =
        Policy.CacheAsync<int>(cacheProvider, TimeSpan.FromSeconds(10));

    registry.Add("CachingPolicy", cachePolicy);

Note, how I specified an int rather than a HttpResponseMessage.

In the previous post, I used the HttpClientFactory to select the policy from a Polly policy registry. I could do that because the type I was storing was HttpResponseMessage, that is not the case now and HttpClientFactory will not play nice when trying to cache anything other than a HttpResponseMessage. Instead I’m going to pass the policy registry directly to the controller and get the policy from this, I am still using the HttpClientFactory to pass HttpClient, but not for policy selection.

Here is how the controller starts.

public class CatalogController : Controller
{
    private readonly IHttpClientFactory _httpClientFactory;
    private readonly IPolicyRegistry<string> _policyRegistry;

    public CatalogController(IHttpClientFactory httpClientFactory, IPolicyRegistry<string> policyRegistry)
    {
        _httpClientFactory = httpClientFactory;
        _policyRegistry = policyRegistry;
    }

And here is the GET method.

[HttpGet("{id}")]
public async Task<IActionResult> Get(int id)
{
    string requestEndpoint = $"inventory/{id}";
    var httpClient = _httpClientFactory.CreateClient("RemoteServer");

    var cachePolicy = _policyRegistry.Get<CachePolicy<int>>("CachingPolicy");
    Context policyExecutionContext = new Context($"GetInventoryById-{id}");

    int itemsInStock =
        await cachePolicy.ExecuteAsync(context => GetItemsInStockCount(), policyExecutionContext);

    async Task<int> GetItemsInStockCount()
    {
        HttpResponseMessage response = await httpClient.GetAsync(requestEndpoint);

        if (response.IsSuccessStatusCode)
        {
            int itemsInStockCount = await response.Content.ReadAsAsync<int>();
            return itemsInStockCount;
        }

        return 0;
    }

    return Ok(itemsInStock);
}

The first few lines are straight forward, setup the endpoint, get the HttpClient, get the cache policy. Like in the previous post, I use the context when placing items into the cache and retrieving them.

Because I want to cache the value inside the HttpResponse (and not the response itself) I can’t call the HttpClient from inside the policy’s exec method. Instead I need to call something that returns the int from inside the HttpResponse.

The easiest way of doing this is to use a local function which makes the HttpClient request, deserializes the response and returns the int from the response.
In this post I am assuming that all values inside the response should be cached, I am NOT checking the status code of the response.

The policy then caches the int for the period specified in Startup.

That’s all there is to it.

If you are wondering how to selectively cache values inside the HttpResponse, tune in for the next post in this series.

Full source code here.

How to Dependency Inject a Service from Startup back in Program

Full source code here.

While writing some recent blog posts on HttpClientFactory I had to work with some of the obscure features of ServiceCollection and dependency injection in .NET Core 2.1. One of the things I wanted to do was get at an instance of a token generator from the service collection inside the Main method in Program.cs.

Some time ago I wrote a post about using the ServiceCollection from Program.cs and while that worked for the example I gave, there are cases where it would not depending on the specifics of what scope you are using, and in the case of a singleton, how you instanced it. When it goes wrong you end up with multiple instances of a singleton, multiple DI containers and plenty of unpredictable results. It’s too painful to explain all the variations, you can read a bit more here where David Folwer says “hosting current[ly] creates 3 service providers and its extremely broken in the general case”.

How to Pass a Service from ServicesCollection into Program
In this approach none there are none of the problems outlined above, only one instance of the singleton is every instantiated.

In Startup.cs add all the services you want inside ConfigureServices(..).

public void ConfigureServices(IServiceCollection services)
{
    services.AddMemoryCache();
    services.AddSingleton<ITokenGenerator, TokenGenerator>();
}

In Program.cs, I have the usual CreateWebHostBuilder(..), no changes.

public static IWebHostBuilder CreateWebHostBuilder(string[] args) =>
    WebHost.CreateDefaultBuilder(args)	
        .UseStartup<Startup>();	

But in Main, instead of

CreateWebHostBuilder(args).Build().Run();

I split building the WebHost from running the WebHost.

public static void Main(string[] args)
{		
    IWebHost webHost = CreateWebHostBuilder(args).Build();
    var tokenGenerator = webHost.Services.GetService<ITokenGenerator>();
    string token =  tokenGenerator.GetToken();
    System.Console.WriteLine(token);
    webHost.Run();
}
  • Line 3 creates the webHost, but doesn’t run it
  • this in turn instantiates the startup class and runs ConfigureServices(..)
  • Line 4 reaches into the ServiceCollection for the ITokenGenerator service that was setup in ConfigureServices(..)
  • Lines 5 and 6, use the TokenGenerator service to get a token a print it to screen
  • Line 7 runs the WebHost and the application starts up

Full source code here.

Dynamically Updating the Request Header of a HttpClientFactory Generated HttpClient, Part 2

Full source code here.

This is a alternative to the approach described in a previous post.

On a slack channel there was some discussion around the use of a little known extension method on HttpClientBuilder, ConfigureHttpClient. Using this extension method provides another way to dynamically alter the header of a HttpClient provided by the factory.

In ConfigureServices(..) I setup the two services I need, the MemoryCache and the TokenGenerator.

Then, where I configure the HttpClientFactory I call the ConfigureHttpClient, pass it an Action that takes the ServiceProvider and the HttpClient I’m configuring.

Inside the Action, I take a TokenGenerator from the service collection and then add the token to the client header.

public void ConfigureServices(IServiceCollection services)
{
    services.AddMemoryCache();
    services.AddSingleton<ITokenGenerator, TokenGenerator>();

    services.AddHttpClient("RemoteServer", client =>
    {
        client.BaseAddress = new Uri("http://localhost:5000/api/");
        client.DefaultRequestHeaders.Add("Accept", "application/json");
    }).ConfigureHttpClient((serviceProvider, client) =>
    {
        ITokenGenerator tokenGenerator = serviceProvider.GetService<ITokenGenerator>();
        client.DefaultRequestHeaders.Add("Token", tokenGenerator.GetToken());
    });

    services.AddMvc().SetCompatibilityVersion(CompatibilityVersion.Version_2_1);
}

That’s it, simpler than the approach in the previous post.

Full source code here.

How to Turn Off Console Logging for Kestrel in .NET Core

This post is mostly a note to myself.

I am often annoyed with the amount of logging to the console that occurs when I start a Kestrel hosted application and I can never remember how to turn it off.

public static IWebHostBuilder CreateWebHostBuilder(string[] args) =>
    WebHost.CreateDefaultBuilder(args)
    .ConfigureLogging(loggingBuilder => 
        loggingBuilder.AddFilter<ConsoleLoggerProvider>(level => 
            level == LogLevel.None))
        .UseStartup<Startup>();

HttpContent ReadAsAsync with .NET Core 2

Full source code available here.

If you are used to using HttpContent.ReadAsAsync you might be surprised to learn that it is missing from .NET Core 2. You can try adding Microsoft.AspNet.WebApi.Client but you might get warnings or errors.

At some point Microsoft will come out with an updated NuGet package, but in the meantime here is a work around.

At this extension method to your code.

using Newtonsoft.Json;
using System.Net.Http;
using System.Threading.Tasks;

namespace ReadAsAsyncCore
{
    public static class HttpContentExtensions
    {
        public static async Task<T> ReadAsJsonAsync<T>(this HttpContent content)
        {
            string json = await content.ReadAsStringAsync();
            T value = JsonConvert.DeserializeObject<T>(json);
            return value;
        }
    }
}

And use like this.

HttpResponseMessage httpResponse = await httpClient.GetAsync(requestEndpoint);
List<Product> products = await httpResponse.Content.ReadAsJsonAsync<List<Product>>();

Full source code available here.

.Net Core Multiple Get Methods with the Action Method Selector Attribute

Full source code available here.

In .Net Core Web Api it is not possible for the routing mechanism to distinguish between the following action methods.

public string GetSomething(int id, int something)
and
public string GetAnother(int id, int another)

But with the help of an ActionMethodSelectorAttribute we can tell the methods apart.

Step 1
Add a new class called QueryStringConstraint and inherit from ActionMethodSelectorAttribute.

public class QueryStringConstraint : ActionMethodSelectorAttribute
{
	public override bool IsValidForRequest(RouteContext routeContext, ActionDescriptor action)
	{
		IList<ParameterDescriptor> methodParameters = action.Parameters;

		ICollection<string> queryStringKeys = routeContext.HttpContext.Request.Query.Keys.Select(q => q.ToLower()).ToList();
		IList<string> methodParamNames = methodParameters.Select(mp => mp.Name.ToLower()).ToList();

		foreach (var methodParameter in methodParameters)
		{
			if (methodParameter.ParameterType.Name.Contains("Nullable")) 
			{
				//check if the query string has a parameter that is not in the method params
				foreach(var q in queryStringKeys)
				{
					if (methodParamNames.All(mp => mp != q))
					{
						return false;
					}
				}

				if(queryStringKeys.All(q => q != methodParameter.Name.ToLower()))
				{
					continue;
				}
			}
			else if (queryStringKeys.All(q => q != methodParameter.Name.ToLower()))
			{
				return false;
			}
		}
		return true;
	}
}

Step 2
Add the QueryStringConstraint to the action methods that need to be distinguished by query string parameters.

[QueryStringConstraint] 
public string GetAnother(int id, int another)
{
	return $"GetAnother {id} {another}";
}

// http://localhost:62922/api/values/?id=1&something=22
[QueryStringConstraint] 
public string GetSomething(int id, int something)
{
	return $"GetSomething {id} {something}";
} 

Full source code available here.

.NET Core Web Api Routing

Full source code available here.

Routing in .NET Core Web Api (1.1 and 2) is a little different than in earlier versions.

I’ve written about this a few times, you can find those posts here.

In this post I’m going to show some examples of routing that might help you if you are having problems, especially if you want to have multiple GET methods. In a later article I will show how to use the action method selector to choose between actions methods with the same signature.

The code and comments are fairly self explanatory.

[HttpGet("api/Person")]
public class PersonController : Controller
{
	// GET: api/Person
	[HttpGet]
	public IEnumerable<string> Get()
	{
		return new string[] { "Dave Smith", "Edward Temple" };
	}

	// http://localhost:27624/api/person/1
	[HttpGet("{id}")]
	public string Get(int id)
	{
		return $"Get by id:{id} - Dave Smith";
	}

	// http://localhost:62689/api/person/ByNumber/5
	[HttpGet("ByNumber/{number}")]
	public string GetByNumber(int number)
	{
		return $"Get by number:{number} - Tom Davis";
	}
	// http://localhost:62689/api/person/ByFirstName/Steve
	[HttpGet("ByFirstName")]
	public string GetByFristName(string firstName)
	{
		return $"Get by first name - {firstName} Smith";
	}

	// http://localhost:62689/api/person/ByLastName?lastname=Smith
	[HttpGet("ByLastName")]
	public string GetByLastName(string lastName)
	{
		return $"Get by last name - Dave {lastName}";
	}

	// http://localhost:62689/api/person/ByFirstAndLastName?firstname=Steve&lastname=Smith
	[HttpGet("ByFirstAndLastName")]
	public string GetByFirstAndLastName(string firstName, string lastName)
	{
		return $"Get by first and last name - {firstName} {lastName}";
	}
}

Here are some more examples with attribute routing and a query model.

[HttpGet("api/accounts/{AccountId}")]
public class AccountsController : Controller
{
	// http://localhost:62689/api/accounts/11
	public IActionResult Get(int accountId)
	{
		return Ok(accountId);
	}

	// http://localhost:62689/api/accounts/?accountId=11
	// http://localhost:62689/api/accounts/?accountId=11&AccountName=dave
	// http://localhost:62689/api/accounts/?accountId=11&AccountName=dave&managerid=15
	[HttpGet("/api/accounts/")]
	public IActionResult Get(QueryModel queryModel)
	{
		return Ok(queryModel);
	}

	// http://localhost:62689/api/accounts/11/manager/22
	[HttpGet("Manager/{ManagerId}")]
	public IActionResult Get(int accountId, int managerId)
	{
		return Ok($"accountId:{accountId}, managerId:{managerId}");
	}

	// http://localhost:62689/api/accounts/11/manager/22/role/33
	[HttpGet("/api/accounts/{AccountId}/Manager/{ManagerId}/Role/{RoleId}")]
	public IActionResult Get(int accountId, int managerId, int roleId)
	{
		return Ok($"accountId:{accountId}, managerId:{managerId}, roleId:{roleId}");
	}
}

public class QueryModel
{
	public int AccountId { get; set; }
	public string AccountName { get; set; }
	public int ManagerId { get; set; }
}

Full source code available here.

Fluent Validation in ASP.NET Core

Full source code available here.

I have written about Fluent Validation a couple of times. There is a new library available for .Net Core.

How to return to validation messages back to the caller is not immediately obvious. You might see the validators running, but the responses are missing! Here is how to solve that problem.

Step 1

Firstly add the package to your Web Api project.
Install-Package FluentValidation.AspNetCore.
If you are going to keep your validators in the Web Api project that is all you need to add.

But if you put the validators in a different project you need to add the FluentValidation package to that projecty
Install-Package FluentValidation.

Step 2

In startup.cs add –

public void ConfigureServices(IServiceCollection services)
{
    services.AddMvc(options =>
        {
            options.Filters.Add(typeof(ValidateModelAttribute));
        })
        .AddFluentValidation(fv => fv.RegisterValidatorsFromAssemblyContaining<PersonModelValidator>());
}

Note the line options.Filters.Add(typeof(ValidateModelAttribute)), we need to add that filter.

Step 3

Add the validation filter –

public class ValidateModelAttribute : ActionFilterAttribute
{	
    public override void OnActionExecuting(ActionExecutingContext context)	
    {	
        if (!context.ModelState.IsValid)	
        {	
            context.Result = new BadRequestObjectResult(context.ModelState);
        }
    }
}
Step 4

Add a model and a validator.

public class PersonModel
{
    public string FirstName { get; set; }
    public string LastName { get; set; }
}

public class PersonModelValidator : AbstractValidator<PersonModel>
{
    public PersonModelValidator()
    {
        RuleFor(p => p.FirstName).NotEmpty();
        RuleFor(p => p.LastName).Length(5);
    }
}

Full source code available here.