I'm working on an application that's using custom HTTP handlers to handle inbound Web requests where each script request is pointing at an HTTP handler. In this case the handlers need to be individual files so I have a script map configured in IIS with a special extension and then mapped to my virtual directory. So the idea is that I can use a script call like this:
To make this work the xrns script extension must be mapped in IIS to the ASPNET_ISAPI.DLL (in classic ASP.NET mode at least) so that ASP.NET can handle requests of this extension.
The page is set up to run as an HTTP Handler:
<%@ WebHandler Language="C#"
With the codebehind looking like this:
public class InvestSecurityList : ReportHttpHandler
public override void Process()
Response.ContentType = "text/xml";
The handler output always generates an XML response and there are various helpers that generate XML in a variety of ways.
To get the script file to run properly it's also necessary to add a BuildProvider (at least in a Web Application Project):
<compilation defaultLanguage="c#" debug="true">
<add extension=".xrns" type="System.Web.Compilation.WebHandlerBuildProvider"/>
Without this the site refuses to run the actual extension even though it is mapped.
Custom Template in Visual Studio
This all works as expected, but when dealing with the custom extension content in Visual Studio it doesn't do quite the right thing. Here's an example what an .ashx page and a .xrns page looks like in the project:
An added .ASHX handler automatically subjugates the source file underneath it in the project, but my custom script files that I've created don't. Internally VS.NET handles this inside of the project template which provides the association. For the .ashx handler it looks like this:
<Compile Include="PortfolioInfo.xrns.cs" />
<Content Include="PortfolioInfo.ashx" />
<None Include="PortfolioInfo.xrns" />
<None Include="Web.config" />
Makes perfect sense... the ASHX file has a dependent upon mapping in the file but my xrns file of course does not.
Creating an association through the UI or a template?
But here's the $64,000 question: Is it possible to create this sort of association through the Visual Studio user interface or through use of a template? Basically what I want to do is allow my client to click on a template and create this xrns file and associated .cs file.
The template creation works fine and I get a nice preformatted source and script file which work just fine, but it creates the above listing in the project manager.
Anybody know if there's a way to create a template that can automatically can create the association?
Direct Handler Mapping?
Alternately, is there anyway to create just handler classes without any of the actual script pages? I was toying around with the idea of setting up a base handler that intercepts all requests for .xrns and then dynamically instantiate the appropriate class and fire the appropriate process method on it. I dynamically parse out the scriptname and based on that instantiate a class.
But that's kind of of scary to do because it gives potential access to just about any class which isn't exactly optimal. There are ways around this I suppose - like creating a marker interface, but this seems a little off the beaten track.
In essence I'm after an easy way to route inbound script calls directly to a given class, without having to individually map every request.
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