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Ahmed Onour
Ahmed Onour

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Mastering ASP.NET Core Web API: A Comprehensive Guide to Building, Securing, and Deploying RESTful Services

ASP.NET Core Web API

ASP.NET Core Web API is a framework for building RESTful web services. It allows us to expose data and business logic to the web using HTTP. In this article, we will learn how to:

  • Create a web API project
  • Add model classes and a database context
  • Scaffold a controller with CRUD methods
  • Configure routing and URL paths
  • Call the web API from a client
  • Add authentication and authorization
  • Deploy the API

Creating the Project

We can create a Web API project in ASP.NET Core using any of these options:

  • Visual Studio
  • Visual Studio Code
  • Visual Studio for Mac
  • .NET CLI

For example, using the .NET CLI we can run:

dotnet new webapi -o TodoApi
cd TodoApi
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This will create a new Web API project named TodoApi.

Adding Model Classes

We define model classes to represent the data our API will manage. For example, a TodoItem class:

public class TodoItem 
{
    public long Id { get; set; } 
    public string Name { get; set; }  
    public bool IsComplete { get; set; }
}
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Adding a Database Context

We create a database context class that derives from DbContext:

public class TodoContext : DbContext
{
    public TodoContext(DbContextOptions<TodoContext> options)   
        : base(options) { }

    public DbSet<TodoItem> TodoItems { get; set; }
}
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We then register the context with Dependency Injection in Program.cs:

builder.Services.AddDbContext<TodoContext>(opt =>
    opt.UseInMemoryDatabase("TodoList"));
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Scaffolding a Controller

We can scaffold a controller with CRUD methods using:

dotnet aspnet-codegenerator controller ...
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This will generate a controller class marked with the [ApiController] attribute and methods to GET, POST, PUT and DELETE todo items.

Configuring Routing

We use attribute routing to define the URL paths for our API. For example:

[Route("api/[controller]")]
[ApiController]
public class TodoItemsController : ControllerBase
{
    [HttpGet]
    public IActionResult Get() { ... }

    [HttpGet("{id}")]
    public IActionResult Get(int id) { ... }
}
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This will map to the URLs:

  • /api/todoitems
  • /api/todoitems/{id}

Calling the API

We can call the API from:

  • JavaScript
  • Postman
  • cURL
  • Mobile clients

For example, using cURL:

curl -X GET "https://localhost:5001/api/todoitems"
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Authentication and Authorization

We can secure our API using:

  • JWT Bearer Tokens
  • Azure Active Directory
  • OAuth2 / OpenID Connect (using IdentityServer4)

Deploying the API

We can deploy our API to:

  • Azure App Service
  • AWS Elastic Beanstalk
  • Heroku
  • Docker

Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

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The Second Edition of our bestselling program Ultimate ASP.NET Core Web API - Premium Package.What's included?Ultimate ASP.NET Core Web API - Second EditionSeven additional bonus materials:Ultimate ASP.NET Core Web API WorkbookThe HTTP Reference TablesDockerizing ASP.NET Core ApplicationPractical JSON Requests CollectionFreelancing UnleashedMastering ASP.NET Core SecurityASP.NET Core Web API With DapperAnd Huge Blazor WebAssembly Course Discount!What you'll learnFundamentals - How to set up ASP.NET Core Web API project and configure it for robust but flexible development including logging ready for productionArchitecture - How to use best practices and implement one of the most popular architectures today - Onion ArchitectureStructure - How to organize and structure your project so you can scale it indefinitely without any issuesHandling Requests - How to handle all kinds of requests, GET, POST, PUT, PATCH DELETE, HEAD, OPTIONS, and when to use each oneGlobal Exception Handling - How to clean up the code and implement global exception handling so no exception goes unnoticedContent Negotiation - How to serve different responses depending on the client's needs and implement custom formatters if neededValidation - How to validate different requests with attributes and make sure our requests work as intended and the data is formatted properlyAsynchronous Code - How to implement asynchronicity in our code and not wait for a response ever againAction Filters - How to apply the code before the request even gets to your controllers. Or after the action happensData Manipulation - How to implement Paging, Filtering, Searching, and Sorting, the actions which are most commonly requested and used by APIs and those who consume themHATEOAS Support - How to implement HATEOAS and make our API truly self-discoverable and restful. While sometimes hard to implement, HATEOAS really makes your API pop offVersioning - How to implement versioning for our API in several different ways and make different versions of API available at the same timeCaching - How to reduce stress on your API and cache the resources which are being reused multiple timesRate Limiting and Throttling - How to protect your API from all kinds of misuse and make sure it's not breaking because of those pesky attacksJWT Authentication - How to configure, implement and support JWT authentication in your Web API and how to integrate it into Entity Framework CoreRefresh Token - How to create support for a more user-friendly UIs and improve user experience overall by issuing refresh tokensOptions Pattern - How to implement one of the best patterns for your configuration manipulation and even reload configuration without restarting the applicationDocument the API - Although good APIs shouldn't have to be documented at all, sometimes it's just nice to be able to read what the API does and throw in some demo requests and see what we getDeployment to Production - A final step in the application development process is to deploy it to production. You'll learn how to deploy the application to IIS successfullyPerformance Improvements - How to get the most out of your API with little tips and tweaks you can easily implementCQRS and MediatR - Increasingly popular alternative approach to requesting resources from the APIChaptersParse through the full table of contents.Visit the page to learn more: https://code-maze.com/ultimate-aspnetcore-webapi-second-edition/

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