This post is in continuation with my earlier post, so you may want to read that first before continuing.

Once I removed all the TasksController files and the TodoItem, I chose the Models folder, right click and “Add New Item” and searched for “ADO.NET Entity Model” and added it to the folder.

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It allowed me to connect to the Northwind database through “Generate from database” and I selected just three tables “Products”, “Categories” and “Suppliers” table for simplicity.  At the end of the wizard, we get a EDMX design file with the 3 tables.  On this screen I right clicked and choose “Add Code Generation Item” as below

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and then in the dialog that came up, chose the “ADO.NET DbContext Generator” and Added (note, if you don’t see this template, you probably don’t have Entity Framework 4.1 installed)

This step created the Model1.Context (not required for us though Smile) and the Model1.tt template which groups the individual class files for each of the tables above (these are required Smile)

The next thing I did, was to remove the NorthwindEntities connectionstring that got automatically added when we followed the ADO.NET Entity Model wizard.  We don’t need this connection string.

Also, I deleted the Model1.Context file and also the Model1.cs files which are not required (we will be generating a new context to suit our database name)

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Note that these files are not required only for our SPA approach here and they are required when working with EF CodeFirst normally as they do the DbSet Tracking and whole bunch of things

So, we now have the basic model classes required for wiring up our Controller required to create the SPA Pages.   One important thing I learnt in this process was that, I had to edit the Model classes as follows:-

In Supplier.cs added the “private” keyword to the ICollection<Products> property.  Same is the case with Category.cs.  Otherwise you would run into an error explained here.

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After this, I added Controller for Products as per the settings below (Right Click Controller – Add –Controller)

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Note several important things.  I have chosen the “Single Page Application with read/write actions and views, using Entity Framework” template under Scaffolding options.  Also, I have edited the Data context class and made it simply MvcApplication126.Models.Northwind.  This would be referenced in the web.config connection string as well so that SPA picks up our existing Northwind database instead of creating a new one.

Once you click “Add” the following files are generated. 

Under Controllers

  • NorthwindController.cs
  • NorthwindController.Product.cs
  • ProductsController.cs

Under Scripts

  • ProductsviewModel.js

Under Views

  • Products folder and the Views and Partial Views required

Repeat the steps for adding Controllers for “Categories” and “Suppliers” and the only change would be the respective Model Classes.

One important thing to do is to add the following connectionstring to the web.config file

<add name="Northwind" connectionString="Data Source=SERVERNAME;Initial Catalog=Northwind;User Id=YOUR USER NAME;Password=YOUR PASSWORD" providerName="System.Data.SqlClient" />

Then, when you run the project, it opens up the default Home Page. 

  • Navigate to /Products and it should load the list of Products from Northwind database.
  • Click on each product and edit and note that everything happens in a single page inline. 
  • Just notice the URLs change in pattern with hash tags. 
  • Notice that the Categories and Suppliers are wired up as dropdownlists since these are foreign key references.
  • Notice that all the items load asynchronously

I went ahead and edited the Shared –> Layout.cshtml under Views folder to add Menu Items for Products, Categories and Suppliers, as below:-

<ul id="menu">
         <li>@Html.ActionLink("Home", "Index", "Home")</li>
         <li>@Html.ActionLink("Products", "Index", "Products")</li>
         <li>@Html.ActionLink("Categories", "Index", "Categories")</li>
         <li>@Html.ActionLink("Suppliers", "Index", "Suppliers")</li>
         <li>@Html.ActionLink("About", "About", "Home")</li>
         <li>@Html.ActionLink("Contact", "Contact", "Home")</li>
</ul>

Now, we have our full blown Northwind Traders Application running as a SPA. 

You can download the sample from https://skydrive.live.com/redir.aspx?cid=069f94a102eff49a&resid=69F94A102EFF49A!919&parid=root

I have also hosted the sample online at http://northwindspa.cloudapp.net/ 

Cheers !!!