Monthly Archives: October 2014

Developing Applications Using Ruby on Rails


In researching this blog about Ruby on Rails, I began with an internet search for the word “Ruby.” I figured I’d get results about the precious ruby gem stone…how the ruby is the birth stone for July, or the fact that for thousands of years the ruby gemstone was the most valuable gemstone above the diamond, or how people have been creating synthetic rubies since 1837.

Instead I was pleasantly surprised to see search results for Ruby and Ruby on Rails the top of the list. Clearly “Ruby” the programming language has become more precious to many of us than “ruby” the gemstone.

Yes, the Ruby language was named after the gemstone and was released in 1995 by Yukihiro Matsumoto. Ruby is an open source, object-oriented language with an easy to read and write syntax. Instead of mining the web looking for instruction on how to use this precious programming language, you can find five new courses right here at LearnNowOnline.

Helping you mine your way through building Ruby applications is our new instructor, Jordan Hudgens. Jordan is a Certified Ruby Developer and comes to us from the great state of Texas where he is working toward his doctorate in Computer Science. Jordan will show you how to create your Ruby applications in the cloud. Instead of having to pickaxe your way through the development process, Jordan will show you how to use the gems that make Ruby application development easy.

Our new courses include:

  • Ruby on Rails: Intro to Development (Now available)
    Get an overview of the tools that will be used for the Ruby courses, plus create a quick application.
  • Ruby on Rails: Best Practices (Now available)
    Learn how to use the Ruby development tools in the best possible way.
  • Ruby on Rails: Data, Design, and Deploy (Coming 10/27/14)
  • Ruby on Rails: Searching and Sorting (Coming 11/3/14)
  • Ruby on Rails: Administration and API (Coming 11/10/14)

Visit LearnNowOnline to learn more about these courses. Also, see Jordan in action as he introduces us to Ruby on Rails in his recent webinar — check out the replay now.

“Rails”, “Ruby on Rails”, and the Rails logo are registered trademarks of David Heinemeier Hansson. All rights reserved.

About the Author


Brian Ewoldt is the Project Manager for LearnNowOnline. Brian joined the team in 2008 after 13 years of working for the computer gaming industry as a producer/project manager. Brian is responsible for all production of courses published by LearnNowOnline. In his spare time, Brian enjoys being with his family, watching many forms of racing, racing online, and racing Go-Karts.


What’s new in MVC 5.2


Microsoft’s very successful model-view-controller architecture, or MVC, has been their flagship framework for developing next generation Web applications—and Microsoft continues to improve it with version 5.2 released just over two months ago. If you’re still hanging on to MVC 4, you’re missing out on many new and exciting features, and Microsoft has made the path to upgrade easier than ever.

So what’s so exciting about MVC 5? Let me start by hitting you with some of the big improvements with this latest release. If you want even more information or want to see some demonstrations of these new features, please check out our MVC 5.2 courses with expert Eric Greene.


In MVC 5, Microsoft introduced a new project type called One ASP.NET. This project type has the goal of saving the Web developer’s time by reducing the clutter of many single-focused Web templates constantly growing within Visual Studio. One ASP.NET creates a more “a la carte” model for creating applications so the developer can start with core functionality, and then add more and more components as various features and functionality are required. This allows developers to combine ASP.NET Web Forms, MVC, Web API and other project templates into a single project and not be restricted to use only one of them.


From the brilliant minds of the Twitter software engineers came a CSS and JavaScript framework that has quickly become one of the most popular tools for front-end development. Bootstrap provides user interface tools and controls that allow developers to build rich Internet applications that auto-respond to changing screen sizes and devices. It takes away the drudgery of constantly tinkering with the CSS and JavaScript code necessary to get your site to perform professionally for all of your users.

Microsoft now includes Bootstrap templates in MVC 5 so you can take advantage of all its features right out of the box. In fact, Bootstrap is now the default HTML/CSS/JavaScript framework bundled with ASP.NET MVC. Bootstrap is managed by NuGet which means it can be automatically upgraded as the technology advances. You can discover more about Bootstrap by taking a look at our Bootstrap 3.1 courses with expert Adam Barney.

ASP.NET Identity

Before ASP.NET MVC 5, Microsoft had promoted its Membership Provider to handle security, authentication, and roles for your Web applications. But with the ASP.NET Identity, they completely rebuilt their security solution to include a whole new range of features. It still contains all the core functionality for authentication and authorization, but it also extends to support new forms like two-factor authentication (2FA) and integrated authentication. With 2FA, you can require multiple forms of authentication like the Google Authenticator or SMS text messaging. Integrated authentication allows you to work with many existing third-party providers like Google, Facebook, and Twitter. It allows your users to access your site using credentials from these and other providers, freeing you from the responsibility of managing credentials, and not forcing your users to memorize yet another password.

New Filters

Authorization filters have been around for quite a while in ASP.NET and have been a staple for most developers who need to set up security for their Web applications. Authentication filters, on the other hand, are new to MVC 5. These new filters allow for programming logic to occur before the authorization filter, giving developers the ability to better identify and control users entering their site. For example, developers can now assign a new authentication principal (think of it like a role) to a user logging in prior to the authorization filter, giving them better control at the individual Action/Controller level. Think of the authorization filter as providing a more global security model, one that covers the site as a whole, while the authentication filter provides a more specific security model that can be applied at more localized level.

Another new filter enhancement is filter overrides. Filter overrides allow you to define filters that apply to most of your application, either at the global level or at the controller level, but then have the option to actually override or turn off those filters at the action level or controller level.

Upgrading from MVC 4

Microsoft has made upgrading easy and painless for the developer. In a nutshell, most applications will simply need to update their NuGet packages, plus make a couple of web.config changes, and they will be off and running. The NuGet services manage all the individual components or packages that your Web application utilizes, like Razor and Bootstrap, and make sure that they are all on the latest releases relative your version of MVC. Keep in mind that in addition to moving to MVC 5, there are minor releases coming out as well. At the time of this writing, there have been 5.1 and 5.2 releases, but by the time you read this there may be 5.3 available and beyond. Regardless, migrations at this level are equally straightforward in their upgrade process.

Keep in mind that in many cases the migration forward is a one-way proposition. With each upgrade, your application is exposed to more and more features and functionality, which means you can’t go back once you start using it. But hey, why would you go back, right?

Finally, it’s not just ASP.NET MVC that is gaining new features—ASP.NET Web API, Razor, SignalR, Entity Framework, NuGet and many others are also improving. LearnNowOnline can help you keep up with the latest releases so you can be the best Web developer you can be. Check out our complete course list.


About the Author

martyblogpic2-150x150Martin Schaeferle
 is the Vice President of Technology for LearnNowOnline. Martin joined the company in 1994 and started teaching IT professionals nationwide to develop applications using Visual Studio and Microsoft SQL Server. He has been a featured speaker at various conferences including Microsoft Tech-Ed, DevConnections and the Microsoft NCD Channel Summit. Today, he is responsible for all product and software development as well as managing the company’s IT infrastructure. Martin enjoys staying on the cutting edge of technology and guiding the company to produce the best learning content with the best user experience in the industry. In his spare time, Martin enjoys golf, fishing, and being with his wife and three teenage children.

MVC 5 Attributes: Routing, Authentication, and Overrides


In a daring move we held our last webinar on a Thursday instead of our usual Wednesday. Oh my, what is the world coming to? Next thing you know there will be “Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!” OK, maybe not. Now back to the subject at hand, our latest webinar.

Eric Greene presented an one hour webinar on the topic of MVC 5 Attributes and began by covering the many facets of Attribute Routing through coding demonstrations. Eric walked us through the process to use Authentication filters and explained how to use them with Authorization filters. He finished up by demonstrating filter overrides using Authentication and Authorization.

If our Thursday webinar didn’t match up with your schedule, as always we have the replay available for you to watch at your convenience. View the streaming replay now. Just remember, never cross the streams. If you do, when you build that killer app and the data points to something big on the horizon, it could be a 600 pound Twinkie!

By the way, are you interested in learning Ruby on Rails? If so, don’t miss our next webinar with Jordan Hudgens where he will introduce us to development using this exciting framework. Sign up now

About the Author


Brian Ewoldt is the Project Manager for LearnNowOnline. Brian joined the team in 2008 after 13 years of working for the computer gaming industry as a producer/project manager. Brian is responsible for all production of courses published by LearnNowOnline. In his spare time, Brian enjoys being with his family, watching many forms of racing, racing online, and racing Go-Karts.