asp.net-mvcAction filters

A logging action filter

 public class LogActionFilter : ActionFilterAttribute
 {
      public override void OnActionExecuting(ActionExecutingContext filterContext)
      {
           Log("OnActionExecuting", filterContext.RouteData);       
      }

      public override void OnActionExecuted(ActionExecutedContext filterContext)
      {
           Log("OnActionExecuted", filterContext.RouteData);       
      }

      public override void OnResultExecuting(ResultExecutingContext filterContext)
      {
           Log("OnResultExecuting", filterContext.RouteData);       
      }

      public override void OnResultExecuted(ResultExecutedContext filterContext)
      {
           Log("OnResultExecuted", filterContext.RouteData);       
      }


      private void Log(string methodName, RouteData routeData)
      {
           var controllerName = routeData.Values["controller"];
           var actionName = routeData.Values["action"];
           var message = String.Format("{0} controller:{1} action:{2}", methodName, controllerName, actionName);
           Debug.WriteLine(message, "Action Filter Log");
      }
 }

Session Control action filter - page&ajax request

Usually authentication&authorization processes are performed by built-in cookie and token supports in .net MVC. But if you decide to do it yourself with Session you can use below logic for both page requests and ajax requests.

public class SessionControl : ActionFilterAttribute
{
    public override void OnActionExecuting ( ActionExecutingContext filterContext )
    {
        var session = filterContext.HttpContext.Session;

        /// user is logged in (the "loggedIn" should be set in Login action upon a successful login request)
        if ( session["loggedIn"] != null && (bool)session["loggedIn"] )
            return;

        /// if the request is ajax then we return a json object
        if ( filterContext.HttpContext.Request.IsAjaxRequest() )
        {
            filterContext.Result = new JsonResult
            {
                Data = "UnauthorizedAccess",
                JsonRequestBehavior = JsonRequestBehavior.AllowGet
            };
        }
        /// otherwise we redirect the user to the login page
        else
        {
            var redirectTarget = new RouteValueDictionary { { "Controller", "Login" }, { "Action", "Index" } };
            filterContext.Result = new RedirectToRouteResult(redirectTarget);
        }
    }

    public override void OnResultExecuting ( ResultExecutingContext filterContext )
    {
        base.OnResultExecuting(filterContext);
        
        /// we set a field 'IsAjaxRequest' in ViewBag according to the actual request type
        filterContext.Controller.ViewBag.IsAjaxRequest = filterContext.HttpContext.Request.IsAjaxRequest();
    }
}

Action filter usage locations (global, controller, action)

You can place action filters at three possible levels:

  1. Global
  2. Controller
  3. Action

Placing a filter globally means it will execute on requests to any route. Placing one on a controller makes it execute on requests to any action in that controller. Placing one on an action means it runs with the action.

If we have this simple action filter:

[AttributeUsage(AttributeTargets.Class | AttributeTargets.Method, AllowMultiple = true)]
public class CustomActionFilterAttribute : FilterAttribute, IActionFilter
{
    private readonly string _location;

    public CustomActionFilterAttribute(string location)
    {
        _location = location;
    }

    public void OnActionExecuting(ActionExecutingContext filterContext)
    {
        Trace.TraceInformation("OnActionExecuting: " + _location);
    }

    public void OnActionExecuted(ActionExecutedContext filterContext)
    {
        Trace.TraceInformation("OnActionExecuted: " + _location);
    }
}

We can add it on global level by adding it to the global filter collection. With the typical ASP.NET MVC project setup, this is done in App_Start/FilterConfig.cs.

public class FilterConfig
{
    public static void RegisterGlobalFilters(GlobalFilterCollection filters)
    {
        filters.Add(new CustomActionFilterAttribute("Global"));
    }
}

We can also add it on controller and action level like so in a controller:

[CustomActionFilter("HomeController")]
public class HomeController : Controller
{
    [CustomActionFilter("Index")]
    public ActionResult Index()
    {
        return View();
    }
}

If we run the application and look at the Output window, we will see the following messages:

iisexpress.exe Information: 0 : OnActionExecuting: Global
iisexpress.exe Information: 0 : OnActionExecuting: HomeController
iisexpress.exe Information: 0 : OnActionExecuting: Index
iisexpress.exe Information: 0 : OnActionExecuted: Index
iisexpress.exe Information: 0 : OnActionExecuted: HomeController
iisexpress.exe Information: 0 : OnActionExecuted: Global

As you can see, when the request comes in, the filters are executed:

  1. Global
  2. Controller
  3. Action

Excellent examples of filters placed on global level include:

  1. Authentication filters
  2. Authorization filters
  3. Logging filters

Exception Handler Attribute

This attribute handles all unhandled exceptions in the code, (this is mostly for Ajax Requests - that deal with JSON - but can be extended)

public class ExceptionHandlerAttribute : HandleErrorAttribute
{
    /// <summary>
    ///   Overriden method to handle exception
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="filterContext"> </param>
    public override void OnException(ExceptionContext filterContext)
    {
        // If exeption is handled - return ( don't do anything)
        if (filterContext.ExceptionHandled)
            return;

        // Set the ExceptionHandled to true ( as you are handling it here)
        filterContext.ExceptionHandled = true;

        //TODO: You can Log exception to database or Log File

        //Set your result structure 
        filterContext.Result = new JsonResult
        {
            Data = new { Success = false, Message = filterContext .Exception.Message, data = new {} },
            JsonRequestBehavior = JsonRequestBehavior.AllowGet
        };

    }
}

So let's say you always have to send a JSON response similar to this:

{ 

    Success: true,  // False when Error
    
    data: {},
    
    Message:"Success" // Error Message when Error

}

So instead of handling exceptions in controller actions, like this:

public ActionResult PerformMyAction()
{
    try
    {
        var myData = new { myValue = 1};
        
        throw new Exception("Handled", new Exception("This is an Handled Exception"));
        
        return Json(new {Success = true, data = myData, Message = ""});
    
    }
    catch(Exception ex)
    {
        return Json(new {Success = false, data = null, Message = ex.Message});
    }
}

You can do this:

[ExceptionHandler]
public ActionResult PerformMyAction()
{
        var myData = new { myValue = 1};
        
        throw new Exception("Unhandled", new Exception("This is an unhandled Exception"));
        
        return Json(new {Success = true, data = myData, Message = ""});
}

OR you can add at Controller level

[ExceptionHandler]
public class MyTestController : Controller
{
    
    public ActionResult PerformMyAction()
    {
            var myData = new { myValue = 1};
            
            throw new Exception("Unhandled", new Exception("This is an unhandled Exception"));
            
            return Json(new {Success = true, data = myData, Message = ""});
    }
}