Taswar Bhatti
The synonyms of software simplicity

What is Redis

Redis (REmote DIctionay Server) is a very popular open-source, networked, in-memory, key-value data store, sometimes referred to as a data structure server which also comes with optional durability. Redis is well known for high performance, flexibility, provides a rich set of data structures, and a simple straightforward API. The programming language Redis is written in is ANSI C.

The development of Redis has been sponsored by Pivotal since May 2013; before that, it was sponsored by VMware. According to the monthly ranking by DB-Engines.com, Redis is the most popular key-value store. Redis officially runs on Linux and not officially supported on Windows but MS Open Tech has been working with the Redis community to build a production-ready Windows port of Redis, including 64-bit support, an installer for Windows Azure, NuGet support, and much more.

In this series of post I will introduce Redis and it basic functionality using C# and node.js sample code.

To start off lets try to get Redis running on our Windows machine first. We will need to download the MSI from MS Open Tech, as of today July 3rd 2015 the latest version provided by MSOpenTech is 2.8.21


Launch the msi and follow through the process of the install. Screenshot are attached below

If you wish to run the latest version 3.0.2 line of redis then you will need to install it on a linux system. The following commands shows how to install redis on a Linux System (Ubunutu)

Validating installation

Once installed on windows or linux we can use the redis-cli to verify if redis is running.
On windows launch your prompt and go to C:\Program Files\Redis
run redis-cli.exe

Run these commands, to set and get values

The end result should look something like this.

Redis Prompt

Redis Prompt

If you are having issues with connecting to redis, check out if redis is running, use the redis-server.exe to verify.


We have learned how to install redis in part 1 series of Redis for .NET Developers. in the upcoming post, I will go through the more details of redis.


Dear Readers,

I am looking to write on some topics but have not decided on which one would be the best, I wanted your input on what you as reader would like to be covered. I have google survey below, please select one of the topics or if you like other topics to be covered please fill in the other section.



Sorry for not blogging for a while, have been busy with joining a new company. I wanted to finish up the blog post series with Running Grunt to test your JavaScript application.

In this post I will cover using Jasmine and Phantom.js. I have been a big fan of phantomjs a headless browser to test your web, its super fast and lightweight. In fact I did a local (Ottawa) JavaScript talk on it in 2012.


Jasmine is a BDD test framework for Javascript, we will be using to to test our app. Let’s get started and install jasmine to use in our express 4 application, again we will use npm or visual studio npm installer to install it.


Jasmine npm install

Next we will write a simple JavaScript client code, let’s call it client.js script that we will perform the test on.

We will now add an spec file for it to test the JavaScript client.js file we just created.

The spec file is where we define our test, now that we have created the spec we can add our grunt task

We can now run our grunt task using Task Runner or by command line

The output would be something like

grunt jasmine output

grunt jasmine output

Now that we have Jasmine and grunt working, lets create a JQuery plugin so that we can test Jasmine with JQuery.
In order to do so we need to use bower. If you need a tutorial on bower you can look at my old post.
But first lets install bower using npm or by the npm tool in Visual Studio

Bower NPM Install

Bower NPM Install

Let’s now use bower to install jquery, jasmine-jquery plugin and we will save it to our dev environment.

I will reuse one of my plugin for jquery that I created that does locale sorting. The code base is small enough for us to test, since it sorts elements based on locale of the text. Lets place the file in our javascript folder so that Grunt can pick it up, lets call it localeSort.js

We also need to let our Gruntfile to know about our “vendor” jasmine and jquery plugin, in order to run the task.

We will also create a spec file and created a folder called fixtures and placed a html file sampleSort.html in there which contains a unordered list with fruit names, please look at jsfiddle for input

The result of our jasmine test would show.

Jamine Jquery Test

Jasmine Jquery Test


So this concludes our Grunt series, we have gone through the journey of using Grunt with Visual Studio, here were all the topics that were covered. Hope you enjoyed it.

  1. Using Grunt – The Javascript task runner
  2. Using Grunt – Visual Studio Grunt Launcher
  3. Using Grunt – Visual Studio 2013 Task Runner Explorer
  4. Using Grunt – Basic Tutorial
  5. Using Grunt – Copying Files
  6. Using Grunt – less and css minifcation
  7. Using Grunt – Javascript Uglify and Concat
RR Donnelley

Yesterday, was the last day for me at RR Donnelley Language Solutions, it was great working with an excellent team at RR Donnelley, but the time has come after 5 years working in Language Solutions to move and advance my career.
I will be moving to a new position as System Architect and be working on Security related software. I am excited and also expecting challenging time ahead. I will be still be blogging more on Node/JavaScript/MS .NET and will probably include more Security, Authentication, Performance related articles, so stay tuned.


Using Grunt JavaScript Minification

We will continue from our last blog post on Grunt: using less and css minification to JavaScript minification using a plugin called Uglify.


To begin we will use a linting tool called jshint, to help us in taming our JavaScript with some static code analysis to flags suspicious usage.

We can use the command line npm install for it or we can use the visual studio tool to install

Npm JsHint

Npm JsHint

Now that we have jshint lets add our grunt task for jshint in our Gruntfile.js

You may realize that something different in our jshint section, there are some ** inside the file name. The pattern of /**/ basically mean traverse through all the children levels of the directory hierarchy, and the *.js means all the file with extension of js. By doing so, our script will always scan through any subdirectory for any future js files we may add.

Lets add a file inside of public/javascripts/ directory and call it myapp.js, our file will look something like this.

When we run our task using TaskRunner in Visual Studio or command line for jshint, we will get back a fail task and some suggestion on our JavaScript.

In order to fix the script jshint already suggest us to use the “===” for compare. Let’s now add another file called myapp2.js and also fix our myapp.js file.

When we rerun our task we should have no more errors.


We will now like to concat the file together and there is yet another plugin for grunt to concat files for us grunt-contrib-concat, as always we can use the npm tool in visual studio or the command line to install it.

And in our Gruntfile.js we will add our concat task

From the script we will see that it will add the bundle.js file into the deploy directory.



and if we open the file, we will see that both scripts are combined into one file.




Lastly, we would like to uglify the file, as in minification of the Javascript files. As always we will install our plugin and modify our Gruntfile.

Our new Gruntfile.js would look like



And now our bundle.min.js file is a minified javascript file (Uglified).




In this post we covered quite an area of grunt where we used multiple plugins to accomplish javascript related task (minification, concat, etc), in the next post we use grunt to automate our testing and clean up task.


In this post I will go through using grunt for our css minification task and also showcase another preprocessor for css called less.

First off lets start with a express 4 application, we will create it with Visual Studio NTVS, the latest RC contains a template for express 4.

Node Express App Visual Studio

Node Express App Visual Studio

We can install grunt by command prompt npm install

or by using the npm installer in Visual Studio, remember to choose the development dependency type

Npm Installer

Npm Installer

We should now see grunt in our dev when we expand the npm icon in Visual Studio

Grunt Visual Studio

Grunt Visual Studio

In our express 4 application we will now add a mystyle.css file to public/stylesheets folder like below.

Css file added

Css file added

The css contains just 3 styles

What we want our grunt task to do, is to minify this css for us in our deployment folder, so that it is deploying mystyle.min.css, in order to do so we can use the grunt-contrib-cssmin

Lets first install with npm, again you can use the visual installer if you prefer in visual studio.

Now in our grunt task we can load the npm and also call the cssmin in the initConfig object.

One thing to note is that in cssmin, in the files enclosure one has to put the destination, following the source file.

Let’s try to improve this css a bit by introducing less, basically less is a preprocessor that allows us to write cleaner css. We can introduce variables inside of less so that we don’t have to repeat ourselves. There is more to less and I will not get into the details of it. If you wish to learn more about less go to http://lesscss.org/

We would now need grunt-contrib-less installed with npm and load it into our grunt file.

Our grunt file would look like

But what if we wanted to combine these 2 files, and also to minify them? Then you have to wait till the next blog post, stay tuned.


Sorry for not posting regularly here, I was on holidays during late December till January, so didn’t get the time or the change to blog, but will get back to the routine of blogging more often.

This blog post will be the continuation on Using Grunt. We went through some basic of using Grunt, in this post I will cover copy of files using grunt. One can definitely use their system commands (cp, mv, del, rm, etc) to copy files but having the task runner to automate it for you, will make the mundane task of copy easier and not to mention portable to other platform.

In our example we will start off with a simple node express app and we wish to copy the html files to build folder.
Our file structure may look somewhat like:



We will now focus on the Gruntfile.js, as some of you may recall a simple grunt file looks somewhat like

We will be using the grunt-contrib-copy plugin for copying files, the reason we will use grunt to copy files is because it will abstract away the system calls of copy from us, so that we can use the same script in windows, mac or in linux.
To install grunt-contrib-copy, we will use the npm command and save it in our dev

We will now add the copy information and load the npm in our gruntfile.

We can run the grunt command of copy with html, this will also create the build folder for us

One can also use the build task to run the copy command, note: I am passing the copy:html as an array to the second parameter in our gruntfile, I can continue adding task to the array e.g copy:somedir, etc, etc

We may also want to copy some of our bower component file over to the build, we can add another config object to grunt copy like below (If you are interested in learning Bower please read my other post on Bower)

Grunt has a lot of plugin that can help us do a tone of things, in the next post we will go over some plugins that will help us minify css, JavaScript and even contact files for us.


In this post I will cover some area of grunt more of a grunt basic tutorial, things you can do with grunt, in previous post we saw how we use grunt with Visual Studio 2012 and 2013 and our simple hello world task.

Let’s start with some more basic things e.g writing a simple function task that takes a parameter.
For example below we have a hello task that takes a parameter of name.

Note: we are using : to pass in parameters, if you have multiple parameters you can chain it with more colon (e.g grunt hello:Taswar:123456 ) it will pass it into the second parameter.

We can also provide a warning message when a parameter is not passed.

Now what if we want to chain the task together, hello and hello2, we can register a task for it

So far so good, but we can also document our task so that anyone using our task will have some description of the task.

If we run the grunt -h command we will see something like



So far we have covered more of the basics of grunt, the next blog post I will cover more in details of manipulating files etc in your system using grunt.


Visual Studio 2013 provides Task Runner Explorer for us to run Grunt & Gulp task right inside of Visual Studio.
One can download Task Runner Explorer from Visual Studio Gallery

Once installed we can now use npm to install grunt for us in our node web project.

We now will create a new Gruntfile.js and also launch our task runner explorer (View > Other Windows > Task Runner Explorer), as you can see we don’t have any task yet so there is no task to run.

Visual Studio Task Runner

Visual Studio Task Runner

We will now add our hello world task

From there we will need to click on the reload button on task runner and it will now contain our default task.

Lets try to run the default task and see how it looks like

Vs Grunt Task Runner

Vs Grunt Task Runner

In my next blog post I will show how we will use Grunt to concat (join) some files together and continue on our journey with Task Runner Explorer in Visual Studio 2013.

Me and Anders

Me and Anders Hejlsberg (Creator of C# & TypeScript)

I just got back from MVP summit from Seattle, and there were lots of new and cool stuff about the future of .NET and web development with vNext. I would strongly to suggest that you join the virtual developer Microsoft conference Connect(); http://www.visualstudio.com/en-ca/connect-event-vs

On the 12th you will have keynotes from Scott Gu, Scott Hanselman and Soma. There will also be session with product team on the 13th.

Unfortunately, I cannot reveal anything at this moment due to NDA but here is a video of ASP.NET vNext Insider for anyone interested in ASP .NET vNext.