ABP Helper Methods

ABP.IO
5 min readJul 10, 2023

While coding we use extension methods and helper methods frequently. They help us to achieve common operations in a declarative way. We use them to split a text into lines, query a collection by conditions, cast from one type to another, and for many other purposes…

In this article, I want to show some helpful extension methods that are defined and used by ABP Framework. I personally use them frequently in my daily code, and they can be life-saving for many cases and prevent duplication.

Here is the list of extension methods and helper methods that we will be taking a look at in this article:

  • Check class (and its methods, such as NotNullOrWhiteSpace and Length)
  • OneTimeRunner class
  • Some extension methods of the AbpDictionaryExtensions class (TryGetValue, GetOrDefault, and GetOrAdd)
  • Some extension methods of the AbpEnumerableExtensions class (JoinAsString and WhereIf`)
  • Some extension methods of the AbpStringExtensions class (EnsureEndsWith, EnsureStartsWith, NormalizeLineEndings, RemovePostFix, SplitToLines, and TruncateWithPostfix)
  • Some extension methods of the AbpTypeExtensions class (IsAssignableTo and GetBaseClasses)
  • Some extension methods of the CurrentUserExtensions class (GetId and FindClaimValue)

I aim to make this article a practical guide so there will be no long descriptions of the methods, instead, I will describe them within a sentence and then shows an example of usage. Also, I aim to keep this article updated, whenever I start using an extension method or helper classes, I will try to add it to this article. You can also comment below on the extension/helper methods that you use in your daily code, so I can add them to the article.

Check Class

Check.NotNull and Check.NotNullOrWhiteSpace methods can be used in a constructor of an entity to ensure the integrity of the entity as follows:

public class Book : AggregateRoot<Guid>
{
public string Name { get; set; }

public string Description { get; set; }

//...

public Book(Guid id, string name, string description) : base(id)
{
Name = Check.NotNullOrWhiteSpace(name, nameof(name)); //checks if the string is null or white space and throws an exception if it is

Description = Check.Length(description, nameof(description), BookConsts.MaxDescriptionLength); //checks the max length of the given description and throws an exception if it exceeds the length
}
}

In addition to these two methods, the Check class provides many other useful methods, such as Check.NotNull<>, Check.NotNullOrEmpty, AssignableTo<>, Range and Positive. You can see the Check class for other methods.

OneTimeRunner Class

OneTimeRunner is a utility class that guarantees to execute a code block only one time per application even if it is called multiple times.

private readonly static OneTimeRunner OneTimeRunner = new OneTimeRunner();

for(int i = 1; i < 10; i++)
{
OneTimeRunner.Run(() =>
{
Console.WriteLine("it's called: " + i + " time(s)");
});
}

//Prints: "it's called 1 time(s)"

ABP Framework uses this class in many places. For example, ABP Framework uses this class in the module classes to configure Global Features as follows:

private static readonly OneTimeRunner OneTimeRunner = new OneTimeRunner();
public override void PreConfigureServices(ServiceConfigurationContext context)
{
OneTimeRunner.Run(() =>
{
GlobalFeatureManager.Instance.Enable<PaymentFeature>();
});
}

You can use this class whenever you need to ensure a code-block to only run once (it might be useful to use this class on application startup for instance).

Dictionary Extensions

AbpDictionaryExtensions class provides helpful methods such as TryGetValue, GetOrDefault, and GetOrAdd.

Example:

//check if the item exists in the dictionary
if(JobQueues.TryGetValue(jobName, our var jobQueue))
{
//perform operations on the job queue
}

JobQueues.GetOrDefault(jobName): //return the jobQueue if exists otherwise returns null

//tries to get the job queue, if it can not find adds a new item to the dictionary and returns it.
JobQueues.GetOrAdd(
jobName,
() => new JobQueue(jobName)
);
  • TryGetValue: Used to try to get a value in a dictionary if it exists. If the value exists, it returns true with the value of the dictionary item. Otherwise, returns false with the default value for the dictionary items (null for reference types, 0 for numeral values etc.).
  • GetOrDefault: Gets a value from the dictionary with the given key. Returns default value if can not find.
  • GetOrAdd: Get a value from the dictionary with the given key. If it can not find a value, it creates a new one according to the factory method that provided it as an argument.

Enumerable Extensions

AbpEnumerableExtensions class provides helpful methods such as JoinAsString and WhereIf. Also, there are other extension methods defined in this class. They are especially helpful to use in queries.

Examples:

//Concatenates the book names separated with comma
var bookNamesSeperatedWithComma = bookNames.JoinAsString(",");

//if startTime is not null, then apply the filter
var identitySecurityLog = securityLogs.WhereIf(
startTime.HasValue, //condition
securityLog => securityLog.CreationTime >= startTime.Value //filter
)
.First();
  • JoinAsString: Concatenates the members of a collection, using the specified separator between each member. In the example above, we have used it to store all bookNames in a string field, separated with a comma (“bookName1,bookName,…”).
  • WhereIf: Filters the list by given predicate if the given condition is true.

String Extensions

I frequently use the extension methods of the AbpStringExtension class. Here are some of them:

  • EnsureEndsWith: Adds a char to the end of a given string if it does not end with the char.
  • EnsureStartsWith: Adds a char to the beginning of a given string if it does not start with the char.
  • NormalizeLineEndings: Converts line endings in the string to Environment.NewLine.
  • RemovePostFix: Removes the first occurrence of the given postfixes from the end of the given string.
  • SplitToLines: Uses string.Split method to split given string by Environment.NewLine.
  • TruncateWithPostfix: Gets a substring of a string from the beginning of the string if it exceeds the maximum length. It adds a “…” postfix to the end of the string if it’s truncated.

Examples:

var detailPage = url.EnsureEndsWith("/") + "Detail"; //add the /detail to the end of the URL

var urlWithHttps = url.EnsureStartsWith("https://"); //ensure the given URL starts with "https://"

//uses the Environment.NewLine for line endings, replaces \n with Environment.NewLine (makes it environment agnostic)
var normalizedContent = fileContent.NormalizeLineEndings();

//removes post fix according to the given string
var classNameWithoutManagerPostfix = nameof(MyDomainManager).RemovePostFix("Manager");

//splits a string content to lines, to a string array
string[] lines = fileContent.SplitToLines();

//if the description's length exceeds 247, it truncates the string and adds postfix (...)
var truncatedDescription = post.Description.TruncateWithPostfix(247, "...");

Type Extensions

AbpTypeExtensions class provides helpful type extensions such as GetFullNameWithAssemblyName and IsAssignableTo methods.

For example, we can use the GetFullNameWithAssemblyName method to output a type’s assembly full name in an exception message to make it easy to diagnose errors:

throw new ArgumentException($"should be assignable to {typeof(MyBaseClass).GetFullNameWithAssemblyName()}");

On the other hand, the IsAssignableTo extension method can be used to check if a class inherits from a base class or implements an interface:

if(typeof(TEntity).IsAssignableTo<IHasCreationTime>())
{
//TEntity should implement IHasCreationTime
}

It uses Type.IsAssignableFrom method internally.

Current User Extensions

As you might know, we can get the information about the current user, from the ICurrentUser or CurrentUser classes. We can get the Id of the current user, check if the current user is authenticated (IsAuthenticated) etc.

CurrentUser.Id is a nullable property. Because the user might be not authenticated yet. However, sometimes you might expect that the current user should be authenticated to see a page and perform some operations according to the current user. For such cases, we know that the CurrentUser.Id can’t be null. So, we can get the Id of the current user as a not-nullable Guid type by using the GetId extension method:

Guid? currentUserId = CurrentUser.Id; //we need to check if it's null or not to use it

Guid currentUserId = CurrentUser.GetId();

Also, there are some other extension methods such as the FindClaimValue method that might be useful. For example, we can obtain the current user’s phone number by using this extension method as follows:

string phoneNumber = CurrentUser.FindClaimValue(AbpClaimTypes.PhoneNumber);

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