Sunday, August 24, 2008

.NET Coding Standards

Hi .NET developers and team leaders,

According to my practical work on Microsoft Visual Studio.NET, it were obligated to use standards for coding, design and implementation. I readed carefully about standards and naming conventions from multiple sources and summarized it then added some modifications to unify our .NET development among the team.

This topic defines some of the standards related to the formatting, naming conventions, and organization for any code written for software development.

All developers implementing HTML, Active Server Pages (ASP) and .NET application should comply with the standards outlined below. Also, each Development manager should strictly enforce these standards during all phases of application development. This document should be used as a guiding principle during all source code reviews and sign-off.

the following are some headlines of our coding standards to be discussed here:

  1. Documentation
  2. Naming Conventions
  3. Hints and Remarks

OK, lets start describing the following items:

  1. Documentation

You should know that work on a team and may be you leave them for another company, so you should document your work task by task. I followed a lot of problems to understand friends' code on my team after moving to another company. Story

I were working on Human resource management system on my company, and after movement of some colleagues to another company i faced difficulty to understand their codes especially the ones which are not documented. so i asked from my team leader to re-implement some works of it and he approved my point.

/// creator name: Ahmed Eid
/// creation date: 1 jan 2008
/// description : Handles the submittion of Adduser.aspx
/// edited By : Hany Mohamed
/// updated date: 2 feb 2003
/// reason for update: fixing number over flow bug

Note: if developers use visual source safe or TFS , it will be easy to track the changes of file modifications.

  • In line Comments developers should document methods and each line code need to documented within classes.

    Method documentation:
/// <summary>
/// Here is the description of method functionality
/// </summary>
/// <param name="Param1">describe each param usage</param>
/// <param name="Param2">describe each param usage</param>
/// <param name="Param3">describe each param usage</param>
public void DoSomeThing(int Param1,string Param2,out int Param3)
// do somethiong method

Note: if you finished method signature, only write /// on the line above your method to prepare the documentation as above.

Inline documentation:

if the code lines need to be described, you must do to be reference for all of reviewing that code ( may be you return back to your code but you could not understand it smile_regular )

2. Naming Conventions

visual studio.NET

    • Files Name Files should be named a descriptive name and they should not be named with numbers for example: submitorder1.asp , submitorder2.asp … Descriptive file name samples:

    • adduser.aspx
    • viewUserDetails.aspx
    • viewAccoutStatus.aspx
    • reportUsersPerCountry.aspx
    • For shadow pages(pages that execute code on the server and redirects the user) acAdduser.aspx (ac is for action)reGenerateAccessXML.aspx

According to the use of DNN we will add a prefix [ mod_ ] to user controls names if this UC will be defined as DNN module Ex. Mod_ adduser.ascx

    • Files Structure A well structure should always be in place; the files should not all be under one folder. Structure can be defined according to factors:
      • Based on application business purpose normally for public site
    • / (Root)

      • Product-X
        • Admin
          • EditUser.aspx
          • ....
        • Registeration
          • Register.aspx
          • Confirm.aspx
          • EditUser.aspx
          • ....
      • Product-Y
        • ...
      • Component-X (may be other .NET application added to solution)
        • ...
      • Reports
        • ...
      • ...etc

    • Class Name: Class Names should be Nouns and the First letter of the class name should be Caps and the rest of the name should be small.


  • Connection (good old ADO connection)
  • User
  • Product This class names shows that a class is an entity that performs an action. Not the action itself.

Hence class names like these

  • ManageUsers
  • DbFunctions

Naming above gives the idea of something wrong in the design/implementation itself.
Correct naming is:

  • Users or UserManagement
  • DbAccessLayer

This case pplies on everything (almost) except for the static classes like those who has global functionality. And supports other class

    • Methods Names Methods Names should be verbs and it should be written with the Camel Naming convention system which is to write every first letter of the name with CAPS and the rest small without the verb itself example: GetUserInfo(), GetUserPassword()
    • Variables

    ° Variables name should never be x , y, z or i or any other chars that are not descriptive.

    ° Variables names should consists of the first letter of the variable type and the rest should be the use of the variable

    ° Variables name should be written using the Camel Naming convention system. Example: iUserId, sUserName

    ° Boolean Variables should be Positive sense Names example: isEmpty, isActive

    integer --> iUserId
    double --> dBasicSalary
    string --> sName
    float --> fPercent
    ..... and so on

    Note: you can customize your naming conventions as you like you must keep that standard among team. you may write string as strName

    • Control Names The following list of Control Names is to be used when creating names for HTML elements, Control names. When naming an element, the prefix is concatenated with a unique name for the element.

      Label --> LblCountryName
      TextBox --> txtCountryName
      CheckBox --> chkCountry
      Optionbox --> optCountry
      drobdownlist --> ddlCountry
      Combobox --> cmbCountry
      ListBox --> lstCountry
      Button --> btnCountry
      TreeView--> trvCountry
      ListView --> lstvCountry
      Progressbar --> pbCountry
      DataGrid --> dgCountry
      Repeater --> rptCountry
      DataList --> dlCountry
      Image --> imgCountr
  • Database
  • Tables

    - Tables’ names will not start with any initials but rather with the name right away.
    For example: Customers instead of [Database prefix]_TableName. like : hr_ Employees - Tables’ names should not contain any spaces whatsoever (all spaces should be replaced with underscores).
    - Tables’ names should be plural when applicable. For example: Users not User, Customers not Customer. · All tables’ names should be descriptive.
  1. Table Fields
    • pfk = primary foreign key & lfk = logical foreign key
    • All fields’ names should be descriptive
    • For the identity it will be AutoId For the foreign key it will be prefix_fieldName
      • The foreign key from another table of the current database will be pfk_CustomerId

      • The foreign key from another database table or external file structure like XML,..etc will be lfk_userI
    • Fields names should not contain any spaces whatsoever (all spaces should be replaced with underscores)
    • All views’ names should be descriptive
    • All views names should start with database prefix For example: hrvw_Employee
  3. Stored Procedures
    • All stored procedures’ names should be descriptive
    • All stored procedure names should start with a database prefix instead of SP since system stored procedures start with sp. For example: hr_AddEmployee

    and so on .....

    3. Hints and Remarks

    • Avoid Late Binding
    • Use StringBuilder class for string manipulation (don’t use string class)
    • Web Development should also Cache there Page
    • Developer has to use the .NET field validation for each of the following validation
      • Mandatory
      • Email format
      • Phone Format
      • Range like the age range
      • Password and password confirmation Comparison
    • Errors messages:
      • Should be spell checked
      • Should be in a proper and consistent format
      • Correct messages are displayed for each condition
      • Messages useful & meaningful for the user (e.g. “Driver error 80004005” will not be understood by a normal user)
      • Different errors are handled by different messages (invalid data types & entry length can not have the same message)
      • All Javascripts and VB scripts should be in one block in the beginning or the end of the file
      • All HTML tags should be small letters
      • Any developer using .NET should use regions when ever possible to have a better and easier look at his code

these are some coding standards we use on .NET environment development. so you could follow them or customize it to match your case.

if you have any inquiry about that topic, please don't hesitate to contact me at



Mohamed said...

Thanks for this useful post

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