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Software Development Secrets: Easing Your Burden – Writing Code that Spits Out Code – Part 2
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Sometimes software coding involves repetitive tasks, such as writing the C# Switch-Case code that works through a long list of properties. In one of my current projects, we have a database table that defines properties for various objects—our application reads this database table and uses this information to 1) populate various UI elements, 2) read the values users have set for the various properties, and 3) use those stored property values to read and set the values as the related objects are instantiated. Here is an example:
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Above is a screenshot from DocAuto’s (IMFO revolutionary, explosively powerful, and surgically accurate) admin tool for SharePoint called SPOrganizer (https://www.docauto.com/products/sporganizer/). What you see is the user interface where you can turn on and off the various Features in a SharePoint Site Collection. This list of features is driven by a database table stored on the customer’s machine. It looks like this:
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Ultimately, a C# method is submitted a list of properties, works through the list, and performs read/update operations on each property. Here is an example:
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This Switch-Case block has more than 100 Case statements. That’s a lot of code to write! And if there is a typo in any of the property names, it won’t work correctly. Since we already have this data stored in a database, the solution is to use that data to create the shell of the code we need—automatically. It’s very simple. Here is the SQL code:

SELECT 
'	case "' + Name  + '":
		currentClientContext.Load(siteCollection, s => s.' + Name  + ');
		break;
'
FROM SPProperties
WHERE TypeName='SPSiteCollection'

We tell SQL Management Explorer to display the results in text:
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And we simply cut the results and paste them into our C# code:
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And just like that, we have created perfect no-typo code that would have taken a couple of hours to write by hand. Of course there is more work to do in the customizing of code for each individual property, but many won’t need a change at all.

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