Print PDF’s on Azure Using an API and RazorLight (Update 1)

The API mentioned in my first tutorial got taken down and so I had to do some updates.  First, choose another 3rd party API.  I currently am trying out  HTML 2 PDF Rocket and modified my code a bit:

public async Task<FileStreamResult> PrintAsync(int id)
    InvoiceVM invoiceVM = new InvoiceVM();
    invoiceVM = invoiceRepository.Get(id);

    var engine = new RazorLightEngineBuilder()
      .UseFilesystemProject(_hostingEnvironment.WebRootPath + "\\pdf\\")

    var view = await engine.CompileRenderAsync("PDF.cshtml", invoiceVM);
    string apiKey = "xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx";

    using (var client = new WebClient())
        // Build the conversion options
        NameValueCollection options = new NameValueCollection();
        options.Add("apikey", apiKey);
        options.Add("value", view);
        options.Add("MarginLeft", "10");
        options.Add("MarginRight", "10");
        options.Add("MarginTop", "10");
        options.Add("MarginBottom", "10");
        options.Add("PageSize", "Letter");

        MemoryStream ms = new MemoryStream(client.UploadValues("", options));

        return new FileStreamResult(ms, "application/pdf");

This is based directly off the HTML 2 Rocket documentation.  For the rest of the code see the first tutorial.


Using Libman Providers to Coral Front End Libraries

The first package management system I learned to use was Bower.  It was great for the short love affair we had together, but it stopped being supported and I was weary of learning to use one of its replacements.  Fortunately, I haven’t had to with Libman.  Libman’s (Library Manager) simple JSON approach to bringing front end dependencies has been the easiest for me quickly implement and it has been a great addition to Visual Studio.  I implemented it possibly too quickly, however, and overlooked one powerful configuration setting:  provider.

.Net Core – Drop Down (Select) Won’t Populate

I had a recent bug that took me much too long to solve and the root of the cause was me. I got a bit too delete happy and deleted a crucial file that allows me to use Razor Tag Helpers to bring a List into a View as a Drop Down (Select).

The Error

Here’s how the error presented itself:

  • SelectList won’t populate
  • Select or DropDown is empty
  • value = Microsoft.AspNetCore.Mvc.Rendering.SelectList or
  • System.Linq.OrderedEnumerable2 [Microsoft.AspNetCore.Mvc.Rendering.SelectListItem, System.String]

Using Microsoft Flow to Sync BaseCamp & VSTS (To-Do to Tasks)

We’ve strugged for years to get various departments to adapt, and stick to, a project management system. In the past year, have finally had some success with BaseCamp, as it has proved to be user-friendly enough that more and more departments began to use it. We suddenly needed to adapt to our users. We needed to make Visual Studio Team Services work with BaseCamp.

Make BaseCamp To-Do a VSTS Task

Creating a solution for BaseCamp to VSTS actually proved to be easy enough. I setup a project in BaseCamp and then a “Main To-Do List”. The only challenge in this is I needed to pass the BaseCamp To-Do Id so that when I closed my VSTS task (work item), it could link back to BaseCamp. For this, I chose to put the dynamic info in the “tags” field of my VSTS flow. Here’s the setup:…

Print PDF’s on Azure Using an API and RazorLight

The Problem

I recently had an issue with printing a report to PDF using Microsoft Reporting Service and a RDLC file, etc. Something similar to this. Unfortunately, it worked great in development, but refused to work once deployed into Azure. No matter what I did, I could not duck the GDI errors I kept getting, and apparently this continues through a line of various PDF exporting extensions, all of which rely on GDI for export. Turns out, I’m not alone in facing this problem and so, I decided to find a solution.

The Solution

My general idea was to use something to render my PDF view, send that view as one long html string to a free PDF microservice and get the PDF in return.…