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ASP.NET Core MVC URL Shortener

A basic implementation of an URL shortener web application using ASP.NET Core MVC and Entity Framework Core.

Goal

I've started this little project in order to have a support during my approach of ASP.NET Core MVC.

My idea was to implement a simple web application using the framework.

I've chosen to implement an URL shortener application because it's pretty simple.

Algorithm

So, how works an URL shortener?

Basicaly, we store the URL in database, so it has a numeric ID, an we convert it to a another base in order to have a "stringified" version of the ID.

When we have the short URL the process is:

  • convert the "stringified" ID to the numeric ID.
  • load the data from DB.
  • redirect to the original URL using an HTTP redirection.

More theory here in this stackoverflow topic.

Implementation

For the stringification, I've chosen base 62 with this alphabet : "23456789bcdfghjkmnpqrstvwxyzBCDFGHJKLMNPQRSTVWXYZ-_".

I've used the ShortURL class by delight.im to do this work. See this link for more information about it.

You can also see this link: https://gist.github.com/dgritsko/9554733.

Usage

First, you have to type dotnet restore in order to retrieve the dependancies of the project.

The projet is using SQLite as DB backed. The data file is named shorturls.db by default. You can change this by modifying the line 35 of the file Startup.cs.

In order to init the DB schema, you have to rune the command dotnet ef database update.

Then, simply type dotnet run on your command prompt and then browse to http://localhost:5000.

Screenshot of the web application:

Screenshot of the ASP.NET Core MVC URL Shortener web application

Conclusion

ASP.NET Core allowed me to do this simple app in the quickest way. So that, I've doing more investigations about the framework.

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