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Preprocessed T4 Templates

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A preprocessed T4 template is an easy, out-of-the-box technology you can use for generating text from a template at runtime. Preprocessed templates are a little different than the T4 templates you might have used in the past. For details, read Oleg Sych's post on the topic

As an example, let's say you add a preprocessed template named "LetterTemplate.tt" to a project, with the following content:

<#@ template language="C#" #>

Hi <#=  Model.FirstName  #>,

Thank you for the email. Although our schedules 
are very busy, we decided to take some time and 
write you a personal reply. 

We appreciate the thoughtful feedback on 
show <#= Model.ShowNumber #>, and we want to promise 
you, <#= Model.FirstName #>, that we will try harder. 


For this example, only three pieces of code are required. First there is the partial class to extend the definition of a class generated from the template:

public partial class LetterTemplate
    public LetterModel Model { get; set; }

Secondly is the definition of LetterModel:

public class LetterModel
    public string FirstName { get; set; }
    public string ShowNumber { get; set; }

And finally, only a few lines of code are required to execute the template and produce a result.

var template = new LetterTemplate();
template.Model = new LetterModel()
    FirstName = "...",
    ShowNumber = "..."
var message = template.TransformText();

TranformText is all you need , yet the generation scenarios can be much more complex.

tobi Wednesday, January 5, 2011
How cool is that?
Aaron Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Effin' sweet!

Goodbye, long-winded stringbuilder joins and string.Format statements.

You rock, thanks!
Gravatar Marco Rizzi Thursday, January 6, 2011
What about processing effort? Did you executed any benchmark?
Gravatar scott Thursday, January 6, 2011
@Aaron - exactly!

@Marco - I haven't benchmarked, no.
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