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Adding Restaurant Validation

Handling validation

You may also notice that our system allows us to enter blank information for many of the fields. A name and address should be required to create a new restaurant.

Let's add that validation and the corresponding error handling in the user interface.

Required fields in the model

We can add an annotation named Required to both the Name and Address field in our Restaurant.cs to indicate these attributes are mandatory.

Using the optional (ErrorMessage = "Message") you can customize the error message.

using System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotations;
namespace TacoTuesday.Models
{
public class Restaurant
{
public int Id { get; set; }
[Required(ErrorMessage="You must provide a name.")]
public string Name { get; set; }
public string Description { get; set; }
[Required(ErrorMessage = "You must provide an address.")]
public string Address { get; set; }
public string Telephone { get; set; }
}
}

We will generate a new migration to capture this change. Any time we add, remove, or change a field in a database-backed model we must create a new migration.

dotnet ef migrations add AddRestaurantRequiredFields

The new migration will have an Up() method:

protected override void Up(MigrationBuilder migrationBuilder)
{
migrationBuilder.AlterColumn<string>(
name: "Name",
table: "Restaurants",
nullable: false,
oldClrType: typeof(string),
oldType: "text",
oldNullable: true);
migrationBuilder.AlterColumn<string>(
name: "Address",
table: "Restaurants",
nullable: false,
oldClrType: typeof(string),
oldType: "text",
oldNullable: true);
}

When we run this migration, it will enforce that these columns may not have null and thus are required.

dotnet ef database update

NOTE: If any of your data rows DO have NULL in these columns the migration run will fail. You will have to add data to those rows or remove those rows before the migration executes.

Handling errors in the user interface

Try adding a new restaurant without a name or address. You will notice now that you get a 400 response instead of a 200. However, the UI still redirects us back to the main page.

We are redirected because the fetch usage is not looking for an error response from the server.

Let us inspect the JSON returned when an error happens:

{
"type": "https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc7231#section-6.5.1",
"title": "One or more validation errors occurred.",
"status": 400,
"traceId": "|db64e96a-42aaf0a333dd69ff.",
"errors": {
"Name": ["The Name field is required."],
"Address": ["The Address field is required."]
}
}

We see a status field containing the value 400, an HTTP error code. We can use that information and the errors to give the user information about the error.

Let's create a state variable to hold an error text.

const [errorMessage, setErrorMessage] = useState('')

We will update the submitNewRestaurant to throw an error if it gets a result that is not a success.

async function submitNewRestaurant(restaurantToCreate: RestaurantType) {
const response = await fetch('/api/Restaurants', {
method: 'POST',
headers: { 'content-type': 'application/json' },
body: JSON.stringify(restaurantToCreate),
})
if (response.ok) {
return response.json()
} else {
throw await response.json()
}
}

We can define a type to represent the structure of the response our API gives when it returns an error. This goes in types.ts

export type APIError = {
errors: Record<string, string[]>
status: number
title: string
traceId: string
type: string
}

Then in the mutation we will setup an onError handler to catch this error and update the UI.

const createNewRestaurant = useMutation(submitNewRestaurant, {
onSuccess: function () {
history.push('/')
},
onError: function (apiError: APIError) {
setErrorMessage(Object.values(apiError.errors).join(' '))
},
})

Now we can use the value errorMessage to optionally display an alert to the user. We can put this above the button, or at the top of the form

{
errorMessage ? <p className="form-error">{errorMessage}</p> : null
}

If you try saving a restaurant now without a name and address, you'll see this message:

The Name field is required. The Address field is required.

However, if you fill in the name field, only the address will display an error.

Improving the user experience

Rather than showing a sentence at the top, we could store the error object and use it to highlight each field that has an error, decorating the input field with a red border and adding the error text next to the field.

We'll leave this as an exercise for the reader. Also, you may want to look into some popular React forms libraries that add these capabilities for you.

Change this:

<a href="/">
<i className="fa fa-home"></i>
</a>

to

<Link to="/">
<i className="fa fa-home"></i>
</Link>

Files Updated

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