What about having a utility that zips and emails your project folder content? I agree that the source control tools provides backup. But this utility can be used to easily take the backup of your private projects at home.
The project folder usually contains many other folders and with different file extensions. The .Net inbuilt zipping library can be used to compress a file. But not the entire file/folder structure like winzip. There are multiple choces for creating zip files like using J#/ZipPackage/Third Party/DotNetZip framework.
My chosen solution to zip entire folder content can be the use of DotNetZip which is an open source library for zipping. There are numerous examples available in the DotNetZip download, but we trying to create a utility that will do zipping and emailing of the given folder. This project should be extensible too.
You can download the library from url: http://dotnetzip.codeplex.com/
The project has been divided into the following parts:
- The Application UI
- The Core Library (containing folder searching, zipping, emailing classes)
The development of the project was gone through Test Driven Development. You can examine the unit tests generated.
The core class involved here is the Zipper class:
The Zipper class consists of the properties:
The folder to zip for
Exclude the folders from zipping
Exclude the following file extensions from zipping
Contains the action items to be performed after ipping
The Zipper class contains the Zip() method which is the core one:
The Zip() method performs the following actions:
- Searches the Folder recursively and creates all files/folders list
- Zip the file/folder list to a temporary file using DotNetZp
- Performs the actions on zip file like Email, Copy etc.
- Deletes the temporary zip file
- Returns the size of the zip file
public bool Zip()
// Ensure valid folder is specified
throw new ArgumentException("Invalid Folder!");
// Get the files
var files = _searcher.GetFiles(Folder, ExcludeFolders, ExcludeFileExtensions);
// Perform zip
using (ZipFile zipFile = new ZipFile())
foreach (string file in files)
// Create output zip file path
// Perform actions assigned (email, copy to folder etc.)
foreach (IAction action in this.AfterZipActions)
// Set file size for later reference
FileSize = new FileInfo(ZipFilePath).Length;
// Delete the original zip file
// Return true
The DotNetZip’s ZipFile class is used to do the zipping operation. The associated dll can be found in the project’s Library folder.
The Extensibility Factor
The Zipper class is designed in such a way that in future the developer wanted to add a new action – it can be easily incorporated. For this purpose the IAction interface is used.
The interface contains the Perform() method. The IAction interface is implemented by the Emailer and Copier classes. So in future a new action is required, we can create the new class implementing the IAction interface and add to the AfterZipActions list property of the Zipper class.
Gmail for Sending Mails
As gmail is supporting smtp service, if the user is having a gmail account it would be really easier. Anyway other mail services are also supported as the mail parameters can be changed over the screen. The changes will be saved to config file back when the application exits.
Saving user preferences
The config file contains default values which can be overridden by the end user.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<add key="LatestFolder" value=""/>
<add key="ExcludeFolders" value="obj,bin;TestResults"/>
<add key="ExcludeFileExtensions" value="*.suo;*.zip"/>
<add key="SenderEmail" value=""/>
<add key="SenderPassword" value=""/>
<add key="SMTPServer" value="smtp.gmail.com"/>
<add key="Recipients" value=""/>
<add key="DestinationFolder" value=""/>
The recommended usage of the utility is to add to the Visual Studio Tools>External Tools menu. This would be lot easier in zipping the project while after development.