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Giving the .NET smart components a try–The Smart Paste button

Microsoft announced last month, the .NET Smart Components, an experimental set of AI-powered UI components that can be added to your .NET apps. They asked us to give these components a try and share our feedback.

I already talked about:

In this post I’ll focus on the last component that was introduced; the Smart Paste button.

Smart Paste is an intelligent app feature that fills out forms automatically using data from the user's clipboard. You can use this with any existing form in your web app.

Integrate Smart Paste in an ASP.NET Core MVC app

The steps are the same as in my first post, but I’ll repeat them here.

We start by creating a new ASP.NET Core MVC application.

Remark: The Smart Components are supported in both Blazor and MVC/RazorPages applications.

Add the SmartComponents.AspNetCore NuGet package to your project:

dotnet add package --prerelease SmartComponents.AspNetCore

Open your Program.cs file and add the following lines to register the necessary services:

Now open the _ViewImports.cshtml file (in the Views folder) and reference the Smart Component tag helpers:

Almost there! As the idea of the Smart Paste button is to intelligently fill in a form, we first need to add a form of course. Let’s use a bug tracking form as an example:

Remark: You don't have to configure or annotate your forms, since the system will infer the meanings of the fields from your HTML. You can provide more details if you want by adding a data-smartpaste-description attribute as you can see on the Title field.

The only remaining step then is to add our Smart Paste button to the form:

Integrate a self-hosted AI backend

We are not there yet. Before we can use our Smart Paste button we need to provide an AI backend that our component can use to talk to a Large Language Model.

In this example I’ll use Ollama to self host an AI backend and Llama2 as the LLM.

Remark: If you want to learn how to use Ollama, check out this post.

Update your appsettings.json file and add the following section:

Make sure that the DeploymentName matches the deployed model. I’m using Llama3 that just got available inside Ollama.

We also need to register an IInferenceBackend.  As Ollama exposes an OpenAI compatible API we can use a package already created by Microsoft. Therefore we first need to install the SmartComponents.Inference.OpenAI package through NuGet:

dotnet add package --prerelease SmartComponents.Inference.OpenAI

Now we can register it inside our Program.cs file:

Let’s give it a try…

I defined a possible bug description:

I've found a pretty serious issue where the application crashes whenever you try to save your profile. It doesn't matter what browser or operating system you're using, it happens every time. Basically, you just log in, go to the profile page, fill out the form, and hit save. Instead of saving your profile like it should, the whole application crashes and you get this "500 Internal Server Error" message. This is a high priority issue because it prevents users from updating their profiles.

And copied it to my clipboard. I opened the form and hit the ‘Paste from clipboard’ button.


This is the result I got:

Quite impressive!

There is still something strange as it adds a ‘of type string’ to every text. That's something we try to fix in the next post...

More information

Introducing .NET Smart Components - AI-powered UI controls - .NET Blog (

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