How To Create ASP.NET Core MVC Application?

In this article, we will learn about how to create an ASP.NET Core MVC web application step by step. Web applications built with ASP.NET Core MVC are known for their flexibility, scalability, and ability to cater to various business needs. By the end of this article, you will have a solid understanding of the fundamental concepts and practical steps to kickstart your own ASP.NET Core MVC project.

What is ASP.NET Core?

ASP.NET Core is an open-source, cross-platform framework developed by Microsoft for building modern, cloud-based, and scalable web applications.

Why should we use ASP.NET Core?

  1. Cross-platform Compatibility: ASP.NET Core is cross-platform, meaning you can develop and run applications on Windows, Linux, and macOS. This flexibility makes it suitable for a wide range of environments.
  2. High Performance: ASP.NET Core is designed for high performance and scalability. It utilizes asynchronous programming and supports features like WebSockets and SignalR for real-time applications.
  3. Open Source: ASP.NET Core is open source, which means you have access to the source code and can contribute to the community. It's developed in the open on GitHub, fostering collaboration and improvement.
  4. Modern Development Practices: ASP.NET Core promotes modern development practices, including dependency injection, integrated support for modern front-end frameworks like Angular and React, and built-in support for RESTful APIs.
  5. Cross-platform Tools: ASP.NET Core comes with a set of cross-platform tools, including the .NET CLI, which simplifies development, testing, and deployment processes.
  6. Support for Microservices: ASP.NET Core is well-suited for microservices architecture, allowing you to build modular, independently deployable services that can scale individually.
  7. Integrated Security: ASP.NET Core provides built-in security features, such as identity and authentication, that help developers protect their applications against common threats.
  8. Extensible Middleware: Middleware in ASP.NET Core is highly customizable, allowing developers to add or remove components easily to tailor their application's behavior.
  9. Docker Support: ASP.NET Core has excellent support for Docker containers, making it straightforward to containerize your applications for easier deployment and scaling.
  10. Easy Integration with Azure: If you're using Microsoft Azure for cloud hosting, ASP.NET Core offers tight integration with Azure services, making it a suitable choice for Azure-based applications.

Now, let's start creating an ASP.NET Core MVC web application.

Step 1. Open Visual Studio

  • Open Visual Studio ( I am using 2022)
  • Once the Visual Studio Opens, click on Create a New Project in the following image.

Step 2. Choose Project Template

You will see All languages, All platforms, and All project types. I chose the ASP.NET Core Web App(Model-View-Controller) Template, as shown in the following image.

After choosing the project template, click on Next.

Step 3. Define Project Name and Location

In the project configuration window, you will see the following options,

  • Project Name: Define any name for your project as per your choice.
  • Location: Choose the location to save the project files on your hard drive of the machine. I have chosen the Project/VS folder of the E drive of the machine, and obviously, it's different on your computer.
  • Solution Name: The solution name is auto-defined based on the project name, but you can change the name based on your own choice.

Additionally, there is a checkbox. If you have checked it, then the solution file (.sln) and project files will be saved in the same folder. Now, Choose the minimum details for ease of understanding, as shown in the following image.

After defining the required details, click on the Next.

Step 4. Choose the Target Framework

Choose the target framework .NET 6, which is the latest, or you can choose based on your requirements. Skip the other details for ease of understanding, as shown in the following image.

After providing the required details, click the Create button. It will create the ASP.NET Core MVC web application, as shown in step 5.

Step 5. Understanding ASP.NET Core MVC Folder Structure 

The following is the default folder structure of the ASP.NET Core ASP.NET MVC application.

Let's understand the preceding project folder structure in brief.

In ASP.NET Core MVC, the project structure is organized to promote a clean and maintainable architecture. Here's a typical project structure for an ASP.NET Core MVC application.

  1. Controllers: This is where you define your controller classes. Controllers handle incoming HTTP requests and contain action methods.
  2. Models: In the Models folder, you define your data models. These models represent the structure of your application's data. You might have separate subfolders for different types of models (e.g., ViewModels, DataModels).
  3. Views: The Views folder is where you store your view files. These views are responsible for rendering the HTML that's sent to the client. You often have subfolders here corresponding to the controller names, which helps organize the views.
  4. wwwroot: This folder contains static files like CSS, JavaScript, and images that are directly accessible to the client.
  5. Startup.cs: This file contains the startup configuration for your application, including configuring services and middleware.
  6. appsettings.json: This JSON file is used to store configuration settings for your application, such as database connection strings.
  7. Program.cs: This is the entry point of your application. It contains the Main method that sets up the web host.
  8. wwwroot: This is where you place static files, such as CSS, JavaScript, and images, that are served directly to clients.
  9. Areas (optional): If you are using areas in your application to organize controllers and views, you will have a folder for each area.
  10. Data (optional): You can have a separate folder for data-related code, such as database context and migrations.
  11. Services (optional): You can create a folder for service classes that provide business logic and are used by your controllers.
  12. ViewComponents (optional): If you are using view components, you can organize them in this folder.
  13. Filters (optional): You may create custom action filters and store them in this folder.
  14. Extensions (optional): For extension methods and helper classes that can be reused throughout the application.
  15. Resources (optional): For storing localization resources if you are supporting multiple languages.
  16. Tests (optional): If you are writing unit tests, you can create a separate folder for your test projects.
  17. Properties (auto-generated): This folder may include the AssemblyInfo.cs file and other assembly-related information.

It's important to note that while this is a common structure, it's not set in stone, and you can adapt it to fit the specific requirements of your project. ASP.NET Core is flexible in this regard, allowing you to organize your code as you see fit while following best practices for maintainability and scalability.

Step 6. Run the ASP.NET Core MVC Application

You can run the application with default contents or let open the Index.cshtml file and put some contents there. Now press F5 on the keyboard or use the run option from Visual Studio to run the application in the browser. After running the application, it will show in the browser, as shown in the following image.

I hope from the preceding step-by-step demonstration, you have learned how to create the ASP.NET Core MVC Web Application.