Basics of MVC Design Patterns


I would like to share the basics of MVC design patterns. I have collected the following contents from various web resources and tried to summarize them in my words.

Understanding MVC with Relationship diagram

MVC with Relationship diagram

What is a Model?

  1. The MVC model is basically a C# or VB.NET class
  2. A model is accessible by both controller and view
  3. A model can be used to pass data from a controller to a view
  4. A Model is considered to be smart and handles the business rules, logic and data and will be independent of other parts of MVC (controller and view).

What is a View?

  1. A View is an ASPX page without a code behind file
  2. A view is considered to be dumb and is an output representation of the model data
  3. A view knows only about the model.

What is a Controller?

  1. A Controller is basically a C# or VB.NET class that inherits system.mvc.controller
  2. A Controller is the heart of the entire MVC architecture
  3. Inside the Controller's class, action methods can be implemented that are responsible for responding to browser or calling views.
  4. A Controller can access and use a model class to pass data to views
  5. A Controller uses ViewData to pass any data to the view
  6. A Controller receives and dispatches the request; in short, it handles the user interaction and input logic. It knows about both the Model and View.

Difference between ASP.NET Web form and MVC

Page controller pattern MVC
Typical page life cycle No page life cycle
Viewstate No Viewstate
Slow due to maintaining the state of controls in hidden fields Fast
Testing is difficult Testing is easy
Need to create Arch for business logic No need to create arch, the business logic is already separated into different folders
No concepts of actions We can reuse the actions at the controller
Large page size due to viewstate Small page size due to no viewstate concept
Each page attached with its code behind View and controller are not dependent each other
Good for small applications Good for big applications
Postbacks occurs No postbacks

Request lifecycle in MVC applications

  1. Browers request to the server (URL like]/home/index/ or]/emp/edit/)
  2. Global.asax will read the URL and try to find the corresponding requested controller and Action
  3. Here Controller is Home and Action is index.
  4. MVC will try to find the corresponding Controller for Home, it will be the HomeController class in the controller directly
  5. The Controller class might contain various Actions as methods defined
  6. Here the Action will be HomeController.Index()
  7. Invoking the method Index() will return the corresponding view (HTML page)



Passing data from controller to View

ViewData can be used for this purpose, it is a dictionary.

The ActionResult class is the base class for action results. Common return types are:

  1. Returning a View.

    Here in the following example Index.aspx will be returned as the view because Index() is the action here.
    public ActionResult Index()
        return View();
  2. Rendering a plain text in the browser.
    public ActionResult Index()
        return Content("hello world");
    Here we will get hello world in the DOM.
  3. Modifying the return type to void.
    public void Index()
        Response.write(“hello world”);
    Here we will get hello world at DOM.
  4. Modifying the return type to ContentResult class.
    public JSONResult Index()
        return Content("hello world");
  5. Returning a specific view.

    Here in the example below we have the Index() Action but we are returning Result.aspx because View() also accepts a parameter that is the name of the View.
    public ViewResult Index()
        return View("Result");
  6. Simple returing string.
    public string Index()
        return "This is my default action...";


Here we learned the basics of MVC Design Patterns. 

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