Much has been written about ASP.NET and ASP.NET MVC, but my Talking Points would be incomplete without it. In fact the first Talking Point was on a subject central to the ASP.NET MVC architecture: Routing. MVC pattern is new to our Microsoft Web Dev Platform, but it is a useful pattern that has been around for about 30 years now (circa 1979 - MVC). I like the approach because it is a very clean pattern that makes your application easier to understand and easier to maintain.
ASP.NET MVC Tenets
•The main tenets of ASP.NET MVC are Alternative, Testable, Extensible and Routable.
In WebForms today you start out with an ASPX page, within the page you can have any number of user controls, custom controls, and server controls. In addition, a page can have a master page, which can in turn have any number of controls itself. When you introduce model data, due to the level of abstraction needed by WebForms, any of the components used can have access to data. The page, the master page, and any of their individual controls contain logic that both retrieves model data and contains its view representation. This is a model that has made WebForms very successful and useful for web developers.
Page Controller (ASP.NET)
WebForms uses a pattern called Page Controller. When a request comes into ASP.NET, the request is served by a specific ASPX page. Hence, the page itself serves as the controller, or face of the object that handles the request.
Front Controller (MVC)
While WebForms implemented the page controller pattern, where the individual page serves as the actual handler of the request, with MVC, it implements what is called the front controller pattern. When the request comes into ASP.NET, the request is routed to a controller object:
MVC is an architectural pattern that separates model access from presentation logic. It adds specific responsibility to individual portions of the application.
A typical ASP.NET MVC application contrasts significantly to the way the structure of a WebForms application looks.
In an ASP.NET MVC application we still have our ASPX page, which in turn can leverage user controls, custom controls, and server controls. Nothing different here.
The page can be associated with a master page, which can in turn have its own set of user controls, custom controls, and server controls. So far this is still the same as WebForms. We re-introduce the model data, which is where the contrast between WebForms and MVC gets clearer:
ASP.NET vs ASP.NET MVC (What’s in it, what isn’t)
Just to reiterate the point that MVC is built on top of ASP.NET, here is a list of similarity between the two:
But, while MVC is built on top of ASP.NET, it doesn’t have:
* The page/control lifecycle is still present if you’re using WebForms as your view engine, but even then, you most likely won’t be using it.
There are a lot of conventions centered around the controller that are important to be aware of.
For developers used to the direct mapping approach of ASP.NET it may be a challenge to let go of that model and adopt the MVC. That is why one of the tenets of ASP.MVC is alternative because it is just that: Another approach to building ASP.NET applications. For those of you with a preference for preserving a clear separation of concerns for the different “layers” of your web application ASP.NET MVC is for you.
You can find just about everything you would ever need to know about ASP.NET MVC at www.asp.net/mvc. And also you can check the massive collection of videos on the subject here.