ASP.NET MVC: A General Overview (Part 1)

Published on October 6, 2010 | Filed Under MVC

In recent months, I’ve had the privilege to work with ASP.NET MVC 2. It’s a new concept to me, but is becoming a technology which I’ve learned to love. In this short series, I want to supply a brief overview of what I have learned and hopefully answer some outstanding questions that you may have about how to get started.

Before we begin, I need to point out that MVC is available as a download from the ASP.NET website, if you have Visual Studio 2008 and comes standard with Visual Studio 2010.

What does “MVC” stand for?

Just like the rest of Microsoft’s technologies, it’s an acronym that explains the task it performs.

  • Models
  • Views
  • Controllers

Alright, I know that just telling you that the acronym stands for three words doesn’t really do anything to help you out, so I’ll go a little more into detail about what they do.


In simple terms, your Models are your backend code. To be more specific, it takes the place of your App_Code folder on your standard ASP.NET website. You see, MVC doesn’t utilize page-inherited backend code, anymore. When you create your first MVC application, you won’t be presented with “default.aspx.cs”. In fact, you won’t even see “default.aspx”, but we’ll get into that in the Views section.


These are merely your .ASPX pages. By default, your application will hunt for the Index.aspx file, instead of your well-known Default.aspx file. This can, of course, be altered, but it takes a little programming to make this happen. IIS is technically not handling your page requests, anymore. These requests go through your Global.asax file and down to your controllers.


As previously stated, these handle the page requests by IIS. (Well, sort of…) MVC completely drops the “.aspx” naming convention when your requests come through, so your controller is responsible for returning a view associated to a request, which has come through the MVC routing system.

Join me tomorrow for part 2 of this epic journey through Microsoft ASP.NET MVC 2!

~Derek Torrence

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