In addition to being open source and cross-platform, ASP.NET Core also comes with features to facilitate development of modern cloud-based web applications. The developers can use the completely redesigned edition of ASP.NET to build a variety of web applications, mobile backends, and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Unlike ASP.NET, ASP.NET Core enables developers to build both web applications and application programming interfaces (APIs) by using a single framework – ASP.NET Core MVC. As its name indicates, ASP.NET Core MVC allows programmer to build web applications and APIs based on model-view-design (MVC) design pattern.
The developers can take advantage of MVC design pattern to divide large and complex applications into three distinct but interconnected component groups – model, view and controller. The model will represent the application’s state, and contain all business logic and operations it needs to execute, while the view will take care of content presentation through the user interface (UI). At the same time, controller will contain the components required to facilitate user interaction, work with models, and select the content rendered by view. At the same time, the developers can also avail a number of new features included in ASP.NET Core MVC.
Brief Overview of Important Features of ASP.NET Core MVC
Routing: ASP.NET Core MVC takes advantage of the robust routing feature of the web framework. The users can take advantage of the URL-mapping component to define routes efficiently through route template syntax. The route template syntax further supports route value constraints, defaults, and optional values. Also, they have option to define URL formats through convention-based routing and specify routing information through attribute routing.
Dependency Injection: ASP.NET Core is designed with built-in dependency injection support. ASP.NET Core MVC allows controllers to request the required services through their constructors. The developers can further use dependency injection in the view files by using the @injection directive.
Model Binding and Validation: The model binding feature of ASP.NET Core MVC automatically converts varying client request data into objects. The controllers can handle these objects more efficiently without verifying the incoming client request data. However, the framework still enables developers to validate the values on the client side and before they are posted to the server. They can perform the validation simply by decorating model objects with data annotation validation attributes.
Filters: While working with ASP.NET Core MVC, developers can use filters to encapsulate authorization, exception handling, and similar cross-cutting concerns. They can even apply filters to actions and controllers as attributes, and configure the filters to run at specific points when a request is being processed.
Areas: As an MVC structure inside the ASP.NET Core MVC application, areas enable programmers to divide large applications into a number of functional groups. The developers can use areas to simplify development of large and complex applications into distinct groups based on high-level functionality. They can even assign logical components to each unit. Hence, each area will have its own model, view and controller components.
Web APIs: As mentioned earlier, programmers can use ASP.NET Core MVC for developing both web applications and web APIs. They can take advantage of the feature to create services that can be accessed by a variety of clients including web browsers and mobile devices. The framework further supports HTTP content-negotiation, and allows developers to format data by writing custom formatters. It makes it easier for developers to share the services and APIs across many web applications by supporting cross-origin resource sharing (CORS).
Razor View Engine: ASP.NET Core MVC enables programmers to render views with Razor View Engine. The developers can take advantage of the compact and expressive view engine to define view through embedded C# code. Razor can further generate web content on the server, and allows users to combine client-side and server-side code and content seamlessly. The programmers even have option to get the views strongly typed rendered through Razor based on individual models. Also, they can package the rendering logic with view components, and reuse the packaged rendering logic across multiple projects.
Tag Helpers: The developers can take advantage of tag helpers to create custom tags and make changes to the existing tags. They can even use tag helpers to make the server side code generate and render HTML files. The tag helpers have the capability to bind individual elements based on their name and attributes. The developers also have option to choose from a wide range of tag helpers to accomplish common web development tasks like asset loading, form creation, and link generation.
Testability: As ASP.NET Core MVC uses both interfaces and dependency injection, it becomes easier for programmers to perform unit testing. Also, they can use Entity Framework to perform integration testing without putting extra time and effort. Hence, the users can easily get the ASP.NET Core MVC application tested throughout the development process.
On the whole, ASP.NET Core MVC is designed as a unified framework by unifying three ASP.NET programming models – MVC, Web API, and Web Pages. The developers can use the unified framework to build both web applications and web APIs without switching from one programming model to another. Also, they can take advantage of MVC design pattern to simplify development and maintenance of ASP.NET Core applications by keeping their business logic and user interface layers separated.