ASP.NET MVC: Display dynamic data on master pages

If you play with the MVC 2 bits for a while you will come to a very simple question: How can I display dynamic data on my master page?

The structur of an MVC App (this is my demo app) :


Each controller has it´s own View-Folder and render the specific view (EntryController route to Views\Entry\VIEW).

But if you try to add a dynamic control (a dynamic menu, news-ticker, overviews…) on a master page you have a problem: A master page has no real controller itself (maybe a master page could have a controller – but for this problem there is a very easy way to do this).

The CTP 2 includes a special controller – the "ComponentController":

I use the "ComponentController" in my demo app to display the whole category list and the tagcloud.

My "EntrySideBarController" inherit from "ComponentController"

    public class EntrySidebarController : ComponentController
        public void CategoryList()
            ... viewdata = ...
            RenderView("CategoryList", viewData);

        public void TagCloud()
            ... viewdata = ...
            RenderView("TagCloud", viewData);

The views "CategoryList" & "TagCloud" are located in a special folder (root\Components\CONTROLLERNAME\Views\VIEWNAME):


To render these components just use the "Html.RenderComponent" method (is similar to a usercontrol) :

    <%=Html.RenderComponent<EntrySidebarController>(component => component.CategoryList())%>
    <%=Html.RenderComponent<EntrySidebarController>(component => component.TagCloud())%>



For more information about the ComponentController, look at this post:

Using the ComponentController in ASP.NET MVC CTP 2

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2 Responses

  1. RenderComponent seems gone in MVC Beta. Which method has been created to do the same?

  2. The RenderComponent (or how it´s named in the actual version of ASP.NET MVC) is gone to the ASP.NET MVC Future – just link the future DLL.


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