Adding MVC 3 features to an existing ASP.NET Web Forms application–Part 2

UPDATE: Scott Hanselman has a NuGet package to automate many of these steps and you should check it out,

This is in continuation with Part 1 of the article, so you may want to check it out before reading this, in case you haven’t already.

Next, we need to enable the Global.asax.  We will open up the Global.asax and add the following two references in the namespaces section

using System.Web.Mvc;
using System.Web.Routing;

We need to then add the RegisterRoutes method which is a default in MVC projects.  So we will add this method to the Global.asax

public static void RegisterRoutes(RouteCollection routes)

                "Default", // Route name
                "{controller}/{action}/{id}", // URL with parameters
                new { controller = "Home", action = "Index", id = UrlParameter.Optional } // Parameter defaults


Then, we need to call this method in the Application_Start event of the Global.asax.


Now, we would create folders called “Controllers” and “Views” in the root of the application. But, if we right click on the “Controllers” folder and try to add a new Controller, it doesn’t show up in the templates.  We still need to enable one setting in Visual Studio.  The default Project properties' ProjectTypeGuids section doesn't have the ProjectTypeGuid for MVC included.  This will be used by Visual Studio uses to identify the templates to show in the project.

So, to edit that, first, we need to “unload” the project.  Now, if you haven’t enabled Visual Studio to always show the Solution file (Tools – Options – Projects and Solutions – Always Show Solution), and if there is only this project (that we created) we would not be able to unload the project since the solution file wouldn't show up in the Solution Explorer.  Once you do the above step, it will show the solution file within the Project hierarchy.  Then we would be able to chose the Project file and chose – “Unload Project”


After that we can edit the project file by right clicking on the project and select “Edit HybridWebApp.csproj"


 It opens up the Project file in Visual Studio.  In that, we will add a key value to make sure MVC 3 tooling is enabled.  So, identify and replace the section with the following


Basically I have added the highlighted value to the setting, which is specific to MVC3.

Once we are done, we can close the file, select “HybridWebApp” and chose “Reload Project”


Once this is done, we can right click on the Controllers folder and select “Add” it lists “Controller”


We will give this Controller, the name “ProductsController”


In the Controller created, we will add reference to the Model that we created, in the using section as follows:

using HybridWebApp.Models;

Also, we need to create a handle for the Entity model generated, as follows:-

NorthwindEntities nw = new NorthwindEntities();

After this, we will modify the default “Index” view generated to retrieve a list of products, as follows:-

public ActionResult Index()
            var productList = from pList in nw.Products
                          select pList;

            return View(productList);

We can now right click on the Controller and select “Add View”


It would prompt the View configuration screen where we can select that this would be a strongly-typed view and would be based on the Product entity and the Scaffold template would be “List”


 One thing we need to do still is that, inside the “Views” folder there needs to be a config file.  So, right click Views folder and select “Add – New Item”


 and in the “Add New Item” screen search for “config” in the top right search box.  It would list the Web Configuration template and we can chose that to add


Once we add that, we can create another simple MVC3 application or use an existing MVC3 application and navigate to the Views folder to open the web.config file.  From there we can copy the contents of the config file into our newly created config file under the Views folder in our HybridWebApp.  The settings are as follows

<?xml version="1.0"?>

    <sectionGroup name="system.web.webPages.razor" type="System.Web.WebPages.Razor.Configuration.RazorWebSectionGroup, System.Web.WebPages.Razor, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31BF3856AD364E35">
      <section name="host" type="System.Web.WebPages.Razor.Configuration.HostSection, System.Web.WebPages.Razor, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31BF3856AD364E35" requirePermission="false" />
      <section name="pages" type="System.Web.WebPages.Razor.Configuration.RazorPagesSection, System.Web.WebPages.Razor, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31BF3856AD364E35" requirePermission="false" />

    <host factoryType="System.Web.Mvc.MvcWebRazorHostFactory, System.Web.Mvc, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31BF3856AD364E35" />
    <pages pageBaseType="System.Web.Mvc.WebViewPage">
        <add namespace="System.Web.Mvc" />
        <add namespace="System.Web.Mvc.Ajax" />
        <add namespace="System.Web.Mvc.Html" />
        <add namespace="System.Web.Routing" />

    <add key="webpages:Enabled" value="false" />

      <add path="*" verb="*" type="System.Web.HttpNotFoundHandler"/>

        Enabling request validation in view pages would cause validation to occur
        after the input has already been processed by the controller. By default
        MVC performs request validation before a controller processes the input.
        To change this behavior apply the ValidateInputAttribute to a
        controller or action.
        pageParserFilterType="System.Web.Mvc.ViewTypeParserFilter, System.Web.Mvc, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31BF3856AD364E35"
        pageBaseType="System.Web.Mvc.ViewPage, System.Web.Mvc, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31BF3856AD364E35"
        userControlBaseType="System.Web.Mvc.ViewUserControl, System.Web.Mvc, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31BF3856AD364E35">
        <add assembly="System.Web.Mvc, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31BF3856AD364E35" namespace="System.Web.Mvc" tagPrefix="mvc" />

    <validation validateIntegratedModeConfiguration="false" />

      <remove name="BlockViewHandler"/>
      <add name="BlockViewHandler" path="*" verb="*" preCondition="integratedMode" type="System.Web.HttpNotFoundHandler" />

After we have copied the above and saved our newly created config file, we will be good to go.

Note that, the Product/Index.cshtml created provides the default List template taking the columns as is from the Product Entity.

We can customize and remove columns such as ID that we don’t need from listing.  Also, we can customize the HTML layout.  But, for the sake of this post, we will leave it as is.

One last step that we want to do is open the “Site.Master” of our HybridWebApp and you will find the Menu section in the page.  We will edit the menu section to read as follows:-


Once we save all our files -  Build and run the app using F5, we will first encounter the Home Page where we list the Categories using Webforms.


Now, when you click on the “Products” menu this would open up the products listing page running out of MVC


So, we are now running one page in Web Forms and the other one using MVC.  We can customize the UI etc.,to make it look better.

This concludes my two part article of adding MVC3 features to ASP.NET 4 Web Form application, that I presented at Tech Ed India 2011.

Cheers !!

Print | posted on Thursday, March 24, 2011 9:57 AM

Comments on this post

# re: Adding MVC 3 features to an existing ASP.NET Web Forms application–Part 2

Requesting Gravatar...
Do I need to define routes.MapRoute(...) for every Controller in my application ?
Left by routes.MapRoute on Apr 13, 2011 2:14 PM

# re: Adding MVC 3 features to an existing ASP.NET Web Forms application–Part 2

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I like cod, nice post!
Left by Limpeza de estofados on Apr 19, 2011 8:54 AM

# re: Adding MVC 3 features to an existing ASP.NET Web Forms application–Part 2

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How do you share the master pages?
Left by Mark on May 03, 2011 6:30 AM

# re: Adding MVC 3 features to an existing ASP.NET Web Forms application–Part 2

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Dude... thank you very much.. exactly what I needed.
Left by JF on May 13, 2011 7:20 AM

# re: Adding MVC 3 features to an existing ASP.NET Web Forms application–Part 2

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Hi, do you know any way to redirect from within an aspx page to a razor view? (like Response.Redirect("~/Rating/Index"), but it doesn't work)
Left by zora on Jun 06, 2011 5:31 PM

# re: Adding MVC 3 features to an existing ASP.NET Web Forms application–Part 2

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sorry for the previous question, my bad: Response.Redirect("~/Rating/Index", true); and the app pool's managed pipeline mode should've been Integrated instead of Classic.
Left by zora on Jun 06, 2011 7:08 PM

# re: Adding MVC 3 features to an existing ASP.NET Web Forms application–Part 2

Requesting Gravatar...
Qual método padrão em projetos MVC

Left by Lavagem de sofá bh on Feb 20, 2015 3:09 PM

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