We used a contractor to create the initial version of our site; they used their own MVC-pattern code-generator to create the (ASP.NET / C#) site and customized from there. That was turned over to us two years ago, and we've been working on it since. That's the environment I'm coming into, with little practical MVC experience. Thus I need to grok MVC in general but it seems that every article/tutorial/book I find is either extremely general in nature or very specific to MS ASP.NET MVC.

Can someone here help with examples, a tutorial or walk-through of setting up a basic site using the MVC Pattern without using Microsoft ASP.NET MVC so that I can better understand the concepts and see how they can be applied in real life?

  • Any article that we point you to is probably going to be framework-specific; i.e. Spring, Rails, etc. The best beginner tutorial on MVC I have seen is the NerdDinner Tutorial; while it is ASP.NET MVC specific, you don't have to know anything about ASP.NET to grok its MVC goodness, and you will be able to understand how it works without writing any code, just by reading the code samples. As you have already surmised, it's difficult to "get" MVC without studying some concrete examples. Aug 11, 2011 at 18:57
  • Thanks. I've downloaded NerdDinner (I note it's from the 1.0 book; any thoughts on if it's still suitable if I have ASP.NET MVC 3 installed?) and I'm also checking into both the book that @Brian mentions in his answer and the video at shop.tekpub.com/products/mvc3
    – StevenV
    Aug 31, 2011 at 15:48
  • Everything in the tutorial will still work fine in ASP.NET MVC 3. Aug 31, 2011 at 15:51
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    for reference... I had also asked @SHanselman via twitter at the same time about using the 1.0 book with v3; his reply: "not really, the concepts are all there but there's a lot new" and pointed me to the current work-in-progress blog post bit.ly/qHWXkc
    – StevenV
    Aug 31, 2011 at 16:57

1 Answer 1


Model View Controller is a design pattern for separation of concerns; it's difficult to find a middle ground for explaining such a concept, since there isn't an additional step/point between a design pattern and a framework that implements that pattern.

That being said, I think it's helpful to see the concepts played out in multiple implementations side-by-side so that you can understand the concept specific cases without losing the forest for the trees.

I'd highly recommend Ajax in Action (Manning), which--although not expressly about MVC--does an excellent job of laying out several examples of MVC in a couple different server-side situations, as well as in the client-side Javascript.


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