An ultra-fast, light-weight MVC framework developed for ASP.NET Core that uses a powerful HTML templating engine, supports RESTful web services, includes an extensible security system, and is simple to setup & configure.
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Datasilk Core

An MVC Framework for ASP.NET Core

Datasilk Core is an ultra-fast, light-weight alternative to ASP.NET Core MVC 5 that supports HTML scaffolding and simple web services.

Instead of managing a complex ASP.NET Core web application and all of its configuration, simply include this framework within your own ASP.NET Core Web Application project, follow the installation instructions below, and start building your website!


  1. Include this project within your ASP.NET Core Web Application under a folder named /Core

    • Either download the zip file from GitHub...
    • Or use git submodule add
  2. copy /Core/config.json into the root of your ASP.NET Core project

    • edit /config.json
      • update the namespace value to reflect your web application's namespace. This will allow Datasilk Core to access code from your project correctly
      • update the data/SqlServerTrusted value to connect to your SQL Server database.
  3. copy /Core/layout.html to /Views/Shared/layout.html. You can make edits to this file if you need to add custom HTML within the <head> tag or the foot of your website layout.

  4. copy /Core/access-denied.html to /Views/access-denied.html.

  5. Open your /Startup.cs class file and replace everything with:

    public class Startup: Datasilk.Startup{ }
  6. Create a new class /Routes.cs and replace everything with:

    using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Http;
    using Datasilk;
    public class Routes : Datasilk.Routes {}

    NOTE: You can set up your routes once you start creating Page controllers

  7. Open your Project Properties, select the Application tab and change startup object to use Datasilk.Program

That's it! Next, learn how to use the Datasilk Core MVC framework to build web pages & web services.

Page Requests

All page request URLs are mapped to controllers that inherit the Datasilk.Page class located in the Pages namespace for your project (e.g. MyProject.Pages). For example, the URL http://localhost:7770/products maps to the class MyProject.Pages.Products.

NOTE: Replace "MyProject" with the name of your project in the examples above & below



<div class="hero">


using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Http;

namespace MyProject.Pages
    public class Home: Datasilk.Page
        public Home(HttpContext context) : base(context) {}

        public override string Render(string[] path, string body = "", object metadata = null)
			//render page
			var scaffold = new Scaffold("/Pages/Home/home.html", Server.Scaffold);
			scaffold.Data["title"] = "Welcome";
			scaffold.Data["description"] = "I like to write software";
			return base.Render(path, scaffold.Render(), metadata);		

In the example above, a user tries to access the URL http://localhost:7770/, which (by default) will render the contents of the MyProject.Pages.Home class. This class loads /Views/Home/home.html into a Scaffold object and replaces the {{title}} variable located within the home.html file with the text "Welcome!". Then, the page returns base.Render, which will render HTML from Views/Shared/layout.html along with the contents of scaffold.Render(), injected into the <body> tag of Views/Shared/layout.html.

NOTE: MyProject.Pages.Home is the default class that is instantiated if the URL contains a domain name with no path structure.

Page Hierarchy

To render web pages based on complex URL paths, the Datasilk Core framework relies heavily on the first part of the request path to determine which class to instantiate. For example, if the user accesses the URL http://localhost:7770/blog/2018/01/21/Progress-Report, Datasilk Core initializes the MyProject.Pages.Blog class.

The request path is split up into an array and passed into the overridable Render function located in your Datasilk.Page class. The paths array is used to determine what type of content to load for the user. If we're loading a blog post like the above example, we can check the paths array to find year, month, and day, followed by the title of the blog post, and determine which blog post to load.


Inherited in classes that are used to render page requests.


Views/Shared/layout.html contains the <html>, <head> & <body> tags for the page, along with <meta> tags, <link/> tags for CSS, and <script> tags or Javascript files.

Access Denied

If your web page is secure and must display an Access Denied page, you can use:

return AccessDenied(true, Login(S))

from within your Datasilk.Page class Render method, which will return the contents of the file Views/access-denied.html. If a Datasilk.Page class is supplied (e.g. Login(S)), instead of loading Views/access-denied.html, it will render an instance of your Datasilk.Page class.

NOTE: You can find more functionality for the Page class inside /Core/Page.cs.

Web Services

The Datasilk Core framework comes with the ability to call RESTful web APIs. All web API calls are executed from Service classes located in the Services namespace within your project (e.g. MyProject.Services) and will inherit the Datasilk.Service class.


using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Http;

namespace MyProject.Services
    public class User: Datasilk.Service
        public User(HttpContext context) : base(context) {}

        public string Authenticate(string email, string password)
			//authenticate user
				return Success();
				S.Response.StatusCode = 500;
				return "";

In the example above, the user would send an AJAX POST via Javascript to the URL /api/User/Authenticate to authenticate their email & password. The data sent to the server would be formatted using JSON.stringify({email:myemail, password:mypass});, and the data properties would be mapped to C# method arguments.

Web Service Response Object

All Datasilk.Service methods should return a string, but can also return a Datasilk.Datasilk.Response object, which will allow the user to specify where in the DOM to inject HTML, how it should be injected (replace, append, before, after), and whether or not to load some custom javascript code or CSS styles. For example:

return Inject(".myclass", injectType.replace, myHtml, myJavascript, myCss)

NOTE: You must first install the optional JavaScript library Datasilk/CoreJs and use the JavaScript function S.ajax in order to correctly process the JSON response from a Web Service method that returns a Datasilk.Datasilk.Response object


Your project now includes Routes.cs, an empty class file in the root folder. Use it by mapping request path names to new instances of Datasilk.Page classes. For example:

using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Http;
using Datasilk;

public class Routes : Datasilk.Routes
    public override Page FromPageRoutes(HttpContext context, string name)
        switch (name)
            case "": case "home": return new MyProject.Pages.Home(S);
            case "login": return new MyProject.Pages.Login(S);
            case "dashboard": return new MyProject.Pages.Dashboard(S);
        return null;

    public override Service FromServiceRoutes(HttpContext context, string name)
        return null;

Why Routing?

By routing new class instances using the new keyword, you bypass the last resort for Datasilk Core, which is to create an instance of your Page class using Activator.CreateInstance, taking 10 times the amount of CPU ticks to instatiate. You don't have to use routing, but it does speed up performance.

Optional: Datasilk Core Javascript Library

Learn more about the optional Javascript library, Datasilk/CoreJs, which contains the appropriate functionality used to make ajax calls and inject content onto the page. The library includes other optional features, such as message alert boxes, popup modals, drag & drop functionality, and HTML templating.