Razor View Engine

Nathan Armstrong edited this page Apr 6, 2017 · 24 revisions

The Razor engine in Nancy is a custom implementation built around the Razor syntax parser. Please note that the implementation may have differences to the implementation used by ASP.NET MVC.

Remember that Nancy still binds your model to @Model not @model like in ASP.NET MVC.

Installing Razor

Simply reference Nancy.ViewEngines.Razor.dll (preferably by installing the Nancy.ViewEngines.Razor nuget) and return views ending in cshtml or vbhtml it's that simple.

Configuring Razor

You can specify assemblies and default namespaces that Razor needs to use whilst compiling the views by bootstrapping your own IRazorConfiguration implementation, or defining them in your web.config or app.config, thus removing the need to add the @using statements to each view. This step is totally optional if you don't require additional references or namespaces in your view.

Configuring Razor (using IRazorConfiguration)

The best approach to configuration is implementing your own IRazorConfiguration, this makes it easy to move between self hosting and hosting in IIS, without having to change anything, since the configuration is part of your code.

Example implementation:

public class RazorConfig : IRazorConfiguration
    public IEnumerable<string> GetAssemblyNames()
        yield return "HyRes.Models";
        yield return "HyRes.Website";

    public IEnumerable<string> GetDefaultNamespaces()
        yield return "HyRes.Models";
        yield return "HyRes.Website.Infrastructure.Helpers";

    public bool AutoIncludeModelNamespace
        get { return true; }

Configuring Razor (using app.config or web.config)

The default IRazorConfiguration implementation (automatically used by Nancy unless explicitly overridden in the bootstrapper) looks in app\web.config (respecitvely app\app.config for non-web projects) in the razor section.

Note: If you're self hosting in a Windows Service, Console, WPF App, etc, then the following should be specified in app.config, if you're hosting in IIS then you need to specify in web.config

Step 1: Create a custom configuration section

	<section name="razor" type="Nancy.ViewEngines.Razor.RazorConfigurationSection, Nancy.ViewEngines.Razor" />

Step 2: Configure Razor! (note! this is just a sample configuration)

Note: When adding a namespace in your own assembly, you need to specify the assembly also.

<razor disableAutoIncludeModelNamespace="false">
		<add assembly="System, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089" />
		<add assembly="SolrNet" />
		<add assembly="SyslogServerLibrary" />
		<add namespace="SolrNet" />
		<add namespace="SyslogServerLibrary" />

Pretty self explanatory except disableAutoIncludeModelNamespace which by default auto references the assembly of the model you pass into the view.

Letting Razor know what base type your views use

You can let Razor know which base type your views are using, thus gaining intellisense access to the members of the base type at design-time, by using the @inherits statement in your views. For example you could specify @inherits Nancy.ViewEngines.Razor.NancyRazorViewBase<dynamic> to use the NancyRazorViewBase base type with a dynamic model. You need to do this in each of the views where you want the design-time candy.

However there is another way if you have ASP.NET MVC installed. Visual Studio has an intellisense sub-system that can be used to teach Visual Studio about different syntaxes. This sub-system is a bit cumbersome to beat into submission and using it would require us to provide an install for a Nancy toolkit.

ASP.NET MVC has built its own abstraction on top of this sub-system, which is installed as a visual studio extension when you run the ASP.NET MVC installer (it's installed in a different folder than the default extensions folder, thus is not shown in the extension manager. Sneaky). If you have ASP.NET MVC installed on the same machine as you are doing Nancy development, you can tap into this abstraction and work for you and your Nancy application.

To do this you need to add the following to your app\web.config file

    <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" />
    <pages pageBaseType="Nancy.ViewEngines.Razor.NancyRazorViewBase`1[[System.Object]]">
            <add namespace="Nancy.ViewEngines.Razor" />

Interaction with Visual Studio 2015

When you add a razor page using Visual Studio 2015's Add New Item (by right clicking or from menu) and selecting the 'Web/Razor/Web Page (Razor v3)' template, VS will automatically add nuget references to Microsoft.AspNet.WebPages and Microsoft.Web.Infrastructure.

They are not actually needed because we already use Nancy.Viewengines.Razor. To prevent VS from automatically adding those references, don't use razor templates when adding the file. Instead add a plain HTML and rename the extension to .cshtml.

« Part 10. Super Simple View Engine  —  Documentation overview  —  Part 10. Tips for Implementing your own View Engine »

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