A customised version of the ASP.Net MVC RazorViewEngine that lets you structure your view files in folders that match the namespace hierarchy of your controllers
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README.md

ControllerPathViewEngine

The "flat" view folder structure that you get by default in ASP.Net MVC makes it difficult to structure views in a complex application.

ControllerPathRazorViewEngine is a customised version of the ASP.Net MVC RazorViewEngine that lets you structure your view files in folders that match the namespace hierarchy of your controllers, like this:

Getting Started

For a component as small as this, there are advantages to simply dropping the code that you need into your project.

  1. Add the 3 classes from the ControllerPathViewEngine class library project to a suitable location in your solution.

  2. At startup time within your MVC application (such as within the Application_Start method in global.asax), create an instance of ControllerPathRazorViewEngine and replace the default ViewEngines in your application:

    public class MvcApplication : System.Web.HttpApplication
    {
        protected void Application_Start()
        {
            // ... Other startup logic

            var settings = new ControllerPathSettings(mergeNameIntoNamespace: true);
            var viewEngine = new ControllerPathRazorViewEngine(settings);
            viewEngines.Clear();
            viewEngines.Add(viewEngine);
        }
    }

Configuration Options

The following settings can be configured via ControllerPathSettings:

mergeNameIntoNamespace
This controls whether controller type names are merged into the parent namespace.

Views Folder Structure and Controller Paths

ControllerPathRazorViewEngine looks for views using the same locations as the standard ASP.Net MVC RazorViewEngine.

Here's a reminder of the standard locations used to find Razor views that include the controller ("{1}" placeholder used for the controller name):

"~/Areas/{2}/Views/{1}/{0}.cshtml" // AreaViewLocationFormats:
"~/Areas/{2}/Views/{1}/{0}.cshtml" // AreaPartialViewLocationFormats
"~/Views/{1}/{0}.cshtml" // ViewLocationFormats
"~/Views/{1}/{0}.cshtml" // MasterLocationFormats
"~/Views/{1}/{0}.cshtml" // PartialViewLocationFormats

Rather than setting the controller path based on the controller name only, ControllerPathRazorViewEngine adds additional nested folders based on the namespace of the controller type.

For example, the path to the Index.cshtml view for ControllerPathViewEngine.SimpleDemo.Controllers.Catalogue.ProductsController would be: "~/Views/Catalogue/Products/Index.cshtml".

The controller path is built up as follows:

  • Trim the root namespace (anything up to and including the last "Controllers" element) from the beginning of the controller namespace ("ControllerPathViewEngine.SimpleDemo.Controllers.Catalogue"). This gives us "Catalogue"
  • Add an additional folder based on the controller name (without the "Controller" bit at the end).
  • This gives us a controller path of "Catalogue/Products". With the action name "Index", this results in a full path of "~/Views/Catalogue/Products/Index.cshtml".

Merging Controller Names with Parent Namespace

Some developers like to locate each controller within its own namespace, as a container for any extra classes that accompany the controller, such as one-off model classes, validators, helpers etc.

The MoreComplexDemo demonstration application demonstrates this structure, for example CategoriesController is located within the namespace ControllerPathViewEngine.MoreComplexDemo.Controllers.Catalogue.Categories.

Using the standard controller path pattern outlined above, we'd end up with an extra level in our view folder hierarchy, like "Catalogue/Categories/Categories/Index.cshtml".

If you would prefer the controller name to be omitted from the controller path if its name matches the parent namespace, then use the mergeNameIntoNamespace setting when initialising the view engine.

Author

Dan Malcolm - @lakescoder - http://www.danmalcolm.com

License

See UNLICENSE

Please include a reference to this repo if including the source code in your own project, e.g. by including a comment like:

// Adapted from https://github.com/danmalcolm/ControllerPathViewEngine