RenderBody, RenderPage and RenderSection methods in MVC 3

In this article we will learn about the three methods of MVC 3 and those are RenderBody, RenderPage, and RenderSection. We will learn by the following topics:

  • RenderBody
    • What is RenderBody?
    • How RenderBodyworks?
    • RenderBody Example
  • RenderPage
    • What is RenderPage?
    • How RenderPageworks?
    • RenderPage example
  • RenderSection
    • What is RenderPage?
    • How RenderPageworks?
    • RenderPage Example

Now go to in detail…

RenderBody

What is RenderBody?

In layout pages, renders the portion of a content page that is not within a named section. [MSDN]

How RenderBody works (graphical presentation)?

RenderBody

RenderBody Example

It’s simple. Just create a ASP.NET MVC 3 web application by visual studio 2010. After creating this application, you will see that some files and folders are created by default. After that open the _layout.cshtml file from views/Shared folder.  Basically this file will be used as a standard layout for all the page in project. Keep in mind that you can create more then one layout page in a application and to use layout page in other page is optional. The _layout.cshtml file consist the following code.

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<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
    <title>@ViewBag.Title</title>
    <link href="@Url.Content("~/Content/Site.css")" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" />
    <script src="@Url.Content("~/Scripts/jquery-1.5.1.min.js")" type="text/javascript"></script>
</head>
<body>
    <div class="page">
        <div id="header">
            <div id="title">
                <h1>My MVC Application</h1>
            </div>
            <div id="logindisplay">
                @Html.Partial("_LogOnPartial")
            </div>
            <div id="menucontainer">
                <ul id="menu">
                    <li>@Html.ActionLink("Home", "Index", "Home")</li>
                    <li>@Html.ActionLink("About", "About", "Home")</li>
                </ul>
            </div>
        </div>
        <div id="main">
            @RenderBody()
        </div>
        <div id="footer">
        </div>
    </div>
</body>
</html>

Now open another file called index.cshtml from views/home. This file consists of the following code:

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@{
    ViewBag.Title = "Home Page";
}

<h2>@ViewBag.Message</h2>
<p>
    To learn more about ASP.NET MVC visit <a href="http://asp.net/mvc" title="ASP.NET MVC Website">http://asp.net/mvc</a>.
</p>

Main thing is that by the above code you couldn’t find which layout page is being used by this index page. But there is little tricks done at MVC3. You will get a file called _ViewStart.cshtml at views folder. This file consist of  following code.

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@{
    Layout = "~/Views/Shared/_Layout.cshtml";
}

This code means that by default all the content pages will follow the _Layout.cshtml layout page.  Now if we consolidate the _layout.cshtml and index.cshtml page both, we will get the following code.

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<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<title>Home Page</title>
<link href="@Url.Content("~/Content/Site.css")" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" />
<script src="@Url.Content("~/Scripts/jquery-1.5.1.min.js")" type="text/javascript"></script>
</head>
<body>
<div class="page">
<div id="header">
<div id="title">
<h1>My MVC Application</h1>
</div>
<div id="logindisplay">
@Html.Partial("_LogOnPartial")
</div>
<div id="menucontainer">
<ul id="menu">
<li>@Html.ActionLink("Home", "Index", "Home")</li>
<li>@Html.ActionLink("About", "About", "Home")</li>
</ul>
</div>
</div>
<div id="main"><h2>@ViewBag.Message</h2>
<p>
To learn more about ASP.NET MVC visit <a href="http://asp.net/mvc" title="ASP.NET MVC Website">http://asp.net/mvc</a>.
</p>
</div>
<div id="footer">
</div>
</div>
</body>
</html>

It’s nothing complicated, it’s just replacing the code of RenderBody() of layout page by the code of content page.

if you want to use different layout for different content pages, then create a layout page as like _Layout.cshtml and just copy below code to your desired content page.

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@{
Layout = "another layout page";
}

RenderPage

What is RenderPage?

Renders the content of one page within another page. [MSDN] The page where you will place the content could be layout or normal page.

How RenderPage Works (graphical presentation)?

 

 

RenderPage Example

Create a page called _StaticRenderPage at Views/Shared folder. Open it and paste the below code.

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<p>
This messge from render page.
</p>

Open the Index.cshtml file from Views/Home folder and paste the below code.

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@RenderPage("~/Views/Shared/_StaticRenderPage.cshtml")

Now If you merge the code of _StaticRenderPage to Index.cshtml, then you will get the below code.

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@{
    ViewBag.Title = "Home Page";
}

<h2>@ViewBag.Message</h2>
<p>
    To learn more about ASP.NET MVC visit <a href="http://asp.net/mvc" title="ASP.NET MVC Website">http://asp.net/mvc</a>.
</p>
<p>
This messge from render page.
</p>

If you want to pass the data by using RenderPage, then you have to use the data parameter at RenderPage. I will give another example for this. To do this, at first create a class file called AvailableUser at Models/AccountModels. Create the class with the below code.

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public class AvailableUser
    {
        public string UserName { get; set; }
        public string UserPassword { get; set; }

        public static List<AvailableUser> AllUsers()
        {
            List<AvailableUser> userList = new List<AvailableUser>();

            AvailableUser user1 = new AvailableUser
            {
                UserName = "Anupam Das",
                UserPassword = "lifeisbeautiful",
            };

            AvailableUser user2 = new AvailableUser
            {
                UserName = "Chinmoy Das",
                UserPassword = "GoodTime",
            };

            userList.Add(user1);
            userList.Add(user2);

            return userList;
        }
    }

Now go to AccountController and write down the below code

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public ActionResult AvailableUserList()
{
return View(MvcApplication1.Models.AvailableUser.AllUsers());
}

Create a view page called AvailableUserList.cshtml at Views/Account with the below code.

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@model IEnumerable<MvcApplication1.Models.AvailableUser>

@{
ViewBag.Title = "AvailableUserList";
Layout = "~/Views/Shared/_Layout.cshtml";
}

<h2>AvailableUserList</h2>

@RenderPage("~/Views/Shared/_DisplayAllUsers.cshtml", new { AvailableUser = Model })

At last create another view page called _DisplayAllUsers at Views/Shared with the below code.

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@foreach (var usr in Page.AvailableUser)
{
<text>
@usr.UserName   @usr.UserPassword <br />
</text>
}

Now run the project (Account/AvailableUserList) and see the user list which comes from AvailableUser class.

RenderSection

What is RenderSection?

In layout pages, renders the content of a named section. [MSDN]

How RenderSection Works (graphical presentation)?

RenderSection Example

It’s simple, just add the below code at _layout page.

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@RenderSection("Bottom",false)

and add the below code at Index page.

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@section Bottom{
This message form bottom.
}

That’s all. But keep in mind that if you don’t want to use the Bottom section in all page then must use the false as second parameter at RenderSection method. If you will mention it as false then it will be mandatory to put Botton section at every content page.

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