The best way to learn a new framework is to build something with it. This tutorial walks through how to build a small, but complete, application using ASP.NET MVC, and introduces some of the core concepts behind it.
The application we are going to build is called "NerdDinner". NerdDinner provides an easy way for people to find and organize dinners online:
NerdDinner enables registered users to create, edit and delete dinners. It enforces a consistent set of validation and business rules across the application:
Visitors can use an AJAX-based map to search for upcoming dinners being held near them:
Clicking a dinner will take them to a details page where they can learn more about it:
If they are interested in attending the dinner they can login or register on the site:
They can then click an AJAX-based RSVP link to attend the event:
We are going to begin our NerdDinner application by using the File->New Project command within Visual Studio to create a brand new ASP.NET MVC project. We will then incrementally add functionality and features. Along the way we'll cover:
You can build your own copy of NerdDinner from scratch by completing each step we walkthrough in this chapter. Alternatively, you can download a completed version of the source code here: http://nerddinner.codeplex.com/. You can also optionally also download a free PDF version of this tutorial if you want to read the tutorial offline.
You can use either Visual Studio 2008 or the free Visual Web Developer 2008 Express to build the application. You can use either SQL Server or the free SQL Server Express for the database.
You can install ASP.NET MVC, Visual Web Developer 2008 Express, and SQL Server Express (all free) using V2 of the Microsoft Web Platform Installer
Now that we've covered what NerdDinner is, let's roll up our sleaves and write some code.
We'll begin by using File->New Project within Visual Studio to create the NerdDinner application.