Thoughts on ASP.NET DynamicData vs. ASP.NET MVC

At a session about ASP.NET DynamicData at VSLive in Dallas, one of the attendees asked me about my thoughts of DynamicData becoming a part of ASP.NET MVC. I commented that currently DynamicData is very much based on the current ASP.NET paradigm of pages and controls, whereas ASP.NET MVC is not. ASP.NET MVC presents a new way of thinking to the ASP.NET world and I find it hard to believe that millions of developers will jump on the ASP.NET MVC bandwagon immediately after its release (let’s face it, it hasn’t even been released yet) and leave their old coding styles behind. You need to learn to think differently first. Also, if ASP.NET MVC becomes the primary ASP.NET paradigm, there is a whole lot of code that is still using ASP.NET the way most of us do at the moment. That said, ASP.NET MVC is very interesting.

Ok, so back to the original question. If you look at Scott Guthrie’s post about the ASP.NET MVC Release Candidate, you’ll see that there is scaffolding support on based on the model, instead of table based scaffolding using in ASP.NET DynamicData. The model based scaffolding enables you to create different views of the model in no time.This is very cool, because it provides you with way more control over what is happening than in DynamicData. And because it is based on the model, you’re not tied to database objects, but rather to business objects. How you persist those is up to you.

I still think ASP.NET DynamicData and ASP.NET MVC are going to live side-by-side for quite a while, and that they will use concepts that were created for one or the other. The main reason for this belief is based on my earlier comment: I think ASP.NET MVC and ASP.NET “Classic” will run side-by-side for a loooooong time. I do feel that ASP.NET MVC ultimately provides us with more flexibility and will at some point become the more dominant paradigm.


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