How to create a simple website in ASP.NET MVC
Part three of a seven-part series of blogs

This blog explains the steps you'll need to follow to create a simple one page website in ASP.NET MVC. The aim of the blog is not to act as a tutorial, but to help people choose between ASP.NET MVC and classic ASP.NET.

  1. An overview of creating a website in ASP.NET MVC
  2. Creating an ASP.NET MVC website
  3. Creating an entity model in MVC (this blog)
  4. Creating a view model
  5. Ensuring MVC shows the right page - router and controller
  6. Creating our view
  7. Conclusion

Posted by Andy Brown on 16 June 2014

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Creating an entity model in MVC

There are three ways to access data using MVC, depending on whether you start with your code, your database or a pretty diagram of your data model.  They are called:

Method Notes
Code first You create your classes (including their properties and methods), and ASP.NET generates a SQL Server database from this code.  All very clever!
Model first You create your model of how you want your database to look, and from this ASP.NET generates the database.
Database first This is the approach we'll be taking - start with your SQL Server table, and from this generate a model and the code required.

Here's how to generate an entity model.  First, choose to add one:

Adding a model

Right-click on the Models folder in Solution Explorer, and choose to add a model.

Choose to create a new item:

Adding a new item

Choose this option.

Find and create an ADO.NET entity data model:

Entity data model option

Choose to add an entity data model (you'll also need to specify a name for this).

Our model will be generated from an existing database:

Generate from database

Choose to generate the model from an existing database.


You'll now need to go through the usual rigmarole of creating a connection (not shown here):

Creating a connection

Choose to create a connection to your SQL Server database.

Having done this, go to the next stage of the wizard to generate the model (we've called our entity MoviesEntities):

The final wizard

Choose Next to continue the wizard.

Choose which tables you want to include in your model then choose to finish the wizard:

Choosing tables

Here we've gone for a single table - tblFilm - and have chosen not to play about with the table and column names.


The result is a model which represents the underlying table and its columns.

You can rename the table and its columns at this point without affecting the underlying database table and columns.

Save and close the model diagram window and you will see that Visual Studio has created class for you:

The classes created

My advice is not to bother looking at these classes. For one thing, they're quite complicated; but for another, .NET will recreate them whenever you regenerate your model.


We can now use this entity model to create a view model, as shown in the next step.

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