ASP.NET Core Basics: Razor Pages

As part of the ASP.NET Core 2.0 release, a new feature called Razor Pages was added to better handle page-focused scenarios. This post is going to cover adding usage of Razor Pages to an existing ASP.NET Core MVC application. This is part of the ASP.NET Core Basics series and the repo before any changes for this post can be found here. All the changes will be in the Contacts project if you are using the sample repo.

Add the end of this post the Razor Pages example will have the same level of functionality as the existing Razor example in the project.

Setup

To follow the conventions of a new Razor Pages project add a Pages directory to the root of the project. As another level of grouping add a ContactsRazorPages directory under the Pages directory. The strange name of the directory is just to make it super clear this is different than the existing Contact List already in the application.

Scaffolding

Razor Pages supports the same level of scaffolding as the existing Razor/MVC setup we are all used to in Visual Studio. To start, right-click on the ContactsRazorPages directory and select Add > Razor Page.

This will open the Add Scaffold dialog. We are using entity framework and want to generate a full set of CRUD operations so select Razor Pages using Entity Framework (CRUD) and click Add.

Next, we have to select the Model and DB Context. We want to use the same model and context as our existing Razor/MVC setup so we are going to select the Contact class and the ContactsContext DB Context. Finally, since this is part of an existing application make sure and check the Use a layout page and use the existing _Layout.cshtml page used by the rest of the application. Click the Add button and hang out while the magic happens.

After a couple of minutes, the directory will be filled with a set of pages to do contact CRUD operations. Since this is a page-centric method of working all the files you need are in this one directory. No separate controller and views as in traditional MVC. By default, routing is handled via the folder structure.

View Imports

I had to a _ViewImports.cshtml file to the Pages to get things working. I tried adding the needed imports to the existing import, but it didn’t work for some reason. Here are the contents of the file.

@using RazorPages
@namespace RazorPages.Pages
@addTagHelper *, Microsoft.AspNetCore.Mvc.TagHelpers

Add to the Navigation Menu

Our last step is going to be to add the new contact list to the site’s navigation menu. Open the _Layout.cshtml file in the Views/Shared directory and a link to the new contact list.

Existing MVC based contact list:
<li><a asp-area="" asp-controller="Contacts" asp-action="Index">Contact List</a></li>

New Razor Pages based contact list:
<li><a asp-page="/ContactsRazorPages/Index">Contact List (Razor Pages)</a></li>

Notice that the link uses the asp-page tag helper instead of asp-controller.

Wrapping Up

The above covers adding Razor Pages to an existing MVC application and rounds out the all the major UI options for the ASP.NET Basics series. Keep in mind that Razor Pages functionality is fully on par with tradition MVC and has been recommended by Microsoft as the way to do when page-centric work. If you haven’t check out the getting started docs to get a better feel for how to use pages.

The completed code can be found here.


Also published on Medium.

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