ASP.NET MVC 1.0 Release Candidate Now Available
page 16 of 20
by Scott Guthrie
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File Handling Improvements

The ASP.NET MVC RC includes a number of file handling enhancements:

FileResult and File() helper method

The RC build adds a new FileResult class that is used to indicate that a file is being returned as an ActionResult from a Controller action method.  The Controller base class also now has a set of File() helper methods that make it easy to create and return a FileResult.

For example, let’s assume we are trying to build a photo management site.  We could define a simple “Photo” class like below that encapsulates the details about a stored Photo:

Figure 38

We could then use the new File() helper method like below to implement a “DisplayPhoto” action method on a PhotoManager controller that could be used to render the Photo out of a database store.  In the code below we are passing the File() helper the bytes to render, as well as the mime-type of the file. If we pointed a <img src=””/> element at our action method URL the browser would display the photo inline within a page:

Figure 39

If we wanted an end-user to be able to download the photo and save it locally, we could implement a “DownloadPhoto” action method like below.  In the code below we are passing a third parameter – which will cause ASP.NET MVC to set a header that causes the browser to display a “Save As…” dialog which is pre-populated with the filename we’ve supplied:

Figure 40

When a user clicks a link to the /PhotoManager/DowloadPhoto/1232 URL they’ll be prompted to save the picture:

Figure 41

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User Comments

Title: Awesome article, great work!   
Name: George Loew
Date: 2009-03-25 12:20:05 AM
excellent article, scott! It is very useful and contain excellent information about ASP.NET MVC framework. I have had a chance to try this ASP.NET MVC technology with my current host ( and everything works beautifully.

I am rating 5 stars for this article and I am looking forward to your next articles.
Title: Cache Photo   
Name: Meysam
Date: 2009-03-05 2:14:50 AM
Is it possible to send cache status (304) in response to subsequent requests for a photo?

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