ASP.NET MVC 2: Strongly Typed Html Helpers
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by Scott Guthrie
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New Strongly-Typed HTML Helper Methods

One of the common feature asks people had for ASP.NET MVC 2 was for us to also support strongly-typed HTML helpers that use lambda expressions when referencing models/viewmodels passed to a view template.  This enables better compile-time checking of views (so that bugs can be found at build-time as opposed to runtime), and also enables better code intellisense support within view templates.

New strongly-typed HTML helper methods are now built-into ASP.NET MVC 2.  These methods use a "Html.HelperNameFor()” naming convention. For example: Html.TextBoxFor(), Html.CheckBoxFor(), Html.TextAreaFor(), etc.  They support using a lambda expression to specify both the name/id of the element, as well as the value to render for it.

For example, using ASP.NET MVC 2 we can now use the new Html.TextBoxFor() helper in addition to the Html.TextBox() helper above:

Figure 3

Notice above how we do not need to specify the “ProductName” string parameter anymore – lambda expressions are flexible enough that we can retrieve both the name of the property/field on our model object in addition to its value.

Because the HTML helpers are strongly-typed, we also get full intellisense support for them within Visual Studio when writing the lambda expression:

Figure 4

The HTML rendered is the same as the late-bound version of our HTML helper shown previously:

Figure 5


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