Using ASP.NET MVC 2 with Sharepoint Publishing
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by Martin Bailey
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Framework Integration

The following sections outline the steps required to integrate an ASP.NET MVC 2 site with a Sharepoint Publishing Site. Sharepoint 2007 and 2010 are both built upon the .NET framework 3.5. This restricts the ASP.NET MVC 2 site to also use this version of the framework.

Creating the ASP.NET MVC 2 Site

In this example we are going to use an MVC site which was created using the ASP.NET MVC 2 Web Application template within Visual Studio 2008.

Once created and fired up we get the default MVC home page.

This example uses an empty Sharepoint Publishing Site. Sharepoint professionals will be familiar with the following page.

Configuring the IIS virtual directory

Our MVC site will run as an IIS virtual directory directly under the Sharepoint IIS web site


In this instance we are going to name the virtual directory ‘MVC’. This means that any request starting with http:[hostname]/MVC/ will be served by the MVC site.


We set the ‘web site content directory path’ to the web site path of the visual studio MVC project. Ensure it is set to ‘Run scripts’.


We now have a standard ASP.NET MVC 2 site sitting under our host Sharepoint web site, called ‘SampleMVC’

By default this new virtual directory will use the same application pool as the host Sharepoint application. This will allow the ASP.NET MVC site to natively access the Sharepoint SPContext object.

Referencing Sharepoint from the MVC project

In order to expose Sharepoint functionality within our ASP.NET MVC site, the Microsoft.Sharepoint.dll assembly is referenced by the ASP.NET MVC web application

For 64bit instances of Sharepoint, referencing this assembly will cause a conflict within Visual Studio when viewing .aspx files. You will get the following error regarding an attempt to load a program with an incorrect format.

This has the effect of turning off all intellisense associated with .aspx files.


The Microsoft.Sharepoint.dll assembly has a dependency on the Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.dll assembly. This assembly happens to be compiled as AMD64 not MSIL.


By default Visual Studio uses the ASP.NET development server application at design time to parse .aspx files. It is this 32bit application which conflicts with the 64bit references. This is not a problem at run time as your IIS instance will also run as a 64bit application


This can be resolved by removing the physical Sharepoint assemblies from the project output directories. Since these assemblies are re-created on every build, the following visual studio project post-build event script is your friend here.

del Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.dll
del Microsoft.Sharepoint*

Configuring the Sharepoint site web.config

By default the Sharepoint application domain is not aware that it will be required to run an ASP.NET MVC site. We need to make some changes to the Sharepoint Publishing Site web.config file to define the Routing and MVCHttpHandler configuration

Add entry to the httpHandlers section

<add verb="*" path="*.mvc" validate="false"    
type="System.Web.Mvc.MvcHttpHandler, System.Web.Mvc, Version=, 
Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31BF3856AD364E35"/>

Add entry to the httpModules section

<add name="UrlRoutingModule" type="System.Web.Routing.UrlRoutingModule, System.Web.Routing,
 Version=, Culture=neutral, 
PublicKeyToken=31BF3856AD364E35" />

Add entry to the compilation/assemblies section

<compilation batch="false" debug="false">
  <add assembly="System.Web.Mvc, Version=, Culture=neutral, 
   PublicKeyToken=31BF3856AD364E35" />

Configuring the ASP.NET MVC 2 site web.config

Since we have configured Routing in the Sharepoint Publishing Site web.config, we need to remove this from the ASP.NET MVC site web.config

Remove the UrlRoutingModule entry


<add name="UrlRoutingModule" type="System.Web.Routing.UrlRoutingModule, 
 System.Web.Routing, Version=, Culture=neutral, 

Remove the following ‘add, remove’ entries from system.webserver/modules


  <modules runAllManagedModulesForAllRequests="true">
<remove name="UrlRoutingModule"/>
<add name="UrlRoutingModule" type="System.Web.Routing.UrlRoutingModule, 
System.Web.Routing, Version=, 
Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31BF3856AD364E35"/>

Remove the following ‘add, remove’ entries from system.webserver/handlers


<remove name="UrlRoutingHandler"/>
<add name="UrlRoutingHandler" preCondition="integratedMode" verb="*" 
    path="UrlRouting.axd" type="System.Web.HttpForbiddenHandler, 
    System.Web, Version=, Culture=neutral, 

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