Using ASP.NET MVC 2 with Sharepoint Publishing
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by Martin Bailey
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Creating the custom HttpApplication

Now that we have configured the Sharepoint Publishing Site to use the Routing Module, it now requires a ‘RegisterRoutes’ method call within the ‘Application_Start’ event.


To do this we need to create a custom http application class that inherits Microsoft.SharePoint.ApplicationRuntime.SPHttpApplication.


For convenience we can create this class within the MVC project. The following code shows an example of this

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Web;
using System.Web.Routing;
using System.Diagnostics.CodeAnalysis;
namespace SampleMVC
public class CustomHttpApplication : 
[SuppressMessage("Microsoft.Security", "CA2109:ReviewVisibleEventHandlers")]
       protected virtual void Application_Start(object sender, 
            EventArgs e)
//We have to call this empty method otherwise we get a 
// System.ArgumentException: virtualPath
//If we inlcude System.Web.Routing, then it expects the following 
        public static void RegisterRoutes(RouteCollection routes)
            //this method needs to be here.
            //actual routing is configured within the MVC site

We need to sign the ASP.NET MVC web application assembly and GAC deploy, this allows its usage by the Sharepoint Publishing Site.

Configuring the Sharepoint site Global.asax

We need to amend the global.asax file of the Sharepoint Publishing Site to reference this new custom HttpApplication


Replace the default code

<%@ Assembly Name="Microsoft.SharePoint"%>
<%@ Application Language="C#" Inherits="Microsoft.SharePoint.ApplicationRuntime.SPHttpApplication" %>

With the following code

<%@ Assembly Name="Microsoft.SharePoint"%>
<%@ Assembly Name="SampleMVC, Version=, Culture=neutral, 
PublicKeyToken=996c39a8508e1e46" %>
<%@ Application Language="C#" Inherits="SampleMVC.CustomHttpApplication" %>

Using SPContext within the ASP.NET MVC 2 application


Let’s go and access the Sharepoint application domain from our MVC site. In this example we amend the default HomeController to get the Sharepoint Publishing Site url property

public class HomeController : Controller
    public ActionResult Index()
            ViewData["Message"= "Welcome to Sharepoint MVC," 
            + "Sharepoint site   url : " 
            + SPContext.Current.Site.Url;
            return View();

Since, by default, we are running this request under the built in anonymous user, IUSR_[machinename], we need to ensure we have allowed anonymous access within the Sharepoint Publishing Site.


If we request the home page, we can see that we have successfully retrieved the site name from the Sharepoint SPContext object

In this example every request made under http://samplemvc/MVC is routed by the MVC framework. We are still support the standard Sharepoint Publishing Site too, so http://samplemvc/Pages/default.aspx still resolves to

Using the ASP.NET MVC 2 framework in this way, unlike conventional Sharepoint Publishing web development, we can amend the View files at run time inside Visual Studio. No re-compilation / application pool reset is needed, a simple page refresh will render the new View.


Debugging of the ASP.NET MVC site is done by attaching the Visual Studio debugger to the Sharepoint w3wp.exe process.

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