How to Perform CRUD Operations in an MVC Application using Entity Framework

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CRUD operations often require huge amount of effort for writing server side as well as client side codes. However, with Asp.Net MVC framework it is effortless and yet efficient. Here in this post I am going to show you how to perform CRUD operations in an MVC application using Microsoft ADO.Net Entity framework, and without writing a single line of code.

It doesn’t matter what programming language you use to write your applications. This article is for both C# and Visual Basic programmers. Since you are not going to write any procedure or function for your CRUD operations. Simply follow the steps carefully.

“The Microsoft ADO.Net Entity Framework or EF is an object-relational mapping framework that enables “.Net developers” to work with relational data using domain-specific objects”. It means developers like you and me, are spared from writing data access code, to some extent.

Create a Table in SQL Server

Since we are using the Entity Framework model for our CRUD operation, we need a database. Using the EF model, you can actually perform direct actions on a database table. Therefore, first create a table in SQL Server.

You can also check our Dummy Database Tables for SQL Server page to create more tables in SQL Server.

CREATE TABLE [dbo].[Books](
    [BookID] [int] IDENTITY(1,1) NOT NULL,
    [BookName] [varchar](50) NULL,
    [Category] [varchar](50) NULL,
    [Price] [numeric](18, 2) NULL,
    [Price_Range] [varchar](20) NULL,

Now add few rows of data to the table.

INSERT INTO dbo.Books 
    (BookName, Category, Price, Price_Range)
    ('Computer Architecture', 'Computers', 125.6, '100-150'),
    ('Advanced Composite Materials', 'Science', 172.56, '150-200'),
    ('Asp.Net 4 Blue Book', 'Programming', 56.00, '50-100'),
    ('Strategies Unplugged', 'Science', 99.99, '50-100'),
    ('Teaching Science', 'Science', 164.10, '150-200'),
    ('Challenging Times', 'Business', 150.70, '150-200'),
    ('Circuit Bending', 'Science', 112.00, '100-150'),
    ('Popular Science', 'Science', 210.40, '200-250'),
    ('ADOBE Premiere', 'Computers', 62.20, '50-100')

Create the MVC Project

1) Open Visual Studio and from the top menu choose File -> New Project. In the New Project window, select Asp.Net MVC 4 for Web Application. Use any other version. Choose the language. Give your project a Name. Click the OK button.

CRUD Operation in MVC with Entity Framework

2) This will open a New Asp.Net MVC project window. Choose the Internet Application template. Click the OK button.

Create New MVC Project with Internet Application Template

Visual Studio will create your MVC project with default files and folders. It will also create the Home Controller inside the Controller folder.

MVC Project with Default Controller

Now let’s create the Entity Framework

The ADO.Net Entity Framework

By default, the ADO.Net Entity Framework is installed when you have installed Visual Studio in your computer. Follow these steps to add Entity framework to your project.

• Open the Solution Explorer window. Right click the Project, choose Add and select New Item. Alternatively, simple use this key combination Ctrl+Shift+A, to open Add New Item window.
• In the Add New Item window, select the Data template and choose ADO.Net Entity Data Model. Give the Entity framework a name like, Books.edmx. See the image.

Create or Add Entity Framework in MVC

• Clicking the Add button will open the Entity Data Model Wizard window. Follow the steps. You will have to choose contents for your Model. Choose Generate from database option and Next button.

Choose the Model Contents in MVC

• Next, create a new connection and add the database (in which you have created the Books table).

Create Database Connection for Entity Framework Model

• Choose the Database object like the Tables. You can also choose Views or Stored Procedures, if you have created any.

Note: You can expand the Tables option and choose the table (for example Books) and ignore other tables.

Choose Database Table for Entity Framework in MVC

Let us now create our Controller.

The Books Controller

1) Right click the Controllers folder from the Solution Explorer window.
2) Roll the mouse over the Add option and select the Controller option.

Create Controller in Asp.Net MVC

3) Name the Controller as booksController.cs (or .vb for Visual Basic). Choose these options under Scaffolding options. See the image.

Create Controller for Entity Framework with Model Class

Remember: You won’t face in difficulty in finding the choosing the Model and Data context class if you have few objects (like table etc) to choose from. Therefore, choose and name your Model properties carefully, to avoid any confusion.

4) If everything goes right, it will successfully create the Controller along with the Views. Look at the below image, especially inside the Views folder. It has created a books folder under Views with some .cshtml files (or .vbhtml files for Visual basic).

Views Created for Entity Framework-in-MVC

Your application is ready to perform some basic CRUD operation actions, like Create, Edit, Delete and Details etc. Open the “booksController” file to see all the ActionResult functions.

However, there is one important thing left to do, before you run the application. When you have created this MVC project, it added a default controller named Home. It has also mapped this controller. Therefore, if you now run the application, you will see the Home page with some default actions.

You have to map the booksController to set it as default or start page. You will have to do it manually.

Open RouteConfig.cs file (RouteConfig.vb for Visual Basic) under the App_Start folder. Change the controller Home to books. Here’s the code.

Default ...

defaults: new { controller = "Home", action = "Index", id = UrlParameter.Optional }

Change to ...

defaults: new { controller = "books", action = "Index", id = UrlParameter.Optional }

Now, run the application. You will see the data from books table in tabular format on the browser.

CRUD Operation in MVC using Entity Framework with Create New Option

Simple isn’t it. You can create and add new records in the table, edit or delete the existing records. It also provides an option to view the data.

It looks like a simple set form for performing basic CRUD operations. Expect few changes and a simple walk through the wizard, you have a created this application, without actually writing any code. Well, we only created the database.

Well that’s it. Thanks for reading. 🙂

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