As software architectural pattern, model-view-controller or MVC architecture is used widely by developers to simplify and accelerate development of desktop applications, web applications, and mobile apps. MVC enables developers to implement large and complex user interfaces (UIs) rapidly by dividing the applications into three separated but interconnected parts – model, view and controller. There are a number of frameworks that enable developers to build applications based on MVC architecture. Hence, a developer can choose from a wide range of MVC frameworks according to the type of application and his choice of programming language.
Understanding Important Aspects of Model-View-Controller or MVC Architecture
Unlike other software architectural patterns, MVC helps developers to implement user interfaces (UI) in a simpler and more efficient way. But it requires developers to divide the applications into three logical and interconnected components – model, view and controller. Each component of MVC design pattern handles specific development aspects of the software application. The model component represents the logical structure of data in the application. The developers can include all data-related logic in the model component.
The view component, as a collection of classes, represents the UI elements and components. The developers can include UI logic of the application in the view component. At the same time, the controller component acts as an interface that facilitates communication between the classes in model and view components. It interacts with the model components to process business logic, handle incoming requests, and manipulate data. Also, it interacts with the view components to render the final out the application displays to end users.
Despite dividing various development aspects of an application into three distinct components, MVC architecture still enables the application to handle incoming requests from the client browsers efficiently through a series of flow steps. Each time the client browser sends a request to the application, the request is sent directly to the web server. The server calls the appropriate controller according to the nature and requirements of the incoming request. The controller further processes the request efficiently by interacting with both model and view classes. Finally, the controller creates the final response and sends it to the client browser. However, the MVC flow steps may differ from one framework to another.
MVC design pattern focuses on two primary goals – simultaneous development and code reuse. As the developers can divide an application into three logical components, they can easily keep the user interface and business logic layers separated. The separation makes it easier for enterprises to speed up custom application development by deploying backend and frontend developers at a time. The frontend developers can start working on the user interface, while the backend developers are designing data structure and business logic.
The developers can further test specific aspects of the software independently and concurrently. In addition to facilitating simultaneous development, MVC architecture further emphasizes on improving code reusability. As the developers can divide an application into individual and logical components, they can reuse the same components across different projects seamlessly. They can even reduce development time significantly by reusing and refactoring the existing components.
Many enterprises nowadays use MVC frameworks for custom application development rapidly by keeping their user interface and business logic layers separated. They can even deploy frontend and backend developers at a time to accelerate development of custom applications based on complex business requirements. At the same time, MVC architecture reduces code duplication through separation of user interface and business logic. The developers even have option to create multiple views for the same model. Also, they can maintain and update the applications quickly by making changes to a specific component without impacting others.
MVC, like other software architectural patterns, has its own shortcomings. For instance, many developers believe that MVC architecture makes software development process complex despite reducing development time. An enterprise also needs to deploy both backend and frontend developers to accelerate custom application development. Many programmers find it difficult to implement modern and responsive applications based on MVC design pattern. They need to be proficient in both client-side and server side technologies to implement UI more efficiently with MVC frameworks.
At present, MVC is one of the widely used software architectural patterns. The developers can take advantage of MVC architecture to simplify development of a variety of software applications. They even have option to choose from a wide range of MVC frameworks according to their preferred programming language. But the developers must keep in mind the pros and cons of MVC architecture to choose the right software architectural pattern for individual projects.