bookcover[1] There has been a lot of excitement in the community about the new ASP.NET MVC framework that is about to ship (literally any day now – announcement coming soon).  As with anything new, people are also asking for more tutorials/samples/documentation that cover how to get started and build applications with it.

Over the last few months I’ve been helping to contribute to an ASP.NET MVC book that Scott Hanselman, Rob Conery, and Phil Haack have been writing for Wrox.  The book is now in production, and will be available to buy in stores soon (you can pre-order it on Amazon today).

I wrote the first chapter of the book – which is a 185 page end-to-end tutorial that walks-through building a small, but complete, ASP.NET MVC application from scratch.  The agreement I made with Wrox was that I’d write it for free in return for them also making it available as a free PDF download.

I’m excited to announce that you can now download this free end-to-end tutorial chapter (it is a 14mb PDF file). It’s licensed under a “Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives” license – which means you can share, distribute, print, or hand it out to anyone.

NerdDinner ASP.NET MVC Tutorial

The tutorial starts by using the File->New Project command in Visual Studio to create a brand new ASP.NET MVC project, and then incrementally adds functionality and features.  Along the way it covers how to:

  • Create a database
  • Build a model with validation and business rules
  • Implement data listing/details UI on a site using Controllers and Views
  • Enable CRUD (Create, Update, Delete) data form entry
  • Use the ViewModel pattern to pass information from a Controller to a View
  • Re-use UI across a site using partials and master pages
  • Implement efficient data paging
  • Secure an application using authentication and authorization
  • Use AJAX to deliver dynamic updates
  • Use AJAX to add interactive map support
  • Perform automated unit testing (including dependency injection and mocking)

The application the tutorial builds is called “NerdDinner”. It provides an easy way for people to organize, host and search for new topic-based dinners online:


Scott Hanselman has been hosting NerdDinners for years, and came up with the idea of building the tutorial around an application that facilitates this.  He is also now hosting a live custom-skinned version of the application at

Download Links

Hope this helps,


P.S. The book is entering production now and so is officially in un-edited status (meaning professional editors haven’t gone through it yet).  We’ll update the PDF with any important edits once the text is final.

P.P.S. And yes – this is one of the reasons my blog has been more quiet than normal the last few months.  Expect more regular blog posting again soon once I recover from this. 🙂