While programming with ASP.NET MVC, you should be aware of the life of an Asp.net MVC request from birth to death. Here you will learn MVC pipeline and the life of an HTTP request as it travels through the MVC framework in ASP.NET. At a high level, a life cycle is simply a series of steps or events used to handle some type of request or to change an application state. You may already be familiar with various framework life cycles, the concept is not unique to MVC.

One thing that is true for all these platforms regardless of the technology is that understanding the processing pipeline can help you better leverage the features available and MVC is no different.

MVC has two life cycles −

  • The application life cycle
  • The request life cycle

And Here will be mainly focus on Request Life Cycle.

The Application Life Cycle

The application life cycle refers to the time at which the application process actually begins running IIS until the time it stops. This is marked by the application start and end events in the startup file of your application.

The Request Life Cycle

It is the sequence of events that happen every time an HTTP request is handled by our application.

Now we will go in detail about Request Life Cycle.


The entry point for every MVC application begins with routing. After the ASP.NET platform has received a request, it figures out how it should be handled through the URL Routing Module.Modules are .NET components that can hook into the application life cycle and add functionality. The routing module is responsible for matching the incoming URL to routes that we define in our application.

Basically it is a pattern matching system that matches the request’s URL against the registered URL patterns in the Route Table. When a matching pattern found in the Route Table, the Routing engine forwards the request to the corresponding IRouteHandler for that request. The default one calls th Mvchandler.


The MvcHandler is responsible for initiating the real processing inside ASP.NET MVC. MVC handler implements IHttpHandler interface and further process the request by using ProcessRequest method.


As shown in above code, MvcHandler uses the IControllerFactory instance and tries to get a IController instance. If successful, the Execute method is called. The IControllerFactory could be the default controller factory or a custom factory initialized at the Application_Start event.

Action Execution:

The MVC framework handles converting the route data into a concrete controller that can handle requests. After the controller has been created, the next major step is Action Execution. A component called the action invoker finds and selects an appropriate Action method to invoke the controller.

View Result:

The action method receives user input, prepares the appropriate response data, and then executes the result by returning a result type. The result type can be ViewResult, RedirectToRouteResult, RedirectResult, ContentResult, JsonResult, FileResult, and EmptyResult.

View Engine:

The first step in the execution of the View Result involves the selection of the appropriate View Engine to render the View Result. By default Asp.Net MVC uses Razor view engines. You can also register your own custom view engine to your Asp.Net MVC application.


Action method may returns a text string,a binary file or a Json formatted data. The most important Action Result is the ViewResult, which renders and returns an HTML page to the browser by using the current view engine.

Learn How to Deploy ASP.NET MVC Application.