Model–view–controller (usually known as MVC) is a software design pattern commonly used for developing user interfaces that divide the related program logic into three interconnected elements. This is done to separate internal representations of information from the ways information is presented to and accepted from the user..
Traditionally used for desktop graphical user interfaces (GUIs), this pattern has become popular for designing web applications. Popular programming languages have MVC frameworks that facilitate implementation of the pattern.
The central component of the pattern. It is the application's dynamic data structure, independent of the user interface. It directly manages the data, logic and rules of the application.
Any representation of information such as a chart, diagram or table. Multiple views of the same information are possible, such as a bar chart for management and a tabular view for accountants.
Accepts input and converts it to commands for the model or view. In addition to dividing the application into these components, the model–view–controller design defines the interactions between them.
The model is responsible for managing the data of the application. It receives user input from the controller.
The view renders presentation of the model in a particular format.
The controller responds to the user input and performs interactions on the data model objects. The controller receives the input, optionally validates it and then passes the input to the model.
As with other software patterns, MVC expresses the "core of the solution" to a problem while allowing it to be adapted for each system. Particular MVC designs can vary significantly from the traditional description here.
One of the seminal insights in the early development of graphical user interfaces, MVC became one of the first approaches to describe and implement software constructs in terms of their responsibilities.
Trygve Reenskaug introduced MVC into Smalltalk-79 while visiting the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in the 1970s. In the 1980s, Jim Althoff and others implemented a version of MVC for the Smalltalk-80 class library. Only later did a 1988 article in The Journal of Object Technology (JOT) express MVC as a general concept.
The MVC pattern has subsequently evolved, giving rise to variants such as hierarchical model–view–controller (HMVC), model–view–adapter (MVA), model–view–presenter (MVP), model–view–viewmodel (MVVM), and others that adapted MVC to different contexts.
The use of the MVC pattern in web applications exploded in popularity after the introduction of NeXT's WebObjects in 1996, which was originally written in Objective-C (that borrowed heavily from Smalltalk) and helped enforce MVC principles. Later, the MVC pattern became popular with Java developers when WebObjects was ported to Java. Later frameworks for Java, such as Spring (released in October 2002), continued the strong bond between Java and MVC. The introduction of the frameworks Django (July 2005, for Python) and Rails (December 2005, for Ruby), both of which had a strong emphasis on rapid deployment, increased MVC's popularity outside the traditional enterprise environment in which it has long been popular.
Use in web applications
Although originally developed for desktop computing, MVC has been widely adopted as a design for World Wide Web applications in major programming languages. Several web frameworks have been created that enforce the pattern. These software frameworks vary in their interpretations, mainly in the way that the MVC responsibilities are divided between the client and server.
Some web MVC frameworks take a thin client approach that places almost the entire model, view and controller logic on the server. In this approach, the client sends either hyperlink requests or form submissions to the controller and then receives a complete and updated web page (or other document) from the view; the model exists entirely on the server.