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Apr 14, 2017

Benefits Of The MVC Framework In An Agile Development Environment

Sponsored Content provided by Heather McWhorter - Interim Director, UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

This Insights was contributed by DeVante Pickering, a UNCW senior and lead back-end developer for Uni-SPIRE.

The Microsoft model-view-controller (MVC) framework is a software architectural pattern that mitigates the process of designing and implementing code when building a web or mobile application. MVC decomposes the application into three parts for producing efficient, reusable code and creating the opportunity for parallel development.

Here at Uni-SPIRE, we made the switch to MVC in September 2016 and haven’t looked back.

The model is the main component of the framework. The model handles the retrieval, manipulation and insertion of the application data, independent of the user interface. For example, if you have a Car table that exists on the database, the Car model would contain the functions to access, manipulate or store data that relates to a car.

In the view, we implement the application’s user interface, usually created from the model data. To continue with the car example, the view associated with Car would allow you to display information based on the current state of the car model. The view is also where all the application’s styling elements (Bootstrap, JavaScript, JQuery, etc.) exist.

The final component of the MVC framework is the controller. The controller handles user interaction and serves as a middleman between the models and views. The controller takes in user input, decides which model(s) need to handle a data request or insert, and selects the appropriate view to display the data to the user.

What makes the MVC framework extremely beneficial to an agile environment is it allows for parallel development. This means that one developer can work on the view, while a second works on the controller logic and a third can work on the business logic in the model. This decomposition allows for back-end and front-end developers to develop their respective code simultaneously without one needing to wait for the other to finish. In an environment where tasks need to be completed quickly and efficiently, while also maintaining a relatively small team size, this is extremely valuable.

If your company has a relatively small staff of front- and back-end developers, the MVC framework might be something that you should think about adopting to help keep you on schedule and on budget.

Diane Durance, MPA, is director of UNC Wilmington's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). The CIE is a resource for the start-up and early-stage business community to help diversify the local economy with innovative solutions. For more information, visit www.uncw.edu/cie.

DeVante Pickering, a UNCW senior graduating in May, is the lead backend developer for Uni-SPIRE. Uni-SPIRE aims to impact PK-12 teachers’ understanding of effective instruction in English language arts, mathematics, science, history and integrated curriculum by producing quality research-based assessments, data analyses, professional development and curricular materials that lead to an increase in student achievement, not only on standardized assessments but for college and career readiness.
         
 

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