Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

When you download and install MVC, does it just add code to the .net framework class library? Or does it also modify the installed Visual Studio editions?

Another question: If it is just adding code to the .net framework class library, why can it not be installed on top of .net 2.0?

share|improve this question
Have you gone to the official ASP.NET MVC site? – Bernard Jul 21 '12 at 23:07
yes. It tells about what it does. But it doesn't address my questions. – Beginner Jul 21 '12 at 23:15
up vote 3 down vote accepted

To be clear, the ASP.NET MVC framework is built upon the ASP.NET framework, which in turn is built upon the .NET framework. So when you download and install ASP.NET MVC, it can both add code to the .NET Framework class library (it adds System.Web.Mvc) and can also modify the installed Visual Studio edition if one is installed. You could just install the class libraries and build ASP.NET MVC applications from scratch if you really wanted to without the aid of Visual Studio. If you look at the current MVC 3 installer packages you'll see there are two separate .exe's: one for the .NET class libraries, and the other for the Visual Studio tools.

ASP.NET MVC versions 1 & 2 target .NET 3.5. ASP.NET MVC 3 targets .NET 4.0. MVC v4 will target .NET 4.5 - it is because they build upon those specific framework versions that you cannot expect ASP.NET MVC to install and work with .NET 2.0 'out-of-the-box'.

share|improve this answer
When you download and install MVC, does it just add code to the .net framework class library?

ASP.NET MVC is a framework that works on top of the ASP.NET Framework which is build on top of The .NET Framework. However, it provides ability to configure freely and have Open Source code.

why can it not be installed on top of .net 2.0?

The earlier version of ASP.NET MVC framework Can be deployed on top of .NET Framework 2.0. Here is an article demonstrating it - Deploying ASP.NET MVC on ASP.NET 2.0.

Steps to follow are:

  • Developed on Visual Studio 2008
  • Targeted .NET 2.0 in Project
  • Properties Deployed the Application to a .NET 2.0 SP1 machine Copied
  • System.Core.dll local to the web apps /bin folder

You may also find it useful to follow this article to deploy your mvc app to .NET 2.0 - Deploying an ASP.NET MVC website on IIS 6 and .NET 2.0

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.