Is a Controller generated for each request in ASP.NET MVC?

.net asp.net-mvc-3 controller entity-framework httprequest

Question

Very simple question: Are controllers in ASP.NET created for every HTTP request, or are they created at application startup and reused throughout requests?

Will the controller be created only for a particular HTTP request?

If my previous assumptions are correct, can I depend on it? I want to create database context (Entity Framework) that will live only for one request. If I create it as a property initialized in controller's constructor, is it granted that new instance of context will be created on for every request?

1
106
4/4/2017 7:25:44 AM

Accepted Answer

A Controller is created for every request by the ControllerFactory (which by default is the DefaultControllerFactory).

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.web.mvc.defaultcontrollerfactory.aspx

Note that the Html.Action Html Helper will create another controller.

The short version is that ControllerActivator.Create is called (for every request) to create a Controller (which inits a new Controller either through the DependencyResolver or through the Activator if no Resolver has been set up):

public IController Create(RequestContext requestContext, Type controllerType) 
{
    try 
    {
        return (IController)(_resolverThunk().GetService(controllerType) ?? Activator.CreateInstance(controllerType));
    }

The longer version is this (Here's the code from the source from the MvcHandler):

protected internal virtual void ProcessRequest(HttpContextBase httpContext)
{
    SecurityUtil.ProcessInApplicationTrust(() =>
    {
        IController controller;
        IControllerFactory factory;
        ProcessRequestInit(httpContext, out controller, out factory);

        try
        {
            controller.Execute(RequestContext);
        }
        finally
        {
            factory.ReleaseController(controller);
        }
    });
}

private void ProcessRequestInit(HttpContextBase httpContext, out IController controller, out IControllerFactory factory)
{
    // non-relevant code
    // Instantiate the controller and call Execute
    factory = ControllerBuilder.GetControllerFactory();
    controller = factory.CreateController(RequestContext, controllerName);
    if (controller == null)
    {
        throw new InvalidOperationException(
            String.Format(
                CultureInfo.CurrentCulture,
                MvcResources.ControllerBuilder_FactoryReturnedNull,
                factory.GetType(),
                controllerName));
    }
}

Here's the Controller factory code:

public virtual IController CreateController(RequestContext requestContext, string controllerName) 
{
    Type controllerType = GetControllerType(requestContext, controllerName);
    IController controller = GetControllerInstance(requestContext, controllerType);
    return controller;
}

Which basically calls this:

protected internal virtual IController GetControllerInstance(RequestContext requestContext, Type controllerType) 
{
    return ControllerActivator.Create(requestContext, controllerType);
}

Which calls this method in the ControllerActivator (This code tries to ask the DependencyResolver for an instance, or just uses the Activator class):

public IController Create(RequestContext requestContext, Type controllerType) 
{
    try 
    {
        return (IController)(_resolverThunk().GetService(controllerType) ?? Activator.CreateInstance(controllerType));
    }

This might fall under too much information... But I wanted to show that you really DO get a new controller for EVERY request.

99
11/8/2019 12:27:34 AM

Popular Answer

I created an empty constructor for a controller and put a break point in the constructor. It got hit every time there was a new request. So I think it's created for every request.



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