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What is MVC? The Model View Controller Pattern, Architecture, and Features Explained

10 Mar 2023
You've encountered MVC in various programming languages but you might be asking yourself what is MVC? In this article, we will explain what is MVC, the model view controller pattern, and everything about it. What is (MVC) Model View Controller? Model View Controller, the MVC full form, is a design pattern that divides your application […]
MVC Architecture

You've encountered MVC in various programming languages but you might be asking yourself what is MVC? In this article, we will explain what is MVC, the model view controller pattern, and everything about it.

What is (MVC) Model View Controller?

Model View Controller, the MVC full form, is a design pattern that divides your application into three primary parts: a model, a view, and a controller. The model represents data, such as the status of an order or the number of people who have RSVPed to an event. The view displays the results from the model in response to user input. The controller manages the flow of data between these two components.

Why Should You Use MVC?

MVC is a powerful architecture pattern that helps to organize your application so that it can be easily maintained, extended, and scaled. It is a design pattern that was originally developed for use in web applications. It has since been used to organize many other types of applications as well, including desktop applications, mobile applications, and enterprise applications.

The separation allows each component to focus on its responsibilities and allows you to use different technologies to handle those responsibilities. 

Understanding MVC Architecture

The idea behind MVC architecture is that it separates the two most important parts of an application: data access and presentation logic. Separating these two areas makes it easier for developers to maintain their code as well as make changes more easily. The MVC architecture separates your application into three main components: the model, view, and controller. These three components work together to create an understandable flow for your users and ensure each part serves its purpose well.

MVC Architecture


This stores all of your data for an application. It might be a database, it might be an array of items in memory, and it could be any number of things depending on what type of application you're building. The model part of the MVC architecture contains all relevant information about what should be stored in the database or other places where it would be needed later on during the development or testing of your codebase.


This is where your users interact with your application by using a web browser or some other interface they have access to such as a mobile app or desktop application. The view part of the MVC architecture contains HTML code that describes how to display something on the screen which can then be accessed by controllers in order to respond to user requests and perform actions based on user input received through actions passed down from higher levels.


The controller part of the MVC architecture is responsible for accepting requests from users and passing them on to appropriate views. The MVC controller also handles any tasks that need to be performed before or after displaying a view, such as validating input or storing data. The MVC controller is responsible for coordinating interactions between models and views. The MVC controller receives requests from users through controllers and then use models to determine what action should be taken based on those requests (such as displaying content).

MVC Features

The MVC pattern is well-suited for applications that involve complex interactions between multiple objects and views. Some of the MVC features are:

  • Reduced complexity
  • Increased testability and maintainability
  • Better separation of concerns

Advantages of MVC

The MVC pattern is the most popular way to structure a web application, and it's easy to understand why. In MVC, the data is stored in the browser's local storage, while the view sits on the server. This makes it possible for you to take advantage of both client-side and server-side code in your application.

Some of the advantages of the MVC architecture are:

  1. Makes it easy to test your code
  2. Easy to switch between different platforms
  3. By organizing your code into these three different components, you can ensure that each part has its own responsibilities and doesn't overlap with other parts' functionality. This makes your application more intuitive and easier for developers to understand.
  4. It enables you to use HTML5 features such as the drag-and-drop event listener or canvas elements as part of your application without having to update your entire code base every time there's a new release of those features.
  5. Finally, MVC makes it easier for developers to work on teams because they don't need to be experts at each part of the project—they just need to know how one piece works rather than how all parts work together.

Disadvantages of MVC

MVC is a great design pattern, but it has some disadvantages.

  • The first disadvantage of MVC is that it can be hard to test. With MVC, you have to have an understanding of both the presentation layer and the business logic layer. This can make testing difficult because you need to know how to isolate each part of your application and test only one at a time.
  • Another issue with MVC is that it can be hard to scale as your application grows. The controller in MVC is responsible for routing requests through multiple layers of your application, which means that each request could contain data from multiple different places in your app. If you need to add more features or scale out, you'll have to change all those places where the controller routes request, which can be time-consuming and tedious.
  • Finally, MVC has some performance issues if used poorly. If you don't take care when implementing MVC.

Having learned about the advantages and disadvantages of the MVC model, if you’re interested in further deep dive into web development, our guide on the Types of Web Development could be the next perfect read.

How to Use MVC

The Model View Controller pattern is a solid way to structure your application. It helps you keep the code for your application organized and modular, and it makes it easier to reuse code in other parts of your app. Here’s how you can use it:

  1. Define a Model: A model is the data structure representing the database table. It contains all the data that you want to retrieve from your database and store it in a form that you can use.
  2. Define a Controller: A controller is a component that interacts with the model, controlling how the application displays its users' data. It also has access to the user's session state, which allows it to track changes made by users as they interact with your site or app.
  3. Define Views: The views are HTML files that represent how your application should appear to users on their screens. They control what content appears on each page of your site or app and can be reused across multiple pages if necessary.

MVC Frameworks

The MVC framework is a design pattern that has been around since the early days of web development, and it's still one of the most popular ways to structure your applications. 
MVC Architecture
In the MVC framework, you'll have one or more models that map to data in your system, and one or more views that handle displaying information to the user. You'll also have one or more controllers that manage how the model and view interact with each other. Read more about the most popular frameworks and MVC framework.

What are the Applications of the MVC Model?

The MVC model can be applied to any type of application but is most commonly used in web applications because it aligns with how users interact with websites. The MVC model is also useful when building complex applications with many parts because it allows you to separate different functions into different components so you can scale easily if needed. The MVC application can be used for:

  • Web applications
  • Mobile apps
  • Electronic devices
  • Robotics systems


Our detailed guide on Hybrid Apps vs Web & Native apps gives insights into Hybrid apps.

MVC Examples

  1. An RSS feed reader is a great example of MVC architecture in action because it has three distinct parts: the model, view, and controller. The model represents the data being displayed by the view. The controller controls how that data is presented to the user.
  2. An e-commerce site is also an example of MVC because it has three distinct parts: models (for things like products), views (that contain product information), and controllers (that handle interactions with users).
  3. Gmail is an example of an MVC architecture that uses a relational database and web services to store user information and mailboxes. It also has a web interface and mobile apps that allow users to access their mailboxes from their phones.

To sum it up, MVC is a pattern used for creating web apps (usually in PHP or Ruby) that separates out three different components of your app: the model, view, and controller. Each component does its own thing, so you end up with software that has a cleaner design and is easier to manage overall. To read about more futuristic technology, read our blog on Web 3.0.


What is model view controller MVC architecture?

Model view controller MVC architecture is a software design pattern that divides a program into three distinct layers. The model represents the data and behaviors of a program, the view is where the user sees and interacts with the data, and the controller handles user input and processing.

What are the three 3 parts of the model view controller pattern?

The three parts of the model view controller pattern are:

  1. Model - The class that creates the view, and holds all of the data for it.
  2. View - The part of the screen that shows your information to the user. The view is created by the model and updated by the controller.
  3. Controller - The class that manages your application's flow between view and model.

How does MVC architecture work?

The MVC architecture is a software design pattern that divides a program into three components: the model, the view, and the controller. The model contains all of the data and business logic for your app; it's what you use to interact with other parts of your system. The view displays information on the screen; it might be a page on your website or an app window in your phone's interface. The controller handles input from users and sends commands to the model.

What is the difference between 3-tier Architecture vs. MVC Architecture?

The 3-tier architecture is a method of organizing applications based on the number of tiers. Each tier contains one or more processes, while the execution environment for each process resides in its own separate machine. Each process typically performs a single task, such as sending an email or processing payment information.

MVC architecture is a design pattern that separates a system's data from its view layer to decouple them. The Model represents the data being processed by the business logic, which is stored in a database; View represents how that data is presented to users; Controller manages how those views interact with models and vice versa.

What are some popular MVC web frameworks?

There are a lot of different MVC web frameworks out there, but here are some popular ones:

  • Angular
  • Ember.js
  • MeteorJS
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