ActionLink HTML Helper in ASP.NET MVC

ActionLink HTML Helper in ASP.NET MVC to Generate Hyperlinks

In this article, I am going to discuss how to generate Hyperlinks in ASP.NET MVC applications using the ActionLink HTML Helper. Please read our previous article before proceeding to this article as we are going to work with the same example. In our previous article, we discussed how to use Entity Framework Database First Approach in ASP.NET MVC Application to interact with the SQL Server Database. In general, we used hyperlinks for navigation between the pages of a website. In a later article, we will discuss HTML Helpers in ASP.NET MVC in detail. Here, we will just see how to create hyperlinks using ActionLink HTML Helper.

ActionLink HTML Helper in ASP.NET MVC:

Let us understand the need and use of ActionLink HTML Helper in ASP.NET MVC Application with an example. We want to display all the employees in a bulleted list as shown in the below image. Please have a look at the employee’s name, here we rendering the employee name as hyperlinks.

ActionLink HTML Helper in ASP.NET MVC Application

When we click on the above name hyperlink, then we need to redirect to the employee details page where we will display the full details of the employee as shown in the below image.

ActionLink HTML Helper in ASP.NET MVC

Again, when we click on the “Back to List” button, we will be redirected to the employee list page.

Let’s see how to achieve this.

Please modify the Employee controller as shown below. Here we add the Details action method to Employee Controller. Now we have two action methods i.e. Index and Details as shown below.

namespace CRUD_OperationsInMVC.Controllers
{
    public class EmployeeController : Controller
    {
        public ActionResult Index()
        {
            EmployeeDBContext dbContext = new EmployeeDBContext();
            List<Employee> empList = dbContext.Employees.ToList();
            return View(empList);
        }
        public ActionResult Details(int id)
        {
            EmployeeDBContext dbContext = new EmployeeDBContext();
            Employee employee = dbContext.Employees.FirstOrDefault(x => x.EmployeeId == id);
            return View(employee);
        }
    }
}
ActionLink HTML Help Method:

There are many overloaded versions available for the ActionLink HTML Helper method. But we are going to use the following overloaded version which takes link text, action method name, and route values as parameters. The first parameter specifies that it is an extension method and we can access this using the HtmlHelper object.

public static MvcHtmlString ActionLink(this HtmlHelper htmlHelper, string linkText, string actionName, object routeValues);

Modifying the Index View:

In our example, the Index action method retrieves the list of employees which is then passed to the Index view for rendering. So, let’s change the Index view as shown below which displays the employee names as Hyperlinks using the ActionLink HTML Helper method.

@model IEnumerable<CRUD_OperationsInMVC.Models.Employee>
@using CRUD_OperationsInMVC.Models;
<div style="font-family:Arial">
    @{
        ViewBag.Title = "Employee List";
    }
    <h2>Employee List</h2>
    <ul>
        @foreach (Employee employee in @Model)
        {
            <li>@Html.ActionLink(employee.Name, "Details", new { id = employee.EmployeeId })</li>
        }
    </ul>
</div>

As you can see in the above code, we set the @model to IEnumerable<CRUD_OperationsInMVC.Models.Employee> and we are generating the hyperlinks using Html.ActionLink HTML helper method. This method takes three parameters, the first parameter is the link text that will be rendered in the browser, the second parameter is the action method name and the third parameter is the route values that will be passed to the Details action method.

Adding Details view:

The Details action method takes a parameter as EmployeeId and then gets the employee details based on the Employee ID. Once it gets the employee details then it passes that employee object to the view and then the view displays the employee details. Let’s Add Details View and then copy and paste the following codes into it.

@model CRUD_OperationsInMVC.Models.Employee

<div>
    <h4>Employee Details</h4>
    <hr />
    <dl class="dl-horizontal">
        <dt>
            @Html.DisplayNameFor(model => model.Name)
        </dt>

        <dd>
            @Html.DisplayFor(model => model.Name)
        </dd>

        <dt>
            @Html.DisplayNameFor(model => model.Gender)
        </dt>

        <dd>
            @Html.DisplayFor(model => model.Gender)
        </dd>

        <dt>
            @Html.DisplayNameFor(model => model.City)
        </dt>

        <dd>
            @Html.DisplayFor(model => model.City)
        </dd>

        <dt>
            @Html.DisplayNameFor(model => model.Salary)
        </dt>

        <dd>
            @Html.DisplayFor(model => model.Salary)
        </dd>
    </dl>
</div>
<p>
    @Html.ActionLink("Back to List", "Index")
</p>

That’s it. We are done with our implementation. So now it’s time to run the application and see everything is working as expected. In this article, we just see how to use the ActionLink HTML Helper in the ASP.NET MVC application. In our upcoming articles, we will discuss the HTML Helpers in detail with some real-time examples.

In the next article, I am going to discuss how to work with multiple database tables in the ASP.NET MVC application with an example. Here, In this article, I try to explain how to generate hyperlinks using ActionLink HTML Helper in ASP.NET MVC application with a simple example. I hope this ActionLink HTML Helper in ASP.NET MVC application article will help you with your needs. 

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