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ViewData vs ViewBag vs TempData vs Session

Posted By : Shailendra Chauhan, 19 Jul 2012
Updated On : 24 Jun 2014
  Version Support : MVC5, MVC4 & MVC3
Keywords : when to use viewbag, viewdata and tempdata, differences between viewdata, viewbag, session and tempdata in mvc3 mvc4, tempdata keep method

In ASP.NET MVC there are three ways - ViewData, ViewBag and TempData to pass data from controller to view and in next request. Like WebForm, you can also use Session to persist data during a user session. Now question is that when to use ViewData, VieBag, TempData and Session. Each of them has its own importance. In this article, I am trying to explain the differences among these four.

ViewData

  1. ViewData is a dictionary object that is derived from ViewDataDictionary class.

    public ViewDataDictionary ViewData { get; set; }
    
  2. ViewData is a property of ControllerBase class.

  3. ViewData is used to pass data from controller to corresponding view.

  4. It’s life lies only during the current request.

  5. If redirection occurs then it’s value becomes null.

  6. It’s required typecasting for getting data and check for null values to avoid error.

ViewBag

  1. ViewBag is a dynamic property that takes advantage of the new dynamic features in C# 4.0.

  2. Basically it is a wrapper around the ViewData and also used to pass data from controller to corresponding view.

    public Object ViewBag { get; }
    
  3. ViewBag is a property of ControllerBase class.

  4. It’s life also lies only during the current request.

  5. If redirection occurs then it’s value becomes null.

  6. It doesn’t required typecasting for getting data.

TempData

  1. TempData is a dictionary object that is derived from TempDataDictionary class and stored in short lives session.

    public TempDataDictionary TempData { get; set; }
    
  2. TempData is a property of ControllerBase class.

  3. TempData is used to pass data from current request to subsequent request (means redirecting from one page to another).

  4. It’s life is very short and lies only till the target view is fully loaded.

  5. It’s required typecasting for getting data and check for null values to avoid error.

  6. It is used to store only one time messages like error messages, validation messages. To persist data with TempData refer this article: Persisting Data with TempData

Session

  1. Session is an object that is derived from HttpSessionState class.

    public HttpSessionState Session { get; }
    
  2. Session is a property of HttpContext class.

  3. Session is also used to pass data within the ASP.NET MVC application and Unlike TempData, it never expires.

  4. Session is valid for all requests, not for a single redirect.

  5. It’s also required typecasting for getting data and check for null values to avoid error.

Summary

In this article I try to explain the difference between ViewData, ViewBag and TempData. I hope you will refer this article for your need. I would like to have feedback from my blog readers. Please post your feedback, question, or comments about this article.

About the Author
Shailendra Chauhan works as Sr. Software Engineer at reputed MNC and has more than 5 years of hand over Microsoft .NET technologies. He is a .NET Consultant and is the founder & chief editor of www.dotnet-tricks.com and www.dotnetinterviewtricks.com blogs. He is an author of books ASP.NET MVC Interview Questions and Answers & LINQ Interview Questions and Answers.
He loves to work with web applications and mobile apps using Microsoft technology including ASP.NET, MVC, C#, SQL Server, WCF, Web API, Entity Framework,Cloud Computing, Windows Azure, jQuery, jQuery Mobile, Knockout.js, Angular.js and many more web technologies. More...
 
 
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