Introduction to the MVC Design Pattern

Overview of design pattern background

Design patterns are predefined and reusable object-oriented solutions for different types of problems. Design pattern concepts were introduced in 1993 by Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, and John Vlissides. They presented their twenty-three design patterns in the book titled Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software. There are three different types of design patterns, which are as follows:

  • Behavioral patterns: These are used to define how objects interact with each other. They provide a way to communicate between objects and coordinate their actions.

  • Structural patterns: These are used to arrange objects into a coherent structure. They provide a way to group objects and define their relationships with each other.

  • Creational patterns: These are used to create objects. They provide a way to encapsulate the process of creating objects, making it easier to create and maintain code.

Design pattern categorization
Design pattern categorization

Introduction to MVC components

Plenty of software applications include desktop, mobile, and web applications based on different design pattern-based approaches. Considering the web applications-based framework, MVC is the most demanding configured design pattern.

MVC can be described as software architecture that separates software into three distinct main logical components: the model, the view, and the controller.

  • Models: These have access to a database and represent application data and business logic.

  • Views: These are directly linked with the client side. Views are responsible for presenting structured information to the user.

  • Controller: This handles most of the business logic of the system. It receives user input and communicates with the model accordingly.

Because it helps software engineers keep their code structured and preserved, the MVC pattern is a popular choice for web developers. It also makes testing the application easier because every element can be examined independently.

Benefits of using the MVC pattern

  • Separation of concerns: When the MVC design pattern is used, the software is split into three logical parts: the model, the view, and the controller. Because each component is in charge of one particular activity, the code is simpler to comprehend, maintain, and test.

  • Scalability of complex systems: It gets harder for an application to expand as the system increases. Applications that are complicated and constantly expanding work well with the MVC approach. The three components can each be scaled independently, allowing us to increase performance or introduce new features without affecting the other two.

  • Testability: It is simple to test the application, thanks to the MVC design. It’s simpler to identify and correct faults when each component can be tested independently.

MVC usage in web-based applications

The MVC is a design pattern that’s mostly utilized by web developers to effectively structure and monitor the various components of a website. Developing and maintaining the website becomes easier because it segregates the user interface, logic, and data into distinct components.

  • The view can be used to receive input from the controllers as well as to transmit requests to them, such as a web page that displays the user’s account information.

  • The model manipulates database table instances, and it can represent the user’s account information, such as their name, email address, and password.

  • The controller acts as a delegation between the other components. It can handle user input, such as when the user opens a button to update their account information.

MVC pattern overview
MVC pattern overview

MVC pattern’s possible issues

The MVC pattern is frequently used in designing web applications, but it can contain certain limitations. These include the following:

  • The utilization of the MVC pattern might lead to increased complexity in the application, particularly if we lack familiarity with it.

  • The MVC pattern needs communication among the model, view, and controller, which requires extra effort. Poorly executed, these three components can significantly slow down our application due to the additional workload involved.

  • The MVC pattern can make it hard to fix problems, especially if the three parts aren’t separated well. The applicability of the MVC pattern varies depending on the situation. In the case of small apps or those with minimal separation requirements, the MVC pattern might not be the best choice.