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model-view-controller (MVC)

In object-oriented programming development, model-view-controller (MVC) is the name of a methodology or design pattern for successfully and efficiently relating the user interface to underlying data models. The MVC pattern is widely used in program development with programming languages such as Java, Smalltalk, C, and C++.

The MVC pattern has been heralded by many developers as a useful pattern for the reuse of object code and a pattern that allows them to significantly reduce the time it takes to develop applications with user interfaces.

The model-view-controller pattern proposes three main components or objects to be used in software development:

  • A Model , which represents the underlying, logical structure of data in a software application and the high-level class associated with it. This object model does not contain any information about the user interface.
  • A View , which is a collection of classes representing the elements in the user interface (all of the things the user can see and respond to on the screen, such as buttons, display boxes, and so forth)
  • A Controller , which represents the classes connecting the model and the view, and is used to communicate between classes in the model and view.
This was last updated in March 2011
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