Supporting inline editing with custom models (or view models) in Sitecore MVC

The following post will explain how to support inline editing with a custom model in Sitecore MVC. Note that this particular example does not take testing into account – data-fetching (specifically, FieldRenderer.Render()) will be used directly in the model, which is not necessarily good ASP.NET MVC practice.

If you are setting up Sitecore MVC to work with custom models, you might have something like this:

public class Car {
       public Item Item { get; set; }
       public string Name { get; set; }
}

At some point, that property is populated with data from Sitecore – whether that’s directly in the property get, or from a data repository.

If you want Page Editor support, you will eventually have to go through the Sitecore FieldRenderer pipeline. If we hardcode data-fetching into the model, it will look something like this:

public class Car {
       public Item Item { get; set; }
       public string Name { get
		{
			return FieldRenderer.Render("Name", this.Item)
		}
	}
}

However, if you render @Model.Name out to a view and switch to Page Editor mode, the additional HTML that the FieldRenderer.Render() pipeline outputs will be escaped.

To solve this, return the model properties that you wish to be editable as HtmlString. It may be that your actual model class only contains the raw value version of fields, and properties that need to be rendered are stored in a view model.

Model with raw values:

public class Car {
       public Item Item { get; set; }
       public string RawName { get
		{
			return Item.Fields["Name", Item];
		}
	}
}

View model with rendered values:

public class CarViewModel {
       public Item Item { get; set; }
       public HtmlString RenderedName { get
		{
			return FieldRenderer.Render("Name", this.Item)
		}
	}
}

Doing it this way means that any data manipulating (such as posting a form) can be done using the model raw values, and the rendered value can be tailored to the view where it is being used. For example, FeaturedCarViewModel might output exactly the same data as CarViewModel, but requires slightly different field parameters:

public class FeaturedCarViewModel {
       public Item Item { get; set; }
       public HtmlString RenderedName { get
		{
			return FieldRenderer.Render("Name", this.Item, "disable-web-editing=true")
		}
	}
}

By doing it this way, any information about how a field should be displayed is confined to view model rather than the model, which should just contain data.

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