Configuration overview

DotVVM uses C# code to configure its features and settings. A typical DotVVM app needs to configure the following areas:

Configuration files

In the default project template, there are 2 files - Startup.cs and DotvvmStartup.cs:

  • Startup.cs is a main configuration of ASP.NET Core and OWIN applications. In this file, we need to register DotVVM services and middleware in the request pipeline.

  • DotvvmStartup.cs file contains DotVVM-specific configuration - routes, resources, and controls.


In ASP.NET Core, the registration of all frameworks is split to registration of services, and registration of middlewares.

In the ConfigureServices method, we need to register DotVVM services:


In the Configure method, we have to register the DotVVM middleware.

var config = app.UseDotVVM<DotvvmStartup>();

This extension method initializes the middlewares required by DotVVM.

The DotvvmStartup type argument of the AddDotVVM and UseDotVVM methods represents the class which contains DotVVM configuration.


The DotvvmStartup class must implement the IDotvvmStartup interface and contains the Configure method. There should be only one class implementing the IDotvvmStartup interface in the assembly.

DotvvmStartup also commonly implements the IDotvvmServiceConfigurator interface and has the ConfigureServices method which is responsible for registering DotVVM-related services. You can move the implementation into a separate class.

The default project template prepares this class in the structure below. We have also included examples of how to configure a route, custom control namespace and script resource.

public class DotvvmStartup : IDotvvmStartup, IDotvvmServiceConfigurator
    // IDotvvmStartup implementation

    public void Configure(DotvvmConfiguration config, string applicationPath)
        ConfigureRoutes(config, applicationPath);
        ConfigureControls(config, applicationPath);
        ConfigureResources(config, applicationPath);

    private void ConfigureRoutes(DotvvmConfiguration config, string applicationPath)
        config.RouteTable.Add("Default", "", "Views/default.dothtml");

        // Uncomment the following line to auto-register all dothtml files in the Views folder
        // config.RouteTable.AutoDiscoverRoutes(new DefaultRouteStrategy(config));    

    private void ConfigureControls(DotvvmConfiguration config, string applicationPath)
        // register code-only controls and markup controls
        config.Markup.AddCodeControls("cc", typeof(MyCustomControl));

    private void ConfigureResources(DotvvmConfiguration config, string applicationPath)
        // register custom resources and adjust paths to the built-in resources
        config.Resources.Register("myscript", new ScriptResource()
            Location = new FileResourceLocation("~/wwwroot/Scripts/myscript.js")

    // IDotvvmServiceConfigurator implementation

    public void ConfigureServices(IDotvvmServiceCollection services)
        // configure all DotVVM-related services


Please note that the Visual Studio Extension runs the Configure and ConfigureServices methods in the DotvvmStartup class during the project build process - this is needed so the IntelliSense can retrieve control, route, and resource names from your app.

Avoid registering any other things than routes, custom resources and custom controls in the Configure method. This method is executed during the project build in Visual Studio, so please don't launch rockets into Space in these methods. If you need to register or initialize anything else (e.g. initialize the database, create default users), do it in the Startup.cs, or anywhere else.

Debug mode

The DotvvmConfiguration object contains the Debug property which should be set to true in the development environment, and turned off in production.

If the Debug mode is enabled,

  • DotVVM displays a developer-friendly error page for all unhandled exceptions that occur
  • a non-minified versions of scripts is used, so the debugging is easier
  • validation errors are indicated using a red popup that appears in the top right corner of the page

The property is automatically set in ASP.NET Core based on IWebHostEnvironment.IsProduction().

In OWIN, you need to set the value yourself.

The typical setup that is present in default DotVVM OWIN project, looks like this:

private bool IsDebug()
    return true;
    return false;


app.UseDotVVM<DotvvmStartup>(applicationPhysicalPath, debug: IsDebug());

See also