ASP.NET MVC Razor and Ternary/Conditional Operators or Other Compound Expressions

Many times we have areas of an MVC Razor view that displays based upon some condition. For example, we may want show a placeholder message if we have a blank string. In this example, we use the C# ternary/conditional operator to test the message length and display a placeholder message if the original message has a length of zero.

[sourcecode language=”html”]<div id="someMessage">@(ViewBag.SomeMessage.Length > 0 ? ViewBag.SomeMessage : "No message to display")</div>[/sourcecode]

The key to this operation in Razor is to encapsulate the ternary/conditional operation, which is essentially a compound expression, in parentheses after the @ delimiter. In fact, you can pretty much encapsulate any compound expression in Razor using parentheses after the @ delimiter. This powerful feature allows for clean concise code in Razor views while providing powerful processing right inline in the view.

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