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How to Implement Sorting and Searching Functionality in Asp.Net MVC

Asp.Net MVC offers a very simple way to implementing sorting and searching functionality of the listed data. This complete process will be discussed in this article.

Create a class Student having two columns i.e. Name and age (Here this Student class is from our Data Context), this class will be used to list the data on our View page. If programmer is collecting data from database as in this article then he/she only needs to write query to collect data, otherwise programmer have to create a list of students to be shown on view.
public class Student
    {
        public string Name { get; set; }
        public string Age { get; set; }
    }

In our controller, create a new action that is passing a list of students to view as written below. This will get all the records of student saved in our database, convert them to list and then pass them to particular view.
public ActionResult SortSearch()
{
var students = dc.Student.ToList();
return View(students);
}

Replace this above code with the code written below, which will includes the sorting and searching functionality on the listed data.

public ActionResult SortSearch(string sortOrder, string searchText)
        {
            ViewBag.NameSortParm = String.IsNullOrEmpty(sortOrder) ? "name_desc" : "";
            ViewBag.AgeSortParm = sortOrder == "age" ? "age_desc" : "age";
            DataContext dc = new DataContext();

            var students = dc.Student.ToList();
            if (!String.IsNullOrEmpty(searchText))
                students = students.Where(a => a.Name.ToLower().Contains(searchText.ToLower())).ToList();
            switch (sortOrder)
            {
                case "name_desc": students = students.OrderByDescending(a => a.Name).ToList();
                    break;
                case "age": students = students.OrderBy(a => a.Age).ToList();
                    break;
                case "age_desc": students = students.OrderByDescending(a => a.Age).ToList();
                    break;
                default: students = students.OrderBy(a => a.Name).ToList();
                    break;
            }

            return View(students);
        }

In our view page start a loop that will show individual record as a row as shown. Include a textbox to input search text and replace the header code (<th></th>) with the code written here, means replace your view code with the code written here.

@using (Html.BeginForm())
{
    <div>
        Find by Name: @Html.TextBox("searchText")
        <input type="submit" value="Search" id="searchBtn"/>
    </div>
}
<table>
    <thead>
        <tr>
            <th>@Html.ActionLink("Name", "SortSearch", new { sortOrder = ViewBag.NameSortParm })</th>
            <th>@Html.ActionLink("Age", "SortSearch", new { sortOrder = ViewBag.AgeSortParm })</th>
        </tr>
    </thead>
    @foreach (var item in Model)
    {
        <tr>
            <td>@item.Name</td>
            <td>@item.Age</td>
        </tr>
    }
</table>

As you can see in the view code, the name of textbox and the parameter for search string in the action is same i.e. searchText, which will automatically get the value of text entered in the input textbox. The same may be noticed with table header’s viewbag parameter i.e. sortOrder.

Run this view and click on the Header’s, through which you want to sort this list. With a single click this list will sort (first ascending then descending order) as shown in the image.

How to Implement Sorting and Searching Functionality in Asp.Net MVC

Now write something in the search textbox (“h”) and click on Submit button, this will list only the data containing the entered text as shown:

How to Implement Sorting and Searching Functionality in Asp.Net MVC

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Binary Search Linear Search Works only on sorted items. such as  1,2,3,4,5,6  etc
Works on sorted as well as unsorted items. 12,4,5,3,2,1 etc Very efficient if the items are sorted Very efficient if the items are less and present in the beginning of the list. such as Suppose your list items are : 12,3,4,5,1 and you want to search 12 number then you get beginning in the list. Works well with arrays and not on linked lists. Works with arrays and linked lists.
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