Introducing Arex388.AspNet.Mvc.Startup NuGet Package to Simulate ASP.NET Core's Startup.cs in Classic ASP.NET MVC Applications

It's been a while since I wrote anything on here because I've been busy out of my mind, but I recently made something that I want to share with everyone.

At my work, our main application is an ASP.NET MVC 5 app (5.2.7 to be exact). I use Ninject for dependency injection and it has been working well for ~6 years so far. That being said, I was having a very hard time getting AutoMapper's instance API registered with Ninject. I tried the example in AutoMapper's docs, but I couldn't get it to work. Because of this, I couldn't update to AutoMapper 9 where the static API no longer exists.

After spending a few days reading and researching how to get AutoMapper and Ninject to work I ran across a blog post from Scott Dorman about using the Microsoft.Extensions.DependencyInjection NuGet package with classic ASP.NET MVC apps. I tried implementing his example, but couldn't get it to work at all either.

After several more days of research, I stumbled onto a Gist from David Fowler where he takes a slightly different approach. I decided to give it a shot and this time it worked! Finally, I had a working code sample. From there I just messed around with it in a throw-away app to get the hang of it. Once I was satisfied I decided to extract it out into its own library so I could share it on NuGet.

Originally it was called Arex388.AspNet.Mvc.DependencyInjection, but as I progressed through it, I realized that using Owin I can make it essentially simulate ASP.NET Core's Startup.cs file, except it would all be in the Global.asax.cs. So the current version is a mix of code examples from David Fowler and Scott Dorman with some sprinkles of code from me here and there to glue it together.

How to Use

  1. Add the Arex388.AspNet.Mvc.Startup NuGet package.
  2. Change your Global.asax.cs to inherit from StartupApplication.
  3. Add [assembly: OwinStartup(typeof(YourNamespace.MvcApplication))] attribute to the namespace of your Global.asax.cs.
  4. Implement the Configure and ConfigureServices methods inherited from StartupApplication.

Here's a more complete example:

[assembly: OwinStartup(typeof(YourNamespace.MvcApplication))]
namespace YourNamespace {
    public class MvcApplication :
        StartupApplication {
        public void Application_Start() {
            //	Other setup and configuration code here...


		public override Configure(
			IAppBuilder app) {
			//	Add IAppBuilder configurations

        public override void ConfigureServices(
            IServiceCollection services) {
            var assembly = typeof(MvcApplication).Assembly;

            //	Add your controllers

            //	Add other services that have IServiceCollection extensions


As you can see it's very simple and easy, seems to "just work" and for me at least has helped me make sure my ~6 year old project is still keeping up with ASP.NET Core somehow.

And with that here's a delayed Christmas present to end off 2019! The source code is available on GitHub, and the package is available on NuGet.