Render MVC PartialView into SignalR response

I would like to render a PartialView to an HTML string so I can return it to a SignalR ajax request.

Something like:

SignalR Hub (mySignalHub.cs)

public class mySignalRHub: Hub
    public string getTableHTML()
        return PartialView("_MyTablePartialView", GetDataItems()) // *How is it possible to do this*

Razor PartialView (_MyTablePartialView.cshtml)

@model IEnumerable<DataItem>

        @foreach (var dataItem in Model)

HTML (MySignalRWebPage.html)

    //Get HTML from SignalR function call
    var tableHtml = $.connection.mySignalRHub.getTableHTML();

    //Inject into div

<div id="tableContainer"></div>

My problem is that I can't seem to render a PartialView outside of a Controller. Is it even possible to render a PartialView outside of a Controller? It would be very nice to still be able to leverage the awesome HTML generating abilities that come with Razor.

Am I going about this all wrong? Is there another way?


Here, this is what I use in Controllers for ajax, I modified it a bit so it can be called from method instead of controller, method returnView renders your view and returns HTML string so you can insert it with JS/jQuery into your page when you recive it on client side:

  public static string RenderPartialToString(string view, object model, ControllerContext Context)
            if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(view))
                view = Context.RouteData.GetRequiredString("action");

            ViewDataDictionary ViewData = new ViewDataDictionary();

            TempDataDictionary TempData = new TempDataDictionary();

            ViewData.Model = model;

            using (StringWriter sw = new StringWriter())
                ViewEngineResult viewResult = ViewEngines.Engines.FindPartialView(Context, view);

                ViewContext viewContext = new ViewContext(Context, viewResult.View, ViewData, TempData, sw);

                viewResult.View.Render(viewContext, sw);

                return sw.GetStringBuilder().ToString();

        //"Error" should be name of the partial view, I was just testing with partial error view
        //You can put whichever controller you want instead of HomeController it will be the same
        //You can pass model instead of null
        private string returnView()
            var controller = new HomeController();
            controller.ControllerContext = new ControllerContext(HttpContext,new System.Web.Routing.RouteData(), controller);
            return RenderPartialToString("Error", null, new ControllerContext(controller.Request.RequestContext, controller));

I didn't test it on a Hub but it should work.

Probably the best choice is to use RazorEngine, as Wim is suggesting.

public class mySignalRHub: Hub
    public string getTableHTML()
        var viewModel = new[] { new DataItem { Value1 = "v1", Value2 = "v2" } };

        var template = File.ReadAllText(Path.Combine(

        return Engine.Razor.RunCompile(template, "templateKey", null, viewModel);

Further to the answer provided by @user1010609 above, I struggled through this as well and have ended up with a function that returns the rendered PartialView given a controller name, path to the view and model.

Takes account of the fact you don't have a controller and hence none of the usual state as coming from a SignalR event.

public static string RenderPartialView(string controllerName, string partialView, object model)
    var context = new HttpContextWrapper(System.Web.HttpContext.Current) as HttpContextBase;

    var routes = new System.Web.Routing.RouteData();
    routes.Values.Add("controller", controllerName);

    var requestContext = new RequestContext(context, routes);

    string requiredString = requestContext.RouteData.GetRequiredString("controller");
    var controllerFactory = ControllerBuilder.Current.GetControllerFactory();
    var controller = controllerFactory.CreateController(requestContext, requiredString) as ControllerBase;

    controller.ControllerContext = new ControllerContext(context, routes, controller);      

    var ViewData = new ViewDataDictionary();

    var TempData = new TempDataDictionary();

    ViewData.Model = model;

    using (var sw = new StringWriter())
        var viewResult = ViewEngines.Engines.FindPartialView(controller.ControllerContext, partialView);
        var viewContext = new ViewContext(controller.ControllerContext, viewResult.View, ViewData, TempData, sw);

        viewResult.View.Render(viewContext, sw);
        return sw.GetStringBuilder().ToString();

You would call it with something similar to:

RenderPartialView("MyController", "~/Views/MyController/_partialView.cshtml", model);

Have you thought about using a razor template engine like ? You can't use it to parse partial views but you can use it to parse razor templates, which are almost similar to partial views.

How about using the RazorEngineHost and RazorTemplateEngine. I found this nice article that might be what you're looking for. It's about hosting Razor outside of ASP.NET (MVC).

Based on the answers supplied to asimilar question below, I would suggest using


It returns an MvcHtmlString, which you should able to use as the content of your SignalR reponse. I have not tested this, however.

Stack Overflow Question: Is it possible to render a view outside a controller?

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