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Switching between mobile and desktop hosts (ASP.NET MVC 4)

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ASP.NET MVC 4 comes with a bunch of new features including lots of features for mobile. Mobile features include Mobile Optimized Project Templates, Display Modes, View Switcher, Browser Overriding, etc. In addition to these features, you may need to use different hosts for mobile and desktop version of the site, because major websites already use a different host name, depending on the type of the invoking client. For example, twitter.com uses mobile.twitter.com for mobile and facebook.com uses m.facebook.com. In this article, I will show you how to use different host name for desktop and mobile.


First of all you need create a new ASP.NET MVC 4 application. Then, create a new RequestSwitcherAttribute.cs file and add the following lines in this file,

public class RequestSwitcherAttribute : ActionFilterAttribute
            string desktopHost, mobileHost;
            public RequestSwitcherAttribute(string desktopHost, string mobileHost)
                if (string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(desktopHost) || string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(mobileHost))
                    throw new ArgumentNullException("Host or MobileHost");
                this.desktopHost = desktopHost;
                this.mobileHost = mobileHost;
            public override void OnActionExecuting(ActionExecutingContext filterContext)
                var context = filterContext.HttpContext;
                var request = context.Request;
                var port = request.Url.Port;
                var host = request.UserHostName;
                var device = context.GetOverriddenBrowser();
                if ((device.IsMobileDevice && host != mobileHost) || (!device.IsMobileDevice && host != desktopHost))
                    string url = (request.IsSecureConnection ? "https://" : "http://") +
                                 (device.IsMobileDevice ? mobileHost : desktopHost) +
                                 ((port == 80 || port == 443)  ? "" : ":" + port) + request.RawUrl;
                    filterContext.Result = new RedirectResult(url);

This is an action filter which simply checks whether the request is coming from desktop or mobile. Then, it will compare the site's mobile/desktop host name with the current request host name. The filter will redirect the user to mobile/desktop host if the current request host name does not match with mobile/desktop host name.

Now just open global.asax.cs file and register this filter globally,

        public static void RegisterGlobalFilters(GlobalFilterCollection filters)
            filters.Add(new HandleErrorAttribute());
            filters.Add(new RequestSwitcherAttribute("::1", ""));

Note that for testing purpose, I have used ::1(localhost, loopback address) host name for desktop and host name for mobile. Feel free to replace it with your actual host name. When doing so, you need to map your desktop and mobile host dns name.


Lot of sites today uses different host name for desktop and mobile. In this article, I showed you how to let the mobile user to use mobile host and desktop user to use desktop host. Hopefully you will enjoy this article too.

Published at DZone with permission of Imran Baloch, author and DZone MVB. (source)

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)


Carl Cubillas replied on Sun, 2012/03/11 - 11:37pm

Nice post, will try out.

Imdadyano Yano replied on Tue, 2012/03/13 - 3:34am


Really nice article. I will try this on my own after reading and understanding it. I know MVC3 already. Do I need to learn MVC4 for this or it will do. NAy help on this will be appreciated. Can you tell me that is the above code applicable for both PC and mobile. Thanks once again for the information.

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