MVC vs MVVM: Key Differences With Examples

What to choose for your next iOS project: MVC or MVVM? Find out key differences between these frameworks, with pros, cons and examples.

MVC vs MVVM: Key Differences With Examples

Did you know that every time you use a website or app, you’re actually interacting with something like a digital blueprint? These blueprints, called design patterns, help developers build and manage these sites and apps more easily. They’re like a set of instructions for organizing all the code that makes everything work efficiently.

Think of it this way: Imagine you’re putting together a jigsaw puzzle. Instead of just randomly putting pieces together, you follow a plan that tells you where each piece goes. Design patterns work the same way for websites and apps, making sure everything is structured with utmost accuracy and is easy to maintain.

In this blog, we’ll explore the MVC vs MVVM design patterns and how they make our favorite websites and apps run smoothly. 

So, let’s jump in!

What is MVC Framework Architecture?


MVC, short for Model View Controller architecture, serves as the backbone of countless websites and apps you use regularly. It splits the code into three main parts: the Model, the View, and the Controller.

MVC Pattern:

Let’s take the example of an E-commerce website and break down the three key parts in simple terms.

  • Model: 

Picture the Model as the brain of the operation. It’s where all the data and logic live. So, if you’re browsing through a list of products on an e-commerce site, the Model would contain all the information about those products, like their names, prices, and descriptions.

  • View: 

The View is what you actually see on the screen. So, when you’re looking at that same e-commerce site, the View would be the page layout, the buttons you click, and the images of the products.

  • Controller: 

Lastly, we have the Controller, which directs everything behind the scenes. It takes input from the user (like clicking a button or filling out a form) and tells the Model and View what to do. So, when you add a product to your cart on the e-commerce site, the Controller will handle that action and update both the Model (adding the product to your cart) and the View (showing the updated cart).

When to use MVC?

We use the MVC framework architecture when our screen follows a One-Direction-Flow of actions. Here, every user action affects the Model, but the outcome doesn’t directly change what the user sees (the UI). Similarly, if our screen needs to connect with the Model layer, Model View Controller enters as the middleman, helping the UI and the Model communicate with each other effectively.

How to use MVC?

To use MVC, follow a few simple steps:

  • Make model classes for data and logic.
  • Create views for the interface.
  • Build controllers to manage user actions and connect models with views.
  • Keep controllers focused on user actions, not too much on business logic.

Features of MVC:

  • It helps create user-friendly URLs that are easily discoverable, making the website more accessible.
  • Developers can customize and manage the HTML and URLs in the app, giving them complete control over how things look and work.
  • This framework divides tasks into Model, View, and Controller, keeping things well organized between UI, logic, and input.
  • Supports Test Driven Development (TDD).

Advantages of MVC:

  • It uses a front controller pattern, handling web application requests through a single controller.
  • It’s perfect for web applications that support large teams of developers and designers.
  • Developing various parts at the same time makes it simpler to cater to new types of clients.

Disadvantages of MVC:

  • It’s a bit tricky to use MVC with the modern user interface (UI).
  • It’s tough to reuse and test because the components are working independently.
  • MVC framework requires careful planning to maintain proper separation of components.

Moving on, let’s explore the MVVM framework architecture in detail.

Choose iOS app development services wisely

Mobile Sport App by Shakuro

What is MVVM Framework Architecture?


MVVM framework, short for Model-View-ViewModel, is an extension of the MVC pattern and it usually makes user interfaces simpler by utilizing an event-driven setup. This framework came into existence after 2005 and helps develop graphical UIs from the backend while also supporting test-driven development for business logic. This means the View isn’t tied to any particular model platform.

MVVM Pattern:

Simply put, this architecture framework allows the View and ViewModel to communicate with each other using two-way data binding and commands. The ViewModel then creates a simplified version of the Model specifically for the View, so the View doesn’t have to deal with all the complex details.

Here’s a detailed explanation of each component:

  • Model: 

This is where the data and the main logic of the application live. Think of it as the brain behind it all.

  • View: 

This is what users see and interact with, like buttons, text fields, and images. It’s the part of the app that you can see and touch.

  • ViewModel: 

ViewModel is like a messenger between the Model and the View. It retrieves data from the Model and prepares it for the View to display. It also handles any user interactions and sends the user’s actions back to the Model.

When to use MVVM?

MVVM is great for large-scale projects with complicated user interfaces and for projects that need thorough unit testing. It helps keep things organized and also makes it easier to test just the ViewModel’s logic on its own.

How to use MVVM?

  • Define your model classes or structs, in the same way as you would do it in MVC.
  • Create your view classes or storyboards, sticking to the MVC pattern.
  • Build your ViewModel classes, which provide the properties and methods the View needs to connect to. They will also handle user interactions and update the Model accordingly.

Features of MVVM

  • MVVM is made for desktop applications that use data binding, specifically with XAML and the INotifyPropertyChanged interface.
  • When you need to change something in the ViewModel, it makes use of an observer pattern.
  • MVVM is mostly used in technologies like WPF, Silverlight, and nRoute.

Advantages of MVVM:

  • Organizes the application code into separate modules for better management.
  • MVVM separates the business logic from the view for a neat code structure.
  • Lets the model work without being tied to the view which in turn improves flexibility.
  • MVVM allows large teams to work together on the same projects very easily.

Disadvantages of MVVM:

  • This framework is not ideal for simple, small applications.
  • If views are used elsewhere, the presenter might end up with lots of functions that aren’t really required.
  • The presenter and view being so closely linked can make them highly interdependent.
Cost of app maintenance

Mobile Banking App by Conceptzilla

MVC vs MVVM – Key Differences between MVC and MVVM

Now that we’ve covered what is MVC and what is MVVM in great detail, let’s explore some of the key differences between MVC vs MVVM.

  • Patterns:

The MVC framework splits an app into 3 main components: Model, View, and Controller. Meanwhile, MVVM helps separate graphical user interface development using markup language or GUI code.

  • Data binding:

MVC doesn’t inherently support data binding, whereas MVVM uses two-way data binding to automatically update the View when the data changes.

  • Responsibilities:

In MVC, the controller manages the user input and connects the Model with the View. On the other hand, in MVVM, the ViewModel connects the Model with View and tackles presentation logic.

  • Testing

In MVC, you can test the Model without involving the user. With MVVM, the testing is pretty straightforward, and the code responds to events.

  • Complexity

MVC is comparatively simpler to use and straightforward, which is suitable for smaller projects. On the other hand, MVVM adds more layers, which makes it better suited to larger projects with complex interfaces and data binding needs.


Choosing between MVC vs MVVM isn’t just a matter of personal preference- it’s about picking the right tool for the job.

If you’re working on a smaller project with simpler needs, MVC’s straightforward approach might be just what you need. But for large-scale projects with more complex parts, MVVM’s extra layers and features, like automatic updates and easier testing, can be a game-changer.

In the end, it’s all about finding the best fit for your project’s size, complexity, and team skills. 

So, whether you’re sticking to MVC or giving MVVM a fair shot, the goal is the same: building software that works well, is easy to maintain, and adapts to your needs.

And if you ever need assistance with your project, don’t hesitate to reach out to Shakuro! Contact us today to discuss your needs and explore how we can help you.

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Written by Mary Moore

May 28, 2024

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