The view system of ASP.NET MVC knows the followings types of views:
- Master views
- Page views
- Partial views
The regular page view contains the specific html and presentation of data for each rendered page. For html shared by multiple pages - like navigation, header and footer - every page has a master page.
Both of these types can include partial views for small parts, that can be reused from multiple views. For example page navigation for display of results covering multiple pages, or widgets. Even if they're not reused it is useful to separate parts of your page view or master view to partial views, to keep the (master) view itself comprehensible and maintainable.
For using partial views in the master view we have a special way to provide them with data (which is sometimes specific to the page requested, like which menu item is active). This is explained in the future part Poor Man's RenderAction.