In this article I will explain with an example, how to implement Bootstrap AutoComplete TextBox using jQuery TypeAhead plugin in ASP.Net MVC.
The jQuery Bootstrap AutoComplete TextBox data will be populated from SQL Server database using Entity Framework in ASP.Net MVC.
Note: For beginners in ASP.Net MVC, please refer my article ASP.Net MVC Hello World Tutorial with Sample Program example.
This article makes use of Bootstrap version 3.
Here I am making use of Microsoft’s Northwind Database. You can download it from here.
Creating an Entity Data Model
The very first step is to create an ASP.Net MVC Application and connect it to the Northwind Database using Entity Framework.
Note: For more details on how to configure and connect Entity Framework to database, please refer my article ASP.Net MVC: Simple Entity Framework Tutorial with example.
Following is the Entity Data Model of the Customers Table of the Northwind Database which will be used later in this project.
Bootstrap AutoComplete TextBox using jQuery TypeAhead plugin in ASP.Net MVC
The Controller consists of following Action methods.
Action method for handling GET operation
Inside this Action method, simply the View is returned.
Action method for handling the jQuery AutoComplete
This Action method accepts a parameter named “prefix” and the records from the Customers Table are matched with the prefix and are fetched using the Entity Framework.
The fetched records are then filtered and returned back to the View as JSON.
Action method for handling POST operation
This Action method handles the Form submission and displays the Name and CustomerId of the selected item in Bootstrap AutoComplete TextBox using ViewBag object.
Note: For more details on displaying message from Controller to View, please refer my article Display (Pass) String Message from Controller to View in ASP.Net MVC.
public class HomeController : Controller
    // GET: Home
    public ActionResult Index()
        return View();
    public JsonResult AutoComplete(string prefix)
        NorthwindEntities entities = new NorthwindEntities();
        var customers = (from customer in entities.Customers
                            where customer.ContactName.StartsWith(prefix)
                            select new
                                label = customer.ContactName,
                                val = customer.CustomerID
        return Json(customers);
    public ActionResult Index(string CustomerName, string CustomerId)
        ViewBag.Message = "CustomerName: " + CustomerName + " CustomerId: " + CustomerId;
        return View();
The View consists of an HTML Form which has been created using the Html.BeginForm method with the following parameters.
ActionName – Name of the Action. In this case the name is Index.
ControllerName – Name of the Controller. In this case the name is Home.
FormMethod – It specifies the Form Method i.e. GET or POST. In this case it will be set to POST.
The View also consists of:
TextBox – For capturing Name of the customer.
The TextBox has been assigned with an autocomplete property set to off which is used to prevent unwanted suggestion i.e. manually typed name which is not present in Customers table.
Note: Some browser my ignore autocomplete property or provide different autocomplete suggestion based on their algorithms and user’s browsing history.
HiddenField – For capturing selected CustomerId of the selected customer.
Button – For displaying selected Name and CustomerId of the selected customer.
Implementing TypeAhead Plugin
Inside the HTML, the following Bootstrap 3 CSS files are inherited.
1. examples.css
2. bootstrap.min.css
And then, the following jQuery, Bootstrap 3 and TypeAhead JS scripts files are inherited.
1. jquery.min.js
2. bootstrap.min.js
3. bootstrap3-typeahead.min.js
The Bootstrap jQuery TypeAhead AutoComplete plugin has been applied to the TextBox.
The TextBox has been applied with the following Bootstrap jQuery TypeAhead AutoComplete plugin:
minLength – For setting minimum character length needed for suggestions to be rendered. Here it is set to 1.
source – Inside this function, a jQuery AJAX call is made to the Controller’s AutoComplete Action method and the list of customers returned acts as source of data to the Bootstrap jQuery TypeAhead AutoComplete.
The data received from the server is processed inside the jQuery AJAX call success event handler. A FOR EACH loop is executed for each received item in the list of items and then an object with text part in the name property and value part in the id property is returned.
updater – When an item is selected from the List of the Bootstrap jQuery TypeAhead AutoComplete, then the updater event handler is triggered which saves the CustomerId of the selected item in the ASP.Net HiddenField control.
    Layout = null;
<!DOCTYPE html>
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width" />
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="" />
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="" media="screen" />
    <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
    <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
    <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
    <script type="text/javascript">
        $(function () {
                minLength: 1,
                source: function (request, response) {
                        url: '/Home/AutoComplete/',
                        data: "{ 'prefix': '" + request + "'}",
                        dataType: "json",
                        type: "POST",
                        contentType: "application/json; charset=utf-8",
                        success: function (data) {
                            items = [];
                            map = {};
                            $.each(data, function (i, item) {
                                var id = item.val;
                                var name = item.label;
                                map[name] = { id: id, name: name };
                            $(".dropdown-menu").css("height", "auto");
                        error: function (response) {
                        failure: function (response) {
                updater: function (item) {
                    return item;
    @using (Html.BeginForm("Index", "Home", FormMethod.Post))
        <input type="text" id="txtCustomer" name="CustomerName" class="form-control" autocomplete="off" style="width:300px" />
        <input type="hidden" id="hfCustomer" name="CustomerId" />
        <br />
        <input type="submit" id="btnSubmit"value="Submit" />
        <br />
        <br />
Bootstrap AutoComplete TextBox using jQuery TypeAhead plugin in ASP.Net MVC

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