In this article I will explain with an example, how to upload, read and display Excel file data using WebGrid in ASP.Net MVC Razor.
The uploaded Excel file data will be read using OLEDB library into a DataSet and then the DataSet will be used to populate WebGrid in ASP.Net MVC Razor.
Note: For beginners in ASP.Net MVC, please refer my article ASP.Net MVC Hello World Tutorial with Sample Program example.
Connection Strings
The Excel files of version 97-2003 and 2007 and above make use different OLEDB providers and hence two different connection strings have been saved in the Web.Config file.
The DataSource property has been assigned a Placeholder {0}, which will be replaced by actual path of the File.
    <add name="Excel03ConString" connectionString="Provider=Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0;Data Source={0};Extended Properties='Excel 8.0;HDR=YES'"/>
    <add name="Excel07ConString" connectionString="Provider=Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.12.0;Data Source={0};Extended Properties='Excel 8.0;HDR=YES'"/>
You will need to import the following namespaces.
using System.IO;
using System.Data;
using System.Data.OleDb;
using System.Configuration;
The Controller consists of two Action methods.
Action method for handling GET operation
Inside this Action method, simply the View is returned.
Action method for handling POST operation for uploading and reading Excel file
This Action method gets called when the Excel file is selected and the Import Button is clicked, and it gets the uploaded file in the HttpPostedFileBase parameter.
Note: In case the HttpPostedFileBase parameter is appearing NULL, then please refer the article, ASP.Net MVC: HttpPostedFileBase always returns NULL.
The uploaded Excel file is saved to a folder named Uploads and then based on its extension whether XLS (97-2003) or XLSX (2007 and above), appropriate connection string is read from the Web.Config file and Placeholder is replaced by the path of the Excel file.
Then a connection is established with the Excel file using OLEDB classes and the name of the first sheet is determined and the first sheet data is read into a DataSet.
Finally, the DataSet is returned to the View.
public class HomeController : Controller
    // GET: Home
    public ActionResult Index()
        return View();
    public ActionResult Index(HttpPostedFileBase postedFile)
        DataSet ds = new DataSet();
        string filePath = string.Empty;
        if (postedFile != null)
            string path = Server.MapPath("~/Uploads/");
            if (!Directory.Exists(path))
            filePath = path + Path.GetFileName(postedFile.FileName);
            string extension = Path.GetExtension(postedFile.FileName);
            string conString = string.Empty;
            switch (extension)
                case ".xls": //Excel 97-03.
                    conString = ConfigurationManager.ConnectionStrings["Excel03ConString"].ConnectionString;
                case ".xlsx": //Excel 07 and above.
                    conString = ConfigurationManager.ConnectionStrings["Excel07ConString"].ConnectionString;
            conString = string.Format(conString, filePath);
            using (OleDbConnection connExcel = new OleDbConnection(conString))
                using (OleDbCommand cmdExcel = new OleDbCommand())
                    using (OleDbDataAdapter odaExcel = new OleDbDataAdapter())
                        cmdExcel.Connection = connExcel;
                        //Get the name of First Sheet.
                        DataTable dtExcelSchema;
                        dtExcelSchema = connExcel.GetOleDbSchemaTable(OleDbSchemaGuid.Tables, null);
                        string sheetName = dtExcelSchema.Rows[0]["TABLE_NAME"].ToString();
                        //Read Data from First Sheet.
                        cmdExcel.CommandText = "SELECT * From [" + sheetName + "]";
                        odaExcel.SelectCommand = cmdExcel;
        return View(ds);
Inside the View, the DataSet is declared as Model for the View.
Uploading Excel File
The View consists of an HTML FileUpload element and a Submit Button enclosed in a Form element.
The HTML Form has been created using the Html.BeginForm method which accepts 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.
HtmlAttributes – This array allows to specify the additional Form Attributes. Here we need to specify enctype = “multipart/form-data” which is necessary for uploading Files.
Displaying Excel file data
The Excel file data is displayed using WebGrid.
The WebGrid is initialized with the Dynamic Anonymous Type collection by making use of LINQ i.e. the records from the DataTable are converted into Dynamic Anonymous Type collection and are assigned to the WebGrid.
The WebGrid is created using the GetHtml method with the following parameters.
HtmlAttributes – It is used to set the HTML attributes to the HTML Table generated by WebGrid such as ID, Name, Class, etc.
Columns – It is used to specify the columns to be displayed in WebGrid and also allows to set specific Header Text for the columns.
@using System.Data
@using System.Linq
@model DataSet
    Layout = null;
<!DOCTYPE html>
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width"/>
    @using (Html.BeginForm("Index", "Home", FormMethod.Post, new { enctype = "multipart/form-data" }))
        <input type="file" name="postedFile"/>
        <input type="submit" value="Import"/>
    @if (Model != null)
        WebGrid webGrid = new WebGrid(source: (from p in Model.Tables[0].AsEnumerable()
                                               select new
                                                   Id = p.Field<object>("Id").ToString(),
                                                   Name = p.Field<object>("Name").ToString(),
                                                   Country = p.Field<object>("Country").ToString()
                                               }), canSort: false, canPage: false);
        htmlAttributes: new { @id = "WebGrid" },
        columns: webGrid.Columns(
                webGrid.Column("Id", "Id"),
                webGrid.Column("Name", "Name"),
                webGrid.Column("Country", "Country")));
The Excel File
Upload, Read and Display Excel file data using WebGrid in ASP.Net MVC
WebGrid displaying Excel data
Upload, Read and Display Excel file data using WebGrid in ASP.Net MVC