What is the difference between “ActionResult” and “ViewResult”?

“ActionResult” is an abstract class while “ViewResult” derives from “ActionResult” class. “ActionResult” has several derived classes like “ViewResult” ,”JsonResult” , “FileStreamResult” and so on.

“ActionResult” can be used to exploit polymorphism and dynamism. So if you are returning different types of view dynamically “ActionResult” is the best thing. For example in the below code snippet you can see we have a simple action called as “DynamicView”. Depending on the flag (“IsHtmlView”) it will either return “ViewResult” or “JsonResult”.

public ActionResult DynamicView()
    if (IsHtmlView)
        return View(); // returns simple ViewResult
        return Json(); // returns JsonResult view