TextBoxFor value not passed to model

Hello, I have the following in my view:

       @Html.TextBoxFor(m => m.LastName, new { @class = "filterInput" })

The user supplies a value and clicks:

@Html.ActionLink("Export to Excel", "ExportToExcel")

Which gets data from the model and then exports the data to excel:

 public void ExportToExcel(PortalAccountMappingModel model)
        {
            var data = model.GetExport();
            ExportHelper.ExportExcel();
        }


In the  model.GetExport(); I pass the value to filter data and return what I need to export.

But the model is not being updated to reflect what the user entered in the TextBoxFor so my data does not get filtered.

Why is that? Is it because I'm not doing an ActionResult and the view never updates the model when the user enters data into the TextBoxFor?
Scott BaldridgeAsked:
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inxniCommented:
Instead of return Json, try return a View and pass json data as model.
Like this
return View("ViewName", jsondata);

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inxniCommented:
Looks like you want to post data to a form but Html.ActionLink only generates a link, it doesn't post values to form. Change it to button and mark your method with HttpPost.

In case you really want to use ActionLink to post, try see here
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Scott BaldridgeAuthor Commented:
Thanks for responding inxni!
I'm new to MVC and having a hard time figuring out how to deal with this situation. I have a jqgrid in the view which is populated when the view is loaded. There is a search button that allows the user to filter results for the grid. I need to add an additional button to export the grid to excel.
After trying several changes to the [HttpPost] for the view I can't get it to initially load the grid, allow searching/filtering and also allow export.

How can I change the  [HttpPost] to allow for all these functions?

//View
@using (Html.BeginForm())
{
<div class="divImportButton" title="@Resources.Admin_PortalAccountsMapping_ImportLabel">
    <input type="button" value="@Resources.Admin_PortalAccountsMapping_ImportLabel" class="btnImport" />
    <input type="button" value="Export to Excel" />
 </div>

<div class="criteriaContainer">
    
        @Html.LabelFor(m => m.AccountCode, Resources.Admin_PortalAccountsMapping_AccountCode)
        @Html.TextBoxFor(m => m.AccountCode, new { @class = "filterInput" })

        @Html.LabelFor(m => m.AccountName, Resources.Admin_PortalAccountsMapping_AccountName)
        @Html.TextBoxFor(m => m.AccountName, new { @class = "filterInput" })

        @Html.LabelFor(m => m.CustomerName, Resources.Admin_PortalAccountsMapping_CustomerName)
        @Html.TextBoxFor(m => m.CustomerName, new { @class = "filterInput" })

        @Html.LabelFor(m => m.FirstName, Resources.Admin_PortalAccountsMapping_FirstName)
        @Html.TextBoxFor(m => m.FirstName, new { @class = "filterInput" })

        @Html.LabelFor(m => m.LastName, Resources.Admin_PortalAccountsMapping_LastName)
        @Html.TextBoxFor(m => m.LastName, new { @class = "filterInput" })

        @Html.LabelFor(m => m.OnlyAccountWithoutMapping, Resources.Admin_PortalAccountsMapping_OnlyAccountsWithoutMapping)
        @Html.SimpleCheckBoxFor(m => m.OnlyAccountWithoutMapping)

        <input type="submit" value="@Resources.Common_Search" name="button" /> 
</div>
}

@Html.Partial("~/Views/Partial/JqGridView.cshtml", Model.Grid)


//Controller
 [HttpGet]
        [CaseDBAuthorization(PermissionType.PortalAccountsMapping)]
        public ActionResult PortalAccountMapping()
        {
            return View(new PortalAccountMappingModel());
        }

        [HttpPost]
        [CaseDBAuthorization(PermissionType.PortalAccountsMapping)]
        public ActionResult PortalAccountMapping(PortalAccountMappingModel model)
        {
            if (IsJqGrid)
            {
                UpdateModel(model.Grid.UpdateParams);
                return Json(model.GetRows());
            }
            else return null;
        }


//Export code
            var data = model.GetExport();
            ExportHelper.ExportExcel(data, Constants.PORTAL_ACCOUNT_MAPPING_REPORT_NAME, typeof(PortalAccountMappingReportItem));

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Scott BaldridgeAuthor Commented:
I have changed my [HttpPost] and think I'm almost there! Everything seems to work except when doing a search the jqgrid does not load and the only thing showing in the view is the json data.
What am I doing wrong?
public ActionResult PortalAccountMapping(string button, PortalAccountMappingModel model)
        {
            if (IsJqGrid)
            {
                UpdateModel(model.Grid.UpdateParams);
                return Json(model.GetRows());
            }
            else if (button == "Export to Excel")
            {
                var data = model.GetExport();
                ExportHelper.ExportExcel(data, Constants.PORTAL_ACCOUNT_MAPPING_REPORT_NAME, typeof(PortalAccountMappingReportItem));
                return null;
            }
            else if (button == "Search")
            {
                UpdateModel(model.Grid.UpdateParams);
                return Json(model.GetRows());
            }
            else return null;
        }

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