Presentation on theme: "MVVM: Filling the Pattern Gap in Silverlight Application Development Bart McDonough Principal Consultant Incline Technical Group."— Presentation transcript:
MVVM: Filling the Pattern Gap in Silverlight Application Development Bart McDonough Principal Consultant Incline Technical Group
Bart McDonough Principal Consultant, Incline Technical Group Specialize primarily in SharePoint (MCTS) but also work a lot with Silverlight and ASP.NET Introduced to MVVM in mid 2009 while developing commercial Silverlight application Avid hiker and skier!
Quick Poll I read somewhere that polls make presentations more interesting…
What I’m Covering Overview of MVVM MVVM Break-down (M, V, VM) Implementing MVVM Testing with MVVM MVVM Frameworks Questions are welcome any time during the presentation!
About the Demo App The “Book Club” application Originally developed by John Papa – Sr. Technical Evangelist at Microsoft – Check out his blog at johnpapa.netjohnpapa.net Was created to demonstrate various concepts in Silverlight such as RIA Services and MVVM I grabbed it from Papa’s blog, tweaked the UI, and added some basic unit tests
What is MVVM? Model-View-ViewModel Belongs to a class of patterns known as “presentation” patterns – Same class of patterns as MVC & MVP – Adapted from the “Presentation Model” pattern Goals – Cleanly separate application logic from the UI (the “view”) – Make “multi-role” development easier – Make it easier to test, maintain, and reuse code – Leverage core capabilities of WPF & Silverlight like data binding, templates, commands, and behaviors
Just in Case You Care… John Gossman, a WPF/Silverlight architect at Microsoft, is credited with creating MVVM back in 2005 Originally created for WPF and was later adapted for Silverlight
Why was MVVM Created? Created in response to WPF/Silverlight – Multiple roles (designers and developers) may work in parallel on different pieces of the same application – Desire to leverage core capabilities in these new technologies But what about the “pattern gap?” – Traditional presentation patterns (e.g. MVC & MVP) are developer-centric, creating a “gap” when designers are involved – Also, those patterns weren’t designed with WPF/Silverlight capabilities in mind
Can I See a Pretty Picture? Sure, here you go… View (XAML) ViewModel Data Binding and Commands/ Behaviors Model Notifies view of changes (INotifyPropertyChanged or INotifyCollectionChanged)
MVVM - Model Domain object (representation of your business data) May contain validation (e.g. data annotations used with RIA Services) May be directly exposed in view model for binding – In which case it needs to implement the usual binding interfaces
Example of Models XML data file List of Employee records being submitted to a WCF service LINQ to SQL entity retrieved from a database Contact record (POCO object)
MVVM - View Defines structure and appearance of what user sees on screen – Examples: Window, page, user control, or data template In MVVM, views should be expressed primarily in XAML – Code-behind contains only InitializeComponent() plus UI code that’s impractical to represent in XAML or requires direct references to UI controls
MVVM - View Model “Glue” between model and view Presentation logic and view state No direct reference to view Notifies view of property/state changes Essentially consists of code that would typically be found in code-behind + logic involving loading, saving, and preparing model data for display Typically calls into some sort of service layer to load/save model data (e.g. WCF)
Benefits of MVVM Separation of concerns Developers and designers can coexist in harmony Makes unit testing easier Reduces repetitive/mundane code by using data binding Improves maintenance and scalability
Some Typical Concerns What about navigating between pages/views? How do I allow one view model to communicate with another? What about my services for loading/saving data? How do I hook into those? All of these can be addressed while still maintaining separation of concerns
Addressing the Concerns Navigating Between Views – Navigation “Service” VM-to-VM Communication – Loosely coupled messaging (publish/subscribe model) Hooking into Services – View models should not contain service logic (WCF calls, etc.) – Break out services into their own classes – Can further abstract with a “provider” that allows a live service to be “swapped out” at design/test time
“Religious” Questions These tend to spark a lot of debate… – Where’s the “dividing line” between the view and the view model? What code goes in each? – Must the code-behind file be 100% empty except for the call to InitializeComponent()? – “Chicken and the egg” – a.k.a. the view and the view model – which comes first? Does the view instantiate the view model or the other way around?
LET’S DIVE IN: IMPLEMENTING MVVM
Demo Let’s examine: – How the view model is hooked into the view – The role of a view model “locator” class – How navigation and services are tied in with the view model – How we implement INotifyPropertyChanged
Dealing with Interactivity Silverlight 4 introduces support 1 for the ICommand interface – Supported on ButtonBase class (and therefore all controls that derive from it) and HyperlinkButton – Members CanExecute (property) CanExecuteChanged (event) Execute() What about other controls that don’t natively support ICommand ? 1 ICommand was present in Silverlight 3 as well, but no controls natively supported it. Therefore, it wasn’t very useful unless you wrote code to support it yourself or used a 3 rd -party framework.
Behaviors Introduced with Expression Blend 3 A “behavior” is a reusable piece of interactivity that can be applied to a UI element InvokeCommandAction – System.Windows.Interactivity DLL – Comes with Expression Blend 3 or 4 EventToCommand – Comes with MVVM Light Toolkit – Can be added to any FrameworkElement Downside is these involve extra markup and additional DLL references
Behaviors, Cont. Silverlight 5 introduces custom markup extensions, which will allow you to do the same thing in one line of XAML with no additional DLL references Meanwhile, here’s a good rule of thumb for Silverlight 4 (courtesy of John Papa) – Use a command if it’s available – Otherwise, use a behavior
Why Commands/Behaviors? In MVVM, the goal is for the view model to contain logic that is “invoked” from the UI – Traditionally, this would’ve been the job of the code-behind file Commands and behaviors allow us to achieve this – They “directly” connect the UI and view model, bypassing code-behind
Demo Let’s examine: – Commands How are they registered, and how are they used? – Behaviors How does a behavior look in XAML compared to a command?
Unit Testing with MVVM Silverlight Unit Test Framework – Available as part of the MS Silverlight Toolkit (CodePlex) – The toolkit uses the framework for its own unit tests – Severely under-documented, so take a look at the toolkit’s own unit tests Nifty Features – Can be run directly within the browser – Tests can be “tagged” – Support for testing asynchronous calls
Demo Let’s examine: – How to create a Silverlight unit test project – How some simple unit tests might look – How to run the tests
Unit Testing, Cont. Could also use a “mocking” framework such as Moq – Could also use a unit test automation framework like StatLight –
How a Non-Async Run Looks Diagram from Jeff Wilcox’s blog:
How an Async Run Looks Diagram from Jeff Wilcox’s blog:
When Should I Use MVVM? When it makes sense – weigh the time and cost against the benefits You don’t have to use MVVM on every single Silverlight project – Remember, it was conceived with large- scale “multi-role” projects in mind – Could be overkill for super simple UIs However, using it even just a little bit can reap some benefits
Remember… You need to know XAML MVVM relies heavily on data binding – You need to understand how data binding works, especially in XAML Patience is recommended – For debugging data binding issues – However, this will get better in Silverlight 5 There is no single “right way” to do MVVM… it’s a pattern, not an implementation
Frameworks Caliburn MVVM Light Toolkit Calcium Prism 4.0 – Microsoft’s Patterns and Practices library for Silverlight and WPF – Not an “MVVM framework” but includes components and guidance that aid in implementing MVVM Onyx (WPF Only) Onyx WPF Toolkit (Obviously WPF Only) WPF Toolkit – Includes WPF Model-View-ViewModel Toolkit
Contact Information Bart McDonough Blog Blog: doseofdotnet.wordpress.comdoseofdotnet.wordpress.com Twitter Twitter: Company Company: