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Archive for August 2010 MVC 2: Creating a SimpleValuesModelBinder

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I have been thinking about what it would take to make a custom model binder for the PayPal IPN service the past week or so, and tonight I finally had the chance to look into it. The goals is simple – I just want to pass the IPN form values to a model that has properties with different names. I don’t want to do any custom model binding, perhaps a small bit of string parsing but that’s about it.

I looked into model binding at the MSDN library, Steve Sanderson’s book, and the TekPub MVC series, they all were good, but what I wanted to do was simple. On thing I did get out of it was that I would need both a custom ModelBinder implementing IModelBinder and possibly a custom ValuesProvider as well.

Finally, I looked into the MVC source for the DefaultModelBinder to see how it worked and came up with pure gold. Here is the basic premise of the solution:

  • Create an abstract model binder class that uses the DefaultModelBinder class to do its work.
  • Leverage the NameValueCollectionValueProvider class to provide simple Key/Value pairs to the DefaultModelBinder .
  • Create a custom copy of the supplied ModelBindingContext that connects the binder and provider together.

Here’s the code with comments:

Code Snippet
//this allows for supplying values using a simple key/value pair collection
    ////all complicated binding set up is abstracted
    //DefaultModelBinder is used for ModelBinding
    //NameValueCollectionValueProvider is used as the ValueProvider
    public abstract class SimpleValuesModelBinder : IModelBinder

        protected abstract void AppendValues(ControllerContext controllerContext, NameValueCollection collection);

        public object BindModel(ControllerContext controllerContext, ModelBindingContext bindingContext)
            //first we want to call AppendValues
            //the collection is supplied to the SimpleValuesProvider
            //we use the NameValueCollectionValueProvider because it uses key/value pairs
            var collection = new NameValueCollection();
            AppendValues(controllerContext, collection);

            //create a custom binding context
            //we pass thru properties except the value provider
            //we use the new TestValueProvider here
            var customContext = new ModelBindingContext()
                ModelMetadata = bindingContext.ModelMetadata,
                ModelState = bindingContext.ModelState,
                PropertyFilter = bindingContext.PropertyFilter,
                ValueProvider = new NameValueCollectionValueProvider(collection, CultureInfo.CurrentCulture)

            //pass our custom binding context the default binding model and bind
            return new DefaultModelBinder().BindModel(controllerContext, customContext);



Creating a custom model binder from this class is very simple. Here is a simple class:

Code Snippet
public class TestModel
        public string Value { get; set; }

        public DateTime Current { get; set; }

… and here is custom binder using the abstract class above:

Code Snippet
public class TestModelBinder : SimpleValuesModelBinder

        protected override void AppendValues(ControllerContext controllerContext, NameValueCollection collection)
            collection["Value"] = Guid.NewGuid().ToString();

            collection["Current"] = DateTime.Now.ToString();

The resulting custom model binder is very simple. All you have to do is override one method, AppendValues, and your done. In this case I am supplying arbitrary values as a test, but you can leverage any values you want from the ControllerContext parameter.

Of course set up is easy too, MVC allows several ways to do this. For a test, I’ll just apply to a parameter in an action method.

Code Snippet
public ActionResult Index([ModelBinder(typeof(TestModelBinder))]TestModel Test)
            return Content(string.Format("Value: {0}; Current: {1}",Test.Value,Test.Current));


And the the less than glamorous result:


So, if your looking to do some simple value parsing this may help.


Written by Lynn Eriksen

August 22, 2010 at 4:16 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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IE 9 Preview 4 – How much HTML 5 support? Should it?

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I’ve been wondering how to get thru the hype of Html 5 support in IE 9. That’s not to say that the improvements they have made aren’t welcome – they very much are. But Html 5 is larger spec than just audio, video and canvas – and I’ve been wondering how broad Html 5 support goes.

I found a site called that will test your browser for HTML 5 support. How does IE 9 preview 4 fare?


That’s right – 96  out of 300? You say you want details? Here you go:


Related specifications


Clearly, while the IE team has done great work in bring IE forward with the IE 9 previews, clearly there is a lot more HTML left unsupported then currently in the latest preview. But should IE 9 have full HTML 5 support? Good question. If you take a look at the HTML 5 document at the W3C you’ll notice it’s “working draft” – the proposal in still flux. I would guess that MS is just expanding “de facto” standards support and hitting the highlights, where other features such as IndexDB, Web Applications, Html 5 Forms and other elements will come – eventually. But will they come in IE 9? Only MS knows the answer to that one. Let’s just hope we don’t have to wait three years until IE 10 to find out.

Written by Lynn Eriksen

August 5, 2010 at 10:09 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with