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Creating Testable Modules – Redux – Now Baked into the Core

This article is cross-posted from my personal blog.

A year or so ago I wrote a series of blog posts about building testable modules using the Model-View-Presenter (MVP) pattern.  The MVP pattern of development provides many of the benefits attributed to the Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern, which has become very popular recently as an alternative approach to ASP.NET development. 

You can have your cake and eat it too.

Its main strength though is that it retains most of the benefits of the WebForms Framework of rich controls, with which we are familiar. 

The MVP pattern achieves this by requiring the View (usually a UserControl or Page)which receives control from the WebForms Framework to pass “control” to a Presenter class, and it requires a good deal of discipline from developers to ensure that the pattern is followed. 

The pattern also requires developers to “wire-up” the three classes View, Presenter and Model (or ViewModel) every time they need a new control (or View).

This degree of complexity has tended to hamper the use of the MVP pattern, as it requires much more work on the part of developers in general (and module developers in particular).

I am pleased to announce that in the next public release of DNN (version 5.3) we will be including a set of base classes that provide most of this wiring-up out-of-the-box. 

This new framework is based on a fairly new Codeplex project WebFormsMVP from Tatham Oddie (of Readify in Australia) and Damian Edwards (formerly of Readify, but now assimilated by the Borg (Microsoft)).  Many of you will know that Phillip Beadle a long-time DNN Community member and now DNNCorp Employee also used to work at Readify.

We had already decided to add MVP support for module development in this development cycle and after meeting with Damian and Tatham at the recent MVP (as in Microsoft Most Valuable Professional) summit in Redmond, we decided to replace our MVP (Model-View-Presenter) code with their Library, which was much more advanced, and was licensed under a compatible Open Source license.  Tatham and Damian have used the WebFormsMVP framework on a number of high-profile websites in Australia so it is well-tested

Move over PortalModuleBase – Hello ModulePresenter and ModuleView

In order to take as much advantage as we can from this new framework we have built a thin layer on top of their code to ensure that the Presenters and Views all know about Module Context and Portal Settings. 

Two new modules that we will be delivering as part of the 5.3 release have been built on this new framework and will showcase how to use the framework and how to write tests at every layer of the application.

In addition, I will blog in future article(s) on how you can use this new framework to create testable modules of your own.

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