Using StructureMap to Build Your MVC Controllers

The simplest things seem to be the hardest to find the up-to-date documentation on.Adding a ControllerFactory to MVC is very simple, and making it work with StructureMapis pretty quick, but do you really want to write any of that code? Of course not.Somebody else can do it.

The MVC Contrib project has built all of the code you need to make a number of thepopular IoC frameworks work in your project. Unfortunately IoC frameworks update alot, and the MvcContrib project was finding it pretty hard to keep up with the latestversions when they compiled their builds. So that code is deprecated. Don’t use it.

Here’s how you add StructureMap to build controllers in your MVC project:

Create a StructureMapControllerFactory Class

using System;using System.Web.Mvc;using System.Web.Routing;using StructureMap;namespace MvcContrib.StructureMap{public class StructureMapControllerFactory: DefaultControllerFactory{public override IControllerCreateController(RequestContext context, string controllerName){Type controllerType = base.GetControllerType(controllerName);return ObjectFactory.GetInstance(controllerType) as IController;}}}

Add a Method to Global.asax

private void ConfigureIoC(){ControllerBuilder.Current.SetControllerFactory(new StructureMapControllerFactory());}

Add a call to that method in Application_Start


….and now we can go out for steak and exotic dancers. Your controllers will have theirdependencies injected all nice and purty.

StructureMap: IRepository and Test Data Injection

I Love StructureMap! It’s wonderful. What a way to compose your code together easily,precisely, and consolidatedly (!!). When I put a sentence like that together, I wonderif I even know what I’m talking about. The problem with StructureMap, IoC, and dependencyinjection really seems to be that the jargon for the patterns is so manifestlytrue that once you learn what the hell you are doing, you are completelyunable to stop talking about it in shorthand. And that shorthand makes absolutelyno sense to someone who hasn’t absorbed the patterns. Keep plugging, people. Onceyou do it, you’ll get it. Then you’ll be there and not be able toexplain to other people why you’re so right. It’s like being Tom Cruise and needingto explain scientology.


I learned two things today. The first is how to hook all of my concrete generic repositorytypes together with their interfaces. I had been adding a line of configuration foreach repository. Now my test code looks like this:


And my production code:


That’s easy!

The other thing I learned is that I can happily and easily inject data into my objectregistry for testing purposes. I have an in-memory repository implementation built.All it needs is data.

public class MemoryDataSource{private Dictionary<Type, IQueryable> data;public MemoryDataSource(Dictionary<Type, IQueryable>data){ = data;}public IQueryable GetQueryable(Type type){return[type];}}public class ListRepository<T>: IRepository<T>{private MemoryDataSource source;public ListRepository(MemoryDataSource source){this.source = source;}public IQueryable<T> GetSource(){return ((IQueryable<T>)source.GetQueryable(typeof(T)));}public void SaveEntity(Tentity){return;}}

Now all I need to do is build a Dictionary<> keyed on the entity object typeand fill it up with data. Once I’ve done that, I just pass it into the StructureMapregistry like this:

ObjectFactory.Inject<Dictionary<Type, IQueryable>>(dataSource);

Now I can have ObjectFactory construct my object under test and it’s got just thedata I need it to have.

Adding MVC to an existing ASP.NET Application

ASP.NET MVC Has added a very useful new programming model to developing websites in.NET. There is hype and debate all throughout the interwebs on how great MVC is. Andit all can be yours, with nothing but a ‘File->New’ in Visual Studio….unless youalready have an ASP.NET application. In which case, you need to do a bit more work.

  1. Add project references to:
  2. Create /Controllers, /Views, and /Views/Shared folders in your project
  3. Update web.config
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?><configuration><system.web><pages><namespaces><add namespace="System.Web.Mvc"/><add namespace="System.Web.Mvc.Ajax"/><add namespace="System.Web.Mvc.Html" /><add namespace="System.Web.Routing"/><add namespace="System.Linq"/><add namespace="System.Collections.Generic"/></namespaces></pages><compilation><assemblies><add assembly="System.Core,Version=,Culture=neutral,PublicKeyToken=B77A5C561934E089"/><add assembly="System.Web.Mvc,Version=,Culture=neutral,PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35" /><add assembly="System.Web.Abstractions,Version=,Culture=neutral,PublicKeyToken=31BF3856AD364E35"/><add assembly="System.Web.Routing,Version=,Culture=neutral,PublicKeyToken=31BF3856AD364E35"/></assemblies></compilation><httpModules><add name="UrlRoutingModule"type="System.Web.Routing.UrlRoutingModule,System.Web.Routing,Version=,Culture=neutral,PublicKeyToken=31BF3856AD364E35" /></httpModules></system.web><system.webServer><validation validateIntegratedModeConfiguration="false"/><modules runAllManagedModulesForAllRequests="true"><remove name="ScriptModule" /><remove name="UrlRoutingModule" /><add name="ScriptModule" preCondition="managedHandler"type="System.Web.Handlers.ScriptModule, System.Web.Extensions, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31BF3856AD364E35"/><add name="UrlRoutingModule"type="System.Web.Routing.UrlRoutingModule,System.Web.Routing, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31BF3856AD364E35" /></modules><handlers><remove name="WebServiceHandlerFactory-Integrated"/><remove name="ScriptHandlerFactory" /><remove name="ScriptHandlerFactoryAppServices" /><remove name="ScriptResource" /><remove name="MvcHttpHandler" /><remove name="UrlRoutingHandler" /><add name="ScriptHandlerFactory" verb="*" path="*.asmx"preCondition="integratedMode"type="System.Web.Script.Services.ScriptHandlerFactory, System.Web.Extensions, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31BF3856AD364E35"/><add name="ScriptHandlerFactoryAppServices" verb="*"path="*_AppService.axd" preCondition="integratedMode"type="System.Web.Script.Services.ScriptHandlerFactory, System.Web.Extensions, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31BF3856AD364E35"/><add name="ScriptResource" preCondition="integratedMode"verb="GET,HEAD" path="ScriptResource.axd"type="System.Web.Handlers.ScriptResourceHandler, System.Web.Extensions, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31BF3856AD364E35" /><add name="MvcHttpHandler" preCondition="integratedMode"verb="*" path="*.mvc" type="System.Web.Mvc.MvcHttpHandler, System.Web.Mvc, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31BF3856AD364E35"/><add name="UrlRoutingHandler"preCondition="integratedMode" verb="*" path="UrlRouting.axd"type="System.Web.HttpForbiddenHandler,System.Web, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a" /></handlers></system.webServer></configuration>
  4. Add the following to Global.asax.cs (create a Global.asax if you don’t already haveone)
    public static void RegisterRoutes(RouteCollectionroutes){routes.IgnoreRoute("{resource}.axd/{*pathInfo}");routes.IgnoreRoute("{resource}.aspx/{*pathInfo}");routes.MapRoute("Default", //Route name"{controller}/{action}/{id}", //URL with parametersnew { controller = "Home",action = "Index", id = "" } //Parameter defaults);}protected void Application_Start(){RegisterRoutes(RouteTable.Routes);}

    The above is the “standard” routing for a MVC site. It will work, but it might causeyou trouble if you want the root of your website to still go to a ‘default.aspx’.Try this line instead:

    routes.MapRoute("Default", "MVC/{controller}/{action}/{id}", new { controller = "Home",action = "Index", id = "" }
  5. Edit your .csproj file by hand

    This will tell Visual Studio to act like this is an MVC project. You will getthe context menu items for MVC in your Controllers and Views directories.
    Note: I’ve had trouble at this point with some Visual Studio installs.If you’re having trouble with “The project type is not supported by this installation.”messages here, it may be time for a clean install in a fresh VM.
  6. Set Up IIS. If you’re using IIS7, the System.Webserver settings in your Web.Configfile should have taken care of this step. If you’re going to need to map the wildcardURL to aspnet_isapi.dll in order to get all of the MVC routing magic to work.

  7. You might want to copy of the /Views/web.config file from an existing MVC projectto prevent your views from being viewed directly, rather than through their controllers.
  8. You might also wish to create a /Scripts folder and copy over the contents ofthe /Scripts folder from native MVC project. It has the jquery and MS AJAX javascriptsthat you may be looking for if you’re following a MVC book or tutorial.

Boy howdy. That was a good chunk of work. But now you have the infinite pleasure ofdeveloping in MVC, and your old web site should continue to work under you. Deliciousincremental development goodness.