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MVVM in WPF Survival Guide From A to Z

Learn how to create a maintainable Windows application applying MVVM to WPF.
3.9 (62 ratings)
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424 students enrolled
Created by Elias Fofanov
Last updated 10/2016
English English
$12 $25 52% off
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 2.5 hours on-demand video
  • 3 Articles
  • 2 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
Logically and physically structuring WPF applications according to MVVM pattern
Apply either View-First or ViewModel-First approach
Set up Design-Time Data
Build a communication bridge between Views and ViewModels
Correctly apply a static message bus
Organize navigation
Validate Models
Build your own MVVM framework
View Curriculum
  • You should already have a decent C# and a little bit of WPF experience.

MVVM (stands for Model-View-ViewModel) is a well-known architectural pattern in the world of WPF. Most enterprise level WPF applications are MVVM-based.

Learn deeply the concepts lying behind the MVVM pattern in order to understand what MVVM is in essence and how to pragmatically apply it to a WPF application. This is a great MVVM tutorial for beginners (beginners in MVVM, don't forget to look at prerequisites)!

Teaching Approach

No fluff, no ranting, no beating the air. I esteem your time. The course material is succinct, yet comprehensive. All important concepts are covered. Particularly important topics are covered in-depth. For absolute beginners, I offer my help on Skype absolutely free if requested.

Take this course and you will be satisfied.

Build a strong foundation in applying MVVM with this course

In the case you’re just familiar with the WPF framework, learning this course will give you a level-up since you’ll be capable of developing professional WPF applications. Applying MVVM intelligently is a “must have” skill for WPF developers.

If you are an experienced WPF developer, you might be interested in how MVVM frameworks may work under the hood. Throughout the course, we will be building a small MVVM framework similar to Caliburn.Micro.

Content and Overview

This course is primarily aimed at intermediate developers. Experts may also find interesting MVVM tricks provided in this course. If you are a beginner, be sure you’re ready to take this course, since it requires from you a solid C#-background and acquaintance with WPF.

This course provides solid theoretical base reinforced by tons of practical material. This course is very practical (except the very first introductory module).

“MVVM in WPF” is a very wide topic and it’s hardly possible to cover all the related challenges arising while applying MVVM. That’s why this course includes the most important topics understanding of which is a key for successful development. We will sacrifice some topics which may be interesting for students, but which are hardly connected with MVVM directly. What I’m talking about is, for example, the problem of setting up a full-fledged data access layer. Such topics are omitted.

The most beneficial aspect of this course is that it gives you the deep understanding of the MVVM pattern. For example, you’ll see how to pass parameters to ViewModels through constructors, without using a static message bus, or passing parameters by explicitly setting properties of a ViewModel.

In short, the course covers the following topics:

  • MVVM background: what is MVVM, why to use it, when to use MVVM etc.
  • Connecting Views and ViewModels: View-First and ViewModel-First approaches
  • Design-Time data support
  • Configuring and using an IoC-container (by the example of Castle.Windsor
  • Communication channel between Views and ViewModels: commands, attached and blend behaviors, static message bus (EventAggregator)
  • Navigation: hierarchical UI composition, how to open dialogs, including modal dialogs, navigating to parameterized ViewModels (pass parameters into their constructors)
  • Models and validation
  • MVVM toolkits: Caliburn.Micro more closely
  • Unit-Testing of ViewModels

In the end, we will recap what you have learned and you will try to understand where you have to go further with the intention to master your skills. Here we will have a discussion of different paths you can go on.

Who is the target audience?
  • Intermediate developers who want to learn MVVM
  • Experts who applied MVVM, but lack the deep understanding of it
  • It is not for beginners with the lack of C# experience or no WPF experience
Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 64 Lectures Collapse All 64 Lectures 02:29:26
Introduction to MVVM
10 Lectures 29:47
How to Ask Questions

In this lecture we will address the problem of maintainability and testability of applications.

Preview 02:26

Why MVVM became a standard for developing WPF applications? We will answer to this question and briefly look at the historical background.


You will learn from which components MVVM consists of and what their responsibilities are.

MVVM in a Nutshell

What are Services and what is their role in the MVVM-based applications?

Services in MVVM

In this lecture you'll take a brief look at the simple educational application we will be working with throughout the course.

Preview 03:51

In this lecture you'll learn why monolithic design is the pure evil in most cases.

Problems of Monolithic Design

In this lecture you'll learn what to expect from learning and applying the MVVM pattern.

Downsides of MVVM

In this lecture we sum up the things we talked about in this module.

Connecting Views and ViewModels
16 Lectures 42:45

In this lecture we will outline the topics connected with the problem of marrying up Views and ViewModels in MVVM-based applications.


In this lecture you'll learn how to name the MVVM components: how to name Views and ViewModels.

Naming Conventions

In this lecture we will make some preliminary preparations before diving into the MVVM.

Preparing the Solution

In this lecture you'll learn what approaches for connecting Views and ViewModels exist within the MVVM pattern.

View-First VS ViewModel-First

In this lecture you'll learn what the View-First approach is in essence.

View-First Intro

In this practical lecture you'll learn how to apply the View-First approach straightforwardly. It means we will look at how to create ViewModels in XAML and code-behind.

Straightforward View-First Implementation

In this lecture you'll learn what the ViewModel-Locator pattern is. You'll see how to automatically connect ViewModels to Views.

Preview 03:13

In this lecture you'll briefly look at what the "Inversion of Control" is and what the bootstrapping means.

Preview 03:12

In this lecture you'll learn how to construct the Bootstrapper within the MVVM pattern and how to attach the IoC-container.

Preview 04:09

This lecture reveals the problem of validating the layout of data in the design-time (design-mode).

Design-Time Data. Intro

In this lecture you'll see how to create separate ViewModels suited specifically for loading the design-time data. After that you'll look at how to mix the runtime and design-time logic.

Design-Time Data. Demo: Separate ViewModels and Mixing In.

In this lecture you'll see the slick approach to instantiating ViewModels in order to inject into them design-time dependencies. This allows to avoid mixing the runtime and design-time logic as well as to avoid creation of any additional ViewModels.

Design-Time Data. Demo: Avoiding Duplication.

We've detracted a little bit. So, in this lecture we get back to the main topic of this module: marrying up Views and ViewModels. In this lecture you'll learn another form of the ViewModel-Locator pattern when it poses itself as a container of ViewModels.

View-First via ViewModel-Locator. Locator as a Container.

At last! We've reached the ViewModel-First approach. So, what it is?

ViewModel-First. Intro

In this lecture you'll learn how to apply the ViewModel-First approach in practice.

ViewModel-First. Demo

Let's wrap up all the things you've learned in this module.

Communicating Views and ViewModels
10 Lectures 22:34

We will outline to main topics of this module.


In this module you'll learn what commands in WPF are.

Commands in WPF and MVVM

In this lecture you'll look at the reusable implementation of the ICommand interface.

RelayCommand. Intro

In this lecture you'll look at how to apply the RelayCommand implementation in practice.

RelayCommand. Demo

Commands system in WPF is not sufficient for building the full-fledged communication bridge between Views and ViewModels. Behaviors are for the rescue.

Behaviors. Intro

Learn how to develop and apply so-called "Attached Behaviors".

Attached Behaviors

Blend Behaviors are more powerful than bear Attached Behaviors. Look at them in practice.

Blend Behaviors

In this lecture you'll learn what is the "MessageBus" (EventAggregator) pattern in essence.

MessageBus. Intro

In this lecture you'll learn how to apply "MessageBus" (EventAggregator) in practice.

MessageBus. Demo

Let's wrap up the main topics of this module.

Navigation and Other Services
11 Lectures 22:49

In this lecture we will outline the main topics of this module.


In this lecture we will talk about structuring solutions from the MVVM perspectives. Is it better to keep all the Views and ViewModels in a single project?

Locating MVVM Components

In this lecture I'll introduce you to the concept of UI-Composition.


Learn how to navigate to ViewModels which don't require parameters to be passed in via their constructors.

Navigation without Parameters

Learn how to navigate to ViewModels which require parameters to be passed in their constructors.

Navigation with Parameters

A little homework for students.

Homework: Navigation without MessageBus

Introduction to the problem of opening dialogs.

Dialogs. Intro

In this lecture you'll see one of the approaches to opening dialogs in MVVM.

Dialogs API Demo

In this lecture you'll see how to apply the API we discussed in the previous lecture.

Applying Dialogs API

In this lecture you'll learn how to keep the reusable INPC implementation in the MVVM framework.

Making INotifyPropertyChanged Less Painful

Let's wrap up the main topics of this module.

Models and Validation
8 Lectures 12:49

In this lecture we will outline the main topics of this module.


Learn why you may want to wrap a model in MVVM.

Models Wrapping

Learn the different between two different approaches to managing the state of data: Stateful ViewModel and Stateless ViewModel.

Stateful ViewModel VS Stateless ViewModel

Learn how you can implement validation in WPF.

Validation. Intro

Learn how to implement and apply the INotifyDataErrorInfo interface for validation.

Validation. Demo 1.

Learn how to implement and apply the INotifyDataErrorInfo interface for validation.

Validation. Demo 2.

Do a little homework.

Homework: Apply Validation for managing the state of UI

Wrap up the main topics of this module.

MVVM Frameworks
6 Lectures 11:59

We will outline the main topics of this module.


In this lecture you'll learn what modern popular MVVM frameworks exist.


In this lecture we will take a brief look at Prism and MVVM-Light.

Prism and MVVM-Light

In this lecture you'll be introduced to the Caliburn.Micro MVVM framework.

Caliburn.Micro. Intro

Learn how to use the Caliburn.Micro MVVM framework in practice.

Caliburn.Micro. Demo

Wrap up the main topics of this module.

Wrap Up
2 Lectures 02:05

Last recommendations and a bunch of helpful links.

Final Words

Test 1
13 questions

Test 2
9 questions

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Preview 00:25
Appendix A. Unit Testing.
1 Lecture 04:41

Learn how to write unit tests for ViewModels using MSTest.

Preview 04:41
About the Instructor
4.2 Average rating
429 Reviews
3,227 Students
4 Courses
Software Engineer

I'm thankful enough for that I love what I do.

I began my career as a postgraduate student participating in Microsoft ImagineCup contest.

I've been working with .NET platform since 2003. I've been professionally architecting and implementing software for nearly 7 years, primarily based on .NET platform. I'm passionate about building rich and powerful applications using modern technologies. I'm a certified specialist in Windows Applications and Service Communication Applications by Microsoft.

"If it's work, we try to do less. If it's art, we try to do more." - Seth Godin.

What I can say is that software is my art.

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