MVVM – Events

An event is a programming construct that reacts to a change in state, notifying any endpoints that have registered for notification. Primarily, events are used to inform a user input via the mouse and keyboard, but their usefulness is not limited to that. Whenever a state change is detected, perhaps when an object has been loaded or initialized, an event can be fired to alert any interested third parties.

  • In a WPF application that uses the MVVM (Model-View-ViewModel) design pattern, the view model is the component that is responsible for handling the application's presentation logic and state.

  • The view's code-behind file should contain no code to handle events that are raised from any User Interface (UI) element such as a Button or a ComboBox nor should it contain any domain specific logic.

  • Ideally, the code-behind of a View contains only a constructor that calls the InitializeComponent method and perhaps some additional code to control or interact with the view layer that is difficult or inefficient to express in XAML, e.g. complex animations.

Let’s take a look at a simple example of button click events in our application. Following is the XAML code of MainWindow.xaml file in which you will see two buttons.

<Window x:Class = "MVVMHierarchiesDemo.MainWindow" 
   xmlns = "" 
   xmlns:x = "" 
   xmlns:d = "" 
   xmlns:mc = "" 
   xmlns:local = "clr-namespace:MVVMHierarchiesDemo" 
   xmlns:views = "clr-namespace:MVVMHierarchiesDemo.Views" 
   xmlns:viewModels = "clr-namespace:MVVMHierarchiesDemo.ViewModel" 
   mc:Ignorable = "d" 
   Title = "MainWindow" Height = "350" Width = "525">
      <DataTemplate DataType = "{x:Type viewModels:CustomerListViewModel}">
      <DataTemplate DataType = "{x:Type viewModels:OrderViewModel}">

         <RowDefinition Height = "Auto" /> 
         <RowDefinition Height = "*" /> 
      <Grid x:Name = "NavBar"> 
            <ColumnDefinition Width = "*" />
            <ColumnDefinition Width = "*" /> 
            <ColumnDefinition Width = "*" /> 
         <Button Content = "Customers" 
            Command = "{Binding NavCommand}" 
            CommandParameter = "customers" 
            Grid.Column = "0" />
         <Button Content = "Order" 
            Command = "{Binding NavCommand}" 
            CommandParameter = "orders" 
            Grid.Column = "2" />
      <Grid x:Name = "MainContent" Grid.Row = "1"> 
         <ContentControl Content = "{Binding CurrentViewModel}" />


You can see that the button Click property is not used in the above XAML file but Command and CommandParameter properties are used to load different Views when the button is pressed. Now you need to define the commands implementation in MainWindowViewModel.cs file but not in View file. Following is the complete MainWindowViewModel implementation.

using MVVMHierarchiesDemo.ViewModel; 
using MVVMHierarchiesDemo.Views; 

using System; 
using System.Collections.Generic; 
using System.Linq; 
using System.Text; 
using System.Threading.Tasks;

namespace MVVMHierarchiesDemo { 

   class MainWindowViewModel : BindableBase { 
      public MainWindowViewModel() { 
         NavCommand = new MyICommand<string>(OnNav); 

      private CustomerListViewModel custListViewModel = new CustomerListViewModel(); 
      private OrderViewModel orderViewModelModel = new OrderViewModel();

      private BindableBase _CurrentViewModel; 
      public BindableBase CurrentViewModel { 
         get { return _CurrentViewModel; } 
         set { SetProperty(ref _CurrentViewModel, value); } 
      public MyICommand<string> NavCommand { get; private set; }

      private void OnNav(string destination) { 
         switch (destination) { 
            case "orders": 
               CurrentViewModel = orderViewModelModel; 
            case "customers":
               CurrentViewModel = custListViewModel; 

Derive all of your ViewModels from BindableBase class. When the above code is compiled and executed, you will see the following output.

MVVM Events MainWindow1

As you can see, we have added only two buttons and a CurrentViewModel on our MainWindow. Now if you click the any button then it will navigate to that particular View. Let’s click on Customers button and you will see that the CustomerListView is displayed.

MVVM Events MainWindow2

We recommend you to execute the above example in a step-by-step method for better understanding.