Class-Level Model Validation with EF Code First and ASP.NET MVC 3
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by Scott Guthrie
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Class-Level Model Validation using IValidatableObject

DataAnnotation attributes provides an easy way to validate individual property values on your model classes. 

Several people have asked - “Does EF Code First also support a way to implement class-level validation methods on model objects, for validation rules than need to span multiple property values?”  It does – and one easy way you can enable this is by implementing the IValidatableObject interface on your model classes.

IValidatableObject.Validate() Method

Below is an example of using the IValidatableObject interface (which is built-into .NET 4 within the System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotations namespace) to implement two custom validation rules on a Product model class.  The two rules ensure that:

New units can’t be ordered if the Product is in a discontinued state

New units can’t be ordered if there are already more than 100 units in stock

We will enforce these business rules by implementing the IValidatableObject interface on our Product class, and by implementing its Validate() method like so:

The IValidatableObject.Validate() method can apply validation rules that span across multiple properties, and can yield back multiple validation errors. Each ValidationResult returned can supply both an error message as well as an optional list of property names that caused the violation (which is useful when displaying error messages within UI).


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