Navigation

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MvvmCross uses ViewModel first navigation. Meaning the we navigate from ViewModel to ViewModel and not from View to View. In MvvmCross the ViewModel will lookup its corresponding View. By doing so we don’t have to write platform specific navigation and we can manage everything from within our core.

MvvmCross 5.x and higher navigation

MvvmCross 5 introduces a new NavigationService! The new navigation enables you to inject it into your ViewModels, which makes it more testable, and gives you the ability to implement your own navigation! Other main features are that it is fully async and type safe. For more details see #1634

The following Api is available to use:

public interface IMvxNavigationService
{
    event BeforeNavigateEventHandler BeforeNavigate;
    event AfterNavigateEventHandler AfterNavigate;
    event BeforeCloseEventHandler BeforeClose;
    event AfterCloseEventHandler AfterClose;

    Task Navigate(IMvxViewModel viewModel, IMvxBundle presentationBundle = null);
    Task Navigate<TParameter>(IMvxViewModel<TParameter> viewModel, TParameter param, IMvxBundle presentationBundle = null);
    Task<TResult> Navigate<TResult>(IMvxViewModelResult<TResult> viewModel, IMvxBundle presentationBundle = null, CancellationToken cancellationToken = default(CancellationToken));
    Task<TResult> Navigate<TParameter, TResult>(IMvxViewModel<TParameter, TResult> viewModel, TParameter param, IMvxBundle presentationBundle = null, CancellationToken cancellationToken = default(CancellationToken));

    Task Navigate(Type viewModelType, IMvxBundle presentationBundle = null);
    Task Navigate<TParameter>(Type viewModelType, TParameter param, IMvxBundle presentationBundle = null);
    Task<TResult> Navigate<TResult>(Type viewModelType, IMvxBundle presentationBundle = null, CancellationToken cancellationToken = default(CancellationToken));
    Task<TResult> Navigate<TParameter, TResult>(Type viewModelType, TParameter param, IMvxBundle presentationBundle = null, CancellationToken cancellationToken = default(CancellationToken));

    Task Navigate(string path, IMvxBundle presentationBundle = null);
    Task Navigate<TParameter>(string path, TParameter param, IMvxBundle presentationBundle = null);
    Task<TResult> Navigate<TResult>(string path, IMvxBundle presentationBundle = null, CancellationToken cancellationToken = default(CancellationToken));
    Task<TResult> Navigate<TParameter, TResult>(string path, TParameter param, IMvxBundle presentationBundle = null, CancellationToken cancellationToken = default(CancellationToken));

    Task<bool> CanNavigate(string path);

    Task<bool> Close(IMvxViewModel viewModel);
    Task<bool> Close<TResult>(IMvxViewModelResult<TResult> viewModel, TResult result);

    bool ChangePresentation(MvxPresentationHint hint);
}

Some extension methods make it easier to use your already existing code:

public static class MvxNavigationExtensions
{
    public static Task<bool> CanNavigate(this IMvxNavigationService navigationService, Uri path)

    public static Task Navigate(this IMvxNavigationService navigationService, Uri path, IMvxBundle presentationBundle = null)
    public static Task Navigate<TParameter>(this IMvxNavigationService navigationService, Uri path, TParameter param, IMvxBundle presentationBundle = null)
    public static Task Navigate<TResult>(this IMvxNavigationService navigationService, Uri path, IMvxBundle presentationBundle = null, CancellationToken cancellationToken = default(CancellationToken))
    public static Task Navigate<TParameter, TResult>(this IMvxNavigationService navigationService, Uri path, TParameter param, IMvxBundle presentationBundle = null, CancellationToken cancellationToken = default(CancellationToken))

    public static Task Navigate<TViewModel>(this IMvxNavigationService navigationService, IMvxBundle presentationBundle = null) where TViewModel : IMvxViewModel
    public static Task Navigate<TViewModel, TParameter>(this IMvxNavigationService navigationService, TParameter param, IMvxBundle presentationBundle = null) where TViewModel : IMvxViewModel<TParameter>
    public static Task<TResult> Navigate<TViewModel, TResult>(this IMvxNavigationService navigationService, IMvxBundle presentationBundle = null, CancellationToken cancellationToken = default(CancellationToken)) where TViewModel : IMvxViewModelResult<TResult>
    public static Task<TResult> Navigate<TViewModel, TParameter, TResult>(this IMvxNavigationService navigationService, TParameter param, IMvxBundle presentationBundle = null, CancellationToken cancellationToken = default(CancellationToken)) where TViewModel : IMvxViewModel<TParameter, TResult>
}

In your ViewModel this could look like:

public class MyViewModel : MvxViewModel
{
    private readonly IMvxNavigationService _navigationService;
    public MyViewModel(IMvxNavigationService navigationService)
    {
        _navigationService = navigationService;
    }
    
    public override void Prepare()
    {
        //Do anything before navigating to the view
    }

    public async Task SomeMethod()
    {
        await _navigationService.Navigate<NextViewModel, MyObject>(new MyObject());
    }
}

public class NextViewModel : MvxViewModel<MyObject>
{
    public override void Prepare(MyObject parameter)
    {
        //Do anything before navigating to the view
        //Save the parameter to a property if you want to use it later
    }
    
    public override async Task Initialize()
    {
        //Do heavy work and data loading here
    }
}

When you want to return a result to the place where you navigated from you can do:

public class MyViewModel : MvxViewModel
{
    private readonly IMvxNavigationService _navigationService;
    public MyViewModel(IMvxNavigationService navigation)
    {
        _navigationService = navigationService;
    }
    
    public override async Task Initialize()
    {
        //Do heavy work and data loading here
    }

    public async Task SomeMethod()
    {
        var result = await _navigationService.Navigate<NextViewModel, MyObject, MyReturnObject>(new MyObject());
        //Do something with the result MyReturnObject that you get back
    }
}

public class NextViewModel : MvxViewModel<MyObject, MyReturnObject>
{
    private readonly IMvxNavigationService _navigationService;
    public MyViewModel(IMvxNavigationService navigation)
    {
        _navigationService = navigationService;
    }
    
    public override void Prepare(MyObject parameter)
    {
        //Do anything before navigating to the view
        //Save the parameter to a property if you want to use it later
    }
    
    public override async Task Initialize()
    {
        //Do heavy work and data loading here
    }
    
    public async Task SomeMethodToClose()
    {
        await _navigationService.Close(this, new MyReturnObject());
    }
}

You can provide a CancellationToken to abort waiting for a Result. This will close the ViewModel and cancel the Task.

If you have a BaseViewModel you might not be able to inherit MvxViewModel<TParameter> or MvxViewModel<TParameter, TResult> because you already have the BaseViewModel as base class. In this case you can implement the following interface:

IMvxViewModel<TParameter>, IMvxViewModelResult<TResult> or IMvxViewModel<TParameter, TResult>

To implement returning your own result add the following to your (Base)ViewModel:

public override TaskCompletionSource<object> CloseCompletionSource { get; set; }

public override void ViewDestroy()
{
    if (CloseCompletionSource != null && !CloseCompletionSource.Task.IsCompleted && !CloseCompletionSource.Task.IsFaulted)
        CloseCompletionSource?.TrySetCanceled();
    base.ViewDestroy();
}

To check if you are able to navigate to a certain ViewModel you can use the CanNavigate method.

if (Mvx.Resolve<IMvxNavigationService>().CanNavigate<NextViewModel>())
{
    //Do something
}

If you want to intercept ViewModel navigation changes you can hook into the events of the NavigationService.

Mvx.Resolve<IMvxNavigationService>().AfterClose += (object sender, NavigateEventArgs e) => {
    //Do something with e.ViewModel
};

The events available are:

  • BeforeNavigate
  • AfterNavigate
  • BeforeClose
  • AfterClose

You might be using Init() or Start() methods in your ViewModels when updating from MvvmCross 4.x. This is now deprecated because it was done using reflection and therefor not very safe. With the new navigation a method called Task Initialize() will be called. This method is typed and async.

Uri navigation

The Uri navigation of the NavigationService will build the navigation stack if required. This will also enable deeplinking and building up the navigationstack for it. Every ViewModel added to the stack can split up into multiple paths of it’s own backstack. This will enable all kinds of layout structures as Hamburger, Tab or Top navigation.

The NavigationService supports multiple URIs per ViewModel as well as “NavigationFacades” that return the right ViewModel + parameters depending on the URI.

The solution is composed of:

  • Navigation Attribute (ViewModel/Facade, URI regex)
  • NavigationFacades are constructed via Mvx.IocConstruct to profit from dependency injection
  • NavigationService, registered as a singleton, uses IMvxViewDispatcher to show the viewmodels
  • Necessary additions to Android (Activity.OnNewIntent) + iOS (AppDelegate.OpenUrl) (look a the example project for more infos) You can also use this solution for triggering deeplink from outside the app:

Register a custom scheme (i.e. “foo”) in our app (look a the example project for me info) Push-Messages: Depending on the status of the app you can pass a uri as the Notification Parameter, so when the app starts you can deep link directly to the view you want.

Supply your routings as assembly attributes. We would recommend putting them in the same file as the referenced ViewModel.

[assembly: MvxNavigation(typeof(ViewModelA), @"mvx://test/\?id=(?<id>[A-Z0-9]{32})$")]
namespace *.ViewModels
{
    public class ViewModelA
        : MvxViewModel
    {
    	public void Init(string id) // you can use captured groups defined in the regex as parameters here
        {

        }
    }
}

Routing in a ViewModel.

public class MainViewModel : MvxViewModel
{
    private readonly IMvxNavigationService _navigationService;

    public MainViewModel(IMvxNavigationService navigationService)
    {
        _navigationService = navigationService;
    }

    private IMvxAsyncCommand _showACommand;
    public IMvxAsyncCommand ShowACommand
    {
        get
        {
            return _showACommand ?? (_showACommand = new MvxAsyncCommand(async () =>
            {
                await _navigationService.Navigate("mvx://test/?id=" + Guid.NewGuid().ToString("N"));
            }));
        }
    }
}

Facades

Say you are building a task app and depending on the type of task you want to show a different view. This is where NavigationFacades come in handy (there is only so much regular expressions can do for you).

mvx://task/?id=00000000000000000000000000000000 <– this task is done, show read-only view (ViewModelA) mvx://task/?id=00000000000000000000000000000001 <– this task isn’t, go straight to edit view (ViewModelB)

[assembly: MvxRouting(typeof(SimpleNavigationFacade), @"mvx://task/\?id=(?<id>[A-Z0-9]{32})$")]
namespace *.NavigationFacades
{
	public class SimpleNavigationFacade
	    : IMvxNavigationFacade
	{
	    public Task<MvxViewModelRequest> BuildViewModelRequest(string url,
	        IDictionary<string, string> currentParameters, MvxRequestedBy requestedBy)
	    {
	    	// you can load data from a database etc.
	    	// try not to do a lot of work here, as the user is waiting for the UI to do something ;)
	        var viewModelType = currentParameters["id"] == Guid.Empty.ToString("N") ? typeof(ViewModelA) : typeof(ViewModelB);

	        return Task.FromResult(new MvxViewModelRequest(viewModelType, new MvxBundle(), null, requestedBy));
	    }
	}
}

Upgrading from 4.x to 5.x

To make sure your navigation stays up-to-date change all your ShowViewModel<>() calls to the new navigation methods.

Example before:

private IMvxCommand _navigateCommand;
public IMvxCommand NavigateCommand
{
    get
    {
        _navigateCommand = _navigateCommand ?? new MvxCommand(() => ShowViewModel<TViewModel>());
        return _navigateCommand;
    }
}

After:

private IMvxAsyncCommand _navigateCommand;
public IMvxAsyncCommand NavigateCommand
{
    get
    {
        _navigateCommand = _navigateCommand ?? new MvxAsyncCommand(() => _navigationService.Navigate<TViewModel>());
        return _navigateCommand;
    }
}

MvvmCross 4.x navigation

Simple ViewModel navigation

To navigate from a ViewModel to another ViewModel you can use ShowViewModel command. The ShowViewModel command will take a Generic type which should represent the ViewModel that you want to navigate to.

ShowViewModel<TViewModel>();

If we want to for example navigate to the DetailViewModel we only have to call the command from within another ViewModel.

ShowViewModel<DetailViewModel>();

To move back to the previous ViewModel we can call Close(this); on the ViewModel that we want to close.

Every object can be passed to another ViewModel as a parameter. If its is desired to pass data along in the form of a more complex parameter it can be done like so:

ShowViewModel<TViewModel, TParameter>(new TParameter());

To be able to retrieve this the receiving class should implement the expected parameter on a class level and implement the correct init:

public class MyViewModel : MvxViewModel<TParameter>
{
    protected override Task Init(TParameter parameter)
    {
        // use the parameters here
    }
}

If you have a BaseViewModel you might not be able to inherit MvxViewModel<TParameter> because you already have the BaseViewModel as base class. In this case you can implement the following interface:

IMvxViewModel<TParameter>

MvvmCross uses JSON to serialize the object and to use complex parameters you should have the MvvmCross Json plugin installed or register your own IMvxJsonConverter.

As you write apps, you may frequently find that you want to parameterize a ViewModel navigation.

For example, you may encounter List-Detail situations - where:

  • The Master view shows a list of items.
  • When the user selects one of these, then the app will navigate to a Detail view
  • The Detail view will then shows that specific selected item.

To achieve this, the navigation from MasterViewModel to DetailViewModel will normally be achieved by:

  • we declare a class DetailParameters for the navigation:
public class DetailParameters
{
    public int Index {
        get;
        set;
    }
}
  • the MasterViewModel makes ShowViewModel a call like:

ShowViewModel<DetailViewModel>(new DetailParameters() { Index = 2 });

  • the DetailViewModel declares an Init method in order to receive this DetailParameters:
public void Init(DetailParameters parameters)
{
    // use the parameters here
}

Note that the DetailParameters class used here must be a ‘simple’ class used only for these navigations:

  • it must contain a parameterless constructor
  • it should contain only public properties with both get and set access
  • these properties should be only of types:
    • bool
    • Integral types: sbyte, short, int, long, byte, ushort, uint, ulong
    • Floating-point types: float, double
    • decimal
    • char
    • string
    • DateTime
    • Guid
    • Enumeration values

For simple navigations, declaring a formal Parameters object can feel like ‘overkill’ - like ‘hard work’.

In these situations you can instead use anonymous classes and named method arguments.

For example, you can:

  • use a call to ShowViewModel like:

ShowViewModel<DetailViewModel>(new { index = 2 });

  • in the DetailViewModel declare an Init method in order to receive this index as:
public void Init(int index)
{
    // use the index here
}

Note that due to serialization requirements, the only available parameter types used within this technique are only:

  • bool
  • Integral types: sbyte, short, int, long, byte, ushort, uint, ulong
  • Floating-point types: float, double
  • decimal
  • char
  • string
  • DateTime
  • Guid
  • Enumeration values