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Using Munq IOC Container Version 3 in ASP.NET MVC 3

By , 11 Feb 2014
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Version 3 of the Munq IOC Container adds a number of features including documentation and NuGet packaging. The Munq source is maintained on CodePlex. This article demonstrates how to integrate the Munq IOC Container into an ASP.NET MVC project using the NuGet package.

For my example, I will refactor the AccountController to use Dependency Injection and the Munq IOC Container. At the end, I will have:

  • Integrated the Munq IOC Container into an ASP.NET project.
  • Refactored the AccountController to use Dependency Injection.
  • Initialized the IOC Container with the required Registrations.
  • Updated the Unit Tests.

The final solution will allow you to easily replace the IFormsAuthenticationService and IMembershipService implementations through the IOC Container configuration. As an added bonus, you can replace the instance of the MembershipProvider used by the AccountMembershipService.


Previously, I've written about the Munq IOC container

As a result of the feedback and suggestion I have received, and the need to use the IOC Container with ASP.NET MVC3, I have released an updated version of Munq. In addition to the core IOC Container, there is an implementation of the ASP.NET MVC3 IDependencyResolver and the Common Service Locator. All three are available as NuGet packages.

Probably, the most important additions to the Munq IOC container are:

  • The automatic resolution of classes to the public constructor with the most parameters. This means that a class is resolved by the class type, it does not need to be registered with the container.
  • Registration by types. Using the above, you can register a interface implementation in the form container.Register<IMyType, MyClass>();

Show Me the Code

The first thing to do is to create a MVC3 project, selecting the Internet Application option. Also select ASP.NET as the view engine, and check the box for unit tests. This creates a simple starting point that includes a Home page, an About page, and Form based authentication using SQL Express.

Build and run the application, just so we know it works. Also, run the unit test to verify they pass.

If we take a look at the AccountController.cs file, we see that the dependencies for this controller are wired up in the Initialize method:

public IFormsAuthenticationService FormsService { get; set; }
public IMembershipService MembershipService { get; set; }

protected override void Initialize(RequestContext requestContext)
    if (FormsService == null)      { FormsService = new FormsAuthenticationService(); }
    if (MembershipService == null) { MembershipService = new AccountMembershipService(); }


We want to change this to use Dependency Injection so we will remove this method and add a constructor which has the authentication and membership services as parameters. Also, the FormsService and MembershipService properties expose implementation details that should not be needed by users of the controller. We won't fix that right now, as it will break a number of the unit tests, and isn't important in showing how to get the Dependency Injection working.

A quick refactoring and we end up with:

public IFormsAuthenticationService FormsService      { get; set; }
public IMembershipService          MembershipService { get; set; }

public AccountController(IFormsAuthenticationService formsService,
                                IMembershipService membershipService)
    FormsService      = formsService;
    MembershipService = membershipService;

Build the solution and we get an error in the unit test stating that AccountController does not have a constructor with no parameters.

Modify the GetAccountController method in AccountControllerTest.cs to:

private static AccountController GetAccountController()
    RequestContext requestContext = 
		new RequestContext(new MockHttpContext(), new RouteData());
    AccountController controller = 
		new AccountController(new MockFormsAuthenticationService(),
                  new MockMembershipService())
        Url = new UrlHelper(requestContext),
    controller.ControllerContext = new ControllerContext()
        Controller = controller,
        RequestContext = requestContext
    return controller;

Also, the AccountMembershipService class, defined in Models/AccountModels.cs has a parameterless constructor. Remove it. Also change the other constructor as shown below:

public class AccountMembershipService : IMembershipService
    private readonly MembershipProvider _provider;

    public AccountMembershipService(MembershipProvider provider)
        _provider = provider;


We now have a successful build and all the tests still pass, but when we run it, we get an error when we click on the logon link. The error...

System.MissingMethodException: No parameterless constructor defined for this object.

...which as the stack trace explains is caused by the AccountController.

Now, we need to add the IOC Container. Fortunately, I have created a NuGet package for using the Munq IOC Container in MVC3. I am assuming that you have NuGet installed in your copy of Visual Studio. Right click on the MuncMvc3Sample project and select Add Library Package Reference .... This will bring up the NuGet dialog. Search for Munq in the online packages. You will see three choices. Install the Munq.MVC3 package.

Munq IOC on NuGet - Click to enlarge image

This installs and adds references to:

  • Munq.IocContainer.dll (the Munq IOC Container)
  • Munq.MVC3.dll (contains the MunqDependencyResolver which implements the System.Web.Mvc.IDependency interface)
  • WebActivator.dll (allows the MunqDependencyResolver to be automatically wired up)

Additionally, a directory App_Start is created and contains one file, MunqMvc3Startup.cs. This file contains the code to configure MVC3 to use the Munq IOC Container for its dependency resolution tasks.

using System.Web.Mvc;
using Munq.MVC3;

[assembly: WebActivator.PreApplicationStartMethod
	(typeof(MunqMvc3Sample.App_Start.MunqMvc3Startup), "PreStart")]
namespace MunqMvc3Sample.App_Start {
    public static class MunqMvc3Startup {
        public static void PreStart() {
            DependencyResolver.SetResolver(new MunqDependencyResolver());
            var ioc = MunqDependencyResolver.Container;

            // TODO: Register Dependencies
            // ioc.Register<IMyRepository, MyRepository>();

Make sure the Development Web Server is stopped, so the startup code is executed. Now try and build and run. We still get the error. This is because we haven't Registered the implementations for IFormsService and IMembershipService. Because of this, MVC falls back to attempting to create the AccountController with the parameterless constructor, which does not exist. In MunqMvc3Startup.cs, register the services.

using System.Web.Mvc;
using Munq.MVC3;
using MunqMvc3Sample.Models;

[assembly: WebActivator.PreApplicationStartMethod(
    typeof(MunqMvc3Sample.App_Start.MunqMvc3Startup), "PreStart")]

namespace MunqMvc3Sample.App_Start {
    public static class MunqMvc3Startup {
        public static void PreStart() {
            DependencyResolver.SetResolver(new MunqDependencyResolver());
            var ioc = MunqDependencyResolver.Container;

            // TODO: Register Dependencies
            // ioc.Register<IMyRepository, MyRepository>();

            // setup AccountController's dependencies
            ioc.Register<IFormsAuthenticationService, FormsAuthenticationService>();
            ioc.Register<IMembershipService, AccountMembershipService>();

            // AccountMembershipService needs a MembershipProvider
            ioc.Register<MembershipProvider>(c => Membership.Provider);

Again, stop the Development Server and then build and run. Now, when you click run, the login form is displayed. MvC3 is now using Munq to resolve the dependencies. Notice that we did not have to register the AccountController class itself. For classes, Munq will attempt to resolve using the constructor with the most parameters. This is exactly what MVC3 requires, and why the feature was added to Munq.

This means, if you add or delete parameters (dependencies) to a Controller's constructor, it will still be resolved as long as the dependencies are Registered or are classes.

Next, I want to refactor out FormsService and MembershipService properties from the AccountController class. I'm using CodeRush, so the refactoring is pretty easy.

private IFormsAuthenticationService _formsService;
private IMembershipService          _membershipService;

public AccountController(IFormsAuthenticationService formsService,
                                    IMembershipService membershipService)
    _formsService      = formsService;
    _membershipService = membershipService;

Building now results in a number of errors in the unit test that were using this property. I will not detail the changes here, but you can see them in the source files included.


The result of this example is a Visual Studio project that can be used as a template for future development with ASP.NET MVC3 and the Munq IOC Container.


  • First Release


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

About the Author

Matthew Dennis
Software Developer (Senior) The Code Project
Canada Canada
Matthew works on improving the performance and experience of the Code Project site for users, clients, and administrators.
Matthew has more years of software develeopment, QA and architecture experience under his belt than he likes to admit. He gradutated for the University of Waterloo with a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering. He started out developing micro-processor based hardware and software including compilers and operating systems.
His current focus is on .NET web development including jQuery, Webforms, MVC, AJAX, and patterns and practices for creating better websites.
He is the author of the Munq IOC, the fastest ASP.NET focused IOC Container.
His non-programming passions include golf, pool, curling, reading and building stuff for the house.
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GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberNo_Me4-Apr-11 4:26 

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