Using RhinoMocks to Test Model View Presenter Events with Lambdas and VB / C#

This week I had the privilege of leading a custom workshop for a team of developers in Fort Worth, TX. One of the topics that we covered was Writing Testable Code; specifically, we looked at the Model-View-Presenter (MVP) patterns, dependency injection and using RhinoMocks to pull it all together. The one catch was… this group of developers used Visual Basic.

I’ve never shied away from VB. In fact, VB6 with classic ASP is where I cut my programming teeth, and VB.NET was my first move to a true OO language. That being said, I work day in and day out with C#… I’m much more fluent there, and I realized that there were a ton of new features in VB that I wanted to cover that I wasn’t up to par with, fortunately I was able to call on my network of super smart friends and recruit/hire a fellow MVP’er to help me out for the day (thanks Cory for doing that 2 days after your wedding!)

One of the things that tripped me up was using Lambdas in VB. Lambdas are especially important if you are going to use a Mocking framework like RhinoMocks (which I do). Doing Lambdas in VB – especially when I was trying to raise an event from a mock – sort of tripped me up…

First – if you are working with Rhino Mocks, you should go have a look at the excellent Wiki. I find that a lot of people (read: I had) skip the “documentation” since RhinoMocks is so fluent and straight forward, but it’s definitely worth the read!

Second, if you’ve never raised an event in mock from your test in C# here’s the code:

viewMock.Raise(x => x.CalcShippingRequest += null, this, EventArgs.Empty);

and in VB:

view.Raise(Sub(x)AddHandler x.CalcShippingRequest, Nothing, Me, EventArgs.Empty)

It’s the “AddHandler” part that kept tripping me up.. that’s basically += in C#.

Let’s put it all together…

Here’s the IView interface that the aspx page implements. (notice the VB 10 automatic properties)

Public Interface IView

    Property UnitPrice As Decimal

    Property ShippingDistance As Decimal

    Sub DisplayShippingPrice(ByVal price As Decimal)

    Event CalcShippingRequest As EventHandler

End Interface

The Presenter (providing the UI Logic)

Public Class ShippingCalcPresenter

    Dim view As IView


    Public Sub New(ByVal view As IView)

        Me.view = view

        AddHandler view.CalcShippingRequest, AddressOf HandleCalc

    End Sub


    Private Sub HandleCalc(ByVal Sender As Object, ByVal E As EventArgs)

        Me.view.DisplayShippingPrice(view.ShippingDistance + view.UnitPrice)

    End Sub

End Class

The logic here is simple and contrived… we calculate the Shipping cost based on the Unit price and the Shipping distance (we just add the two… like I said, simple and contrived). Also notice that it’s the event from the view (CalcShippingRequest) that causes the presenter to go in to action, namely, it calls DiplayShippingProce on the view. This could have just as easily been a writable property, but I went with a method instead.

Here is the whole test (VB) AAA Syntax using RhinoMocks


Public Class ShippingCalcPresenterTest



    Public Sub ShippingCalcPresenterConstructorTest()

        '*** Assign ***

        'view as a Mock object

        Dim view As IView =


        MockRepository.GenerateMock(Of IView)()


        'set View values (user input)

        view.Expect(Function(x) x.ShippingDistance)



        view.Expect(Function(x) x.UnitPrice)



        'Expect Shipping price of 10 to get set in view

        ' -- Presenter Logic: Price = Distance + Price

        view.Expect(Sub(x) x.DisplayShippingPrice(10)).Repeat.Once()


        '  Inject view Mock in to Presenter

        Dim target As New ShippingCalcPresenter(view)


        '*** Action ***

        ' Raise event in view... normally this would be a


        ‘ user clicking on a button

        view.Raise(Sub(x) AddHandler x.CalcShippingRequest, Nothing, Me, EventArgs.Empty)


        '*** Asserttions ***



    End Sub


End Class

and again, in C#


public class ShippingCalcPresenterTest



    public void ShippingCalcPresenterConstructorTest()


        // *** Assign ***

        // view as a Mock object

        IView view =



        // set view values - user input

        view.Expect(x => x.ShippingDistance).Return(8).Repeat.Once();

        view.Expect(x => x.UnitPrice).Return(2).Repeat.Once();


        // Expected Shipping price of 10 to get set in view

        // -- Presenter Logic: Price = Distance Price

        view.Expect(x => x.DisplayShippingPrice(10)).Repeat.Once();


        // Inject view mock in to Presenter

        ShippingCalcPresenter target = new ShippingCalcPresenter(view);


        // *** Action ***

        // Raise event in view - normaly this would be a user

        // clicking on a button

        view.Raise(x => x.CalcShippingRequest += null,


       this, EventArgs.Empty);


        // *** Assertion ***




First we set up the expectations from the view mock (Assign), then we stuff the view mock in to the presenter (system under test) and then we fire off the event (Act) in the view - this would normally come from a user clicking on something, but in our case, we are simulating the action with a mock. Then we use RhinoMocks VerifyAllExpectations() method to make all of the Assertions that we expected earlier. And there you have it!

Serve hot and enjoy! Happing coding (and testing)!

Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk

About Caleb Jenkins

Caleb Jenkins is an international speaker, author and 6 time Microsoft MVP award recipient, he currently works for Solera as a Director of Software Development. An entertaining and informative speaker who approaches software from a fresh perspective that spans UX, agile practices and technologies for enterprise customers from across the globe. Leading UX product design teams, coaching multi-team agile transformations and architecting and mentoring at some of the largest companies in the world, As a long time community leader and former Microsoft Developer Evangelist, Caleb is well known for his engaging speaking style, depth of knowledge and creative energy. Founder and Principal Mentor of Proaction Mentors, former UX Manager and Agile Coach, Senior Architect for Six Flags Corporation, Product Architect on a Cloud Marketing Platform, Caleb has made a career out of empowering others while building products and teams that delight customers and solve business needs. You can follow him on twitter (@calebjenkins) or his blog, and if you're still reading this, then you could also subscribe to his blog RSS feed or sign up to receive updates by email