UI Design Pattern for Windows Forms (like MVVM for WPF)

As it has already said, i always worked in a MVP pattern when using Winforms. But the design pattern you will use not mean you will use right. There is loads of anti-pattern attached to MVP.

If you want to starts everything in a good manner, you have to use the framework for building smart client. So i will recommend to use that design and practices: Smart Client Software Factory http://www.codeplex.com/smartclient

You have a discussion here about the current smart client frameworks : http://codebetter.com/blogs/glenn.block/archive/2008/05/10/prism-cab-and-winforms-futures.aspx

PS: I like this post on the MVP anti-patterns: http://blog.mattwynne.net/2007/06/13/mvp-smells/

Hope this helps

The Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) Pattern is a design pattern. Per definition a design pattern shows a common solution in the object-oriented world and this solution can be applied in various platforms (WPF, WinForms, Java Swing, etc.). I agree that MVVM is best used with WPF because it leverages the strong binding capabilities. However, Windows Forms supports data binding as well.

The WAF Windows Forms Adapter shows how to apply the MVVM Pattern in a Windows Forms application.

I have tried MVP and it seems to work great with windows forms too. This book has an example of windows forms with MVP pattern (sample payroll application). The application is not that complex but will give you an idea about how to go about creating it.

Agile Principles, Patterns, and Practices in C#...

You can get the source code at Source Code


There are two variations of the MVP pattern (a) Passive view and (b) supervising controller

For complex databinding scenarios I prefer to go with the Supervising controller pattern. In supervising controller pattern the databinding responsibility rest with the view. So,for treeview/datagrid this should be in the respective views, only view agnostic logic should moved on to the presenter.

I'll recommend having a look at the following MVP framework MVC# - An MVP framework

Don't go by the name (it's an MVP framework).

Simple winforms MVP video Winforms - MVP

An example of dealing with dropdown list MVP - DropDownList

Simple treeview binding example (poor man's binding). You can add any treeview specific logic in BindTree().

Below is the code snippet.... not tested, directly keyed in from thought....

public interface IYourView
   void BindTree(Model model);

public class YourView : System.Windows.Forms, IYourView
   private Presenter presenter;

   public YourView()
      presenter = new YourPresenter(this);

   public override OnLoad()

   public void BindTree(Model model)
       // Binding logic goes here....

public class YourPresenter
   private IYourView view;

   public YourPresenter(IYourView view)
       this.view = view;

   public void OnLoad()
       // Get data from service.... or whatever soruce
       Model model = service.GetData(...);

I have written about a variation of MVP/MVVM design patterns called MVP-VM, which is a tailor made solution for winforms applications that require full testing coverage and use data binding as main mechanism for keeping the presentation updated with model data.

MVVM for .NET Winforms

MVVM (Model View View Model) introduces similar approach for separating the presentation from the data in an environment that empowers data binding (WPF). Since .NET framework 2.0 already offers advanced data binding infrastructure that also allows design time binding of application objects - the ‘View Model’ entity can fit quite well in MVP based environment.