Using ModelBase as base for entities

It is possible to use the ModelBase as base class when using EF or any other OR mapper.

Setting up ModelBase as base class

There are a few caveats when using the ModelBase as base class for your entities. One of them is that IsDirty is always true because the properties from the persistence store are set after the constructor. This guide will explain how to work past that problem.

  1. Create a class named EntityBase with the following code:
public class EntityBase : ModelBase
    protected EntityBase() { }
    protected EntityBase(SerializationInfo info, StreamingContext context)
        : base(info, context) { }
    internal void ClearDirtyFlag()
        IsDirty = false;
  1. Derive from EntityBase instead of ModelBase so the layer that loads the data can clear the IsDirty flag.

  2. When loading the data from the database and setting the initial values, use this code:

var company = new DTO.Company()
    Address = domainEntity.Address,
    City = domainEntity.City,
    CompanyID = domainEntity.CompanyID, 
    CompanyName = domainEntity.CompanyName, 
    PostalCode = domainEntity.PostalCode,
    PostalCodeAndCity = domainEntity.PostalCodeAndCity

return company;

Note the ClearDirtyFlag call, which is very important to make the IsDirty property behave correctly.

  1. Check the IsDirty of the model, not the view model when checking whether the model is dirty inside a view model.

Ignoring default Catel properties in models

It is possible to ignore the default Catel properties in the models for EF code-first. To accomplish this, use the following code:

protected override void OnModelCreating(DbModelBuilder modelBuilder)
   modelBuilder.Types().Configure(c => c.Ignore("IsDirty"));
   modelBuilder.Types().Configure(c => c.Ignore("IsReadOnly"));

Or, if you only want to do this for classes inheriting Modelbase, use the following code:

protected override void OnModelCreating(DbModelBuilder modelBuilder)
   modelBuilder.Types().Where(t => t.IsSubclassOf(typeof(ModelBase))).Configure(c => c.Ignore("IsDirty"));
   modelBuilder.Types().Where(t => t.IsSubclassOf(typeof(ModelBase))).Configure(c => c.Ignore("IsReadOnly"));


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