Writing Unit Test for Model Validation

It is a pretty common pattern to validate your Web Action model using ModelState.IsValid method. For example,

public async Task<UpdateUserProfileResponse> UpdateUser(UpdateUserProfileRequest user)
    if (ModelState.IsValid)
        // Valid Model, do your job
        // Send response indicating invalid model

A pretty useful pattern, as it makes use of the DataAnnotations to validate and provide meaning messages. One question though that raises is, how do you unit test such a pattern ? The trick lies in emulating the ModelState. You could do with minimal code. For example,

protected void MockModelState<TModel,TController>(TModel model, TController controller) where TController: ControllerBase
    var validationContext = new System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotations.ValidationContext(model, null, null);
    var validationResults = new List<ValidationResult>();
    Validator.TryValidateObject(model, validationContext, validationResults, true);
    foreach (var validationResult in validationResults)
        controller.ModelState.AddModelError(validationResult.MemberNames.First(), validationResult.ErrorMessage);

With that in place, you could now write Unit Test for your controller as the following

var userController = new UserController(Mapper, mockUserProfileService.Object, null, null);
var result = await userController.UpdateUser(request);

That’s all you need.

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