Monthly Archives: April 2011

HtmlHelper for enums in ASP.Net MVC3

Have you tried to get enums working with HtmlHelpers? It can be a hassle and here is my solution for it. It requires that you tag each entry in the enum with a [Description] attribute.

public static class SelectExtensions
{

    public static string GetInputName<TModel, TProperty>(Expression<Func<TModel, TProperty>> expression)
    {
        if (expression.Body.NodeType == ExpressionType.Call)
        {
            MethodCallExpression methodCallExpression = (MethodCallExpression)expression.Body;
            string name = GetInputName(methodCallExpression);
            return name.Substring(expression.Parameters[0].Name.Length + 1);

        }
        return expression.Body.ToString().Substring(expression.Parameters[0].Name.Length + 1);
    }

    private static string GetInputName(MethodCallExpression expression)
    {
        // p => p.Foo.Bar().Baz.ToString() => p.Foo OR throw...
        MethodCallExpression methodCallExpression = expression.Object as MethodCallExpression;
        if (methodCallExpression != null)
        {
            return GetInputName(methodCallExpression);
        }
        return expression.Object.ToString();
    }

    public static MvcHtmlString EnumDropDownListFor<TModel, TProperty>(this HtmlHelper<TModel> htmlHelper, Expression<Func<TModel, TProperty>> expression) where TModel : class
    {
        string inputName = GetInputName(expression);
        var value = htmlHelper.ViewData.Model == null
            ? default(TProperty)
            : expression.Compile()(htmlHelper.ViewData.Model);

        return htmlHelper.DropDownList(inputName, ToSelectList(typeof(TProperty), value.ToString()));
    }

    public static SelectList ToSelectList(Type enumType, string selectedItem)
    {
        List<SelectListItem> items = new List<SelectListItem>();
        foreach (var item in Enum.GetValues(enumType))
        {
            FieldInfo fi = enumType.GetField(item.ToString());
            var attribute = fi.GetCustomAttributes(typeof(DescriptionAttribute), true).FirstOrDefault();
            var title = attribute == null ? item.ToString() : ((DescriptionAttribute)attribute).Description;
            var listItem = new SelectListItem
                {
                    Value = ((int)item).ToString(),
                    Text = title,
                    Selected = selectedItem == ((int)item).ToString()
                };
            items.Add(listItem);
        }

        return new SelectList(items, "Value", "Text");
    }
}

Usage:

@Html.EnumDropDownListFor(m => m.SubscriptionMode);

If you want to be able to use it for validation, you need to be able to have a “undefined” entry in your enum and do the following change:

// replace "Value = ((int)item).ToString()," in to select list.
Value = (int)item == 0 ? string.Empty : ((int)item).ToString(),