WPF binding to a Windsor proxied component

WPF binding is very powerful but has some annoying issues. This time I faced with a well known one: binding to an explicitly implemented interface member doesn’t work:

public interface IFoo {
int BarsCount {get;}

public class Foo:IFoo {
int IFoo.BarsCount {
return 3;

<TextBox DataContext=[set to some Foo instance] Text={Binding Path=BarsCount} />

This way the textbox is not filled; while annoying, it could be fixed implementing interface implicitly:

public class Foo:IFoo {
public int BarsCount {
return 3;

Sometimes it is not possible, because we can’t control concrete class implementation. This is the case when the concrete class is dynamically generated proxy.

In a project of mine I use Castle Project’s Windsor Container, that relies on Castle DynamicProxy for its AOP/intercepion features (which I use for cross-cutting concern implementation).
In this project all the presenters are registered in the container with related interfaces; when I configure an interceptor for a presenter, the concrete class returned by the container is not the registered implementation, but a dynamically generated proxy (implementing the registered interface) forwarding all method calls to a wrapped instance of my hand-written presenter (thus allowing methods interception).

This interception style is called Interface Proxy  (see excellent Krzysztof Koźmic tutorial on Castle DynamicProxy proxy capabilities).

This way, however, previously working binding to the presenter stops running: presenter instance no longer has expected (at least by WPF) properties in its public interface.

The solution I found (yet not very general) is to leverage another interception style, Class Proxy, used by Windsor when a component is registered without a corresponding interface. In this scenario, the generated proxy is a dynamically generated subclass of the concrete component registered; this way only virtual method could be intercepted, but the public interface of the component is preserved (and so the WPF binding operation).

The choice of the interception style is taken by a well defined (and pluggable) Windsor component: IProxyFactory. So I implemented a custom IProxyFactory, inheriting the default one and altering its behavior when the registered component is decorated with a certain custom attribute; this attribute specifies that a Class Proxy style interception should be used. Here the implementation:

public class ForceClassProxyAttribute : Attribute { }

//Force class proxy if service implementor is decorated with ForceClassProxyAttribute
//Is a workaround for WPF binding not seeing interface members
public class WindsorProxyFactory : DefaultProxyFactory
public override object Create(Castle.MicroKernel.IKernel kernel, object target, Castle.Core.ComponentModel model, Castle.MicroKernel.CreationContext context, params object[] constructorArguments)
if (this.ShouldForceClassProxy(model, target))
return CreateForcingClassProxy(kernel, target, model, context, constructorArguments);
return base.Create(kernel, target, model, context, constructorArguments);

protected virtual object CreateForcingClassProxy(Castle.MicroKernel.IKernel kernel, object target, Castle.Core.ComponentModel model, Castle.MicroKernel.CreationContext context, params object[] constructorArguments)
object proxy;

IInterceptor[] interceptors = ObtainInterceptors(kernel, model, context);

ProxyOptions proxyOptions = ProxyUtil.ObtainProxyOptions(model, true);
ProxyGenerationOptions proxyGenOptions = CreateProxyGenerationOptionsFrom(proxyOptions);

CustomizeOptions(proxyGenOptions, kernel, model, constructorArguments);

Type[] interfaces = proxyOptions.AdditionalInterfaces;
proxy = generator.CreateClassProxy(model.Implementation, interfaces, proxyGenOptions,
constructorArguments, interceptors);

CustomizeProxy(proxy, proxyGenOptions, kernel, model);

return proxy;

protected bool ShouldForceClassProxy(Castle.Core.ComponentModel model, object target)

return model.Implementation
.GetCustomAttributes(typeof(ForceClassProxyAttribute), true)

Then I simply provide this custom IProxyFactory implementation when container instance is created:

var container = new WindsorContainer(new IniziativeInformatiche.Core.WindsorProxyFactory());

Comments and suggestions are welcome, if someone will ever get here 🙂


It seems that binding to interface members could be done with the syntax:

{Binding Path=(local:IFoo.BarsCount)}

I should better investigate, even though this way I should fix all existing views…


September 2009
    Oct »

%d bloggers like this: