Validate all the Things?
The last post showed how to combine MediatR, FluentValidation, and Ninject to handle the validation of requests handled by MediatR. The drawback in the previous post is that all requests must have a corresponding validator implemented. Here, we'll look at using the null object pattern to bypass validation when a validator isn't present.
Null Object What?
The null object pattern is a way to pass an object which represents nothing, but does not throw a runtime exception when used. This pattern can be used to add default behavior to a process when there is nothing for the process to use.
The handler above is taken from the last post. It accepts a handler and validator for a given request. It validates the request, then either passes the request to the next handler, or throws an exception. Ninject will throw an exception when it cannot find an appropriate validator for the request.
Enter a null validator. This validator has no rules. When used, it will return no errors, because there are no rules defined in it. Because it's defined as a generic, it can be used to validate any request. When the handler processes a request, the validation passes by default, and the request is passed down the chain.
The cool thing is there's no extra steps needed. Just add the null validator to the solution. It will be picked up by Ninject in the normal registration process. When Ninject can't find the appropriate validator for a request, it will fall back to the generic implementation.
That's all there is to adding a class which will provide a default behavior of passing requests that have no validation rules defined. Adding code like this is also a great example of the open-closed principle: It was possible to extend the behavior of the validator without changing the code of the validator. So, there ya go. Default, passing validation using the null object pattern.
As always, the code is on GitHub.