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Model View ViewModel (MVVM)

The MVVM pattern enforces separation between the UI, the view, the data, model and the interaction between the model and the view, view-model. The View and the ViewModel are connected through data bindings.

A Simple ViewModel

To demonstrate MVVM we will create a simple ViewModel to display the current time. In this instance we won't have a Model since the the app is so simple however we will create the View, UI and the ViewModel.

Define the ViewModel


using System;
using System.ComponentModel;
using System.Runtime.CompilerServices;
using Xamarin.Forms;
namespace Models
    public class ClockViewModel : INotifyPropertyChanged
        public event PropertyChangedEventHandler PropertyChanged;
        DateTime dateTime;

        public ClockViewModel()
            this.DateTime = DateTime.Now;
            Device.StartTimer(TimeSpan.FromSeconds(1), () =>
                this.DateTime = DateTime.Now;
                return true;

        public DateTime DateTime {
            get {
                return dateTime;

            set {
                if (value != dateTime)
                    dateTime = value;

        public void OnPropertyChanged([CallerMemberName]string propertyName = null){
            PropertyChanged?.Invoke(this, new PropertyChangedEventArgs(propertyName));

We implement the INotifyPropertyChanged interface. It contains one property PropertyChanged event. We call the event each time the property is set. This is the glue for the data binding.

Define the View

We define the UI in XAML and use data binding to bind the ViewModel properties to the label. The BindingContext is define in a ResourceDictionary. Note that we could have set this up in code, but instead we decided to set it up in XAML.


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<ContentPage xmlns="" 
            <local:ClockViewModel x:Key="vm" />
            <Label BindingContext="{x:StaticResource vm}" Text="{Binding DateTime, StringFormat='{0:T}'}" />
  1. We first define the namespace with the Model using the following xmlns:local="clr-namespace:Models".
  2. We instantiated the ClockViewModel in in a ResourceDictionary with . Notice that we defined a key vm that we will use later to reference the ViewModel.
  3. We did bind the Label to the ViewModel using BindingContext="{x:StaticResource vm}". and the Label's Text property to the DateTime property within the ViewModel with Text="{Binding DateTime, StringFormat='{0:T}'}" and also formatted the date to only get the time.