Web API 2 and ninject, how to make them work together

Full source code to download.

I’ve been using ninject for a few years, but every time I use it with Web Api I hit some problem and they usually stem from not including the right nuget packages, not changing the DependencyResolver or (once) forgetting how to make a binding!

For my future self and your reference, here is how it is done.

1. Nuget packages

Add Ninject.Web.WebApi using nuget to your Web Api project.

That will install two other package dependencies:

To make everything work you need to add one more nuget package

This will pull down the WebActivatorEx package and add a new class called NinjectWebCommon to your App_Start directory.

2. Edit NinjectWebCommon.cs

NinjectWebCommon.cs is missing a key feature if you want to use ninject to construct the controllers, and I presume that is why you are using ninject inside a Web Api project.

In the CreateKernel() method add the second line shown below. Now ninject will be used to resolve controller dependencies.

GlobalConfiguration.Configuration.DependencyResolver = new NinjectDependencyResolver(kernel);
return kernel;

You will need to add a couple of using statements too –

using System.Web.Http;
using Ninject.Web.WebApi;

3. Register some services

To actually register some services we move to the RegisterServices(..) method do some binding.

private static void RegisterServices(IKernel kernel)

4. Use it all

And here is the usage in the controller.

    public class ValuesController : ApiController
        private readonly ICaclulator _caclulator;
        public ValuesController(ICaclulator calculator)
            _caclulator = calculator;

        public int Get(int num1, int num2)
            return _caclulator.Add(num1, num2);

Full source code to download.

Entity Framework, checking the connection string of your context

Sometimes when using Entity Framework I want to verify that I’m connected to the database I think I’m connected to.

Here’s how to check in Entity Framework 5, Entity Framework 6 and Entity Framework Core 1 (EF 7)

//Entity Framework 5
//Entity Framework 6
//Entity Framework Core 1

Customizing a specific string inside a class using AutoFixture

Full source code.

I’ve been using AutoFixture for a while with my unit tests. It creates objects with prefilled data, saving me the hassle of manually constructing them.

Basic usage

If you want a string from AutoFixture do something like –

string myString = fixture.Create();


If you want to prefix the string do this –

string myPrefixedString = fixture.Create("Prefix");


If you want something that looks like an email address –

string emailAddress = fixture.Create().Address;


Where it starts to get a bit tricky is if you have a class like this –

public class Account
	public Guid AccountId { get; set; }
	public string Firstname { get; set; }
	public string Lastname { get; set; }
	public IEnumerable<string> EmailAddresses { get; set; }

Because I am using a string to represent an email address AutoFixture will give me a string, not an email address.

Here are two solutions.

Solution 1

fixture.Customize<Account>(c => c.With(a => a.EmailAddresses, fixture.CreateMany<MailAddress>().Select(ma => ma.Address.ToString())));

This produces emails that look like –


Solution 2

If I want to generate email address that look a little more like real world address I have to create a SpecimenBuilder.

    public class EmailAddressesStringSpecimenBuilder : ISpecimenBuilder
        public object Create(object request, ISpecimenContext context)
            var propertyInfo = request as PropertyInfo;

            if (propertyInfo != null)
                if (propertyInfo.Name == "EmailAddresses" && propertyInfo.PropertyType == typeof (IEnumerable<string>))
					// of course you can customize how the mail addresses are created, you can even use a fixture to create strings 🙂 
                    IEnumerable<string> emailAddresses = new List<string>() {"user1@acme.com", "user2@unknown.com", "user3@nothing.com"};
                    return emailAddresses;
            return new NoSpecimen();

How to use the customizations

            Fixture fixture = new Fixture();

			fixture.Customizations.Add(new EmailAddressesStringSpecimenBuilder());
            // use one of the two customizations here, but not both
			// fixture.Customize<Account>(c => c.With(a => a.EmailAddresses, fixture.CreateMany<MailAddress>().Select(ma => ma.Address.ToString())));

            var account1 = fixture.Create<Account>();
            var account2 = fixture.Create<Account>();

Full source code.