Code Quality Rank: L3
Programming language: C#
Tags: Mvvm    

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Catel is an application development platform with the focus on MVVM (WPF, UWP, Xamarin.Android, Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Forms). The goal of Catel is to provide a complete set of modular functionality for Line of Business applications written in any .NET technology, from client to server.

Catel distinguishes itself by unique features to aid in the development of MVVM applications and server-side application development. Since Catel focuses on Line of Business applications, it provides professional support and excellent documentation which ensures a safe bet by professional companies and developers.

For documentation, please visit the documentation portal

Features and components

Below are a few features that are available in Catel.


Catel.Core is the library you want to include in all your projects, whether you are writing a UI project or not. It contains lots of useful helper methods. The most important features are listed below:

  • Argument validation (e.g. Argument.IsNotNull(() => myArgument))
  • Caching
  • Data (ModelBase, PropertyBag, Validation)
  • IoC (ServiceLocator, TypeFactory)
  • Logging (LogManager, Log, several log listeners)
  • Messaging
  • Reflection (same reflection API for every supported platform)
  • Serialization (BinarySerializer, XmlSerializer and more)
  • Weak references (WeakEventListener)

And more....


Catel.MVVM is the library you want to include when you are writing a UI project (e.g. WPF, UWP, Xamarin) and you want to use the MVVM pattern. Catel is the only MVVM library that has context-aware view and view-model creation, which can be used to solve the nested user controls problem.

The most important features are listed below:

  • Auditing
  • Collections (FastObservableCollection)
  • Commands (Command, TaskCommand, etc)
  • Converters (tons of converters out of the box)
  • Services
    • CameraService
    • LocationService
    • MessageService
    • NavigationService
    • OpenFileService
    • PleaseWaitService
    • SaveFileService
    • UIVisualizerService
  • View models
    • Automatic validation
    • Automatic mappings from model to view model
  • Views
    • DataWindow
    • UserControl
    • Window

Example code


This model has automatic change notifications and validation.

public class Person : ValidatableModelBase
    public string FirstName { get; set; }

    public string LastName { get; set; }

    protected override void ValidateFields(List<IFieldValidationResult> validationResults)
        if (string.IsNullOrWhitespace(FirstName))
            validationResults.Add(FieldValidationResult.CreateError(nameof(FirstName), "First name is required"));

        if (string.IsNullOrWhitespace(LastName))
            validationResults.Add(FieldValidationResult.CreateError(nameof(LastName), "Last name is required"));

View models

This is a view model with:

  • Automatic injection of the DataContext
  • Automatic mapping of properties & validation from model => view model
public class PersonViewModel : ViewModelBase
    public PersonViewModel(Person person)
        Argument.IsNotNull(() => person);

        Person = person;

    private Person Person { get; set; }

    public string FirstName { get; set; }

    public string LastName { get; set; }

How to contribute

Support on Open Collective

Please consider supporting Catel on Open Collective.


To add translations to Catel, the Multilingual App Toolkit (MAT) is required.

  1. Download the MAT Editor
  2. Open your specific language (or create it) in the MultilingualResources folder, e.g. ./src/Catel.MVVM/MultilingualResources/Catel.MVVM.nl.xlf
  3. Edit the xlf file and create a pull request (PR) with only this file

Building Catel


Catel requires Visual Studio 2019 to compile successfully. You also need to ensure you have the following features installed:

Note that the .vsconfig in the src root should notify about missing components when opening the solution.

  • .NET desktop development
  • Universal Windows Platform development
  • Mobile development with .NET
  • .NET Core cross-platform development
  • Select the following components from Individual components
    • Windows 10 SDK (10.0.16299.0)
    • MSVC v141 and v142 (ARM, ARM64 and x64/x86)
    • C++ ATL v141 and v142 (ARM, ARM64 and x86 & x64) build tools
    • C++ MFC v141 and v142 (ARM, ARM64 and x86 & x64) build tools
  • Latest Version of .NET Core 3.0 Preview SDK
    • Ensure you enable Use previews of the .NET Core SDK under Tools -> Options -> Projects and Solutions -> .NET Core

Note that you should run these commands using powershell in the root of the repository.

Running a build

.\build.ps1 -target build

Running a build with unit tests

.\build.ps1 -target buildandtest

Running a build with local packages

Note that this assumes a local packages directory at C:\Source\_packages, which can be added to the NuGet feeds:


.\build.ps1 -target buildandpackagelocal

Apps using Catel

There are a lot of (both free & commercial) apps using Catel. This list provides a few examples that are built with Catel:

// todo: add wpf

// todo: add uwp

WPF components based on Catel

If you are planning on using WPF, there is a huge set (60+) of free open-source components available based on Catel. All these open source are developed by a company called WildGums (see https://www.wildgums.com) and provided to the community for free. The components are well maintained and being used in several commercial WPF applications.

For more information, see https://github.com/wildgums


This project exists thanks to all the people who contribute. [[Contribute](CONTRIBUTING.md)].


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