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I ran into an issue where I was doing Asp.Net Mvc validation on one of my forms. I wanted it so that three things were required only if a checkbox was checked. I know that out of the box this isn’t supported so I googled around until I found this article:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/simonince/archive/2011/02/04/conditional-validation-in-asp-net-mvc-3.aspx

The article goes over conditional validation with a custom validator and some extension code so that it works client side. Good stuff. Thanks Simon Ince.

It worked like a champ. Note: THIS IS NOT MY CODE. I am putting it in here so that people don’t have to download the solution file from his website to analyze and re-produce the solution.

public class RequiredIfAttribute : ValidationAttribute, IClientValidatable
{
    private RequiredAttribute _innerAttribute = new RequiredAttribute();

    public string DependentProperty { get; set; }
    public object TargetValue { get; set; }

    public RequiredIfAttribute(string dependentProperty, object targetValue)
    {
        this.DependentProperty = dependentProperty;
        this.TargetValue = targetValue;
    }

    protected override ValidationResult IsValid(object value,
        ValidationContext validationContext)
    {
        // get a reference to the property this validation depends upon
        var containerType = validationContext.ObjectInstance.GetType();
        var field = containerType.GetProperty(this.DependentProperty);

        if (field != null)
        {
            // get the value of the dependent property
            var dependentvalue = field.GetValue(
                validationContext.ObjectInstance, null);

            // compare the value against the target value
            if ((dependentvalue == null &&
                this.TargetValue == null) ||
                (dependentvalue != null &&
                dependentvalue.Equals(this.TargetValue)))
            {
                // match => means we should try validating this field
                if (!_innerAttribute.IsValid(value))
                    // validation failed - return an error
                    return new ValidationResult(this.ErrorMessage,
                        new[] { validationContext.MemberName });
            }
        }

        return ValidationResult.Success;
    }

    public IEnumerable<ModelClientValidationRule> GetClientValidationRules(
        ModelMetadata metadata, ControllerContext context)
    {
        var rule = new ModelClientValidationRule()
        {
            ErrorMessage = FormatErrorMessage(metadata.GetDisplayName()),
            ValidationType = "requiredif",
        };

        string depProp = BuildDependentPropertyId(metadata, context as ViewContext);

        // find the value on the control we depend on;
        // if it's a bool, format it javascript style
        // (the default is True or False!)
        string targetValue = (this.TargetValue ?? "").ToString();
        if (this.TargetValue.GetType() == typeof(bool))
            targetValue = targetValue.ToLower();

        rule.ValidationParameters.Add("dependentproperty", depProp);
        rule.ValidationParameters.Add("targetvalue", targetValue);

        yield return rule;
    }

    private string BuildDependentPropertyId(
        ModelMetadata metadata, ViewContext viewContext)
    {
        // build the ID of the property
        string depProp =
            viewContext.ViewData.TemplateInfo.GetFullHtmlFieldId(this.DependentProperty);
        // unfortunately this will have the name of the current field appended to the beginning,
        // because the TemplateInfo's context has had this fieldname appended to it. Instead, we
        // want to get the context as though it was one level higher (i.e. outside the current property,
        // which is the containing object (our Person), and hence the same level as the dependent property.
        var thisField = metadata.PropertyName + "_";
        if (depProp.StartsWith(thisField))
            // strip it off again
            depProp = depProp.Substring(thisField.Length);
        return depProp;
    }
}

Here is the Javascript:

.validator.addMethod('requiredif',
    function (value, element, parameters) {
        var id = '#' + parameters['dependentproperty'];

        // get the target value (as a string,
        // as that's what actual value will be)
        var targetvalue = parameters['targetvalue'];
        targetvalue =
          (targetvalue == null ? '' : targetvalue).toString();

        // get the actual value of the target control
        // note - this probably needs to cater for more
        // control types, e.g. radios
        var control = $(id);
        var controltype = control.attr('type');
        var actualvalue =
            controltype === 'checkbox' ?
            control.attr('checked').toString() :
            control.val();

        // if the condition is true, reuse the existing
        // required field validator functionality
        if (targetvalue === actualvalue)
            return $.validator.methods.required.call(
              this, value, element, parameters);

        return true;
    }
);

$.validator.unobtrusive.adapters.add(
    'requiredif',
    ['dependentproperty', 'targetvalue'],
    function (options) {
        options.rules['requiredif'] = {
            dependentproperty: options.params['dependentproperty'],
            targetvalue: options.params['targetvalue']
        };
        options.messages['requiredif'] = options.message;
    });

Hope this helps.

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