asked    Celeste     2018-10-12       13 view        1 Answer

[SOLVED] Custom Sections & Custom Trees MVC approach

I have spent hours and hours trying to get a custom tree to show up in a custom section in umbraco. - With out success.

So far I have managed to create a new section, but when I click that section nothing happens.

What should happen is a custom tree should be displayed with one node. When you click that node It should display an MVC view.

This is what I have done so far, it is based around this tutorial.

A. Create the section

    [Application("rewards", "Rewards", "icon-gift", 15)]
    public class RewardsSection: IApplication

B. Create the Tree

[Tree("rewards", "rewardsTree", "Rewards")]
public class RewardsTree : BaseTree
    public RewardsTree(string application)
        : base(application)
    { }

    protected override void CreateRootNode(ref XmlTreeNode rootNode)
        rootNode.NodeType = "rewards";
        rootNode.NodeID = "-1";
        rootNode.Menu = new List<IAction> { ActionRefresh.Instance };


    public override void Render(ref XmlTree tree)
        var IndexNode = XmlTreeNode.Create(this);
        IndexNode.NodeID = "0";
        IndexNode.NodeType = "Home";
        IndexNode.Text = "Home";
        IndexNode.Action = "javascript:openPage('/umbraco/backoffice/Plugins/Rewards/Index');";
        IndexNode.Icon = "icon-home";
        IndexNode.HasChildren = false;
        IndexNode.Menu = new List<IAction>();
        OnBeforeNodeRender(ref tree, ref IndexNode, EventArgs.Empty);

        if (IndexNode != null)
            OnAfterNodeRender(ref tree, ref IndexNode, EventArgs.Empty);

    public override void RenderJS(ref StringBuilder Javascript)
        var js = $"function openPage(url){{UmbClientMgr.contentFrame(url);}}";

    protected override void CreateAllowedActions(ref List<IAction> actions)

C. RegisterRoutes (called on ApplicationStarted)

public static void RegisterRoutes(RouteCollection routes)
          name: "Default",
          url: "umbraco/backoffice/Plugins/{controller}/{action}/{id}",
          defaults: new { controller = "Home", action = "Index", id = UrlParameter.Optional }
public class StartUpHandlers : ApplicationEventHandler
    protected override void ApplicationStarted(UmbracoApplicationBase umbracoApplication, ApplicationContext applicationContext)

D. Back-end Controller - Returning view I want to see.

public class RewardsController : UmbracoAuthorizedController
    public ActionResult Index()
        return View("~/App_Plugins/Rewards/Views/RewardsHome/Index.cshtml");

So what am I missing?

I put break points in the RewardsTree Class but none of them are hit.

I also put break points on Application Started and those break points are being hit so I am pretty sure the route is being configured correctly.

Is there anything that I am missing? I have seen other examples using a TreeController insted of TreeBase which has confused me a bit.

ANY ideas? - very stuck

  1 Answer  

        answered    Olive     2018-10-12      

I have managed to get a custom tree displaying in a custom section! At last! -

The problem I had was two fold.

From all the tutorials online that walk you through how to do this when defining the custom tree some tutorials inherit from BaseTree and others inherit from TreeController -

I have got it to work inheriting from TreeController, from what I understand using the BaseTree is the 'old way' of doing it.

I'm running Umbraco version 7.6.4 assembly: 1.0.6396.36621 - I'm not sure if the old way works using this version or not, but I couldn't get it to work.

So after following the guide lines in chapter 16 (Custom Sections, Trees and Actions) of this book:

I got my project to compile and run, the custom section showed up, but the custom tree didn't, when I clicked the custom section an error was thrown.

System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

Part of stack trace looks like this:

Umbraco.Web.Trees.ApplicationTreeExtensions.TryLoadFromControllerTree(ApplicationTree appTree, String id, FormDataCollection formCollection, HttpControllerContext controllerContext) at Umbraco.Web.Trees.ApplicationTreeController.d__17.MoveNext() --- End of stack trace from previous location where exception was thrown -

It wasn't obvious why this was happening, but after a bit of reasearch I worked out this was becuase....................

I am using a IoC contanier and for this to work I needed to make sure the TreeController is registered in the containier! - This is something that is not mentioned in any documentation or tutorials relating to creating custom trees. The documentation assumes your using Umbraco with out an IoC container.

In my case I'm using Autofac so all I had to do was add this to my container registration code:


and suddenly everything works!

Really hope this helps someone else.

Umbraco (7.6. 4) / Autofac.Mvc5 (4.0.2) / Autofac.WebApi2 (4.0.1) / << That's the combination of nuget packages that are working for me.

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