#1,208 – Catching Data Binding Errors Part 1

In WPF, data binding errors by default are quietly swallowed, rather than throwing an exception.

Happily, there is a TraceSource that we can use to intercept all binding errors. All data binding errors will go through this trace source and we can therefore add a TraceListener to the trace source’s Listeners collection in order to intercept the error.

We start by creating a simple class deriving from TraceListener that overrides Write and WriteLine methods. These methods will be invoked when messages come from the trace source. Note that we don’t yet do anything useful with these messages, but just dump them to standard trace output (to prove to ourselves that we got them).

   public class BindingErrorTraceListener : TraceListener
        public override void Write(string message)
            Trace.WriteLine(string.Format("==[Write]{0}==", message));

        public override void WriteLine(string message)
            Trace.WriteLine(string.Format("==[WriteLine]{0}==", message));

We can now wire our listener into the standard data binding trace source. Below, we do this at application startup.

    public partial class App : Application
        protected override void OnStartup(StartupEventArgs e)

            PresentationTraceSources.DataBindingSource.Switch.Level = SourceLevels.Error;
            PresentationTraceSources.DataBindingSource.Listeners.Add(new BindingErrorTraceListener());

At this point, we’re not doing anything with the binding errors. But if you watch the output window, you’ll see that we’re now capturing them.

Next time, we’ll look at converting these errors into exceptions that you can catch.


About Sean
Software developer in the Twin Cities area, passionate about software development and sailing.

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