Taking Control of NetAdvantage for WPF 4


I’ve been busy getting acquainted with some of our new WPF controls. They are completely fantastic! With version 2010.2 comes the release of new controls that require WPF 4.0. This blog will talk a little about some changes concerning these controls.

NetAdvantage for WPF has some awesome new 4.0 features and controls. The new controls include the following:

The new xamColorPicker which can be customized to include your own color palettes.

The xamDialogWindow which can be styled to create simple stylish MessageBoxes or complex modal dialogs with various presentation options.

 

The xamMenu and xamContextMenu provide a complete solution for managing a complete menu bar and contextual menus.

 

The xamSlider provides the means for creating sliders with multiple thumbs as well as presenting various types of data including the Date and Time.

 

The xamSpellChecker provides a simple Spell Checking solution to your applications.

 

With the xamTagCloud you can add the popular Web Control for displaying hyperlink buttons with a visual indicator to communicate the weight of the number of times the tag is used.

 

In addition to these we now have NetAdvantage Data Visualization for WPF. This suite of controls includes the following dynamic controls.

The xamGuage provides a creative way to present a visual indicator for dynamic data.

 

The xamTimeline positions information along a timeline which a user can explore in detail and zoom in details.

 

The xamBulletGraph extends the bar graph and guage to provide comparitive and qualitative ranges of data.

 

The xamDataChart is a chart control designed to handle millions of data points with fast performance.

 

The xamPivotGrid is a specialized data grid for working with multidimensional data (MDX) from OLAP cubes, data warehouses and Microsoft® SQL Server® Analysis Services.

 

The xamBarcode manages the details of barcode imaging, allowing you to easily embed data in barcode format.

 

The  xamTreemap fullfilles the standard of creating heatmaps made popular in the financial industry. These can be used for inventory management  and market maps for showing hot stocks and cold sectors.

Finally, the xamMap provides a way for presenting visual maps of data. This can be used for traditional maps of the world and countries or for anything you can represent as a map, such as a map of an interactive seating diagram.

 

Some things I noticed with using these controls that I would like to make you aware of...

The new controls in the main Client product and all the Data Visualization controls require WPF 4. This means you need to make sure the project is set up to use .NET 4.0 CLR framework.

To do this in Expression Blend, you can specify the CLR version below the CLR Language in the New Project dialog.

In Visual Studio 2010, the version is at the top of its New Project dialog.

If you add these assemblies to a 3.5 project you will find odd behavior with them rendering in Blend and VisualStudio and you will experience namespace compiler errors. It may be hard to figure out at first what is going on. Simply make sure the project is set up for the 4.0 CLR.

Finally, the other thing that is new with using these controls is the placement of the DLLs on your hard drive after installation. As usual most of the controls require at least two DLLs. For example, the xamColorPicker requires both:

·         InfragisticsWPF4.v10.2.dll

·         InfragisticsWPF4.Controls.Editors.XamColorPicker.v10.2.dll

Since ‘InfragisticsWPF4.v10.2.dll’ is used by controls from both suite of controls, this and other common assebmlies are now placed into a new folder: the WPFCommon folder.

Additionally, within the NetAdvantage WPF folder you will find folders ‘CLR3.0’ and ‘CLR4.0’. The XamColorPicker DLL can be found only in the ‘CLR4.0’ folder since it is a .NET CLR 4.0 assembly. Keep this in mind when adding DLL references and don’t forget the common DLLs when adding these controls to your products and you will have no problem in accessing the various parts of their object models.

To read more about the new placement for the assemblies, check out the following documentation webpage.

In my next blog I will focus on techniques for using the xamDataGrid with Expression Blend and Visual Studio 2010. I will also be demonstrating the xamColorPicker by adding it as a field in the XamDataGrid.


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