Using NetAdvantage for LightSwitch 11.2

Damyan Petev / Friday, November 04, 2011

Microsoft® Visual Studio® LightSwitch™ is a development tool that excels in rapid application development (RAD). It provides a simplified way to quickly build business applications for the desktop or cloud. Our NetAdvantage enables LightSwitch users to easily and effortlessly create and style high-performance, full-featured user interfaces with custom themes and shell, editors , gauges and charts, geospatial mapping and now with the new 11.2 Release a powerful Grid!

The Infragistics Grid

It has been just three months since the first release of this product and now for our second we added our market leading Silverlight xamGrid to the LightSwitch package. The Infragistics Grid is a flat data grid control designed with a wide array of features and functionality. It’s natural purpose is to replace the default grid in Search and Editable Grid templates.

The control provides a number of useful features :

  • Grouping – It provides a extra UI elements that make it easy to create groups of data based on common value(s) by a simple drag and drop. Once groups are created you can easily drill down the data to find just the information required.

  • Multi-Column Sorting – gives the option to sort multiple columns at once when holding the Ctrl key.
  • Column Pinning  or Fixed Columns – Always useful when you have huge amounts of data and you want to compare two far remote columns. Just pin one or both to do that with great ease. Like the picture below, the ‘ReorderLevel’ column is pinned and will remain visible when scrolling to the side:

  • Summary Rows that allow you to create a top and/or bottom row with aggregate data summaries based on the values in the columns.

  • And of course all the mandatory features like filtering (quickly find the data you need based on a search criteria), column moving and resizing, paging and naturally cells can enter Edit mode to allow editing of data inside the Infragistics Grid control.

 

Then come the advanced functionalities:

  • Advanced selection control on how cells, rows and even columns handle selection.
  • Enabling users to resize from the cell area rather than the column header and allowing for "double-click to auto size" action.
  • Showing and hiding columns with a helpful indicator and truly great Column Chooser that lets you pick columns to display and hide.
  • Multi-Column Resizing allowing when more then one column is selected to resize them all at once.
  • Control over the Clipboard enables users to copy selected data from the Infragistics Grid control and after that to paste it in the proper format into a Microsoft Excel worksheet and vice-versa. You can choose either to include or not the columns header text corresponding to the selected cells in the copied data.
  • Keyboard Shortcuts – Quickly navigate through the Infragistics Grid using the Tab or arrow keys to move between cells, Page Up and Page Down or even the plus(+) and minus(-) to expand or collapse rows when Grouping is used. 
  • And there’s also the option to choose to display cell data with some control like a gauge or a slider:

Walkthrough

  • Step 0

The first thing to do is uninstall previous versions of NetAdvantage for Visual Studio LightSwitch. This can be done by either Programs and Features / Add Remove Programs in Windows Control Panel or by running the product installer and choosing the Remove ( Uninstall for the platform installer). This will be in the documentation of course but I feel the need to mention it even as just a heads-up.

The next thing is naturally installing the new version.

  • Step 1

The first thing to do is make a new LightSwitch Application project in your preferred language. In the project’s Properties page make sure NetAdvantage for Visual Studio LightSwitch controls are enabled by checking the Infragistics LightSwitch Extensions. At this point all the Infragistics controls will be available in your project along with our custom shell and themes you can set to your liking.

You can find the complete steps on creating a project and adding a data source in our Help - http://help.infragistics.com/NetAdvantage/LightSwitch/

Step 2

Make a new screen choosing either the Search Data Screen or the Editable Grid Screen depending on if users should be allowed to edit data:

Open the designer of this new screen (double-click it in Solution explorer) and click on the default Data Grid and choose to use Infragistics Grid instead:

  • Step 3

Set up all the properties you application might require – enable multi-column sorting, multiple cell selection and copy, grouping and so on.

  • Step 4

Save and run – it is that simple!

 

Create engaging and immersive visualizations and present data in an attractive and familiar to work with way. Keep users from being overwhelmed by large amounts of data by providing summaries or let them group data in more manageable sorted packages with the Infragistics Grid – the new addition in NetAdvantage for LightSwitch in 11.2. Provide beautiful user interface by styling the Grid with our themes and enhance experience with a wide variety of features. All done simple and easy with just setting a few properties.