How WPF controls help different industries

DevToolsGuy / Tuesday, January 19, 2016

For a non-technical audience, Microsoft’s Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) might feel a little abstract. Available in some form or another since 2006, WPF has been used in a number of popular products, including Yahoo Messenger and market leading software development tool Visual Studio 2010. However, it is primarily used in business applications and can be used to build handy tools to speed up enterprise processes and make your employees a lot more productive.

Before WPF was released, building tools and widgets was usually done with another Microsoft product, WinForms, but WPF made the whole process a lot faster and functional. Imagine that designing a widget is a little like the garment industry: making an app or widget with WinForms was like weaving the thread, turning it into cloth, dying it then cutting it into clothes in one go. WinForms developers had to do everything when building the app.

By contrast, WPF allows a much clearer separation of the functional code-writing side of things and the design side of things, meaning apps and widgets can be built more easily by specialist teams. This is just like having a factory where the cloth is created and woven separately by specialized weavers, before being cut into clothes by specialist designers. Both approaches meant you could build a widget, yet WPF means you can build them in a much more versatile, fast and flexible manner.

WPF controls and widgets allow developers to bring in data and information from a wide variety of sources, and they can be styled to your very specific needs. Let’s look at the diversity of real-life uses of WPF controls, to see just how widely they can be applied.

Financial industry

The finance industry depends on processing large amounts of data rapidly, in real time. Data needs to be available on your employees’ devices, whenever they need to view it. WPF controls are a useful method of tracking and analyzing financial data, so those key decisions can be made fast. A WPF chart can be embedded on a user’s desktop, mobile device or tablet. If your trader is late to work or in a meeting or needs to check stocks for a client at the weekend, a WPF chart on their mobile could bring them that information straight away.

Project Management

The Gantt Chart is an essential tool for Project Managers. However, not every business requires a major investment in PPM software – sometimes a simple WPF Gantt chart shown as a widget on the PM’s desktop will do. A WPF Gantt Chart can provide similar flexibility and control as full Microsoft Project; offering users a variety of views, constraint-setting options and introduction of tasks, sub-tasks, deadlines, milestones and more.

Fitness industry

Health and fitness trainers need to help their clients understand targets and goals in a clear and user-friendly manner. Linear Gauges are a great way of setting targets, showing a client how much weight they have lost, and how far they need to go. Being able to visualize changes and improvements in their health can provide a really positive mental boost, and are a lot easier to read and understand than a series of numbers on a spreadsheet.

Logistics industry

Technology can help facilitate supply chain management from top to bottom, and barcodes built using WPF controls are a key way of ensuring products and parcels have been processed correctly. Warehouse staff can use WPF Barcode Readers to scan products and ensure they are correct before sending these out to delivery drivers who can scan off barcodes to prove delivery.

Academia and research

There’s a huge variety of interactive WPF maps that can be used to represent information in engaging ways. Environmental researchers can visualize pollution levels; geographers can use proportional symbols to understand population movement. And maps can be used in many other industries too: from agriculture to weather forecasting to city planning and more.

Human Resources

WPF provides sophisticated tools to build interactive organization charts. These allow HR teams to add new employees rapidly, as well as remove colleagues who have left the business. Additionally, carousels allow information about your colleagues to be demonstrated in an interactive manner.

The only limit is your imagination.

WPF controls make the process of building attractive enterprise widgets a lot quicker and easier. Once built, these widgets can facilitate work and speed up almost any business activity. Because WPF controls are so versatile, they can be implemented in practically any situation and for practically any purpose. By presenting some of the possibilities WPF controls can unleash, we hope you’ll better understand the diversity of possible use cases these handy little tools can be put to.

Download your 30-day free trial of Infragistics WPF controls as part of Infragistics Ultimate today, and see what you can create!