What's New in Windows Forms 18.2

Jason Beres [Infragistics] / Wednesday, November 7, 2018

I am really excited to announce new features & additions to our Windows Forms product for 18.2.  Contrary to popular belief, Windows Forms is still in usage and growth and adoption are still strong.  Infragistics continues to add enormous value to our already market-leading Windows Forms product.  In this release, we've invested in Charting, Excel Library, Spreadsheet and more.  

Let’s get started with what’s new in Windows Forms for 18.2!

Windows Forms Chart

In Windows Forms, you get the same high-performance, full-featured chart that we ship in WPF, JavaScript, and Angular.  With 85+ chart types, full touch support, and the ability to handle real-time streaming with millions of data points, we continue to add features that give your apps more data visualization value.

Callouts Annotation

With the Callouts Annotation, you can annotate important data points in the Category Chart and Data Chart, or even customize values in callout boxes based on your logic. For example, calculate maximum values in your data source.

 Angular Chart Callout Annotations

Crosshairs Annotation

You can configure crosshairs in the Data Chart and the Category Chart to display as a horizontal line, a vertical line, or both at the location of the mouse cursor. In addition, the Crosshairs Annotation can show values of data points at the location of the mouse cursor and render these values in colored boxes over the X-Axis and Y-Axis labels.

Angular Chart Crosshair Annotations

Final Values Annotation

In Category Chart and Data Chart, you can use the Final Values annotation to show the values of the last data point in your data source(s). This annotation is rendered as a colored box for each data source over the Y-Axis label.

Angular Chart Final Values Annotation

Highlight Layers

The Category Chart can display two new highlight layers when a user hovers over plotted data points.

  • Category Highlight Layer renders a vertical rectangle that stretches from the start to end of the category closest to the mouse cursor. This rectangle is filled with a semi-transparent gray color by default.
  • Item Highlight Layer renders a vertical rectangle for each data item in a category that is closest to the mouse cursor. This rectangle is filled with a semi-transparent color that matches the color of the series by default.

Angular Chart Highlight Layer

Tooltip Types

The Category Chart has a new ToolTipType property that adds two new types of tooltips:

  • Category Tooltip which renders the combined tooltips for all series in the data category
  • Item Tooltip which renders an individual tooltip for each series in the data category   

Angular Chart Tooltips

Windows Forms Excel Library

The Infragistics Excel Library is a C# based API capable of creating Microsoft® Excel® Workbooks (.xls and .xlsx), including Worksheets. You can use its object model to load Excel workbooks, modify them, and then save them again.

The library supports getting and setting data and various format properties on rows, columns, and cells. Further, the library also gives you the ability to control:

  • cell styles
  • merged cells
  • tables (with sorting and filtering)
  • data validations
  • formula solving, with support for over 300 Excel formulas
  • named references
  • named ranges
  • cell values with mixed formatting
  • charting
  • sparklines
  • and more…

The Excel library can be used to export a grid or table to a workbook document on the client machine or to read an Excel document and display its data in the browser. The library can even be used to solve formulas in the browser just as they would be calculated in Excel, all without sending anything to the server.

Excel Object Model

Using the Infragistics Excel Workbook object model, you can work with spreadsheet data using familiar Microsoft® Excel® spreadsheet objects like Workbooks, Worksheets, Cells, Formulas, and many more. The Infragistics Excel Engine makes it easy for you to represent your application's data in an Excel spreadsheet as well as transfer data from Excel into your application.

The beauty of the Excel library is the Zero Excel Dependency.  The Infragistics Excel Engine is a class library that runs completely independent of Microsoft Excel, so you do not require it to be installed.

Chart Support

With this release, we’ve included support for 70 different chart types. You can now create dashboard reports that visualize data in a clear and easily digestible manner.  This brand-new Excel Charting API gives you complete control over how your charts are rendered in an Excel document with the ability to include a legend, a title, axis titles, and a vast number of options for styling such as gridlines, tick marks, colors and more. You have the full power of Excel charts at the tips of your fingers. The best part, you don’t even need to have MS Excel installed!

Using the Infragistics Excel Library, create or get an instance of the Worksheet object, and then simply call the AddChart method on the Shapes collection. Supply the type of chart you wish to create (choose from 70), provide the size and location of the chart, and then provide the data and any other formatting settings you want to apply to the chart.

Angular Excel Chart

Since we are creating native Excel charts, when you open your document in Excel and select a chart, you are given the “Design” and “Format” contextual tabs that you would get if you were to have created the chart directly in MS Excel.

Sparklines Support

A sparkline is a tiny chart in a worksheet cell that provides a visual representation of data. Sparklines are used to show trends in a series of values, such as seasonal increases or decreases, economic cycles, or to highlight maximum and minimum values.  Showing trends in your worksheet data can be useful, especially when you’re sharing your data with other people.

With this release, you can now add sparklines to your Excel documents using the Infragistics Excel Library with one line of code.

Once you have an instance of the Infragistics Worksheet, simply call the Add method on the SparklineGroups collection. Then, supply the type of sparkline you wish to create (Column, Line, or Stacked), provide the cell you wish to insert the sparkline, and then provide the range of cells that represent the data the sparkline will use.

Angular Excel Sparkline Chart

After you have created your sparkline, the Infragistics Excel Library gives you an intuitive API to style various aspects of the sparkline to meet your visualization requirements. The API allows you to enable and control the colors of high and low points, negative points, the first point, the last point, and all markers to name a few.

These styling points align with Microsoft Excel’s contextual “Design” tab that is shown when the sparkline is selected in Excel.

Angular Excel Sparkline 

Windows Forms Spreadsheet Features

Spreadsheet continues to be in high-demand.  We've added new interactive features across platforms for Spreadsheet, including Custom Sort Dialog, enhanced Filtering, and more.

Custom Sort Dialog

Since sorting is so important in any Excel document, we added the very useful Custom Sort Dialog to give you full control over sorting your Excel data.  For example, if you have a Department column and an Employee column, you can first sort by Department (to group all the employees in the same department together), and then sort by name (to put the names in alphabetical order within each department).

Top 10 Filter Dialog

A new option available from the AutoFilter drop-down list is the Top 10 feature.

When you filter a list using the Top 10 feature, only the top number or the top percent of records remain. You can also filter to display the bottom number or the bottom percent of records. For example, if you want to list the top wage earners in the company, you can filter the Salary column to display only those records with the top ten salaries. If you filter for the top ten percent of wage earners, however, your list would include only those personnel whose salaries together equaled ten percent of the total.

Although called Top 10, you can filter for any number or percentage of items you desire.

Format Cells Dialog

The spreadsheet lets you change many of the ways it displays data in a cell. For example, you can specify the number of digits to the right of a decimal point, or you can add a pattern and border to the cell. You can access and modify the majority of these settings in the Format Cells dialog box (right-click the cell and select Format Cells).

Filtering and Sorting Improvements

In 18.1, we added the AutoFilter drop-down to the spreadsheet. The drop-down has menu items for sorting ascending/descending, clearing a filter applied to the column, and applying a numeric/date/text filter. However, it didn’t have a way to apply a sort or filter based on the forecolor, fill or icon.  In 18.2, that dropdown contains items to allow filtering or sorting based on the foreground, fill or icon of the cells within that column.

Filtering menu:

Sorting menu:

Deselect a Selection

Sometimes when you're selecting multiple cells or ranges in Excel, you accidentally select one or more that you didn't intend to. Using the Deselect Feature, you can deselect any cells within the selected range. Pressing the Ctrl key, you can click, or click-and-drag, to deselect any cells or ranges within a selection. If you need to reselect any of those cells, continue holding the Ctrl key and reselect those cells.

So you get an overlay like this when you hold ctrl and mouse/press down on a selected cell:

And releasing results in:

Wrap Up

As you can see, this is a massive release for the Windows Forms product.  We’re super excited to get this into your hands.  We’ve added new UI controls & components, new Charting features, More Excel Spreadsheet capabilities, and we've rounded out the Excel Library with charting and sparkline support. 

To download Windows Forms today – go to this page and click the Download Now button.  If you have any comments, questions or feedback, shoot me an email at jasonb@infragistics.com.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Infragistics Windows Forms UI Controls