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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Walking Through the Bookshop Sample Application

This chapter’s sample app provides the beginnings of a simple data driven e-commerce app that demonstrates the use of navigation, transient and persistent state, image caching, and WCF services. It allows the user to select from a list of books, retrieved from a WCF service, and to view each item’s details on a separate details page.

The ProductsViewModel class retrieves a list of Product objects from a WCF service. Each product has various properties such as a description, price, and an image URI.

The ProductsViewModel saves and restores its own transient state consisting of the list of products it retrieves from the WCF service (see Listing 3.4).

The code for this section resides in the Navigation directory of the WindowsPhone7Unleashed.Examples project in the downloadable sample code.

The viewmodel’s constructor determines whether transient state exists for itself. If so, it restores the list of Products or else it requests the list of products from the WCF using the BookshopServiceClient. The call occurs asynchronously, and the products list is populated once the call completes.

The ViewModelBase class subclasses the NotifyPropertyChangeBase class, which implements INotifyPropertyChanged. The source for NotifyPropertyChangeBase is located in the downloadable sample code, and was discussed in Chapter 2, “Fundamental Concepts in Silverlight Development for Windows Phone.”

Listing 3.4. ProductsViewModel Class (excerpt)

public class ProductsViewModel : ViewModelBase
{
    readonly IDictionary<string, object> transientStateDictionary;
    const string transientStateKey = "ProductsViewModel_Products";

    public ProductsViewModel(
        IDictionary<string, object> transientStateDictionary)
    {
        this.transientStateDictionary = ArgumentValidator.AssertNotNull(
                transientStateDictionary, "transientStateDictionary");

        LoadTransientState();
        if (products != null)
        {
            return;
        }

        BookshopServiceClient client = new BookshopServiceClient();
        client.GetProductsCompleted += (sender, args) =>
        {
            if (args.Error != null)
            {
                MessageService.ShowError("Unable to retrieve products.");
                return;
            }

            Products = args.Result;
            Loaded = true;
        };
        client.GetProductsAsync();
    }

    ObservableCollection<Product> products;
    public ObservableCollection<Product> Products
    {
        get
        {
            return products;
        }
        private set
        {
            Assign(() => Products, ref products, value);
        }
    }

    bool loaded;

    public bool Loaded
    {
        get
        {
        return loaded;
        }
        private set
        {
            Assign(() => Loaded, ref loaded, value);
        }
    }

    public void SaveTransientState()
    {
        transientStateDictionary[transientStateKey] = products;
    }

    public void LoadTransientState()
    {
        object transientState;
        if (transientStateDictionary.TryGetValue(
              transientStateKey, out transientState))
        {
            products = transientState as ObservableCollection<Product>;
            if (products != null)
            {
                Loaded = true;
            }
        }
    }
}

Within the OnNavigatingTo method of the ProductsView page, a ProductsViewModel is instantiated and assigned to the page’s DataContext. The ProductsViewModel is passed the transient state dictionary for the page (seeListing 3.5).

The OnNavigatingTo and OnNavigatedFrom methods are used to inform the viewmodel when to save its state.

Listing 3.5. ProductsView Class

public partial class ProductsView : PhoneApplicationPage
{
    public ProductsView()
    {
        InitializeComponent();
    }

    ProductsViewModel ViewModel
    {
        get
        {
            return (ProductsViewModel)DataContext;
        }
    }

    bool loaded;

    protected override void OnNavigatedTo(NavigationEventArgs e)
    {
        Debug.WriteLine("ProductsView OnNavigatedTo");
        base.OnNavigatedTo(e);

        if (!loaded)
        {
            DataContext = new ProductsViewModel(State);
            loaded = true;
        }

        ViewModel.LoadTransientState();
    }

    protected override void OnNavigatedFrom(NavigationEventArgs e)
    {
        base.OnNavigatedFrom(e);
        Debug.WriteLine("ProductsView OnNavigatedFrom");
        ViewModel.SaveTransientState();
    }
}

Displaying the Product List

The list of products exposed by the ProductsViewModel.Products property is displayed using a ListBox control in the ProductsView page. The ListBox’s ItemTemplate has various controls that are used to display the details of each Product, as shown in the following excerpt:

<StackPanel Grid.Row="1" Margin="10"
          Visibility="{Binding Loaded,
             Converter={StaticResource BooleanToVisibilityConverter},
             ConverterParameter=Visible}">
    <ScrollViewer>
        <ListBox ItemsSource="{Binding Products}" Height="610">
            <ListBox.ItemTemplate>
                <DataTemplate>
                    <StackPanel Orientation="Horizontal">
                        <Image Source="{Binding SmallImageUri}"
                              MaxWidth="150" MaxHeight="150"
                              Margin="0,0,10,10" />
                        <StackPanel Margin="5">
                            <TextBlock Text="{Binding Title}"
                                      TextWrapping="Wrap" />
                            <TextBlock Text="{Binding Price,
                                             StringFormat=\{0:C\}}" />
                            <HyperlinkButton
                                NavigateUri="{Binding Id,
                                    StringFormat=/ProductDetails/\{0\}}"
                                Content="View Details"
                                HorizontalAlignment="Left" Margin="0,10,0,0" />
                        </StackPanel>
                    </StackPanel>
                </DataTemplate>
            </ListBox.ItemTemplate>
        </ListBox>
    </ScrollViewer>
</StackPanel>

An Image control displays a thumbnail of the product, using the SmallImageUri property of the Product.

A string format is used to convert the Price property, which is a double value, to a currency formatted string using the format {0:C}. Similarly, a link is provided for the product details page, using the format /ProductDetails/{0}, and the value of the Product’s Id is substituted for the {0} placeholder. The UriMapping for this product details URI causes the application to reroute to the full URI of the ProductDetailsView.xaml page and includes the productId query string parameter.

Figure 3.11 shows the ProductsView displaying a list of books.

Figure 3.11

Figure 3.11. Products View

When the user presses the HyperlinkButton, he is directed to the ProductDetailsView.xaml page. This page displays the various properties of the product and includes a link for an external website, where the user can find more information about the product (see Figure 3.12).

Figure 3.12

Figure 3.12. View a product’s details.

When navigating to the ProductDetailsView the page attempts to retrieve the productId query string parameter from the NavigationContext (see Listing 3.6).

Listing 3.6. ProductDetailsView Class (excerpt)

public partial class ProductDetailsView : PhoneApplicationPage
{
    public ProductDetailsView()
    {
    InitializeComponent();

    DataContext = new ProductDetailsViewModel(
        PhoneApplicationService.Current.State);
    }

    ProductDetailsViewModel ViewModel
    {
        get
        {
            return (ProductDetailsViewModel)DataContext;
        }
    }

    protected override void OnNavigatedTo(NavigationEventArgs e)
    {    base.OnNavigatedTo(e);
        string productIdString = NavigationContext.QueryString["productId"];
        int productId = int.Parse(productIdString);
        ViewModel.LoadProduct(productId);
    }

    protected override void OnNavigatedFrom(NavigationEventArgs e)
    {       ViewModel.SaveTransientState();
        base.OnNavigatedFrom(e);
    }
}

The view then passes the parameter along to the ProductDetailsViewModel class, which handles the loading of the specified product (see Listing 3.7). The LoadProduct method first tests for the existence of the product in transient state. If not present, it retrieves the product using the service client.

Listing 3.7. ProductDetailsViewModel Class (excerpt)

public class ProductDetailsViewModel : ViewModelBase
{
    const string transientStateKey = "ProductDetailsViewModel_Product";
    readonly IDictionary<string, object> transientStateDictionary;
    public ProductDetailsViewModel(
        IDictionary<string, object> transientStateDictionary)
    {
        this.transientStateDictionary = ArgumentValidator.AssertNotNull(
            transientStateDictionary, "transientStateDictionary");
    }

    public void LoadProduct(int productId)
    {
        object transientState;
        if (PhoneApplicationService.Current.State.TryGetValue(
                transientStateKey, out transientState))
        {
            product = transientState as Product;
            if (product != null && product.Id == productId)
            {
                return;
            }
        }

        BookshopServiceClient client = new BookshopServiceClient();
        client.GetProductByIdCompleted += (sender, args) =>
        {
            if (args.Error != null)
            {
                throw args.Error;
            }
            Product = args.Result;
        };
        client.GetProductByIdAsync(productId);
    }

    Product product;

    public Product Product
{
    get
    {
        return product;
    }
        /* Setter is not private to enable sample data.
         * See ProductDetailsViewSampleData.xaml */
        internal set
        {
            product = value;
            OnPropertyChanged("Product");
        }
    }

    public void SaveTransientState()
    {       transientStateDictionary[transientStateKey] = product;
    }
}

When navigating away from the page, the viewmodel’s SaveTransientState method is called, which places the product in the state dictionary.

The ProductDetailsView.xaml page presents the product details via the viewmodel’s Product property (see Listing 3.8).

Listing 3.8. ProductDetailsView.xaml (excerpt)

<StackPanel Grid.Row="1"
    Style="{StaticResource PageContentPanelStyle}"
    d:DataContext="{d:DesignData Source=ProductDetailsViewSampleData.xaml}">

    <TextBlock Text="{Binding Product.Title}" TextWrapping="Wrap"
              Style="{StaticResource PhoneTextTitle2Style}"/>
    <StackPanel Orientation="Horizontal">
        <Image Source="{Binding Product.LargeImageUri,
                Converter={StaticResource ImageCacheConverter}}"
                MaxWidth="250" MaxHeight="250" Margin="10,10,0,10" />
        <StackPanel>
            <TextBlock Text="{Binding Product.Author}" TextWrapping="Wrap"
                      Style="{StaticResource PhoneTextTitle3Style}"/>
            <TextBlock Text="{Binding Product.Price, StringFormat=\{0:C\}}"
                      Style="{StaticResource PhoneTextTitle3Style}"/>
            <StackPanel Orientation="Horizontal">
                <TextBlock Text="ISBN"
                          Style="{StaticResource PhoneTextTitle3Style}" />
                <TextBlock Text="{Binding Product.Isbn13}"
                          TextWrapping="Wrap"
                          Style="{StaticResource PhoneTextNormalStyle}" />

            </StackPanel>
            <HyperlinkButton
                NavigateUri="{Binding Product.ExternalUrl,
                              StringFormat=/WebBrowser/\{0\}}"
                Content="External Page"
                Margin="0,10,0,0" HorizontalAlignment="Left" />
        </StackPanel>
    </StackPanel>
    <TextBlock Text="{Binding Product.Description}"
              Margin="10,20,0,10" TextWrapping="Wrap" />
</StackPanel>

The StackPanel includes a d:DataContext attribute that defines a design-time data context object, discussed in the next section.

Design-Time Data

It can be difficult and time consuming constructing a page or control without knowing how the content will appear at runtime. The dimensions of images can disturb the layout, as can the length of text and text wrapping settings. The d:DataContext markup extension, which exists in the http://schemas.microsoft.com/expression/blend/2008 namespace, allows you to simulate the runtime DataContext of a control with a design-time object (see Figure 3.13).

Figure 3.13

Figure 3.13. The d:DataContext markup extension provides for design-time sample data.

Here a design-time instance of the ProductDetailsViewModel class presents some sample data to improve the design-time experience of the developer or designer.

The content StackPanel includes a d:DataContext attribute, which causes a ProductDetailsViewModel instance to be loaded from a sample data file, as shown in the following excerpt:

<StackPanel Grid.Row="1"
    Style="{StaticResource PageContentPanelStyle}"
    d:DataContext="{d:DesignData Source=ProductDetailsViewSampleData.xaml}">
    ...
</StackPanel>

You can see that the d:DesignData markup extension has its Source property set to the location of a sample data file, ProductDetailsViewSampleData.xaml. The sample data file defines the property values of the viewmodel (see Listing 3.9). The design-time environment of Visual Studio or Expression Blend instantiates the sample viewmodel at design-time.

Listing 3.9. ProductDetailsViewSampleData.xaml

<local:ProductDetailsViewModel
        xmlns:local="clr-namespace:DanielVaughan.WindowsPhone7Unleashed
           .Examples.Navigation"
        xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"
        xmlns:BookshopServiceReference="clr-namespace:DanielVaughan
            .WindowsPhone7Unleashed.Examples.BookshopServiceReference">
    <local:ProductDetailsViewModel.Product>
        <BookshopServiceReference:Product
            Id="1"
            Title="Windows Phone 7 Unleashed"
            Author="Daniel Vaughan"
            Description="The complete guide to programming..."
            Price="31.49"
            Isbn10="0672333481"
            Isbn13="978-0672333484"
            SmallImageUri="/DanielVaughan.WindowsPhone7Unleashed
                .Examples.Silverlight;component/Navigation/Images/Product01Small.jpg"
            LargeImageUri="/DanielVaughan.WindowsPhone7Unleashed
                .Examples.Silverlight;component/Navigation/Images/Product01Large.jpg"
            ExternalUrl="
                http://www.amazon.com/Windows-Phone-Unleashed-Daniel-Vaughan/dp/0672333481/"
        />
    </local:ProductDetailsViewModel.Product>
</local:ProductDetailsViewModel>

Notice the relative component URIs of the images. The design-time environment will fail to resolve the image location unless relative component URIs are used and the Build Action of the image is set to Resource.

Image Caching

While the viewmodel saves the result of the WCF service call, which allows the app to restore its state after being tombstoned, downloaded images are not saved in the state dictionary, but rather, the app relies on some custom image caching.

A custom IValueConverter, called ImageCacheConverter, is used to download the image from the specified image URI, as shown in the following excerpt:

<Image Source="{Binding Product.LargeImageUri,
       Converter={StaticResource ImageCacheConverter}}" />

By using the ImageCacheConverter, images can be downloaded once and stored in isolated storage for an arbitrary period. Once that period has elapsed, the image will be downloaded again. This allows the application to work offline (see Listing 3.10).

Listing 3.10. ImageCacheConverter Class

public class ImageCacheConverter : IValueConverter
{
    public object Convert(object value, Type targetType,
        object parameter, CultureInfo culture)
    {
        if (EnvironmentValues.DesignTime)
        {
            return value;
        }

        string url = value as string;
        if (url != null)
        {
            try
            {
                return ImageCache.GetImage(new BitmapImage(new Uri(url)));
            }
            catch (IsolatedStorageException e)
            {
                Console.WriteLine(e);
                return value;
            }
        }

        BitmapImage bitmapImage = value as BitmapImage;
        if (bitmapImage != null)
        {
            return ImageCache.GetImage(bitmapImage);
        }
        return value;
    }

    public object ConvertBack(object value, Type targetType,
        object parameter, CultureInfo culture)
    {
        throw new NotImplementedException();
    }
}

The ImageCacheConverter can be used in conjunction with a URL or a BitMapImage. In the sample code, it is used with a URL, supplied by the product’s SmallImageUri and LargeImageUri properties. The ImageCache class maintains a dictionary of URI keyed cached images. It stores the dictionary in isolated storage, and when an image is requested, it attempts to locate it in the dictionary. If found it checks to ensure that the image has not expired, and then returns the image.

Many thanks to Peter Nowak (http://winphonedev.de/) for his image cache code, which I have adapted, with his permission, for use in the downloadable sample code.

The ImageCache class, in the downloadable sample code, maintains a list of ImageCacheItem objects, which represent cached images. The ImageCache.GetImage method is used to retrieve an image from the cache. If the image is not located in the cache, it is scheduled to be downloaded by the static ImageDownloader class.

The ImageDownloader coordinates an asynchronous download of the image file. It uses an HttpWebRequest to retrieve the image from a remote server, and then stores the downloaded file in isolated storage. Once downloaded, the Source property of the original image is assigned, which means that, if it is present in the UI, the image will appear (see the ImageDownloader class, located in the Data/ImageCache directory of the WindowsPhone7Unleashed project, in the downloadable sample code, for details).

Overview of the Sample Bookshop WCF Service

The Bookshop demo application includes a server-side component, which is used by both the ProductsViewModel and ProductDetailsViewModel classes, providing the application with a set of products to display. The server-side component is fairly arbitrary and is presented here merely for the sake of completeness.

The WCF service is called BookshopService and resides in the WindowsPhone7Unleashed.Web project of the downloadable sample code (see Listing 3.11).

Listing 3.11. BookshopService Class

[AspNetCompatibilityRequirements(
    RequirementsMode = AspNetCompatibilityRequirementsMode.Allowed)]
public class BookshopService : IBookshopService
{
    public IEnumerable<Product> GetProducts()
    {
        return ProductManager.Products;
    }

    public Product GetProductById(int productId)
    {
        return ProductManager.GetProductById(productId);
    }
}

The BookshopService exposes static methods of the ProductManager class, shown in Listing 3.12. The ProductManager class creates an XDocument instance, using an XML file, to populate a list of Products.

Listing 3.12. ProductManager Class

public static class ProductManager
{
    static readonly List<Product> products = new List<Product>();

    public static IEnumerable<Product> Products
    {
        get
        {
            return products;
        }
    }

    static ProductManager()
    {
        string path = HttpContext.Current.Server.MapPath(
            "~/Services/Bookshop/Products.xml");
        XDocument document = XDocument.Load(path);
        foreach (XElement element in
            document.Element("Products").Elements("Product"))
        {
            var product = new Product(element);
            product.SmallImageUri
                = ServerUtility.ResolveServerUrl(product.SmallImageUri);
            product.LargeImageUri
                = ServerUtility.ResolveServerUrl(product.LargeImageUri);
            products.Add(product);
        }
    }

    public static Product GetProductById(int id)
    {
        if (id < 0 || id > products.Count)
        {
            throw new ArgumentOutOfRangeException("id");
        }
        return products[id - 1];
    }
}

The Product class contains the properties that are used to display each book’s details, such as Title and Author. The Product class also knows how to populate itself from an XElement. The explicit casting operators of the XElement class make it easy to extract the values to the Product properties, as can be seen in the following excerpt from the Product class:

public Product(XElement element)
{
    if (element == null)
    {
        throw new ArgumentNullException("element");
    }
    Id = (int)element.Element("Id");
    Title = (string)element.Element("Title");
    Author = (string)element.Element("Author");
    Description = (string)element.Element("Description");
    SmallImageUri = (string)element.Element("SmallImageUri");
    LargeImageUri = (string)element.Element("LargeImageUri");
    Price = (double)element.Element("Price");
    Isbn10 = (string)element.Element("ISBN-10");
    Isbn13 = (string)element.Element("ISBN-13");
    ExternalUrl = (string)element.Element("ExternalUrl");
}
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