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Data Binding with Windows Forms 2.0: Programming Smart Client Data Applications with .NET

Data Binding with Windows Forms 2.0: Programming Smart Client Data Applications with .NET

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  • Copyright 2006
  • Edition: 1st
  • eBook (Watermarked)
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-265201-3
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-265201-8

“Brian Noyes’ writing style easily captures your attention as he elaborates on all aspects of data binding in his book. He has a refreshingly clear and crisp delivery as he starts each chapter with a simple tour of each topic, and then leads you into practical concerns for sound practices and extensibility opportunities. Most importantly, as Brian explains approaches to data-binding architecture, patterns of usage, the value of data sets, binding controls and the rest, he always describes how he reaches his recommendations on the topic. This book is perfect for newcomers to .NET 2.0, but also for those that have some experience. Anyone who cares about data in their applications (okay, that should be almost everyone) is guaranteed to learn something new and useful by reading Brian’s book.”
–Michele Leroux Bustamante, IDesign chief architect, Microsoft regional director, and MVP
“Brian has saved me a lot of time. I’m writing The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Visual Studio and SQL Server 2005 (7th Edition) and I’m not going to have to cover data binding nearly as deeply because Brian has done it for me. His book gets right to the meat of the subject and makes data binding look easy. I was also pleased to see that the book focuses on the misunderstood and under-applied Windows Forms architecture. It’s a must-read for anyone trying to make their application more interactive and to leverage the new Visual Studio 2005 technology. I’m planning to point my readers to this resource when they need an in-depth treatment of data binding.”
–William Vaughn, president, Beta V Corporation
“Data binding has finally come of age in Windows applications. Back in the Visual Studio 6.0 days, I ignored data binding completely and wrote my own repetitive code to encapsulate my business logic. With Visual Studio 2005, we finally have a robust and compelling data-binding technology. To ignore it today would make you inefficient and put you behind the curve. Brian delivers a clear and concise discussion of a core topic of development for Windows today. A combination of an easy-to-follow conversational yet technical tone, excellent examples, and solid explanations make this a must-read for any developer writing for Windows or learning to write for Windows.”
–Stephen Forte, chief technical officer, Corzen Inc.
“This book provides a clear, readable, and in-depth treatment of data binding, with detailed discussions of best practices in the presentation and use of data. Brian communicates his knowledge on the mechanics of data binding to give the low-level understanding that makes all the difference when building sophisticated applications and troubleshooting difficult problems. Effective data binding can enormously reduce the amount of code in your applications and will allow new levels of sophistication in your development. Read this book.”
–Jonathan Cogley, chief executive officer, Thycotic, ASPInsider, and C# MVP
“The .NET Framework 2.0, Visual Studio .NET 2005, and Windows Forms 2.0 incorporate the most powerful data-binding platform yet, and absolutely need a book like this to expose it. Brian’s extensive data-binding knowledge and experience shine through as he comprehensively explores its many facets, starting with the fundamentals before tackling a wide variety of real-world scenarios. I’ve always thought a data-binding book was necessary, and I’m glad Brian found the time to write his.”
–Michael Weinhardt, freelance author and application developer
Data Binding with Windows Forms 2.0 earns a gold star and a prized place in my development book library. Brian is an exceptional teacher of technology, best practices, and technique. He continues to educate at every presentation I attend; his book carries that quality to paper. I found this book to be highly informative and full of all the important steps and examples necessary to learn this technology. In this book, Brian demonstrates a firm grasp on the concepts and I really enjoy his efforts to promote best practices at every chance. Definitively a cover-to-cover read.”
–Randy Hayes, president, Expert Network Solutions, Inc.
“Brian’s direct and well-organized presentation makes this much misunderstood topic finally understandable.”
–Sahil Malik, author of Pro ADO.NET 2.0 and C# MVP

Data binding is the most important part of many business applications–and one of the most difficult things to understand. Data Binding with Windows Forms 2.0 is the first book to focus on this crucial area of development. It will quickly get you up to speed on binding data sources to Windows Forms components. The book contains clear examples in C# that work with SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 2005. Visual Basic .NET examples are available on the book’s Web site.

Brian Noyes, leading consultant and speaker on .NET programming, teaches you both the theory and practice of data binding and provides numerous samples ready to run in Visual Studio 2005.

From his in-depth coverage, you’ll learn how to

  • Use Visual Studio 2005 to generate a data-bound application from a database
  • Use the new Visual Studio 2005 typed data set designer, and how and why to use typed data sets and typed data adapters
  • Perform simple and complex binding of data to controls, and how to use the .NET 2.0 BindingSource
  • Use the Binding object for simple binding with automatic formatting, and how to handle binding events
  • Generate bound controls with the Visual Studio Designer, and how to use Data Sources
  • Present data with the new DataGridView control, and how to implement advanced features of the DataGridView
  • Implement custom data-bound controls in Windows Forms
  • Create custom business objects and collections that are suitable for use in data binding
  • Implement validation and error handling at the Windows Forms and data-binding levels
  • Implement data binding with ASP.NET 2.0 and the upcoming Windows Presentation Foundation (Avalon) technologies

Sample Content

Table of Contents

Foreword xxi

Preface xxiii

Acknowledgments xxxv

About the Author xxxvii

Chapter 1: Building Data-Bound Applications with Windows Forms 1

What Is Data Binding? 2

Your First Data-Bound Windows Forms 2.0 Application 3

Data-Binding Landscape 14

Data Sources 15

Data Objects and Collections 16

DataSets or Not, That Is the Question... 18

Data-Bound Controls 20

Layered Application Architecture 21

What Is a Smart Client? 27

Where Are We? 28

Chapter 2: Working with Typed Data Sets and Table Adapters 31

A Quick Review of DataSets 31

The Quest for Type Safety 34

Typed Data Set Internals 37

Creating Typed Data Sets 41

Creating Typed Data Sets with the Data Set Designer 42

Typed Data Set-Generated Code 49

Introduction to Table Adapters 52

Filling and Updating a Typed Data Set with a Table Adapter 56

Connection Management 58

Adding Transaction Support to a Table Adapter 62

Adding Helper Data Access Methods 66

Basing Table Adapters on Stored Procedures or Views 67

Adding Queries to Table Adapters 69

Creating Typed Data Sets with Command Line Tools 77

Using Typed Data Sets in Your Code 78

Where Are We? 79

Chapter 3: Introducing Data Binding in Windows Forms 81

The 40,000-Foot View of Data Binding 81

Binding Data Collections to a Grid 86

Binding Data Collections to Multi-Valued Controls 88

Binding Data to Individual Controls on a Form 90

Data Paths Within Data Sources 92

Synchronizing Data Between Controls 96

Smarter Data Containment 97

Paging Through Data 99

Master-Details Data Binding 104

Updating Data Sources Through Data Binding 106

Where Are We? 108

Chapter 4: Binding Controls to Data Sources 111

Getting to Know the BindingSource Component 111

Simple Data Binding with Binding Sources 112

Chaining Binding Sources for Master-Details Data Binding 116

Navigating Data Through a Binding Source 121

Manipulating Data Through a Binding Source 122

Using a Binding Source as a Data Storage Container 124

Filling a Binding Source with a Data Reader 126

Sorting, Searching, and Filtering Presented Data with a Binding Source 128

Monitoring the Data with Events 131

Restricting Changes to the Data 133

Underneath the Covers of Data Binding for Complex Types 134

Binding an Image Column to a PictureBox Control 141

Binding a DateTime Column to a DateTimePicker 142

Binding a DateTime Column to a TextBox 144

Binding a Numeric Column to a TextBox 145

Automatic Formatting and Parsing Summary 147

Going Beyond Built-In Type Conversion with Binding Events 148

Handling the Format Event 154

Handling the Parse Event 156

Completing the Editing Process 157

Making the User’s Life Easier with AutoComplete 160

Data Binding Lifecycle 162

Smarter Child-Parent Data Binding 163

Binding to Multiple Copies of Data 165

Updating Parent Data-Bound Controls from Child Data-Bound Controls 168

Synchronizing Many-to-Many Related Collections 172

Where Are We? 176

Chapter 5: Generating Bound Controls with the Visual Studio Designer 177

Working with the Data Sources Window 177

Adding Data Sources to a Project 179

Choosing the Type of Data Source 180

Adding a Database Data Source 181

Adding a Web Service Data Source 185

Adding an Object Data Source 186

Generating Bound Controls from Data Sources 189

Selecting the Bound Control Type 196

Customizing the Bound Control Types 196

Binding Existing Controls to Data Sources 199

Behind the Scenes: Designer Code and Data Sources Files 202

Other Designer Data-Binding Code Generation 205

Setting Control Data Binding Through the Properties Window 206

Generating Data Bindings with Smart Tags 210

Generating Master-Details Data-Bound Controls with the Designer 214

Where Are We? 216

Chapter 6: Presenting Data with the DataGridView Control 217

DataGridView Overview 218

Basic Data Binding with the DataGridView 219

Controlling Modifications to Data in the Grid 221

Programmatic DataGridView Construction 222

Custom Column Content with Unbound Columns 226

Displaying Computed Data in Virtual Mode 233

Using the Built-In Column Types 241

Built-In Header Cells 255

Handling Grid Data Edits 256

Automatic Column Sizing 259

Column and Row Freezing 262

Using the Designer to Define Grids 263

Column Reordering 266

Defining Custom Column and Cell Types 269

Utilizing Cell-Oriented Grid Features 277

Formatting with Styles 281

Where Are We? 284

Chapter 7: Understanding Data-Binding Interfaces 285

What Does Data Binding Have to Do with Interfaces? 286

The IEnumerable and IEnumerator Interfaces: Supporting Iteration Through Collections 289

The ICollection Interface: Controlling Access to a Collection 295

The IList Interface: Enabling Data Binding 298

The IListSource Interface: Exposing Collections of Collections 303

Property Descriptors: Allowing Dynamic Data Item Information Discovery 305

The ITypedList Interface: Exposing Data-Binding Properties 307

The IBindingList Interface: Providing Rich Binding Support 310

The IBindingListView Interface: Supporting Advanced Sorting and Filtering 323

The ICancelAddNew Interface: Supporting Transactional Inserts in a Collection 325

The IRaiseItemChangedEvents Interface: Providing Item Modification Notifications on Collections 327

The IEditableObject Interface: Supporting Transactional Item Modifications 328

The INotifyPropertyChanged Interface: Publishing Item Change Notifications 329

The ICustomTypeDescriptor Interface: Exposing Custom Type Information 332

The ISupportInitialize Interface: Supporting Designer Initialization 334

The IDataErrorInfo Interface: Providing Error Information 330

The ISupportInitializeNotification Interface: Supporting Interdependent Component Initialization 337

The ICurrencyManagerProvider Interface: Exposing a Data Container’s CurrencyManager 341

Where Are We? 341

Chapter 8: Implementing Custom Data-Bound Controls 343

Extending Framework Data-Bound Controls 344

Creating a Grouped Column DataGridView 345

Using Custom Controls 350

The User Control Test Container 352

Developing Data-Bound Container Controls 353

Building a Filtered Grid Control 354

Adding Data-Binding Capability to a Custom Control 357

Supporting Designer Initialization of Data Binding 359

Specifying Binding Properties on a Control 360

Supporting Delayed Initialization with ISupportInitialize 362

Dynamically Determining the Properties of a Data Source 367

Autocompleting Input in a TextBox Control 371

Autosizing Columns in the Grid 375

Winding Up the Filtered Grid Example 376

Building a Custom Data-Bound Control from Scratch 379

Building a Data-Bound Charting Control for Decision Support 379

Coding a Data-Bound Custom Control 384

Adding Editing Support to a Custom Data Bound Control 391

Where Are We? 397

Chapter 9: Implementing Custom Data-Bound Business Objects and Collections 399

Defining and Working with Data-Bound Business Objects 400

Defining and Working with Data-Bound Business Object Collections 405

.NET Framework Generic Collection Classes 406

The CustomBusinessObjects Example 408

Setting the Textual Data-Binding Behavior of Custom Objects 415

Supporting Transacted Object Editing with IEditableObject 416

Supporting Object Edit Notifications with Property Change Events 420

Supporting Object Edit Notifications with INotifyPropertyChanged 423

Using BindingList<T> to Create Rich Object Collections 424

Creating a Custom Collection Type Based on BindingList<T> 426

Managing Transacted Additions to a Collection 439

Raising Item Changed Events 441

Adding IBindingListView Functionality 443

Binding to Business Objects Through the Data Sources Window 453

Where Are We? 455

Chapter 10: Validating Data Input and Handling Errors 457

Windows Forms Validation 458

Handling Validation Events 459

DataGridView Validation Events 462

Validation Up the Control Hierarchy 463

Displaying Validation Errors with the ErrorProvider Control 464

DataGridView Error Displays 467

DataGridView DataError Event 468

Controlling Validation Behavior with the AutoValidate Property 471

Validation down the Control Hierarchy 472

Extended Validation Controls 474

Capturing Data Errors on Data Sets 475

Providing Error Information from Custom Objects with IDataErrorInfo 479

Data Concurrency Resolution 483

Where Are We? 484

Appendix A: Binding to Data in ASP.NET 487

ASP.NET Page Processing Basics 489

Data Binding in ASP.NET 1.X 490

Data-Binding Overview in ASP.NET 2.0 498

Data Sources 499

Data-Binding Expressions 508

GridView Control 509

DetailsView Control 512

FormView Control 514

Master-Details Binding 515

Hierarchical Binding 518

Where Are We? 519

Appendix B: Binding Data in WinFx Applications 521

WinFx UI Programming and Capabilities Overview 522

Writing a Simple WinFx Application 525

WinFx Data Binding 101 532

Data Contexts and Data Sources 536

What About XAML? 537

Binding a Collection to a Grid with Templates 541

Control Styling in WinFx 543

Where Are We? 545

Appendix C: Programming Windows Forms Applications 547

Your First Windows Forms Data Application 548

Creating Windows Forms Applications with Visual Studio 554

Windows Forms Designer-Generated Code (New in 2.0) 563

A Brief Tour of the Windows Forms Architecture 567

The Dawn of .NET Execution—The Main Method 570

Handling Control Events 574

Displaying Other Forms 576

Containing Forms Within a Parent Form 577

Common Data Display Controls 578

Creating a Custom User Control 586

Laying Out Controls on a Form 589

Setting Tab Order 596

Command and Control of Your Windows Forms Applications (New in 2.0) 598

Where Are We? 600

Appendix D: Accessing Data with ADO.NET 601

Relational Data Access 603

The Ubiquitous DataSet 607

Loading Data Sets from a File 609

Creating a Data Set Programmatically 611

Loading Data Sets from a Database 613

Loading a DataTable with a DataReader 619

Master-Details DataSets 621

Retrieving Data with Stored Procedures 623

Updating the Database Using Data Sets 624

Handling Concurrency 628

Updating with Data Sets and Stored Procedures 632

Searching Data Sets 637

Merging Data from Multiple Data Sets 639

Working with Data Views 641

Working with Transactions 643

Scoping Transactions with System.Transactions 647

Client-Side Transactions 650

Data Set and Data Adapter Events 651

Reading Data into Business Objects 654

XML Data Access 658

Working with the XmlDataDocument Class 659

Working with the XPathDocument Class 663

Loading Data into an XPathDocument 664

Querying XML Data 665

Navigating an XML Document 667

Where Are We? 670

Index 671


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