Devexpress Winforms Download Full Version

UI With DevExpress WinForms Controls – CodeProject

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devexpress winforms download full version

UI With DevExpress WinForms Controls

Devexpress Winforms Download Full Version

Using the Code The code consists mostly of Setup functions for most of the types of controls mentioned. These are all available, although lacking in features, in the free set of controls in the System.

Forms namespace. These free controls are still what I use for applicaitons with very simple UIs. Anything beyond very simple and I recommend using a 3rd party control suite. Learning the best way to use the controls can be difficult, especially with all of the different properties available. Below I describe how I used these controls effectively in the applications I built. In the screenshots in this article, I use VS Blue. The DefaultLookAndFeel control makes it easy to apply a skin to all controls in an application.

One thing that should be mentioned is when you start using DevExpress controls for an application, you probably want to use all DevExpress controls and don’t try to mix and match because the DevExpress controls using the same skin have a visual consistency and other controls wouldn’t look quite right.

The exceptions to this rule are using non-visual or very simple visual controls like Panel or SplitContainer. Simple Controls Starting with the simple controls, the following Form shows some of the differences between the DevExpress controls and the Windows. Forms counterparts. Using ButtonEdit for File Name Entry In the File name entry controls group box at the top, there are 3 examples of controls for file name entry.

The first is the more traditional TextBox with Browse button. This can be improved on by using a single DevExpress ButtonEdit control.

Users can type file name text or click the This is more compact and easielr to control sizing and anchoring and it looks nicer as well. Although I still use these on occasion, I find that they aren’t good in terms of conserving space. This allows me to section or group controls without wasting alot of space. You can bold the section text to make it stand out more. NumericUpDown vs. DevExpress SpinEdit These controls are used for entering numeric values.

First, it does a better job of handling the thousands separator. When typing values into NumericUpDown, I can type “12, It doesn’t fix my misplaced comma until after I exit the control. It also allows me to enter any number of digits and only changes this to be within the Minimum and Maximum values after exiting the control. I also find the spin buttons are typically useless and just take up space. They are hard to get rid of in a NumericUpDown, but very easy to do so for the SpinEdit bedcause they are part of a Buttons property and you can remove any default buttons that exist.

SpinEdit uses a Mask to determine its format. For one thing, the ThousandsSeparator is tied to the current culture of the program. It isn’t always convenient to rely on this because sometimes the culture for the OS is setup contrary to a users preferred culture in order to keep some ill-behaved programs from malfunctioning.

It’s often better to use program configuration settings to control numer formats. Masks give programmers that ability. They can also be used to prevent users from entering to many digits before the decimal place or too many after it and then have that value chopped off, or rounded when they leave the control.

One odd bit of default behavior with the SpinEdit is typing a comma places the carat to the right of the decimal place. So if the user types “,” they would actually get the value I can’t imagine how this behavior makes sense, but thankfully there is an easy solution. Control Setup Functions I have a SetupSpinEdit function that sets up properties and events so that they exhibit good behavior. This prevents moving the carat when this key is pressed.

I find it good practice to create Setup This is because sometimes the default behavior of the controls is not what you want and it’s hard to remember all of the properties to set to get the behavior you want.

It’s better to put this code in Setup This is useful in a numeric control to indicate that no value is entered. Forms DateTimePicker. The way to allow Null values with DateTimePicker is with an ugly and confusing check box.

For DateEdit, users can just delete the date value or keep it blank. And a time saving feature of DateEdit is hitting the space bar when the entire value is selected or there is no value enters Today’s date. As usual, the default behavior is sometimes not exactly what I want. I added this additional behavior in my SetupDateEdit funciton so it gets applied to all DateEdit controls that call this Setup function.

The ComboBoxEdit can allow users to start typing and it immediately shows the drop down list of items and highlights the item that matches what the user was typing.

This is a very convenient feature and will save users alot of time vs. Forms controls. It is essentially a multicolumn combo box. Often there isn’t a single value that defines or identifies something. For example, US states are often identified by both a postal code and their full name.

It’s nice to show both of these because otherwise it might be confusing to users is AK the abbreviation for Alaska or Arkansas? My preferred method for dealing with this is to show both code and name as separate columns in the drop down, autosearch by code, and display both in the control as combined text. The columns can go beyond identifiers and show additional information.

One of the nice things about DevExpress controls is the ability to have different types of datasources. The public properties are displayed as columns in the control unless columns exist before setting the control’s DataSource.

If you use a List with public properties, be aware that any changes you make to the List aren’t automatically shown in the grid and you have to call RefreshData for LookUpEdit call RefreshEditValue. You can use other types of datasources as well, like an ADO.

NET DataSet. There is a bug in LookUpEdit for how I like to have it setup. If you try the topmost LookUpEdit in the sample code form, and give focus to the conrol and place the mouse cursor under the control then type HI for Hawaii, you end up focusing on ID.

The selected items are shown in a comma separated string in the control. It’s noteworthy because there is no free equivalent in System. Forms, and even though it might not be used very often in business applications, it is very helpful when you do need it. SpreadsheetControl I used the DevExpress SpreadsheetControl in an application that needed Excel-like functionality but also highly customized. I simply couldn’t come close to what I accomplished with this control with other methods.

I thought about Excel automation with custom functions and an Add-in that provided a menu and toolbar. This was possible, but the list of problems with this are: I also tried doing this with a GridControl and an open-source formula parser.

I had to write much of the formula logic myself and ended up scrapping this idea because the formulas weren’t Excel compatible which made it difficult for the users to write them on their own since they are already familiar with Excel. Dockable Forms The old method of using modal dialogs for most of the forms in an application is limiting to users. Users like to be able to look at some information without having to finish out of what they are currently working on.

Since Visual Studio started using Dockable Forms in it’s UI design, developers have seen how this can increase useability in an application. Dockable Forms improve on MDI modeless windows by managing the location and size of windows automatically so that it is difficult for one window to be completely hidden behind others a common situation with plain modeless MDI windows. I found this to be very useful for the applications I developed, but there are some extra considerations to just using modal dialogs.

One is that since a tabbed form resizes to fit it’s docking area, it’s size can increase or shrink without users specifically resizing. This makes it more important to put all controls in an XtraScrollableControl and set the form’s MaximumSize property to something reasonable. This control will automatically show scrollbars when all of the controls don’t fit.

With a non-tabbed form, you would normally just set a MinimumSize so controls don’t run into each other and if the user resizes the form too big you have to assume that’s what they wanted to do. There are many properties and methods that control how a GridControl looks and its functionality. Depending on the purpose of a specific grid, I like to turn features on and off so that users aren’t overwhelmed with features that I don’t think they will use.

Dropping a GridControl on a form without changing any of its properties looks like the image below. The default is to show a group panel at the top, and show Filter icons on the right side of columns when the mouse hovers over. Even though they can be useful, I like to turn both of these off by default. The Group Panel takes up space and isn’t that useful for many of my grids, especially the ones with 10 or less columns and a maximum of a few hundred rows. Filtering can be useful also, but I like to have the entire column header to click on for sorting.

I do keep the filtering on when I know the grids can have alot of rows. In the grid below, you can see that the columns take up the available horizontal space and don’t allow a horizontal scroll bar to appear. This is nice for grids without alot of columns that automatically resize on their resizable dialogs, but I don’t like it for tabbed dialogs because the user often doesn’t have the option to resize these. For these reasons, my SetupGridView function turns this off by default.

Although I usually will allow users to move columns, I typically don’t want them to be able to drag columns off the grid to hide them. I also turn off the grid’s column header right click menu because it has menu items for filtering, grouping, and hiding columns, which are usually turned off in other methods in the grid. The code for SetupGridView is below. The default option is 0, so any GridOptions enum flag that begins with Prevent means the default is to turn this on, otherwise the default is to turn it off ex.

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Using the Code The code consists mostly of Setup functions for most of the types of controls mentioned. These are all available, although lacking in features, in the free set of controls in the System. Forms namespace. These free controls are still what I use for applicaitons with very simple UIs.

Using the Code

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