WPF stands for Windows Presentation Foundation; it is a well known approach implemented by Microsoft providing a GUI (Graphical User interface) framework used along with .NET framework. This actually brings forward a new set of classes and assemblies which allows the developer to write the programs more smoothly & adaptable. With this release Microsoft has taken another step of enhancement in an enterprise application development which not only enhances the user interface in desktop based application but also helps the developer to get a platform for XML based desktop GUI creations.
What is a GUI framework? GUI stands for Graphical User Interface and probably the one you are looking at. It has turned into a recognizable piece of our software landscape, both as users and as developers. A GUI framework permits to make an application with an extensive variety of GUI components such as labels, textboxes and many more. Without GUI framework you would need to draw these components manually and also have to handle all the user interaction situations like text and mouse input. Therefore, developers are using this as it does all the essential work and allows them to concentrate on building amazing applications.
There are various elements in WPF that affects how the data or content will be presented to the viewers. These different elements can be thought as a “pipeline”, with the data flowing from one end and the final GUI elements coming out from other end.
Following are the various elements of the WPF GUI Pipeline:
Data binding is a mechanism for auto-updating data between the business model and the user interface. Each time when the data of your business model changes, it undoubtedly returns the updates to the user interface and vice versa. The purpose of most applications is to display the data to users and reputedly give them a chance to alter that data. With WPF’s data binding engine, you get more components with less code, which is dependably a decent place to be.
A value converter is a class or any object which implements the simple interface IValueConverter. This interface presents two methods: Convert and ConvertBack. Convert is used when a bound value is being passed from the source data to the target, and ConvertBack is called for the inverse operation. Some value converters are already included in WPF, but in most cases you will need to write your own by executing the IValueConverter interface.
Templates are an integral part of user interface design in WPF. It has following types of templates
- Control Template: This template specifies the visual appearance of a Control. One can change or characterize another look and appearance of a control by changing the ControlTemplate. If a control does not have a Control Template, then it will not appear in your application. The greater part of the UI components have some sort of appearance as well as behaviour. For example, a WPF Button control has a Circular layout, but when ControlTemplates is used a custom button can be created that has a square layout with the colour change as well when you mouse over or press it.
- Data Template: Data template specifies a group of characteristics for how data should be displayed. This template is especially helpful when you are binding an ItemsControl such as a ComboBox to an entire collection. It provides adaptability to organize and characterize the presentation of the data on any UI element. It is mainly used on data related Item controls for example, ComboBox, ListBox and some more.
Presenter is the class which is responsible for obtaining data from services, occupying the viewmodel and attaching it to view. It is entirely a basic placeholder for any XAML content and it can be utilized to embed content at runtime. If you consider using the Presenter element by defining the content from scratch, there is no need to include the Content element in the base XAML because once the content is set at runtime, the proper tag will be added automatically.
Layout of controls is basic to applications ease of use. Arranging controls based on fixed pixel coordinates may work for a limited environment. It is used to arrange a group of GUI components in application. WPF provides a rich set built-in layout panels that help you to keep away the common pitfalls.
In WPF, a style is a set of properties applied to content that are used for visual rendering, such as setting the font size of a Button control. WPF styles have specific features for developing applications, including the ability to apply different visual effects depends on the user events. It is used to give a uniform appearance to a collection of controls. Moreover, implicit styles are also used to apply an appearance to all the controls of a given type and make the application simple.
Windows Presentation Foundation is a cutting edge presentation framework for developing Windows client applications with visually impressive user experiences that incorporate UI, media, and complex business models. With WPF, you can make an extensive variety of both standalone and program facilitated applications.