Understanding Object Binding in .NET

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Understanding Object Binding
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Using Object Binding
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You use object binding by following these steps: 1 Build the business objects for your application 2 De ne a business object data source in the Windows Application project containing your user interface 3 Bind properties of the controls on the form to business object properties Step 1 was covered in detail in the prior two chapters This chapter demonstrates steps 2 and 3 Step 3 can be done by writing code or by using the visual tools provided in Visual Studio Although it is much easier to think about object binding as a direct binding of a control s property to a speci c business object s property, object binding frequently uses a BindingSource component as an intermediary A BindingSource is a component on a form that binds the controls on the form to the business object Each control is bound to the BindingSource component, which in turn is bound to the business object This makes it much easier to change the binding for all controls by changing the BindingSource without having to separately rebind each control You set the BindingSource to an individual business object instance in your code The runtime then binds all the properties associated with that instance to the controls, thereby displaying the business object property values in the controls And as the user changes the content of any controls, the business object property values are changed accordingly A form can contain multiple BindingSource components For example, a ProductWin form can contain product data and display a drop-down list of product types You can de ne a BindingSource component for the product data and a second BindingSource component for the product type data The next sections present a detailed example
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7 BINDING THE USER INTERFACE TO THE BUSINESS OBJECTS
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Binding the UI to the Business Objects
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Configuring a Data Source
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In Visual Studio, a data source de nes the source of data, such as a business object or a database To use a data source to bind your user interface, you need to con gure the data source for the project containing your user interface, such as your Windows Application project For object binding, each data source represents a single business object class This means that you con gure a data source for each business object class that you want to bind Luckily, this process is quick and easy When you use object binding, the data source is referred to as an object data source This is technically accurate because at runtime, the binding binds to a speci c business object However, this can look a little confusing at design-time because each data source represents a single business object class The Data Sources window displays each object data source with the class name and lists the public properties of the class You then bind each property of the class to a control on the form This section describes how to create and con gure a data source
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Creating a Data Source
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Assuming that you have already created your business object classes, the rst step in binding your user interface to your business objects is to de ne data sources for your business object classes To set up an object data source for your user interface: 1 Build your business object Class Library project Only compiled business object classes are recognized by the Data Source Con guration Wizard and the Data Sources window 2 Select the Windows Application project in Solution Explorer
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NOTE: Always ensure that the Windows Application project is selected in Solution Explorer before you work with the Data Sources window
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3 Select Data | Show Data Sources from the main menu bar The Data Sources window is displayed 4 Click the Add New Data Source link in the Data Sources window, or click the Add New Data Source button on the Data Sources window toolbar, or select Data | Add New Data Source from the main menu bar
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