Binding the UI to the Business Objects in Visual Studio .NET

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Binding the UI to the Business Objects
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Setting Up the Binding
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You now have the list of choices to display in the combo box, using either a collection class or DataTable The next step is to set up the binding To set up the binding for a list of choices displayed in a combo box: 1 Create an object data source for the class that manages the list of choices If you are using a collection class, this is the collection class If you are using a DataTable, this is the class de ned to manage the DataTable 2 Drag the object data source node from the Data Sources window and drop it on the ComboBox control If you re creating a new combo box, use the drop-down control list for the object data source node in the Data Sources window, and select ComboBox as the control to render (If ComboBox is not available as a selection, use the Customize button to add it) Then drag the node and drop it on the form
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NOTE: If you define a specific control type for an object data source and then drag that object data source onto a form, Visual Studio does not create a label It only creates labels when you drag properties or use the Details option
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Visual Studio adds another BindingSource component to the form This BindingSource is the source of the data for the combo box Visual Studio then automatically sets the DisplayMember and ValueMember properties of the ComboBox control based on the object data source properties 3 Use the smart tag on the ComboBox control to con rm that the binding properties are as follows: DisplayMember is assigned to the property that de nes the information to display to the user For the Product combo box example, this is the ProductName property ValueMember is assigned to the property that is used in the code For the Product combo box example, this is the ProductID property SelectedValue is set to none
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Binding to Combo Boxes
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4 Add the line of code that sets the BindingSource If the combo box is bound when the form is opened, add code like this to the form s Load event:
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MeProductListBindingSourceDataSource = _ ProductListCreate
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7 BINDING THE USER INTERFACE TO THE BUSINESS OBJECTS
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This line of code calls the Create method of the ProductList class to create the DataTable object and assigns the resulting DataTable object as the data source If you used a collection class, call the Create method of the collection class instead When you run the application, the runtime automatically populates the combo box with the list of valid values By default, the combo box selects the rst entry If you want the combo box selection to be blank when the form is rst loaded, set the SelectedValue property of the combo box to a value that is not valid For example, since 0 is not a valid Product ID, you could set the SelectedValue to 0 by adding this line after the binding code line:
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ProductComboBoxSelectedValue = 0
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Then, when you run the application, the combo box appears empty You can then drop down the list to see the choices However, selecting a choice does not yet do anything You need code to respond to the selection, as covered in the next section
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For the Purchase Tracker sample application: Select the Windows Application project (PTWin) in Solution Explorer Create an object data source for the ProductList class Open the ProductWin form in the Forms Designer Drag the ProductList node from the Data Sources window and drop it on the Product ComboBox control Add the one line of code to the form s Load event that assigns the DataSource property of the ProductListBindingSource to an instance of the ProductList class Add the line of code to the form s Load event that sets the selected value of the combo box to an invalid value so it appears empty
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