Binding to New Controls in Visual Studio .NET

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Binding to New Controls
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Adding New Controls Using the Data Sources Window
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If you want to add a new control to a form, you can add the control from the Forms Designer toolbox, add the associated Label control, and then bind the new control using the techniques from the preceding section But the Data Sources window provides a shortcut for this process If you drag a property from the Data Sources window and drop it on the Forms Designer, Visual Studio creates the control, binds it, and creates the associated Label control All you need to do is drag and drop! To add a new control to a form: 1 Open the form in the Forms Designer 2 Open the Data Sources window Position the Data Sources window so that you can easily see its contents and the Forms Designer at the same time If a Forms Designer window is active, the Data Sources window changes so that each object data source and each property under the object data source displays an icon to the left of the name, as shown in Figure 77 This icon indicates the type of control that Visual Studio creates if you drag the item to the Forms Designer 3 Drag a property from the Data Sources window, and drop it on the Forms Designer Visual Studio automatically creates the control associated with the dropped property and binds it It even gives the control a valid name using the property name and the control type, such as ProductIDTextBox no lame TextBox1 name In addition, Visual Studio creates an appropriate Label control Visual Studio is smart about generating the text for the Label control It breaks the property name into separate words based on either alphabetic casing or underscores For example, if you drag the ProductID property from the Data Sources window and drop it in the ProductWin form, Visual Studio creates a TextBox control for the ProductID and an appropriate Label control But what if you don t want the property to render as a TextBox control You can change the type of control that is rendered using the Data Sources window To change the default control type associated with a property: 1 Ensure that a Forms Designer is active 2 Open the Data Sources window
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7 BINDING THE USER INTERFACE TO THE BUSINESS OBJECTS
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3 Click a property in the Data Sources window The property item changes to a drop-down control list 4 Drop down the control list and select the desired control type Select Customize from the list to select a control type that is not on the list You can select just about any type of control, including third-party and custom controls
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NOTE: Before a third-party control can be added as a control type in the Data Sources window, it must first be added to the Forms Designer toolbox
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When you drag the control from the Data Sources window to the Forms Designer, Visual Studio renders the type of control you selected as the default control type for the property The property retains its default control type in the Data Sources window
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Creating a Form from the Data Sources Window
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But wait there s more! You can use the Data Sources window to create all the controls for a business object and bind them To create a new bound form: 1 Add a project item to the Windows Application project using the Inherited Form template, and inherit from your base form class This process was detailed in 4 (If you don t have a base form class, use the normal Windows Form template) An empty form appears in the Forms Designer 2 Open the Data Sources window Position the Data Sources window so that you can easily see its contents and the Forms Designer window at the same time 3 In the Data Sources window, click the object data source you want to bind to this form The item changes to a drop-down control list 4 Use the drop-down control list to de ne how Visual Studio renders controls on the form for this object data source
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