WPF Multi-Layer Business Application for Download

Tomorrow Karl Shifflett is giving a Code Camp session in Charlotte. Unfortunately it's too far away for me to participate. :-) Today Karl has posted a really great WPF Multi-Layer Business Application that can be downloaded from his blog. Check it out here and learn from it. Thx to Karl for posting and sharing that great sample app.
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LostFocus (TextBox) vs. Buttons IsDefault-Property

If you bind the Text-Property of a TextBox to something, the "something" is updated when the TextBox loses focus. This is the Default-UpdateSourceTrigger defined in the Metadata for the TextBox.TextProperty. In a Data Binding you can specify another UpdateSourceTrigger, like e.g. PropertyChanged. If a TextBox has LostFocus as UpdateSourceTrigger, which is the default, you can get problems if the TextBox is inside of a Dialog that contains a OK-Button with the IsDefault-Property set to true. When the TextBox has the Focus, the user can press Enter and the Button is clicked, but the TextBox still keeps the Focus. The LostFocus-Event doesn't occur, so the Source of a Data Binding isn't updated with the value of the TextBoxs Text-Property. You need to update the source explicit. Let's take an example and use the Person-class of my previous post:
public class Person : INotifyPropertyChanged
{
  private string _name;
  public string Name
  {
    get { return _name; }
    set
    {
      _name = value;
      if (PropertyChanged != null)
        PropertyChanged(this,
          new PropertyChangedEventArgs("Name"));
    }
  }
  public event PropertyChangedEventHandler PropertyChanged;
}
The Window below just contains a TextBox and a Button. The Text-Property of the TextBox is bound to the Name of the data in the DataContext. This would be a Person-instance, as you'll see below in the codebehind-file. The Button has it's IsDefault-Property set to true and defines an eventhandler for the Click-Event.
<Window x:Class="LostFocusTest.Window1" ...
  xmlns:local="clr-namespace:LostFocusTest"
  Title="Focus/IsDefault" Width="200" SizeToContent="Height">
  <StackPanel>
    <TextBox Margin="5" Text="{Binding Name}"/>
    <Button Content="OK" IsDefault="True"
       Click="Button_Click"/>
  </StackPanel>
</Window>
In the Constructor in the Codebehind-file a Person-instance is created. It's assigned to the Windows DataContext-Property, so the TextBox above will display the Persons name, which is set to "Thomas". The Click-Eventhandler for the Button simply displays the name of the Person in a MessageBox.
public partial class Window1 : Window
{
  private Person _pers;
  public Window1()
  {
    InitializeComponent();
    _pers = new Person();
    _pers.Name = "Thomas";
    this.DataContext = _pers;
  }

  private void Button_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
  {
    MessageBox.Show(_pers.Name);
  }
}
If I start the application and type "Urs" into the TextBox and press Enter, the Button is clicked but the TextBox keeps the focus. So the Source, which is the Person-Instance, isn't updated and the MessageBox still displays the old value ("Thomas"), as you can see in the Image below: LostFocus vs. IsDefault For such a scenario, you have to update the source explicit. You could do this in the Click-Eventhandler. To update the source, you have to get the BindingExpression for the TextProperty. You get the BindingExpression by calling the GetBindingExpression-Method on the TextBox. Pass in the Text-Property as parameter. On the BindingExpression call the UpdateSource-Method to update the Person-instance explicitly with the value defined in the Text-Property of the TextBox. With the Eventhandler below the Person-Instance would always be actualized when the Button is clicked. The MessageBox would display the right value:
private void Button_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
{
  TextBox textBox = Keyboard.FocusedElement as TextBox;
  if (textBox != null)
  {
    BindingExpression be =
      textBox.GetBindingExpression(TextBox.TextProperty);
    if (be != null)
      be.UpdateSource();
  }
  MessageBox.Show(_pers.Name);
}
Just kick it for me: kick it on DotNetKicks.com
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The dream of "half-automatic" Automation Properties

Everyone who has worked with WPF knows the interface INotifyPropertyChanged. It only defines the PropertyChanged-event, that should be called when a property's value has been changed. The PropertyChanged-event is used by WPF's Data Binding. Normally a class fires the event in the set-Accessors of its properties. And that's the problem why you can't use Automation Properties for classes that implement INotifyPropertyChanged. (more…)
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Take Snapshots of Videos with WPF

With WPF's Imaging-Classes you can take snapshots of any Visual. The snapshot can be saved in any common Image-Format, like e.g. JPG. Let's take a look at a pretty short example, that shows how easy this can be done. The example takes snapshots of a Video. The following Window contains a MediaElement and a Button. The MediaElement plays the Video thomasOnBoard.wmv. The Button defines an Eventhandler for the Click-Event. It takes a snapshot of the video, when you click it.
<Window x:Class="SnapShots.Window1"
    xmlns=http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/...
    xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml"
    Title="Window1" Height="300" Width="300"

 ResizeMode="NoResize">
  <StackPanel>
   <MediaElement x:Name="media" Height="200" Stretch="Fill">
      <MediaElement.Triggers>
       <EventTrigger RoutedEvent="MediaElement.Loaded">
        <BeginStoryboard>
         <Storyboard>
          <MediaTimeline
Source="thomasOnBoard.wmv"
           RepeatBehavior="Forever"/>
         </Storyboard>
        </BeginStoryboard>
       </EventTrigger>
      </MediaElement.Triggers>
     </MediaElement>
     <Button Click="Button_Click" Content="Snapshot"/>
  </StackPanel>
</Window>
Let's look at the Eventhandler of the Button. An instance of the RenderTargetBitmap-class is created with some parameters about image-size, dots per inch (dpi) and Pixelformat. The Render-Method gets the MediaElement as a parameter, so MediaElements visual appearance is stored in the RenderTargetBitmap in memory. With a JpegBitmapEncoder and a FileStream the Image is written as a JPG to disk. That's it.
void Button_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
{
  Size dpi = new Size(96,96);
  RenderTargetBitmap bmp = 
    new RenderTargetBitmap(300, 200, 
      dpi.Width, dpi.Height, PixelFormats.Pbgra32);
  bmp.Render(media);

  JpegBitmapEncoder encoder = new JpegBitmapEncoder();
  encoder.Frames.Add(BitmapFrame.Create(bmp));

  string filename = Guid.NewGuid().ToString()+".jpg";
  FileStream fs = new FileStream(filename,FileMode.Create);
  encoder.Save(fs);
  fs.Close();

  Process.Start(filename);
}
Instead of taking the picture in the Button_Click eventhandler, you could create a Timer and take an Image every 0.1s. That allows you to extract an image-sequence of your videos. As it works for any Visual, and everything that's on the screen in a WPF-Application is a visual, there are many things you can do with it. You could create a snapshot of an Image drawn to an inkCanvas, upload it to a webserver to display it on a webpage etc.
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Built-in DataGrid for WPF is planned

Yes, they are planning to release it. Really great news. Today there's no DataGrid for WPF-applications as part of .NET Framework 3.5. There are only third-party controls like the Grid from Xceed or Infragistics. Have you ever built a business application without a DataGrid? I haven't. I'm really happy to hear that microsoft will release a DataGrid for WPF as part of .NET. That wouldn't make thirdparty-components necessary (If you don't need all functionality e.g. Infragistics provides). I hope the DataGrid for WPF will be more like the DataGridView of WinForms in NET 2.0, and not like DataGrid in .NET < 2.0. :-) Take a look at the .NET 3.5 roadmap on Scott Guthries blogpost. There's a little line containing this information about a planned built-in DataGrid by end 2008. Also some other missing controls are planned, like Calendar/DatePicker.
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