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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

RE: WinForms Outlook-Style Navigation Controls (Coming soon in v14.1)

I am writing this post in response to the recent blog from our WinForms team: There were a lot of comments on whether it is possible to have this feature in XAF. Well, it is possible and this integration is quite easy if you really need it. After all, an XAF app is nothing more than a standard WinForms or ASP.NET Web Forms app, which means that the same approaches can be applied to develop it. The XAF documentation describes most of the integration scenarios and our support team is also ready to help if you are in a need for something special.

Another good news is that here, it is all standard and you just need basic WinForms development skills and a minute or two to follow the How to: Customize a Windows Forms Template article from the XAF's documentation.

Caution: I was not planning on replicating Outlook 2013 by any means here, but just experimented with alternative navigation controls. I also removed the status bar, placed the navigation bar under the main view site and did not use tree-like navigation in groups on purpose, because it was not very suitable just for this simple demo app. Replicating the Office 2013 UI requires additional customizations of templates and other UI elements, and is not covered in this post.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A very interesting way to update and display a persistent property via a non-persistent one


A customer wanted to extend the User class with additional property that would store the information about the startup View for this user when it launches the app. This is very similar to the StartupNavigationItem attribute, which is present for the NavigationItems node in the application model, but with the difference that application users should be able to modify this via the standard XAF CRUD forms.

How would you normally approach this?;-)

Possible solutions

At this time, I can think of at least three good options for accomplishing this task: two platform-dependent and one platform-agnostic, which I am going to detail later in this post. In all three cases we will extend our business class with a string property that would store this startup View information (its identifier) in the database.