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We recently released WPF Studio 2010.1, which includes the new Views for WPF product. This product includes several panels that uses various fluid animations on the associated child elements. This means you can have fade in/out as they are added/removed from the panel, or smoothly transition to a new position/size.
WPF comes with several built-in panels and we've included drop-in replacements for some of these, with more to come in the future. We also included a couple panels not found in WPF, that can make your application more attractive. The SwitchPanel can be used to dynamically change the layout logic without having to move the elements to a new parent or regenerate the container elements. The ZapPanel works like a StackPanel, but centers a focal item in the view and can wrap items to produce a circular effect.
A ListBox using a ZapPanel as its ItemsPanel
The full list of panels includes:
You can build custom panels that leverage the fluid animations and framework just as easily as before. We provide step-by-step instructions on building a "random" panel, that arranges it's child elements at random locations. The full source code, in C# and VB.NET, for the random panel is included in our Sample Browser.
There are several built-in animations that can be easily configured. Elements of the panel can be animated differently depending on whether they were just added, removed, or simply changing location/size. Do you want to zoom in elements from the background when they are added and them zoom them out when being removed? No problem. Do you want to have them rotate a bit as they zoom? That's easy to add.
Custom animations can be created, so you can fully customize how elements are animated. The Views panels leverage native WPF animations, such as DoubleAnimation, so you don't need to learn a new animation framework. You just need to return a Storyboard for a given element based on it's current state.
The Views for Silverlight product, which has not been released yet, was developed in parallel with the View for WPF product. Therefore, the framework is largely compatible across WPF and Silverlight. This allows you easily port any custom panels over to Silverlight later.
The Views for WPF product can be easily added to your WPF applications to give them a little flair. We will be adding more new custom panels in the near future. If you have any suggestions, please email us.
A very major new version of WPF Studio is now live and ready for download. We’ll post more info on the updates in the coming days but a quick summary with links to related blog posts is:
For a detailed change list, please see this announcement.
Since 2010.1 is a major new version, 2009.2 customers will need new license keys to use the 2010.1 version.
If you are an existing customer and have an active subscription, you can log into your Actipro account and there should be a link near the top of your Organization Purchases page allowing you to request a free upgrade to 2010.1.
Alternatively if your subscription has expired, you can order a renewal from our purchasing pages.
If you are using individual WPF products but would like to switch to either the WPF Essentials bundle or WPF Studio suite, e-mail our sales team and we’ll be happy to discuss discounted upgrade options.
Be sure to check out our What we’re working on in early 2010 posting from several weeks ago, as that gives a high-level overview of where our development efforts are at right now.
Today’s WPF Studio 2010.1 release includes all the WPF Studio items in that posting. In the coming weeks we are planning on adding more custom panels to the new Views for WPF product.
Our primary focus will be on finishing off the public beta for the first Silverlight Studio version though. Since Silverlight 4 is coming out this week, we will be targeting it. The first two controls in the Silverlight Studio bundle will be SyntaxEditor and Views.
We also will be working on getting the wpfpedia.com reference guide rewrite live in the coming weeks. The code for it is about done, we just want to add some more content before publishing it.
As you can see, 2010 is off to a great start with our products and there’s plenty more coming soon.
Actipro’s unique bundle of Windows Presentation Foundation user interface controls offers everything developers need to add advanced UI functionality to their Windows Presentation Foundation applications.
Cleveland, OH – April 12, 2010 – Actipro Software has enhanced their WPF Studio user interface control suite to fully integrate with Visual Studio 2010. Integration includes Visual Studio designer surface extensibility for quick control customization, item templates that get customers up and running quickly, and toolbox entries. In addition, the hundreds of product samples packaged with WPF Studio are included in Visual Studio 2010 project format.
Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 is now the best-of-breed IDE for creating Windows Presentation Foundation applications. Microsoft has built upon the strengths of Visual Studio 2008 and improved features across the board. The numerous productivity, debugging, testing, and extensibility enhancements undoubtedly cut down on application development time. As Windows Presentation Foundation application developers migrate to Visual Studio’s latest version, they can rest assured that Actipro Software’s Windows Presentation Foundation user interface control products are designed to integrate with and take advantage of new functionality found in Visual Studio 2010.
“Many of our customers have indicated to us that they plan on moving to Visual Studio 2010 and the .NET Framework 4 platform immediately upon RTM,” said Bill Henning, President of Actipro Software. “It’s very important for us at Actipro to support our customers as we move into the Visual Studio 2010 era and make sure that our products fit well into the workflow of their application creation. Not only have we added design-time support for Microsoft’s new IDE version, but we have also moved our own product codebases to the latest as well.”
The WPF Studio suite includes 12 products, with a total of over 55 Windows Presentation Foundation user interface controls: Bar Code, DataGrid, Docking & MDI, Editors, Gauge, Navigation, PropertyGrid, Ribbon, SyntaxEditor, Views, Wizard and the Shared Library.
“We think that WPF developers will find many enhancements made in the .NET Framework 4 very appealing,” continued Bill Henning. “The capabilities added by the Dynamic Language Runtime provide for more language choice, parallel programming features help take advantage of multi-core processing, and new WPF controls and components make it easier to perform common tasks.”
“Microsoft is pleased that Actipro, a Visual Studio Industry Partner, has invested early in supporting Visual Studio 2010 and our next-generation application development platform, and is this week simultaneously shipping the WPF Studio 2010.1 control suite,” said Dave Mendlen, senior director of Developer Marketing at Microsoft. “Products like the WPF Studio 2010.1 control suite help customers to simplify their development process from design to deployment when using Microsoft products like Visual Studio 2010 and.NET Framework 4.”
Pricing and Availability
The 2010.1 version of the Actipro WPF Studio suite that includes complete Visual Studio 2010 integration launches April 14, 2010. Single developer licenses for the bundle start at $649, which include a free subscription to obtain all product updates for a year. Bulk license discounts up to 40% off are available, as are Site and Enterprise licenses. Product source code is available via a Blueprint license. Visit www.actiprosoftware.com for details.
About Actipro Software
Actipro Software is a leading provider of .NET user interface controls for the WPF and WinForms frameworks. They have been making .NET UI controls since the inception of .NET and were the first vendor to release a commercial WPF control. Their WPF Studio suite contains everything a WPF application developer needs, including docking windows, MDI, ribbons, property grids, gauges, editors, and much more. Actipro is most well-known for their robust SyntaxEditor syntax-highlighting code editor control, which allows developers to easily bring a Visual Studio-like code editing experience into their own applications.
We’ve added menu item access key underlines to all menu items in Ribbon for WPF. This update will be in the upcoming WPF Studio 2010.1 release.
Ribbon’s application menu showing underlines for menu items and recent document items
This update doesn’t require any changes to your code in most cases either. What we do is look at the KeyTipAccessText property of the buttons you use for your menu items. If it is a single character and the character is found in the button’s label text, it will underline the character.
A context menu showing the access key underlines
Our algorithm will even give priority to uppercase letters to be underlined so note that in the Save As item above, the uppercase A as underlined instead of the a in Save.
And of course typing an underlined character while a menu is displayed will execute the related menu item.
We hope to launch WPF Studio 2010.1 with these new features and more next week.
We've made two major enhancements to our PropertyGrid for WPF control that have been highly requested by our customers, which include property change events and better collection editing support. These new features will roll out in the upcoming WPF Studio 2010.1 release.
We've added two new bubbling routed events to the PropertyGrid called PropertyChanging and PropertyChanged. These events are fired before and after a property's value is changed via the PropertyGrid, respectively. The event arguments include the IPropertyDataAccessor that is being set, which can be used to access a variety of information about the underlying property (i.e. type, name, value, etc.). In addition, the raw value that is being assigned or was assigned is included in the event arguments. The value is considered "raw" because it may ultimately be converted by the TypeConverter associated with the property.
These events allow you to better track changes made through the PropertyGrid, including capturing undo/redo related information.
In previous versions of the PropertyGrid, collections were presented using the associated TypeConverter. The TypeConverter determines whether a property is expandable and how it is converted to other types, such as a string when displayed in a TextBox/TextBlock. The .NET runtime includes two built-in type converters used with collections. The first is CollectionConverter, which does not allow expansion. This converter is used intrinsically by types that implement ICollection, which includes List<T> and Dictionary<TKey, TValue>. The second built-in type converter is ArrayConverter, which does allow expansion. This converter is used by Array objects, which includes types like string or int.
So out of the box, the PropertyGrid would only allow the expansion of arrays as seen below.
Default display mode of an array, a dictionary, a list, and an observable collection in a PropertyGrid
In the 2010.1 release, the PropertyGrid will continue to default to the behavior described above. But using the new CollectionDisplayMode property you can quickly change how collections are displayed. Collections are defined as types that implement ICollection/ICollection<T>, IList/IList<T>, or IDictionary/IDictionary<TKey,TValue>. More...
We’ve been posting recently on some upcoming features being added to Actipro Ribbon for WPF that will be available in the upcoming WPF Studio 2010.1 release.
Today I’d like to show an interesting new feature where you can hide the title bar area of the Ribbon. Combined with other existing properties that hide the application button, hide the QAT, and prevent ribbon collapsing, you can achieve a standalone tab control that has full ribbon resizing capabilities in it for groups and group child controls.
This screenshot shows the result, which could be used standalone within any control. A new QuickStart has been added in WPF Studio 2010.1 showing how to do this.
Update: Just to clarify, this feature doesn't mean that Ribbon can be used as a tab control replacement. Ribbon can still only host ribbon groups and controls you'd normally host in a ribbon group. It's just showing how the title bar area where contextual tabs and the QAT would normally be are hidden with a new property. And in this particular sample we hid the application button as well.
Part of the features being added for WPF Studio 2010.1 are Ribbon updates to use the newer Scenic ribbon style.
The new application button style will display the text content File by default as in the left of this screenshot. This is similar to how the upcoming Office 2010 renders their application button.
You could choose to use an image instead. When using an image, an arrow will render next to the image further indicating to the user that this is a button that should be clicked on.
The image displayed on the right side of the screenshot is built-into Ribbon and can be used by your applications if you’d like. Alternatively you may specify a custom image to use, such as a company or application logo icon.