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Beth Massi is a Senior Program Manager on the Visual Studio team at Microsoft and a community champion for business application developers. Learn more about Beth.
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Last night I spoke to SF Bay.NET user's group on Data Binding in Winforms and WPF, focusing on Line-of-Business (LOB) application scenarios. I showed how you can use the same data sources with Winforms and WPF, walking through binding scenarios with DataSets, custom object collections and some LINQ to SQL classes. I showed the common data binding interfaces and demonstrated the main objects involved in data binding in both Windows client technologies. I also showed the side effects on data binding when using LINQ over these data sources.
I then tried to squeeze in a 10 minute discussion and demonstration of n-tier scenarios and how to handle some of the main issues you run into depending on your choice of data source and data access technology. I also plugged my "forms over data" videos. Of course I could have gone another hour! I ALWAYS have too much material. I should just do a day training class or something.
I think the talk turned out really well (I snuck a look at the evals and looks like people got a lot from the talk). Next time I'll cut down on the Winforms demos and focus on WPF and more n-tier, switching to Winforms only as a necessary comparison once in a while. However, I was impressed with the number of people that had not done Winforms data programming and there were a lot of note takers and questions when I went through the Winforms demos as well. Maybe I'll break it into two sessions and add them to my SV code camp talks.
I promised the crowd I would post the deck and the code I showed. Special thanks to Brian Noyes and his awesome "Data Binding with Windows Forms 2.0" book that I bought a couple years ago and still refer to often. One of the code demos I showed was based on some of the code from this awesome book. I have a signed copy ;-) The only thing I wish was that there was a WPF update, hint hint hint ;-)
Download the presentation here.
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This was a great presentation! Although some of the demos were page 1 stuff, it's useful to see forms over data presented with a focus on developer productivity. It's amazing how fast one can build data edit screens using Windows forms.
I'd like to see several of the topics that you touched on expanded into full length presentations. WPF data binding would be interesting, but in my book N-tier would be even more interesting. Given your experience as an application architect, you are well qualified in this area. I'd like to see a full presentation of a Windows Forms based n-tier application with custom data objects and different types of data sources.
My finally suggestion is that I would love to see you give a presentation on LINQ that follows up on some of your asides about using LINQ in an n-tier architecture. Certainly LINQ is a triumph in language development and quite interesting to developers, but were does it really fit in a complex architecture? We know LINQ can support a great demo, and there is plenty of material available on HOW to LINQ. The question I'm interested in is: WHY LINQ?
Yes I know I had WAY too much information to present in the two hours. Good feedback, next time I'm asked to speak I'll propose an n-tier talk w/ LINQ. I'm actually working on one for a conference I'm headed to in October in Amsterdam.
If you're around Market St in SF tonight I'm speaking at the Bay Area Association of Database Developers tonight on LINQ -- not specifically n-tier, but we can discuss the issues with the group and I can show some demos if we have time.
I feel like I'm missing out... I'd kill to be able to attend a conference or two, there's SO much i could learn
On Monday night I spoke at my first .NET users group here on the Microsoft Campus. It was the Visual