If you live in the WPF world, you may know the name of Karl Shifflett. If you’ve heard the name, but just not have met the man…next time you’re at a developer conference, look for the guy in the Hawaiin shirt, shorts, some ink on the arms and is probably passionately talking to some other geeks about the innards of data binding in XAML.
Recently, Karl has joined Microsoft to work on the “Cider” team. The Cider project is a key part of the developer story for WPF and Silveright. It is the XAML designer/editor/etc for Visual Studio. Some of you may know Karl from his work on his pet project, Mole. Well, Karl is at it again.
He’s been working on another project called XAML Power Toys. What is it? In his own words:
“XAML Power Toys is a Visual Studio 2008 SP1 Multi-AppDomain Add-In that empowers WPF & Silverlight developers while working in the XAML editor. Its Line of Business form generation tools, Grid tools, DataGrid and ListView generation really shorten the XAML page layout time.”
The goal of this Visual Studio add-in for WPF and Silverlight is to enable developers to quickly layout and maintain business application forms using the UI controls that are a part of the XAML frameworks. Here’s a list of the features:
- Create WPF or Silverlight DataGrid For Class - quickly create a WPF DataGrid complete with bindings that are easily associated with properties on the source class
- Create WPF ListView For Class - quickly create a ListView complete with bindings that are easily associated with properties on the source class
- Create Business Form For Class - quickly create a form complete with bindings that are easily associated with properties on the source class
- Create Business Form - quickly create a form complete with bindings if desired
- Show Fields List For Class - display a list of class fields similar to Microsoft Access. Allows dragging of fields to create controls
- Group Into - allows selecting one or more controls and group them inside a new parent control
- Chainsaw - Minimize Cider Designer XAML - allows selecting of one or more controls and will remove all MinWidth, MinHeight, x:Name, Name, Margin properties and will set all row and column definitions to Auto.
- Remove Margins - allows selecting one or more controls and removes the Margin property from them
- Edit Grid Column and Rows - allows selecting a grid and then add or remove rows and columns
- Set Defaults For Created Controls - allows customizing the initial properties that are set when the software creates a new control
Want to layout a quick form based on a business object, how’s this for a start to help define what the form should be:
After you click create, you just paste the results where you need the form/grid in your XAML and it’s done for you!
Karl has created 8 videos walking developers through the aspects of XAML Power Toys and strongly encourages every XAML Power Toys user to view the videos before you get started.
A *very* cool utility for WPF and Silverlight developers. Please, please do view the videos that Karl has created…they are short and to the point and helpful to get you understanding some things! Check out XAML Power Toys!