Tuesday , May 28 2024
If you are tired of having to repeatedly design your application interfaces, then you need to look at NetAdvantage For WPF.

Software Review: NetAdvantage For WPF 2008, Volume 1 from Infragistics

Infragistics over the years has positioned itself as a leader in the development of the presentation layer technologies. By creating high quality, reusable presentation layer tools for Windows Forms, ASP.NET, Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Tablet PC, and Java Environments, they are able to provide their customers with the ability to accelerate the development process by reducing development time.

The NetAdvantage For WPF is compatible with Visual Studio 2008 and CLR 3/0/3.5. It works with Microsoft Windows XP and Vista. Infragistics products are subscription-based, which gives you updates and upgrades for the period of the license, usually one year. So when you see the terminology "2008, Volume 1", this means it is the first release for this version of the product for that year. The license is also developer-based which means that the developer can install it on more than one machine, but they are the only one who has the right to use the license.

First off, what is WPF? It is a graphical subsystem in the .NET Framework 3.0 and is directly related to XAML. It provides a programming model for building applications and provides a clear separation between the user interface and the business logic. A WPF application can be deployed as a desktop app or hosted in a Web browser.

Now what is NetAdvantage For WPF? It is a toolkit for creating WPF applications. It contains an extensive set of controls and components that have been designed to provide you with the ability to create modern user interfaces for your applications. It will give you the ability to create cinematic graphics, rich styling, animation, and integrated UI virtualizations.

While it is beyond the scope of this review to go through each and every feature, I will try to provide some highlights to what is new with this product. You can check out the Infragistics site to explore a more complete list of controls and components.

What is new with NetAdvantage For WPF?

• xamDockManager – gives you the ability to present your users with a docking manager look and feel as you have in Visual Studio 2008. It allows you to dynamically reconfigure the workspace using draggable content panes, floating docking indicators, push-pin and fly-out panes, splitter bars, and multiple document interface tab items.

• xamDataGrid – has been enhanced to provide you with a powerful grid that can be used to produce more polished reports, tables, ledgers, and product listings to help you exceed your users' expectations as well as set your application apart from your competitors. Included is the ability to data bind, provide true hierarchical data rendering, field sorting, inline editing, and advanced styling and layout capabilities.

• ThemePacks – designed by the Infragistics Visual Design Group are provided to make it easy to give the controls a clean and modern look with a single property setting. There are 15 packs included including Windows themes (Luna, Aero, and Royale), Office Themes (Black, Blue, and Silver), as well as new ones like Fall, ForestGreen, and Lipstick.

• xamples – (pronounced "zamples") are a pair of very good, and highly polished WPF applications that bring together over 140 xamples that demonstrate the power and flexibility of each control. This provides you with concrete examples of how to work with each control.

• Leveraging of WPF platform features – takes advantage of all of the new features in the WPF platform including high resolution graphics, rich styling, and animation capabilities.

• Carousel Motion – with special effects, including scaling, skewing, and opacity effects, along a discrete path or continuous circuit. This gives you graphically rich methods of presenting your users with choices that go beyond menus.

• XBAP – compatible controls mean that you can deploy rich client applications though the browser.

• Rich Data Entry – that includes masks, date/time, numeric, currency, combo box, and text editors, again providing accurate data collection and presentation.

• xamChart – control allows you to create breathtaking 2D and 3D graphics, transformations, data binding from rich data sources, and animated storyboards.

NetAdvantage for WPF is a high quality toolset for use with WPF. It gives you
everything that you need to build business-grade applications. These controls were built from the ground up based on the Windows Presentation Foundation. They were written using C# code and default styles and templates defined in XAML resources.

Along with the controls and the sample applications, you also get a PDF-based manual that exceeds 1100 pages in length and contains a "Getting Started" section, a "General Programming Concepts" section as well as a developer's guide.

There are two licenses that you can purchase for NetAdvantage For WPF. First is with Priority Support for $1,290.00 USD, or Standard for $795.00 USD. Priority support includes one year of priority phone, 24-hour chat and rapid response online support. You can even download an evaluation copy. There are no features disabled during your evaluation period.

If you are tired of having to repeatedly design your application interfaces, having to painstakingly change the look and feel of controls and components, or having to spend more time then you want on the look and not enough time on what really counts—the product—then I highly recommend you take a look at Infragistics NetAdvantage For WPF.

About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.

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