Looks like my WPF data-binding article has been published in Code Magazine.
The magazine should be arriving within the next couple weeks. If you are a subscriber you can read the article on the Code Magazine site. If you’re not a subscriber you can read a few pages of the article.. When the next Code Magazine issue ships you can view the complete article online.
Data binding has been around in some form for years. Both Windows Forms and ASP.NET have binding implementations available. The motivation behind creating a binding framework is that it reduces the amount of code that the application developer must write. You rely on the teams at Microsoft to produce the mountains of code necessary to simplify your daily coding tasks.
The central idea behind binding is simple. You “bind” some UI controls to a data object and rely on the binding framework to push the data to the controls and ensure that changed data is saved back to the business object properties.
So what is WPF data binding anyway? I’d define it as follows: the ability to register two items, a data source and a data target, with the binding framework. The binding framework is responsible for synchronizing the data between the two items and providing us with indispensable services like validation and data conversion.
That simple explanation hardly reveals the power of WPF binding. WPF is a complete rethinking of how to construct a UI development platform. Since Microsoft started with a blank slate, it provided the WPF architects with the opportunity to engineer interesting ideas into their binding engine. Binding in WPF is pervasive and built-in to every corner of the system. It permits better abstraction of code and UI by allowing complete separation of UI design from business object code. Data templates are another unique idea within WPF. If you are coming from a Windows Forms or ASP.NET background, templates will force you to change the way you think about developing and designing user interfaces.