Back in 2006 I wrote that we had released the biggest release of DotNetBar in last 5 years with the Ribbon control. Today, little more than 5 years later it is big release time. Again.
We know that Metro design language is the future of the Windows user interface. Windows Phone 7 and 8, Windows 8 and I suspect Office 15, will be designed using Metro principles. And what is not to like? Metro is user interface design-language that is heavily type based, think text, and which uses design principles of classic Swiss graphic design.
Metro design excludes superfluous graphic and window chrome and it lets actual content come up front. It uses large titles and pages with lateral scrolling. Result is clean, sleek user interface that gets out of the way. Less chrome and more app.
Metro design is also touch friendly so it can be easily adapted to the future touch based Windows 8 user interface. It can be made to be completely without window chrome, but it can use minimal chrome successfully as well. In short it is very flexible.
I am really excited to announce that we completed DotNetBar 10.0 with world’s first Metro User Interface controls. You can start building your applications with Metro UI today!
Here is screen-shot of the start page of MetroBill sample project that we included with DotNetBar to show these new controls in action:
Start screen in MetroBill sample app uses Metro Tiles to allow access to most common top-level functions of this app. We created Metro Tiles component with our text-markup support and ability to display both text and image or even any of our other components based on BaseItem inside of the tile. Which means you can for example display self-updating Micro-Chart inside of the tile to display sales figures…
Metro UI uses lateral scrolling to display more content so here is neat new slide panel control in action that we added specifically for Metro:
As you might have noticed, the video above uses completely different color scheme than the first screen-shot. We’ve designed proprietary color scheme generation algorithms that use as input two colors you specify and then generate complete color scheme for all our controls. Our color theme is composed of more than 5000 color parts and creating new color theme is lot of work. You don’t have to do that now Here is screen-shot with just couple of different pre-defined color themes we include:
Here are all new controls and components we have added in this epic release:
Metro Application Form (MetroAppForm)
MetroAppForm is a chrome-less application form. It does not have visible window chrome and is provided as clean slate for hosting MetroShell control.
Application form however has support for the modal panels. Modal panels is the concept we introduced specifically for the Metro applications. It allows you to slide into the view the panel which requires user input without using modal dialog. This fits much better into Metro design language and provides smoother user experience.
Metro Shell (MetroShell)
MetroShell control is a application, top-level Metro control which provides key application user interface elements:
- Application Menu, either Backstage or standard menu
- Quick Access Toolbar with customization
- Minimum window chrome with system buttons and title text
- Settings and Help buttons as part of form title
- Main application tabs
Metro Toolbar (MetroToolbar)
MetroToolbar control is a toolbar with two button areas. It shows most commonly used commands at all times but also allows user to access infrequently used or extra commands by expanding the toolbar to reveal extra content. MetroToolbar control automatically participates in customization by allowing end-user to right-click the buttons and add them to Quick Access Toolbar.
Metro Status Bar (MetroStatusBar)
MetroStatusBar control is a Metro styled status bar which can be used to provide application current status and provide optional grippers to resize the form in bottom right corner.
Slide Panel (SlidePanel)
SlidePanel is panel control which can slide in and out of the view from any of 4 sides. When out of the view panel can display optional “thumb” that can be dragged or clicked to bring control back into the view. Lateral sliding of the content is one of the key design concept of Metro UI.
Metro Form (MetroForm)
MetroForm is dialog form in Metro style. It is provided to be used as replacement for standard Form when dialogs need to be added to Metro apps.
To get you started with new controls please review new DotNetBar Samples Explorer which has been redesigned in Metro style. Also check out the MetroBill sample project which shows most of these concepts in action. Please also read Getting Started with Metro UI in DotNetBar for WinForms Knowledge Base article.
Thank you everyone for using our controls. I hope that with this new release we will help you create more unique and beautiful apps to delight your users. Let me know what you think and what else we can make to help you.