We just released the DotNetBar for Windows Forms 7.0 with total of 6 brand new controls. If you missed my series of post over past couple of days which covered all new controls in detail here is the list of controls we added to 7.0 version:

  1. Advanced Date/Time picker control with NULL value support, Office 2007 style and extensive customization options
  2. Advanced Month Calendar control, international support, Office 2007 style, custom rendering support
  3. Double Input control, use it for numeric double type data input
  4. Integer Input control, an integer data type input control
  5. Reflection Image control, provide great looking reflection for your images
  6. Reflection Label control, create great looking headings with reflection

You can download fully functional trial version and “kick the tires” of this new release yourself. Enjoy.

 

This is the last post in series that covers all 6 new controls that are part of all new DotNetBar for Windows Forms 7.0. The 6th new control we included is Reflection Label control. If you need to display visually catching headers in your application and need something little different this control should fit the bill.

Here are couple of screen-shots from the sample application shipped with DotNetBar 7.0:

Reflection Label control fully supports our text-markup and it will look the best when used to display single line of textlike headings in your apps.

This concludes the DotNetBar 7.0 Series. I covered 6 all new controls that are part of DotNetBar for Windows Forms 7.0. To recap we added:

  1. Advanced Date/Time picker control with NULL value support, Office 2007 style and extensive customization options
  2. Advanced Month Calendar control, international support, Office 2007 style, custom rendering support
  3. Double Input control, use it for numeric double type data input
  4. Integer Input control, an integer data type input control
  5. Reflection Image control, provide great looking reflection for your images
  6. Reflection Label control, create great looking headings with reflection

If you have not tried DotNetBar you should really give it try. If you tried it before, it is time to try it again. It got a lot better with this new release. DotNetBar 7.0 has 37 controls that will help you create professional user interface with ease, no doubt about it. 7.0 release is imminent…

 

Reflection Image control is 5th of 6 new controls included in upcoming DotNetBar for Windows Forms 7.0.

The best way to describe this control is to show some screen-shots , so here they are:

Reflection Image control will help you include reflection visual effect for images that you display in your applications. It is a great and easy way to improve visuals. You can customize borders, background and image position through Windows Forms designer.

I recommend using PNG-24 format for images since it supports alpha-blending and is very compact.

Stay tuned for part 7 and unveiling of last new control that is part of DotNetBar for Windows Forms 7.0

 

Numeric Integer Input Control is 4th of 6 new controls that are part of the upcoming DotNetBar for WinForms 7.0. This control is very closely related to the Double Input control I covered in my previous post, but it is designed to input Integer values.

Watermark text support to provide information about the purpose of the entry field and highlight-on-focus features are built-in.

Integer input control has built in null value support so you can safely bind it to the database fields that allow null values. Bind it to almost any other type and use its custom value parsing services to convert the bound value to the double value control expects. Built-in button to reset control value to null can optionally displayed to clear content of the control.

Display format for the numeric value can be formatted using extensive formatting options. For example, setting DisplayFormat property to 000 will always ensure that value displayed by the control has leading zeros.

Stay tuned for part 6 where I will cover another new control that is part of 7.0 release. Two more controls to reveal are left and they are designed to help you dress up your application with some very stylish visual effects.

 

Today I will cover Numeric Double Input Control which is 3rd of 6 new controls that are part of the upcoming DotNetBar for WinForms 7.0.

We designed Double value input control for easy data entry and data binding of decimal value types. Control has out of box international support and it will use the settings of the system its running on for number of decimal places setting, decimal place separator character etc. Control automatically right-aligns input value, but as many other aspects of the control, this can be customized.

Control has built in null value support so you can safely bind it to the database fields that allow null values. You can also bind it to almost any other type and use its custom value parsing services to convert the bound value to the double value control expects. Built-in button to reset control value to null can optionally displayed to clear content of the control.

Display format for the numeric value can be formatted using extensive formatting options. Named numeric formats like the one for currency, or completely custom ones can be assigned using DisplayFormat property.

There are more useful features in this control but this covers the most used ones.

Stay tuned for part 5 where I will cover another new control that is part of 7.0 release.

 

Today I will cover our Advanced Month Calendar control, 2nd of 6 new controls we are adding to the upcoming 7.0 release of DotNetBar.

Advanced Month Calendar control provides you with the great looking, internationally aware calendar control with extensive customization and rendering options.

Look and Feel

Office 2007 style is the default appearance of the control. All of our Office 2007 color schemes are supported including the ones you generate based on the single color.

Control appearance can be customized extensively using designer and without writing single line of code. You can customize borders, backgrounds, text colors and more. Image below shows customized calendar using the designer only available properties:

Custom rendering is easy to accomplish by handling PaintLabel event. Provide completely custom look and feel for each day on calendar or combine your rendering and ours for that unique look. Each date on calendar can also host the optional image to better mark special dates. You can also easily display the popup menu when the image is clicked. Image below illustrates custom rendering, per day image and popup menu support:

Core Functionality

Using ShowWeekNumbers property you can trigger display of week of year directly on calendar. The rule for determining how first week of year is calculated can be changed through WeekOfYearRule property and you can choose First Day which is default, First Full Week or First Four Day Week rules.

First day of week displayed on the calendar is by default based on the system settings of the machine control is running on, but you can override that by explicitly setting the first day week using the FirstDayOfWeek property.

Multi-day selection can be enabled using the MultiSelect property. Using MaxSelectionCount property you can control how many days can be selected. In image below I have disabled the selection of weekend days using WeekendDaysSelectable property and have customized the appearance of standard weekend days. Note that I intentionally left the trailing days in default color to show that settings for trailing weekend and weekday days are separate.

If you have not tried DotNetBar you should give it try. If you tried it before, maybe its time to try it again. It gets a lot better with each and every release. DotNetBar 7.0 has 37 controls that will help you create professional user interface with ease, no doubt about it.
Stay tuned for more… Tomorrow I will unveil another new control we added to DotNetBar 7.0

 

In my last post I mentioned that with upcoming DotNetBar 7.0 we include total of 6 completely new controls. Today I will cover first new control: Advanced Date/Time Picker.

Our Advanced Date/Time Picker control is written from ground up to provide exceptional customization options with great out of box look and feel and seamless international support. This is not inherited or wrapped up standard date/time picker. We developed it from scratch. Office 2007 style is default style for this control and it will fit great with our other Office 2007 style data input controls.

I am sure you will be happy to know that we’ve implemented all features from standard Date/Time Picker control and while doing so removed all common limitations as well :-).

Advanced Date/Time Picker control natively supports NULL values which is one of the most common complaints about standard Date/Time Picker. This is must have feature if you are binding control to the database fields. In addition to that, we support completely custom parsing of the input values. Simply handle ParseValue event and you can bind control to any type and custom process assigned value before it gets to the control.

Look and feel

Advanced Date/Time picker has Highlight on focus feature that our other input controls have. This makes it much easier to spot currently focused control on the form. This is how the Date/Time Picker control looks with default settings and Clear button visible:

You can lock control update using the check-box that is displayed on the left hand side of the control. You can also show the up/down scrolling buttons that allow user to change the currently focused date/time part by simply pressing the buttons. Image below shows these parts of the control activated:

You can also display up to 2 custom buttons inside of the Date/Time Picker and assign to them any combination of image and text. Use custom buttons to display custom dialog to choose control value, perform lookups etc. Image below shows one of the custom buttons visible:

Control look and feel can be completely customized, including the most important part, the drop-down calendar. You can mark recurring dates on calendar on monthly and annual basis. You can also mark dates based on absolute date values. In screen-shot below I marked 11th, 18th and 21st day of each month. I also customized calendar background and navigation background all using designer and without writing single line of code.

If you want to perform custom rendering on control’s calendar you can do so easily by handling PaintLabel event which occurs before each day on calendar is rendered. Provide completely custom look or combine yours and our rendering, the choice is yours. Image below shows custom rendering combined with internal control rendering:

Date/Time Formats, Custom Formatting and Beyond

Advanced Date/Time Picker, out of box, is fully internationally aware. Long and short date format and long and short time formats, as specified in end-user system options, are built-in formats. Full strength of control can be seen when custom format is used.

Setting the custom format property value to: ‘at’ HH ‘hours and’ mm ‘minutes’ results in the input shown below:

You can even create format to enter date range using single Advanced Date/Time Picker control. Setting custom format value to: ‘Starting from:’ MM/dd/yyyy ‘ until’ {MM/dd/yyyy} results in input shown below:

Using the Values property you can retrieve the array of date/time values that was entered.

DotNetBar for Windows Forms 7.0 is coming soon and it includes 6 new controls. That is total of 37 controls in DotNetBar 7.0 that will help you create professional applications with ease. Stay tuned for part 3 where I will cover another new control that is part of 7.0 release.

 

New in DotNetBar 7.0 part 1

We’ve been developing and improving DotNetBar for Win-Forms for last 6 years and soon we will be releasing new 7.0 release. Its a really big release with 6 completely new controls so I wanted to start a series of posts that cover all new features.

Today I’ll start with the  enhancements we made to the TextBoxX control that has been part of DotNetBar for quite some time. TextBoxX is the control that inherits from standard TextBox and adds the Office 2007 look and feel. What is special about this control is that it is not designed as most of other controls of this type. The most common thing that is done to provide the Office 2007 look and feel for text-box is to place it as child control inside of the UserControl, hide the text box border and draw the new border on user control. This approach is taken because it is the easiest to implement and requires least coding and testing.

Whats wrong with that you might ask? Well, nothing except that it is a resource hog. Instead of using one Window handle for text-box you are now using 2, one for text box and one for its parent user control. So if you have 40 text-boxes on your form, which is not uncommon, instead of 40 window handles you end up having 80.

Creating window handles is expensive. It will degrade the form loading time and it will slow down form painting. We wanted to avoid doubling the amount of window handles created for each text box so we’ve taken different approach that is far more work, but results in only single window handle per text-box.

Instead of parenting text box to user control, we inherit from the standard TextBox and process each Window message individually to provide custom borders, Office 2007 style scroll-bars and in 7.0 release custom buttons. With buttons that are part of text-box you can provide search, show dialogs, display popup menus, etc.

Below you can find couple of screenshots that show new TextBoxX custom buttons that are part of text box control. You simply enabled them using ButtonCustom and ButtonCustom2 properties. You can assign the image and text to each button. Best of all they do not consume additional windows handles and they look great. With couple of lines of code, as shown in screenshots below, you can easily popup the custom menu as well…

DotNetBar TextBox control with custom buttons

 

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