Refreshing the Data in Data Bound Controls in WPF

Received this question:


I need to bind some objects to an XML file – and refresh the binding whenever the XML source changes. By default my application (c# .exe) reads the source values romthe XML once at start-up, and doesn’t notice subsequent changes.

I didn’t see an easy way to do this in Markup but with two lines of code you can call the refresh on the XMLDataProvider:



private void Button1click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)


XmlDataProvider DataProv = (XmlDataProvider)this.Window.FindResource(“QuestionsDS”);
//this.LayoutRoot.DataContext = DataProv;



And the markup is:






xmlns:d=”″ xmlns:mc=”″ mc:Ignorable=”d”




Width=”640″ Height=”480″>


<XmlDataProvider x:Name=”Chuck” x:Key=”QuestionsDS” d:IsDataSource=”True” Source=”C:\teched\XMLFile1.xml”/>


<Grid x:Name=”LayoutRoot”>

<ListBox Margin=”144,93,280,151″ ItemsSource=”{Binding Mode=Default, Source={StaticResource QuestionsDS}, XPath=/Questions/Question/@Wrong_answer2}”/>

<Button HorizontalAlignment=”Left” Margin=”88,23,0,0″ VerticalAlignment=”Top” Width=”154″ Height=”57″ Content=”Button” x:Name=”Button1″ Click=”Button1click”/>



Comments (6)

  1. The person got back to me and they wanted this automated – so this code in a timer looks like:

      private void Window_load(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)


               System.Timers.Timer timer = new System.Timers.Timer();

               timer.Interval = 1000; // 1 second updates

               timer.Elapsed += timer_Elapsed;



           void timer_Elapsed(object sender, EventArgs e)


               XmlDataProvider DataProv = (XmlDataProvider)this.Window.FindResource("QuestionsDS");


               //this.LayoutRoot.DataContext = DataProv;


  2. Garry Trinder says:

    "The Person"! I guess I should be flattered. Shane

  3. Joseph pointed out a better way would be to use the the FileSystemWatcher class

    Code below:

    System.IO.FileSystemWatcher watcher = null;

           private void Window_load(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)


               watcher = new System.IO.FileSystemWatcher("c:\teched", "*.xml");

               watcher.NotifyFilter = NotifyFilters.LastAccess | NotifyFilters.LastWrite

                   | NotifyFilters.FileName | NotifyFilters.DirectoryName;

               // Add event handlers

               watcher.Changed += new FileSystemEventHandler(File_OnChanged);

               // Begin watching for XML file

               watcher.EnableRaisingEvents = true;


           public void File_OnChanged(object source, FileSystemEventArgs e)


               XmlDataProvider DataProv = (XmlDataProvider)this.Window.FindResource("QuestionsDS");



  4. And as Andrew Parsons pointed out the VB code to do this:

      Private Sub Button1_Click(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As System.Windows.RoutedEventArgs) Handles Button1.Click

           Dim da As XmlDataProvider

           da = DirectCast(LayoutRoot.FindResource("QuestionsDS"), XmlDataProvider)


       End Sub

  5. I am playing with the code for my Teched Hands on labs to dynamically rebind controls at run time and

  6. I am playing with the code for my Teched Hands on labs to dynamically rebind controls at run time and