Hooking Data up to ListBox and Datagrid


This is a walkthrough of how to hook data up to both ListBox and Datagrid. In this walkthrough, we’ll create a small collection to use as the data source.


For this walkthrough, you’ll need Visual Studio 2008, the new Microsoft Silverlight Tools Beta 1 for Visual Studio 2008, the Silverlight 2 SDK Beta 1, and the Silverlight 2 Beta 1 runtime. For Silverlight specific tools, go to Silverlight.net.


* This post walks through creating a C# project, but  there is also a VB version of the code at the bottom of the post
* Delay’s blog has some great info on how to use ListBox in various ways (he covers most of the key scenarios )
* When adding ListBox and DataGrid to Page.xaml, pay attention to the capitalization in each tag (e.g. <ListBox…and <..:DataGrid…)


 


Create a Silverlight 2 Project


Create a new Silverlight 2 project and a web application project to host it.


 


 


Layout a ListBox


In your Silverlight project, add a reference to System.Windows.Controls.Data. This will allow us to use the Datagrid control.


Open Page.xaml and remove the height and width settings from UserControl (shown as text with a strike through below). I do this so the Silverlight content can fill the web browser page rather than be restricted to a specified width and height.


Add vertical and horizontal alignment specifications to the LayoutRoot grid control, so the grid will align center on the page. Then, add a Margin of 50, so the grid has some buffer between it and the edges of the page. Next, add two rows to the grid that are each 50% of the total grid height, and then add a ListBox control to row 0, give it an x:Name attribute of “myListBox”, and a height and width (original xaml is shown in gray and new or modified xaml is shown in full color below).


<UserControl x:Class=”DataSample.Page”


    xmlns=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/client/2007″


    xmlns:x=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml”


    Width=”400″ Height=”300″>


    <Grid


        x:Name=”LayoutRoot”


        Background=”White”


        HorizontalAlignment=”Center”


        VerticalAlignment=”Center”


        Margin=”50″>


        <Grid.RowDefinitions>


            <RowDefinition Height=”50*” />


            <RowDefinition Height=”50*” />


        </Grid.RowDefinitions>


        <ListBox x:Name=”myListBox” Grid.Row=”0″ Height=”200″ Width=”300″/>


    </Grid>


</UserControl>


 


Now, run your project and you should see an empty ListBox as shown below.



 


Create a Collection to Fill the ListBox


We need to fill the ListBox with data, and to do this we’re going to create a collection in code. We’re going to add two new classes to Page.xaml.cs, so open the file, and add a class called Peeps with a String property for FirstName, a String property for LastName, and an int property for Age. Also, add a class called PeepsList that inherits from List<>, and fill it with as many peeps as you like. You could, of course, create two new separate class files for this if you prefer.


Next, create an instance of the PeepsList collection in the Page class’s constructor and then set the ItemSource of the ListBox to this new instance (use the x:Name attribute for the ListBox you used in the xaml file).


Here’s my sample code; the code in full color is what I added to the file to accomplish what was described above.


using System;


using System.Collections.Generic;


using System.Linq;


using System.Windows;


using System.Windows.Controls;


using System.Windows.Documents;


using System.Windows.Input;


using System.Windows.Media;


using System.Windows.Media.Animation;


using System.Windows.Shapes;


 


namespace DataSample


{


    public partial class Page : UserControl


    {


        //Constructor called on page load


        public Page()


        {


            InitializeComponent();


            //When the page loads create a new list of peeps


            PeepsList listData = new PeepsList();


            //Set the listbox “myListBox” ItemSource to the newly created list of peeps


            myListBox.ItemsSource = listData;


        }


    }


    //Defines peeps item content


    public class Peeps


    {


        //Properties


        public String FirstName{ get; set; }


        public String LastName{ get; set; }


        public int Age{ get; set; }


        //Constructor


        public Peeps(String _fName, String _lName, int _Age)


        {


            FirstName = _fName;


            LastName = _lName;


            Age = _Age;


        }


    }


    //Creates list of peeps to use in listbox and datagrid


    public class PeepsList : List<Peeps>


    {


        //Constructor


        public PeepsList()


        {


            this.Add(new Peeps(“Lisa”, “Martin”, 19));


            this.Add(new Peeps(“Ilana”, “James”, 39));


            this.Add(new Peeps(“Halle”, “Bora”, 19));


            this.Add(new Peeps(“Jason”, “DeVora”, 29));


            this.Add(new Peeps(“Julie”, “Jones”, 10));


            this.Add(new Peeps(“George”, “Hill”, 30));


        }


    }


}


 


Now, run your project and your ListBox should look as follows.



 


Create an ItemTemplate to Control Presentation of Data


Our ListBox now shows the namespace and name of the Peeps class, so we need to create an ItemTemplate to control presentation of the data in the collection, and to do this you’ll need to open Page.xaml again.


We’re going to list the First Name property of each of the Peeps in our ListBox. To do this, add a ListBox.ItemTemplate tag, and inside of that add a DataTemplate tag, and inside of that add a Textblock and set the Text attribute’s Binding to FirstName, as shown below.


<UserControl x:Class=”DataSample.Page”


    xmlns=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/client/2007″


    xmlns:x=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml”> 


    <Grid


        x:Name=”LayoutRoot”


        Background=”White”


        HorizontalAlignment=”Center”


        VerticalAlignment=”Center”


        Margin=”50″>


        <Grid.RowDefinitions>


            <RowDefinition Height=”50*” />


            <RowDefinition Height=”50*” />


        </Grid.RowDefinitions>      


        <ListBox x:Name=”myListBox” Grid.Row=”0″ Height=”200″ Width=”300″>


            <ListBox.ItemTemplate>


                <DataTemplate>


                    <TextBlock Text=”{Binding FirstName}” Margin=”5″/>


                </DataTemplate>


            </ListBox.ItemTemplate>


        </ListBox>


     </Grid> 


</UserControl> 


 


Now, run your project and it should look as shown below.



 


Layout a DataGrid


Now, let’s add a Datagrid to our UI and fill it with the same data from the PeepsList. To do this, open Page.xaml and add a namespace reference to System.Windows.Controls.Data, and then add a DataGrid xaml element to the page and place it in row 1 of the grid. Be sure to add the AutoGenerateColumns =”True” attribute, so it automatically creates column headers, and give it an x:Name attribute of “myDataGrid”. The last thing to do to the DataGrid is to give it a height, width, and margin. All new xaml is shown below in full color below.


 <UserControl x:Class=”DataSample.Page”



    xmlns=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/client/2007″


    xmlns:x=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml”


    xmlns:data=”clr-namespace:System.Windows.Controls;assembly=System.Windows.Controls.Data”>  


    <Grid


        x:Name=”LayoutRoot”


        Background=”White”


        HorizontalAlignment=”Center”


        VerticalAlignment=”Center”


        Margin=”50″>


        <Grid.RowDefinitions>


            <RowDefinition Height=”50*” />


            <RowDefinition Height=”50*” />


        </Grid.RowDefinitions>      


        <ListBox x:Name=”myListBox” Grid.Row=”0″ Height=”200″ Width=”300″>


            <ListBox.ItemTemplate>


                <DataTemplate>


                    <TextBlock Text=”{Binding FirstName}” Margin=”5″/>


                </DataTemplate>


            </ListBox.ItemTemplate>


        </ListBox>


        <data:DataGrid x:Name=”myDataGrid” Grid.Row=”1″ AutoGenerateColumns=”True” Height=”200″ Width=”300″ Margin=”10″/>


    </Grid> 


</UserControl> 


Now, open Page.xaml.cs and set myDataGrid’s ItemSource to the new PeepsList instance just as you did for the ListBox as shown below in full color.


using System;


using System.Collections.Generic;


using System.Linq;


using System.Windows;


using System.Windows.Controls;


using System.Windows.Documents;


using System.Windows.Input;


using System.Windows.Media;


using System.Windows.Media.Animation;


using System.Windows.Shapes;


namespace DataSample


{


    public partial class Page : UserControl


    {


        //Constructor called on page load


        public Page()


        {


            InitializeComponent();


            //When the page loads create a new list of peeps


            PeepsList listData = new PeepsList();


            //Set the listbox “myListBox” ItemSource to the newly created list of peeps


            myListBox.ItemsSource = listData;


            //Set the datagrid “myDataGrid” ItemSource to the newly created list of peeps


            myDataGrid.ItemsSource = listData;


        }


    }


    //Defines peeps item content


    public class Peeps


    {


        //Properties


        public String FirstName{ get; set; }


        public String LastName{ get; set; }


        public int Age{ get; set; }


        //Contructor


        public Peeps(String _fName, String _lName, int _Age)


        {


            FirstName = _fName;


            LastName = _lName;


            Age = _Age;


        }


    }


    //Creates list of peeps to use in listbox and datagrid


    public class PeepsList : List<Peeps>


    {


        //Constructor


        public PeepsList()


        {


            this.Add(new Peeps(“Lisa”, “Martin”, 19));


            this.Add(new Peeps(“Ilana”, “James”, 39));


            this.Add(new Peeps(“Halle”, “Bora”, 19));


            this.Add(new Peeps(“Jason”, “DeVora”, 29));


            this.Add(new Peeps(“Julie”, “Jones”, 10));


            this.Add(new Peeps(“George”, “Hill”, 30));


        }


    }


} 


Run your application and it should look as follows.



 


VB Version of Code


If you prefer to code in VB, here is the VB version of the code for Page.xaml.vb



Partial Public Class Page


    Inherits UserControl


 


    Public Sub New()


        InitializeComponent()


 


        ‘When the page loads create a new list of peeps


        Dim listData As PeepsList = New PeepsList()


 


        ‘Set the listbox “myListBox” ItemSource to the newly created list of peeps


        myListBox.ItemsSource = listData


 


        ‘Set the listbox “myListBox” ItemSource to the newly created list of peeps


        myDataGrid.ItemsSource = listData


    End Sub


 


End Class


 


‘Defines peeps item content


Public Class Peeps


 


    ‘Properties


    Private fName As String


    Public Property FirstName() As String


        Set(ByVal Value As String)


            fName = Value


        End Set


        Get


            Return fName


        End Get


    End Property


 


    Private lName As String


    Public Property LastName() As String


        Set(ByVal Value As String)


            lName = Value


        End Set


        Get


            Return lName


        End Get


    End Property


 


    Private aAge As Integer


    Public Property Age() As Integer


        Set(ByVal Value As Integer)


            aAge = Value


        End Set


        Get


            Return aAge


        End Get


    End Property


 


    ‘Contructor


    Public Sub New(ByVal _fName As String, ByVal _lName As String, ByVal _age As Integer)


        firstName = _fName


        lastName = _lName


        age = _age


    End Sub


 


End Class


 


‘Creates list of peeps to use in listbox and datagrid


Public Class PeepsList


    Inherits List(Of Peeps)


 


    ‘Contructor


    Public Sub New()


        Me.Add(New Peeps(“Lisa”, “Martin”, 19))


        Me.Add(New Peeps(“Ilana”, “James”, 39))


        Me.Add(New Peeps(“Halle”, “Bora”, 19))


        Me.Add(New Peeps(“Jason”, “DeVora”, 29))


        Me.Add(New Peeps(“Julie”, “Jones”, 10))


        Me.Add(New Peeps(“George”, “Hill”, 30))


    End Sub


 


End Class



Now, you can apply one of the custom styles I created in my previous post to further customize the UI you just created.

Comments (3)

  1. Techniques says:

    ListBox and DataGrids in Silverlight 2.0 Over at the UX Musings Blog there is a great tutorial on how

  2. FlyingFishStix says:

    A quick heads-up for VB Devs …watch your CaPiTaLiZaTiOn!  Xaml absolutely requires it.

    Corrina and the Datagrid team were absolutely great in solving my problem.

    I originally typed "<data:Datagrid…" (wrong) which Stopped silverlight it its data-tracks as it reported this error:

    "The type data:Datagrid was not found. Verify that you are not missing an assembly reference and that all referenced assemblies have been built."

    They corrected me and said it should be:

    "<data:DataGrid…" (with a capital G) and everything was sunshine and lollypops.

    I just thought I’d post this to the community VB devs who might be hitting the (C#-like) capitalization learning curve.  🙂

    Big thanks to Corrina!

    Cheers,

    Mike

  3. Michael Sync on User Control Inheritance, Expression Team provides DeepZoom collection example, Pete