Silverlight ViewModel UserControl

ViewModel UserControl is what we call the UserControl that given an ecospace type and a ViewModel name already in design time can derive a UI based on the UI-hints that the ViewModel definition might have, and in runtime, given an EcoSpace and a Root object, turns into a fully bound UI; derived purely from a declarative idea about what you want to achieve.

The ViewModel UserControls have different implementations for different UI-architectures of course. I have described the ViewModel UserControl for ASP.NET here; .

The ViewModel UserControl for WindowsForms UserControl I have not really written anything about – but we use them frequently in Modlr – like in the Actions-dialog.

The ViewModel UserControl for WPF I have written about on numerous occasions, for example here; and not to mention that the WPF ViewModel UserControl is core to WECPOF / AppComplete that is discussed here

And earlier this week I wrote about the ViewModels now being consumable in Silverlight via generated code ; in the available beta builds of ECO6 for Visual Studio 2010.

Today we present the ViewModel UserControl for Silverlight – named ViewModelSLUserControl. That we were about to present such a control must have been obvious to everyone but today it is actually here.

The demo project is in the Demos folder named SLDemo20100806_UserControl

In the solution explorer this looks neat an tidy:


Click open the EcoModel1:


Clicking on the ViewModels button brings up the ViewModel editor:


I wanted to show a somewhat complex sample and at the same time really test the Silverlight implementation of the ViewModel UserControl. So I added comboboxes, and master detail grids in two steps followed by a detailing of the selected row of the last grid in discrete components.

I also added columns to the ViewModel for each of the auto created/ auto maintained vCurrent_ variables that comes with the ViewModel.

Even if this sort of UI is considered advanced by many standards (never mind the look of it just now) it is easy to produce and maintain in the ViewModel editor. And this is the whole point of the ViewModel UserControls – fast as your thoughts. The interesting part is really what you do with the time you do not spend in the ViewModel editor – the time you have gained by not being forced to create standard UI’s manually, and not needing to maintain them manually.

Consuming this in Silverlight is easy (from today and forward)

Code Snippet
  1. public Page()
  2. {
  3.     InitializeComponent();
  5.     DequeuerSL.Active = true;
  6.     _ecoSpace = new EcoSilverlightDemoEcoSpace();
  7.     _ecoSpace.Active = true;
  8.     ViewModelDefinitionsInApplication.Init(_ecoSpace);
  11.     CreateDemoData();
  13.     ccc = new ViewModelSLUserControl();
  14.     ccc.EcoSpaceType = typeof(EcoSilverlightDemoEcoSpace);
  15.     ccc.SetEcoSpace(_ecoSpace);
  16.     ccc.ViewModelName = "TestViewModel";
  17.     TOPPanel.Children.Insert(0,ccc);

And you get this in runtime:


And I could not resist to spend some time to find out how far of WECPOF for Silverlight was now that the ViewModelSLUserControl was in place. It turned out that the biggest challenge was the Menus. Main menu is not in Silverlight (or the toolkit), and the ContextMenu’s that are in the Toolkit does not support hierarchical menu items – crap. I found a good start of implementing the Menus at CodePlex – , I will use this until the Toolkit catches on…

WECPOF / AppComplete for Silverlight actually works!


I added the sample to a server with IIS7 : 

As always – typos –> email me and I will fix & comments appreciated

The build that contains the sample and the necessary ECO6 versions is posted at the end of this topic: , if there are newer builds when you read this – use them instead…

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