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WPF or Standard Winform for Smart Client?

Posted on 2009-04-06
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Last Modified: 2013-11-12
I need to know the best way to approach building a smart client front-end.   Should I use WPF or standard windows forms?

I was messing around with WPF and you can't do as much with it, or maybe you can.. when comparing it to standard windows forms.  

What is the advantages of building WPF's front-ends compared to window forms?  

Any opinions would help me out.  Thanks..

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Question by:StrongD1
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Expert Comment

by:Éric Moreau
ID: 24079490
WPF can create richer forms but since the technology is quite new, not all components are available yet.

If I was starting a new project today, I would probably start it as a WPF application in which you can add regular Windows Forms as well a WPF Forms.

The next version of Visual Studio will enhance your experience.
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by:StrongD1
ID: 24079713
So I can create the Windows forms for things that the WPF won't do and add the Win forms to my WPF project?  Is that what you are saying?  Maybe making a mixture of Win forms and WPF forms?

I noticed that the WPF controls are limited.  There isn't a SQL data adapter control...  Could I talk to a SQL Db's with just code?  

I am currently writing several web services so when the user is actually connected to the network, the client can call the web servces (If needed) and get data, query db, add records, delete records, etc.  When the user is disconnected, I will have a SQL Server Compact DB and the user can still do things as well as store data in the SQL Server Compact, when the user is connected again after being offline, the data from the SQL Server compact will sync with the SQL Server 2008 on the network.  

Does that sound like a good way to approach this?  I was going to approach this use web application, but that means, when offline I would have to have IIS running on the local machine.  It just seemed clunky...  Win forms is the best approach I think...

Let me know your opinion... thanks...
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Accepted Solution

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Éric Moreau earned 2000 total points
ID: 24079784
>>So I can create the Windows forms for things that the WPF won't do and add the Win forms to my WPF project?  Is that what you are saying?  Maybe making a mixture of Win forms and WPF forms?

Yes. But be sure to start your application as a WPF application. If you started a regular Windows Application, you will have to add regular winforms, add a ElementHost control to your form and then you will be able to host a WPF usercontrol into that host.

>>I noticed that the WPF controls are limited.  

it is a pretty new technology that will be greatlty enhanced in the next year.

>>Does that sound like a good way to approach this?  

WPF cannot run on Compact Framework. Windows/WPF applications seems a right choice for your scenario.
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Author Closing Comment

by:StrongD1
ID: 31567076
Thanks emoreau!!!!

I appreciate your info and your opinions.  Thanks for this.  I am going to start building the client side today...  take a break from the web services for awhile.

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