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WINFORMS vs. Windows Application

Posted on 2011-02-24
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Can anyone offer me a definition and distinction between any .NET Desktop application (not console, not web app, not web service) and a WINFORM application?
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Question by:Howard Bash
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16 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:EYoung
ID: 34971945
Winforms is by Microsoft and can be easily created and deployed using MS's Visual Studio or other development IDEs.  Windows Applications can be from Microsoft or any other company.  They are developed to run under certain versions of Windows.

What specifically are you looking for in a "definition and distinction"?
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by:Howard Bash
ID: 34971964
When I am in visual studio and I create a windows application project that includes forms,  is that not a Win Forms project?
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EYoung earned 500 total points
ID: 34971984
Yes it is.  You are correct.
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by:EYoung
ID: 34972007
Here is a more detailed definition:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WinForms
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by:Howard Bash
ID: 34972017
I kind of asked in the negative, sorry.  So you are saying any Visual Studio Windows application that includes a form is a Win Form project?  

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Expert Comment

by:EYoung
ID: 34972086
Visual Studio is a sophisticated development environment that allows developers to produce a variety of outputs such as Windows Forms Application, WPF applications, class libraries, service apps, etc.  So when you click on File, New Project, Visual Basic (for example), Windows, then Windows Forms Application; you are creating a Windows Form Application or Winform application.

Now with that said, just because a VS application contains a "form", does not make it a WinForm application.
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by:Howard Bash
ID: 34972104
What makes it a WinForm application?
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by:EYoung
ID: 34972152
In Visual Studio, open the project, in the Solution Explorer right click on the project name at the top of the list in bold, left click on Properties, left click on "Application" and look at what is shown in the "Application type:" drop down box.
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Expert Comment

by:kemi67
ID: 34972173
Well WinForm is a well know definition, see wikipedia as EYoung provide.
"Windows Forms is the name given to the graphical application programming interface (API) included as a part of Microsoft .NET Framework, providing access to native Microsoft Windows interface elements by wrapping the extant Windows API in managed code."
So it answer yes to your question.
We can say that  "Desktop applications are usually built to avail the processing power of the desktop computer and rich user-interface that can be provided when compared to a browser-based application"
So "any .NET Desktop application" includes console and services and dlls. If you exclude console and services and dlls, perhaps it is the same thing that WinForms
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by:kemi67
ID: 34972202
You can build a Winform application without using a form, using only modules and classes, having inputbox and messagbox as input/output method, for example
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by:Howard Bash
ID: 34973200
kemi67:  Wouldn't that just be a console application?
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by:Howard Bash
ID: 34973209
Does the Windows Application need to be client / server to meet the requirement to be a WINFORM application?

So far,  it seems like jargon without a distinction.
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Expert Comment

by:kemi67
ID: 34977839
Let's start over
What is a definition?
How is the way to name something?
From a mathematical point of view (or scientific point of view) , you define  something (an even number for example) by its property.
Every thing that satisfy such properties can be named in that way (any integer that can be divided exactly by 2 is an even number)
From a natural language point of view, definitions are not so well precise: you look in dictionary and definitions, mainly, are made using other synonyms.
So, we are talking about a commercial product, Microsoft .net, definitions are up to Microsoft.
We are not sure that a precise definition exists.
Here we are trying to define winform from a scientific point of view, so we need to state which properties are true and which are not.
Probabily only Microsoft can be authorized to give an answer.
We can only say that WinForm are build from Visual Studio (but this is not the only way) choosing New-Project-Winform
With winform you can use or not Form, but you link the system object for build Form.
Using only InputBox and Messagebox is not a console application, because InpotBox and MessageBox are type of particular windows (this is known idf you know API programming)
Console application, for simplicity, are the ones that open a similar dos box.
They don't need to be client/server. Client / Server is another classification. A Winform could be or not a client server.
A desktop application is too generic. A winform is a desktop application.
An asp.net application is not winform and so on.
So why do you ask for definitions?
Do you have a book and your teacher is asking to give an answer contained in a book?
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Expert Comment

by:EYoung
ID: 34978545
Why does this need to be so precisely defined.  It seems to me that the original question has been answered several times over.  Please accept an answer and post a new question if you would like to discuss this in more detail.  Thanks
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Author Comment

by:Howard Bash
ID: 34982321
When you look on DICE for jobs and they say WinForm... what do they mean?  

Given that Kemi67 said "We are not sure that a precise definition exists."  My asking the question seems quite reasonable.  
Although the diatribe:
"What is a definition?
How is the way to name something?
From a mathematical point of view (or scientific point of view) , you define  something (an even number for example) by its property.
...

seems to me to be a bit pointless and dismissive.


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Expert Comment

by:kemi67
ID: 34984238
hbash, you have got some definitions of Winform and desktop application, but you have classified our answers as merely "jargon"

I was not polemic with my last answer, but since you want a "precise" definition, I have explained were the difficult is.

If your intent was only to know what Winform are for job searching interview, then the "jargon" answers are good one.

If your question arise from a question asked by a professor and you must provide the answer to a professor, then you must be precise like you must be in computer science lessons.

I wished only to know which kind of answer you want.
I think that know you have all the elements you were looking for.
We all are here trying to help each other, not being polemic and my answer was not pointless neither dismissive.

I simply like to be precise if I can and if I am able.
And I am glad if i can help you I am not here to confuse you
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