MindFusion.WinForms Pack, 2016.R2

MindFusion suite of WinForms controls has just been released and boasts a variety of new features to make you build WinForms applications faster and easier. Here is a review of the new version:

MindFusion Chart Control MindFusion.Charting

New data model

Data that should be drawn in charts is read through an interface called Series, whose instances can be assigned to the Series properties of Chart and SeriesRenderer classes. You can implement this interface in your own model classes to avoid duplicating data. The library includes several pre-defined series classes that let you specify data via IList or array objects.

Different series types in a single plot

The new data model allows adding different series types to a single plot

New rendering model

Chart graphics are drawn inside Plot components by SeriesRenderer-derived objects. Each plot can contain multiple series renderers from same or different types. For example, you can draw area, line and bar graphics in same plot by adding AreaRenderer, LineRenderer and BarRenderer objects to its SeriesRenderers collection. Chart controls automatically generate a series renderer of appropriate type for their Series.

Dashboard

The Dashboard control can contain multiple plots, axes, legends, images, gauges and text blocks arranged in dynamic layout. Individual components can be added to dashboard’s default RootPanel or LayoutPanel containers, or for more complex layouts add intermediary panels such as GridPanel and StackPanel to the default ones. To show different types of chart graphics, add Plot2D to draw in 2D Cartesian coordinate system, Plot3D for 3D Cartesian system, and PolarPlot for polar coordinate system. To draw horizontal or vertical axes, add respectively XAxisRenderer and YAxisRenderer objects. To show gauges, add LinearGaugeRenderer or OvalGaugeRenderer, whose Gauge property contains the gauge model definition.

The new WinForms Chart has a built-in dashboard control.

The new WinForms Chart has a built-in dashboard control.

Print and export

The Dashboard control and Chart controls that derive from it expose Print and PrintPreview methods for printing on paper. Call the ExportImage and CreateImage methods to generate bitmap image of the dashboard. The ExportPdf method exports the chart to a PDF (Portable Document Format) file. The ExportSvg method exports the chart to an SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) file.

Styling

Values of appearance properties can come from several places in the component hierarchy. SeriesRenderer-derived objects can use attributes from their local SeriesStyle, from plot’s SeriesStyle, or from the *Series properties in current Theme. Component classes use either their local properties or ones defined in the theme. By default, appearance properties in SeriesRenderer > and Component > classes have null values, which makes the drawing code use values from the theme.

A rich choice of styling options are available

A rich choice of styling options are available

MindFusion WebForms Diagrammer MindFusion.Diagramming

Free-form nodes

A FreeFormNode collects all points from users’ mouse or touch input and displays them as node’s outline. To let users draw free-form nodes interactively, set Behavior to DrawFreeForms or LinkFreeForms. Use the Points property of FreeFormNode to get or set outline points programmatically. If the Closed property is set, the node is drawn as a closed shape and its interior filled, or otherwise the node is drawn as a poly-line. If the distance between first and last points drawn by user is shorter than AutoCloseDistance, the node’s Closed property is automatically set to true.

Free form nodes are drawn with the mouse

Free form nodes: just draw the node with the mouse and the control understands the shape you want

LinkLabel edit events

LinkTextEditing and LinkTextEdited events are now raised also when the user edits a LinkLabel. The Label property of the respective event-arguments class identifies the LinkLabel that is being edited. Label is a null reference if the user is editing link’s Text value.

keyboard16x16MindFusion Virtual Keyboard

MindFusion Virtual Keyboard has been initially added to MindFusion Pack for WinForms.

The WinForms virtual keyboard control: extended layout

The WinForms virtual keyboard control: extended layout

WPF Reporting ToolMindFusion.Reporting

Improved charts
MindFusion.Reporting now uses the new MindFusion charting engine to display charts in reports. The presentation of the charts has been greatly improved (particularly when resizing the charts).

Pie charts in a WinForms report

Pie charts in a WinForms report

Spreadsheet-16x16MindFusion.Spreadsheet

New and improved charts
MindFusion.Spreadsheet now uses the new MindFusion charting engine to display charts in worksheets. Along with the improved appearance (particularly when resizing the charts), the following new features have been added:

  • New Candlestick chart type;
  • New BarOverlayed and ColumnOverlayed chart types;
  • Several new legend position types;

Zoom
The worksheets can now be zoomed in and out through the new Zoom property.

Charts in a spreadsheet

The new chart engine makes spreadsheets even more appealing

MindFusion clients can download the installer for the latest version from the clients area on MindFusion website.

A direct link to download the WinForms pack is available from here:

Download MindFusion WinForms Pack 2016.R2

Updated assemblies are also available as MindFusion.Pack NuGet package.

About MindFusion.WinForms Pack: A rich set of programming components that provide WinForms developers with the complete list of features to build even the most complicated business applications fast and easy. The components integrate seamlessly and provide with a mouse click functionality that takes months to develop. Each control boasts various samples and tutorials, extensive documentation and numerous customization options that make it suitable for every type of software and scenario.

Further details about each component in the pack are available from MindFusion website:

Use this link to buy a license online. All components are royalty-free.

Virtual Keyboard Controls Added To MindFusion WinForms/WPF Packs

MindFusion UI controls suite now includes a virtual keyboard.

MindFusion UI controls suite now includes a virtual keyboard.

Dear MindFusion current and future clients,
Dear FreezePro clients,

MindFusion is pleased to announce that as of April 2016 it has acquired FreezePro Virtual Keyboard components, which will be released as part of MindFusion WinForms/WPF controls suites. We want to use this opportunity to thank all MindFusion and FreezePro clients for the loyalty – you’ve chosen us over multiple competitive products and we believe you are satisfied with your choice.

To please you even more we offer you special prices for upgrading to MindFusion WinForms/WPF pack. You get a 30% discount on the difference between the price of a component’s license you own and the price of the WinForms/WPF pack license you want to buy. MindFusion clients who already own a WinForms/WPF Pack license get the Virtual Keyboard component free of charge.

If you want to use the preferential upgrade prices please send an e-mail to info@mindfusion.eu no later than May 31st, 2016.

If you have technical questions about any of the components please contact MindFusion at support@mindfusion.eu. Use the same email for questions about licensing or transfer of intellectual property rights.

Welcome to the bigger MindFusion family!

MindFusion WPF Pack

MindFusion Chart Control for WinForms, V4.0 Beta

MindFusion is proud to present you the beta version of Charting for WinForms, V4.0. MindFusion has entirely redesigned the control to create the most agile, lean and smart charting tool on the market. Below is a brief synopsis of the new chart for WinForms component.

New data model
Data that should be drawn in charts is read through an interface called Series, whose instances can be assigned to the Series properties of Chart and SeriesRenderer classes. You could implement this interface in your own model classes to avoid duplicating data. The library includes several pre-defined series classes that let you specify data via IList or array objects. For example, BarSeries lets you specify lists of values, inner labels and top labels, and PointSeries lets you specify data as a list of points.

Radar chart with multiple series.

Radar chart with multiple series.

New rendering model
Chart graphics are drawn inside Plot components by SeriesRenderer -derived objects. Each plot can contain multiple series renderers from same or different types. For example, you can draw area, line and bar graphics in same plot by adding AreaRenderer, LineRenderer and BarRenderer objects to its SeriesRenderers collection. Concrete Chart classes automatically generate a series renderer of appropriate type for their Series.

Dashboard
The Dashboard control can contain multiple plots, axes, legends, images, gauges and text blocks arranged in dynamic layout. Individual components can be added to dashboard’s default RootPanel or LayoutPanel containers, or for more complex layouts add intermediary panels such as GridPanel and StackPanel to the default ones.

The new WinForms Chart  has a built-in dashboard control.

The new WinForms Chart has a built-in dashboard control.

Print and export
The Dashboard control and Chart controls that derive from it expose Print and PrintPreview methods for printing on paper. Call the ExportImage and CreateImage methods to generate bitmap image of the dashboard. The ExportPdf method exports the chart to a PDF (Portable Document Format) file. The ExportSvg method exports the chart to an SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) file.

Styling
Values of appearance properties can come from several places in the component hierarchy. SeriesRenderer -derived objects can use attributes from their local SeriesStyle, from plot’s SeriesStyle, or from the *Series properties in current Theme. Component classes use either their local properties or ones defined in the theme. By default, appearance properties in SeriesRenderer and Component classes have null values, which makes the drawing code use values from the theme.

You can download the beta version directly from the link below. The archive file contains the control’s libraries, samples in C# and documentation.

Download Chart for WinForms, V4.0 Beta Version

Your feedback is valuable for us. Please use the forum or e-mail support@mindfusion.eu. to share your opinion, ask questions or submit a problem.

About Chart for WinForms: This is a smart WinForms dashboard control that lets you add the perfect chart or gauge to your application in a few easy steps. The control provides an elegant data model, which supports equally well arrays, xml, any .NET data source, lists or any other data model class, that you create by implementing the Series interface.

MindFusion WinForms Chart boasts an innovative rendering model, where each chart graphics is drawn by its own SeriesRenderer on a Plot. Each Plot supports unlimited number of chart or gauge series of any type. Plots, together with axes, legends, gauges, images, and text blocks can be combined in a Dashboard with the built-in dashboard control. Styling the chart is done on various levels – from appearance properties in each SeriesRenderer to more general settings in the Component classes. The control supports themes and comes with a set of stylish themes, which you can customize as you wish or create new ones from scratch.

Persisting the chart is possible in several ways – printing, export to PDF or to Svg images – all of them performed with a single method call.

The newly designed chart control is offered with unchanged prices and license scheme – check it here.

Creating custom CompositeNode components

In this post we’ll examine how CompositeNode components work in MindFusion.Diagramming for Windows Forms, and in the process create a custom radio button component. You can find the completed sample project here: RadioComponent.zip

CompositeNode was created as alternative of the ControlNode class, which lets you present any Windows Forms control as a diagram node. ControlNode has many advantages, such as letting you design the hosted user controls using Visual Studio designer, reusing them in other parts of the user interface, and including complex framework or third-party controls as their children. From the fact that each user control creates a hierarchy of Win32 windows come some disadvantages too:

  • ControlNodes cannot mix with other diagram elements in the Z order but are always drawn on top
  • performance deteriorates if showing hundreds of nodes
  • mouse events might not reach the diagram if hosted controls capture mouse input
  • print and export might not be able to reproduce the appearance of hosted controls without additional work (handling PaintControl event)

On the other hand, CompositeNode does all its drawing in DiagramView control’s canvas and is not affected by the issues listed above. CompositeNode lets you build node’s UI by composing hierarchy of components derived from ComponentBase class. Pre-defined components include layout panels, read-only or editable text fields, images, borders, buttons, check-boxes and sliders. If the UI component you need isn’t provided out of the box, you could still implement it as a custom class that derives from ComponentBase or more specific type and overriding the GetDesiredSize, ArrangeComponents and Draw methods. Lets see how that works using a RadioButtonComponent as an example.

Derive RadioButtonComponent from CheckBoxComponent so we reuse its IsChecked and Content properties:

class RadioButtonComponent : CheckBoxComponent
{
}

CompositeNode relies on a dynamic layout system that lets components determine their size by overriding GetDesiredSize method, and arranging children in allocated size by means of ArrangeComponents method. For radio button we’ll call its base class to measure content size and add enough space for drawing the radio graphics element (a circle) horizontally, while fitting it in measured height:

float RadioSize(SizeF size)
{
	return Math.Min(size.Width, size.Height);
}

public override SizeF GetDesiredSize(SizeF availableSize, IGraphics graphics)
{
	var s = base.GetDesiredSize(availableSize, graphics);
	s.Width += RadioSize(s);
	return s;
}

ArrangeComponents calls the base class to arrange its content on the right side of available space:

public override void ArrangeComponents(RectangleF availableSpace, IGraphics graphics)
{
	var radioSize = RadioSize(availableSpace.Size);
	availableSpace.X += radioSize;
	availableSpace.Width -= radioSize;
	base.ArrangeComponents(availableSpace, graphics);
}

Now override Draw and render standard radio button graphics on the left side of the component, and content on the right side:

public override void Draw(IGraphics graphics, RenderOptions options)
{
	var radioSize = RadioSize(Bounds.Size);
	var r = radioSize / 2 - 1;
	var cr = r - 1;

	graphics.FillEllipse(Brushes.White, Bounds.X + 1, Bounds.Y + 1, 2 * r, 2 * r);
	using (var pen = new System.Drawing.Pen(Color.Black, 0.1f))
		graphics.DrawEllipse(pen, Bounds.X + 1, Bounds.Y + 1, 2 * r, 2 * r);
	if (IsChecked)
		graphics.FillEllipse(Brushes.Black, Bounds.X + 2, Bounds.Y + 2, 2 * cr, 2 * cr);

	GraphicsState s = graphics.Save();
	graphics.TranslateTransform(radioSize - 1 + Bounds.X, Bounds.Y);
	Content.Draw(graphics, options);
	graphics.Restore(s);
}

We’ll want only one radio from a group to be selected. For our purposes we can count all radio buttons placed inside same stack panel as part of same group. Override the OnClick method to unselect all buttons in parent panel and select the clicked one:

protected override void OnClicked(EventArgs e)
{
	var parentStack = Parent as StackPanel;
	if (parentStack != null)
	{
		foreach (var child in parentStack.Components)
		{
			var radio = child as RadioButtonComponent;
			if (radio != null)
				radio.IsChecked = false;
		}
	}
	this.IsChecked = true;
}

That’s it, the radio button component is ready with just a screenful of code 🙂 Let’s check how it works by creating an OptionNode class that shows a group of radio buttons and exposes a property to access or change selected one:

class OptionNode : CompositeNode
{
}

You could create the stack panel and radio buttons from code if you need more dynamic configuration, e.g. one with variable number of radio buttons. For this example we’ll just load a fixed template consisting of four buttons from XML:

const string Template = @"
	

        

		

			
				
					
						
					
				
				
					
						
					
				
				
					
						
					
				
				
					
						
					
				
			

		

    ";

The template can be loaded using the XmlLoader class. We’ll also store a reference to the stack panel so we can access its child radio buttons:

public OptionNode()
{
	Load();
}

public OptionNode(Diagram d)
	: base(d)
{
	Load();
}

private void Load()
{
	Components.Add(XmlLoader.Load(Template, this, null));

	radioGroup = FindComponent("RadioGroup") as StackPanel;
}

StackPanel radioGroup;

Now implement a SelectedOption property that lets us select a radio button by its index. Define it as nullable integer so we can represent missing select too:

public int? SelectedOption
{
	get
	{
		for (int i = 0; i < radioGroup.Components.Count; i++)
		{
			var radioButton = (RadioButtonComponent)radioGroup.Components[i];
			if (radioButton.IsChecked)
				return i;
		}
		return null;
	}
	set
	{
		for (int i = 0; i < radioGroup.Components.Count; i++)
		{
			var radioButton = (RadioButtonComponent)radioGroup.Components[i];
			radioButton.IsChecked = value == i;
		}
	}
}

Let's try it - create a few nodes and run the application, you'll see the screen shown below:

var node1 = new OptionNode();
node1.Bounds = new RectangleF(20, 20, 30, 40);
node1.SelectedOption = 0;
diagram.Nodes.Add(node1);

var node2 = new OptionNode();
node2.Bounds = new RectangleF(90, 20, 30, 40);
node2.SelectedOption = 1;
diagram.Nodes.Add(node2);

var node3 = new OptionNode();
node3.Bounds = new RectangleF(20, 80, 30, 40);
node3.SelectedOption = null;
diagram.Nodes.Add(node3);

var node4 = new OptionNode();
node4.Bounds = new RectangleF(90, 80, 30, 40);
node4.SelectedOption = 3;
diagram.Nodes.Add(node4);

for (int i = 0; i < diagram.Nodes.Count - 1; i++)
	diagram.Factory.CreateDiagramLink(
		diagram.Nodes[i], diagram.Nodes[i + 1]);

Radio buttons in MindFusion diagram nodes

To be fair, this kind of nodes is simple enough to implement using standard TableNode class where radio button graphics are either custom drawn or set as Image inside table cells in first column, and text displayed in second column. However the radio buttons can be mixed with other components in CompositeNodes to implement more complex user interfaces than ones possible with tables.

For more information on MindFusion flow diagramming libraries for various desktop, web and mobile platforms, see MindFusion.Diagramming Pack page.

Enjoy!

Nested DataRanges in MindFusion Report Application

In this tutorial we are going to build a report with nested data ranges. In our case, we are going to retrieve all categories from the sample Norhtwind database. For each category we will get all products in it, which is the nested data range.

I. Preparing the Project

We create a new WinForms project and add a new DataSet from the Nortwind database. We choose all fields from the Categories and Products tables. Then we add a new item from the menu “Project -> Add -> New Item -> MindFusion Report” from the dialog that appears.

Adding the MindFusion Report item.

Adding the MindFusion Report item.

Drag and drop the nwindDataSet, CategoriesTableAdapter and ProductsTableAdapter on the report form. Finally, in the code behind fill the two adapters:

 productsTableAdapter1.Fill(nwindDataSet1.Products);
 categoriesTableAdapter1.Fill(nwindDataSet1.Categories); 

II. The Categories DataRange

We create the first data range by right clicking on the newly created report. There we see “Create Data Range from Data Source”. We choose the categories table and two fields – CategoryName and Picture. When the data range is generated we resize the picture to make it bigger.

Create DataRange context menu.

Create DataRange context menu.

III. Running the Report

We would use MindFusion ReportViewer to preview what we’ve done so far. We drag it from the Toolbox and place it on the form, which shows when the application runs. We compile the project and see that the Report1 class that we’ve created appears in the Toolbox, under the Data tab. This means we can create instances of our report just by drag and drop. We drag the Report1 icon and drop it on Form1. We have a report11 instance, which we assign to the Report property of the ReportView in the property grid.

Dragging the Report1 item.

Dragging the Report1 item.

Finally, we run the report:

report11.Run();

IV. The Nested DataRange

It’s time to create the second DataRange. We right-click the Report1 form and choose again “Create DataRange from Data Source.” This time we choose the Products table and we choose ProductName, UnitsInStock and UnitPrice fields. This time we check the “Generate Header” checkbox at the bottom. The second DataRange is ready. Nesting it is very easy. We resize the first DataRange to make it wider and just drag and drop the second DataRange in it. What is important is to set the MasterDetailRelation property. It must be the name of the relation between the two tables that provide data for the two DataRange-s. We can see it by clicking on the nwindDataSet -> “Edit DataSet with Designer. There we click on the relation between or two tables and see it is called “CategoriesProducts”. We place this name as a value to the MasterDetailRelation property.

Master detail relationship between the Products and Categories table.

Master detail relationship between the Products and Categories table.

V. Run the report

We run the report and see that everything is in place: the categories are listed with their picture, each category lists all its products.

VI. Style Adjustments

Finally let’s add some appearance optimizations that will make the report look better and thus be easier to read. First, we make the background of the Category label darker.

Then we make the product lines with alternating colors. This is done in the property grid for the dataRange2 object -> AlternatingBackground property.

We add a light gray border to the first data range with the Border property editor and we add a bottom margin of 30 mm. Here is the final look of the report:

Nested DataRange-s: the final report.

Nested DataRange-s: the final report.

You can download the sample from this link:

Download Nested DataRanges MindFusion Reporting Sample

More about MindFusion Reporting for WinForms component can be found here.