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Walkthrough: Displaying Related Data in a WPF Application

In this walkthrough, you will create a WPF application that displays data from database tables that have a parent/child relationship. The data is encapsulated in entities in an Entity Data Model. The parent entity contains overview information for a set of orders. Each property of this entity is bound to a different control in the application. The child entity contains details for each order. This set of data is bound to a DataGrid control.

This walkthrough illustrates the following tasks:

  • Creating a WPF application and an Entity Data Model that is generated from data in the AdventureWorksLT sample database.

  • Creating a set of data-bound controls that display overview information for a set of orders. You create the controls by dragging a parent entity from the Data Sources window to the WPF Designer.

  • Creating a DataGrid control that displays related details for each selected order. You create the controls by dragging a child entity from the Data Sources window to a window in the WPF designer.

    NoteNote

    Your computer might show different names or locations for some of the Visual Studio user interface elements in the following instructions. The Visual Studio edition that you have and the settings that you use determine these elements. For more information, see Visual Studio Settings.

You need the following components to complete this walkthrough:

  • Visual Studio 2010.

  • Access to a running instance of SQL Server or SQL Server Express that has the AdventureWorksLT sample database attached to it. You can download the AdventureWorksLT database from the CodePlex Web site.

Prior knowledge of the following concepts is also helpful, but not required to complete the walkthrough:

Create a new WPF project to display the order records.

To create a new WPF project

  1. Start Visual Studio.

  2. On the File menu, point to New, and then click Project.

  3. Expand Visual C# or Visual Basic, and then select Windows.

  4. Make sure that .NET Framework 4 is selected in the combo box at the top of the dialog box. The DataGrid control that you use in this walkthrough is available only in the .NET Framework 4.

  5. Select the WPF Application project template.

  6. In the Name box, type AdventureWorksOrdersViewer.

  7. Click OK.

    Visual Studio creates the AdventureWorksOrdersViewer project.

Before you can create data-bound controls, you must define a data model for your application and add it to the Data Sources window. In this walkthrough, the data model is an Entity Data Model.

To create an Entity Data Model

  1. On the Data menu, click Add New Data Source to open the Data Source Configuration Wizard.

  2. On the Choose a Data Source Type page, click Database, and then click Next.

  3. On the Choose a Database Model page, click Entity Data Model, and then click Next.

  4. On the Choose Model Contents page, click Generate from database, and then click Next.

  5. On the Choose Your Data Connection page, do one of the following:

    • If a data connection to the AdventureWorksLT sample database is available in the drop-down list, select it.

      -or-

    • Click New Connection and create a connection to the AdventureWorksLT database.

    Make sure that the Save entity connection settings in App.Config as option is selected, and then click Next.

  6. On the Choose Your Database Objects page, expand Tables, and then select the following tables:

    • SalesOrderDetail

    • SalesOrderHeader

  7. Click Finish.

  8. Build the project.

Create controls that display order records by dragging the SalesOrderHeaders entity from the Data Sources window to the WPF designer.

To create data-bound controls that display the order records

  1. In Solution Explorer, double-click MainWindow.xaml.

    The window opens in the WPF designer.

  2. Edit the XAML so the Height and Width properties are set to 800

  3. In the Data Sources window, click the drop-down menu for the SalesOrderHeaders node and select Details.

  4. Expand the SalesOrderHeaders node.

  5. Click the drop-down menu next to SalesOrderID and select ComboBox.

  6. For each of the following child nodes of the SalesOrderHeaders node, click the drop-down menu next the node and select None:

    • RevisionNumber

    • OnlineOrderFlag

    • ShipToAddressID

    • BillToAddressID

    • CreditCardApprovalCode

    • SubTotal

    • TaxAmt

    • Freight

    • rowguid

    • ModifiedDate

    This action prevents Visual Studio from creating data-bound controls for these nodes in the next step. For this walkthrough, it is assumed that the end user does not need to see this data.

  7. From the Data Sources window, drag the SalesOrderHeaders node to the window in the WPF Designer.

    Visual Studio generates XAML that creates a set of controls that are bound to data in the SalesOrderHeaders entity, and code that loads the data. For more information about the generated XAML and code, see Binding WPF Controls to Data in Visual Studio.

  8. In the designer, click the combo box next to the Sales Order ID label.

  9. In the Properties window, select the check box next to the IsReadOnly property.

Create a DataGrid control that displays order details by dragging the SalesOrderDetails entity from the Data Sources window to the WPF designer.

To create a DataGrid that displays the order details

  1. In the Data Sources window, locate the SalesOrderDetails node that is a child of the SalesOrderHeaders node.

    NoteNote

    There is also a SalesOrderDetails node that is a peer of the SalesOrderHeaders node. Make sure that you select the child node of the SalesOrderHeaders node.

  2. Expand the child SalesOrderDetails node.

  3. For each of the following child nodes of the SalesOrderDetails node, click the drop-down menu next the node and select None:

    • SalesOrderID

    • SalesOrderDetailID

    • rowguid

    • ModifiedDate

    This action prevents Visual Studio from including this data in the DataGrid control you create in the next step. For this walkthrough, it is assumed that the end user does not need to see this data.

  4. From the Data Sources window, drag the child SalesOrderDetails node to the window in the WPF Designer.

    Visual Studio generates XAML to define a new data-bound DataGrid control, and the control appears in the designer. Visual Studio also updates the generated GetSalesOrderHeadersQuery method in the code-behind file to include the data in the SalesOrderDetails entity.

Build and run the application to verify that it displays the order records.

To test the application

  1. Press F5.

    The application builds and runs. Verify the following:

    • The Sales Order ID combo box displays 71774. This is the first order ID in the entity.

    • For each order you select in the Sales Order ID combo box, detailed order information is displayed in the DataGrid.

  2. Close the application.

After completing this walkthrough, learn how to use the Data Sources window in Visual Studio to bind WPF controls to other types of data sources. For more information, see Walkthrough: Binding WPF Controls to a WCF Data Service and Walkthrough: Binding WPF Controls to a Dataset.

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