Additions to Windows Forms for the .NET Framework 2.0
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Additions to Windows Forms for the .NET Framework 2.0

The following table lists the new and enhanced features available with the release of the .NET Framework 2.0. This release also includes new deployment features, such as ClickOnce. What's New in Deployment
What's New in Deployment
What's New in Deployment

New or enhanced feature


Application settings

Applications settings for Windows Forms make it easier to create, store, and maintain custom application and user preferences on the client. With Windows Forms settings, you can store not only application data such as database connection strings, but also user-specific data, such as toolbar positions and most-recently-used lists. For more information, see Application Settings Overview.

Background operations

The BackgroundWorker component lets you perform operations in the background that can take a long time to run, such as image downloads and database transactions. For more information, see BackgroundWorker Component Overview.

ContextMenuStrip control

The ContextMenuStrip is an enhanced shortcut menu used with ToolStrip controls.

Custom drawing

The ListView and TreeView controls now support easy customization through the owner-draw feature currently available in controls such as ComboBox and ListBox. The owner-draw feature lets you provide custom drawing for some or all of a control by setting an OwnerDraw or DrawMode property and handling the appropriate custom drawing events. For more information, see Controls with Built-In Owner-Drawing Support.

DataGridView control

The DataGridView control provides a powerful and flexible way to display data in a tabular format. It can be used to show read-only views of a small amount of data, or it can be scaled to show editable views of very large sets of data. The data can reside in an external data source or be added directly to the control. For more information, see DataGridView Control Overview (Windows Forms).

Document Outline window

The Document Outline window now supports outline views for Windows Forms in addition to ASP.NET Web pages and HTML pages. You can use the Document Outline window to move through the controls on Windows Forms when you are in the Design view of the editor. To access this window, on the View menu, click Other Windows and then click Document Outline.

Event-based Asynchronous Pattern

Event-based Asynchronous Pattern is an event-driven model that makes available the advantages of multithreaded applications and hides many of the complex issues that are part of multithreaded design. For more information, see Event-based Asynchronous Pattern Overview.

Flicker prevention in graphics programming

Flicker is a common problem when programming graphics. Graphics operations that require multiple complex painting operations can cause the rendered images to appear to flicker or have an otherwise unacceptable appearance. To address these problems, the .NET Framework provides access to double buffering. For more information, see Double Buffered Graphics.

Layout panels

The FlowLayoutPanel control arranges its contents in a horizontal or vertical flow direction. The TableLayoutPanel control arranges its contents in a grid. Because the layout is performed both at design time and run time, it can change dynamically as the application environment changes. For more information, see FlowLayoutPanel Control Overview and TableLayoutPanel Control Overview.

ListView control

The ListView control now supports three features provided by Windows XP and the Windows Server 2003 family:

  • The tile view displays ListView items as tiles that balance graphical and textual information. Each tile contains a large icon and several lines of subitem text that typically appear in the columns of the details view.

  • The grouping feature lets you visually group items into related categories.

  • The insertion mark feature lets you provide drag-and-drop item repositioning with visual feedback to indicate drop locations.

For more information, see Windows XP Features and Windows Forms Controls.

MaskedTextBox control

The MaskedTextBox control uses a mask definition to distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate user input. For more information, see MaskedTextBox Control (Windows Forms).

MenuStrip control

The MenuStrip is an enhanced menu system that is used with ToolStrip controls.

ClickOnce deployment

ClickOnce deployment lets you deploy self-updating Windows-based applications that can be installed and run as easily as Web applications. You can deploy Windows client and command-line applications. There are new Publish Project commands on the Build and Project menus. For more information, see ClickOnce Deployment Overview.

Additions to existing features in Windows Forms

Together with some completely new features, this release of Visual Studio contains some additions to several classes that already existed. For more information, see New Additions to Existing Features in Windows Forms.

New data-binding model

The BindingSource component simplifies the process of data-binding because it acts as an intermediary between the bound control and the target data source. It automatically manages many of the more difficult binding issues such as currency, data-related events, and target data-source changes. It is also designed to interoperate with other data-related Windows Forms controls, especially the BindingNavigator and the DataGridView controls. For more information, see BindingSource Component. The BindingSource component was designed to simplify the process of binding controls to an underlying data source. It acts as both a conduit and a data source for other controls to bind to.

Snaplines on Windows Forms for arranging controls

The Visual Studio Windows Forms Designer has a SnapLine feature to help you accomplish precise layout tools for positioning controls on your forms. For more information, see Walkthrough: Arranging Controls on Windows Forms Using Snaplines.

SplitContainer control

The Windows Forms SplitContainer control can be thought of as a composite; it is two panels separated by a movable bar. When the mouse pointer is over the bar, the cursor changes to show that the bar is movable. Use it to create complex, resizable user interfaces that are most effective for displaying and browsing information. For more information, see SplitContainer Control (Windows Forms).

StatusStrip control

The StatusStrip is an enhanced status bar used with ToolStrip controls.

ToolStrip control

ToolStrip controls are toolbars that can host menus, controls, and user controls in your Windows Forms applications. The ToolStrip and its associated classes let you create toolbars and other user interface elements that can have a Windows XP, Office, Internet Explorer, or custom look of the interface. For more information, see ToolStrip Control Overview (Windows Forms).

ToolStripContainer control

The ToolStripContainer provides built-in rafting and docking of ToolStrip, MenuStrip, and StatusStrip controls.

WebBrowser control

The WebBrowser control lets you host Web pages in your Windows Forms applications. You can use the WebBrowser control to provide integrated HTML-based Help or Web browsing capabilities in your application. Additionally, you can use the WebBrowser control to convert existing Web applications into client applications that seamlessly integrate DHTML code with the user interface capabilities of Windows Forms. For more information, see WebBrowser Control Overview.

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