Walkthrough: Simple Data Binding in an Application-Level Project

Walkthrough: Simple Data Binding in an Application-Level Project

You can bind data to host controls and Windows Forms controls in application-level projects. This walkthrough demonstrates how to add controls to a Microsoft Office Word document and bind the controls to data at run time.

Applies to: The information in this topic applies to application-level projects for Word 2013 and Word 2010. For more information, see Features Available by Office Application and Project Type.

This walkthrough illustrates the following tasks:

  • Adding a ContentControl to a document at run time.

  • Creating a BindingSource that connects the control to an instance of a dataset.

  • Enabling the user to scroll through the records and view them in the control.


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:

The first step is to create a Word add-in project.

To create a new project

  1. Create a Word add-in project with the name Populating Documents from a Database, using either Visual Basic or C#.

    For more information, see How to: Create Office Projects in Visual Studio.

    Visual Studio opens the ThisAddIn.vb or ThisAddIn.cs file and adds the Populating Documents from a Database project to Solution Explorer.

  2. If your project targets the .NET Framework 4 or the .NET Framework 4.5, add a reference to the Microsoft.Office.Tools.Word.v4.0.Utilities.dll assembly. This reference is required to programmatically add Windows Forms controls to the document later in this walkthrough.

Use the Data Sources window to add a typed dataset to your project.

To add a typed dataset to the project

  1. If the Data Sources window is not visible, display it by, on the menu bar, choosing View, Other Windows, Data Sources.

  2. Choose Add New Data Source to start the Data Source Configuration Wizard.

  3. Click Database, and then click Next.

  4. If you have an existing connection to the AdventureWorksLT database, choose this connection and click Next.

    Otherwise, click New Connection, and use the Add Connection dialog box to create the new connection. For more information, see How to: Connect to Data in a Database.

  5. In the Save the Connection String to the Application Configuration File page, click Next.

  6. In the Choose Your Database Objects page, expand Tables and select Customer (SalesLT).

  7. Click Finish.

    The AdventureWorksLTDataSet.xsd file is added to Solution Explorer. This file defines the following items:

    • A typed dataset named AdventureWorksLTDataSet. This dataset represents the contents of the Customer (SalesLT) table in the AdventureWorksLT database.

    • A TableAdapter named CustomerTableAdapter. This TableAdapter can be used to read and write data in the AdventureWorksLTDataSet. For more information, see TableAdapter Overview.

    You will use both of these objects later in this walkthrough.

The interface for viewing database records in this walkthrough is very basic, and it is created right inside the document. One ContentControl displays a single database record at a time, and two Button controls enable you to scroll back and forth through the records. The content control uses a BindingSource to connect to the database.

For more information about binding controls to data, see Binding Data to Controls in Office Solutions.

To create the interface in the document

  1. In the ThisAddIn class, declare the following controls to display and scroll through the Customer table of the AdventureWorksLTDataSet database.

    private AdventureWorksLTDataSet adventureWorksDataSet;
    private AdventureWorksLTDataSetTableAdapters.CustomerTableAdapter customerTableAdapter;
    private System.Windows.Forms.BindingSource customerBindingSource;
    private Microsoft.Office.Tools.Word.RichTextContentControl customerContentControl;
    private Microsoft.Office.Tools.Word.Controls.Button button1;
    private Microsoft.Office.Tools.Word.Controls.Button button2;
  2. In the ThisAddIn_Startup method, add the following code to initialize the dataset, fill the dataset with information from the AdventureWorksLTDataSet database.

    this.adventureWorksDataSet = new AdventureWorksLTDataSet();
    this.customerTableAdapter = new AdventureWorksLTDataSetTableAdapters.CustomerTableAdapter();
    this.customerBindingSource = new System.Windows.Forms.BindingSource();
  3. Add the following code to the ThisAddIn_Startup method. This generates a host item that extends the document. For more information, see Extending Word Documents and Excel Workbooks in Application-Level Add-ins at Run Time.

                Word.Document currentDocument = this.Application.ActiveDocument;
                Document extendedDocument = Globals.Factory.GetVstoObject(currentDocument);
  4. Define several ranges at the beginning of the document. These ranges identify where to insert text and place controls.

    extendedDocument.Paragraphs[1].Range.Text = 
        "The companies listed in the AdventureWorksLT database:   \n";
    extendedDocument.Paragraphs[2].Range.Text = "  "; 
    Word.Range range1 = extendedDocument.Paragraphs[2].Range.Characters.First;
    Word.Range range2 = extendedDocument.Paragraphs[2].Range.Characters.Last;
    Word.Range range3 = extendedDocument.Paragraphs[1].Range.Characters.Last;
  5. Add the interface controls to the previously defined ranges.

    this.button1 = extendedDocument.Controls.AddButton(range1, 60, 15, "1");
    this.button1.Text = "Previous";
    this.button2 = extendedDocument.Controls.AddButton(range2, 60, 15, "2");
    this.button2.Text = "Next";
    this.customerContentControl = extendedDocument.Controls.AddRichTextContentControl(
        range3, "richTextContentControl1");
  6. Bind the content control to AdventureWorksLTDataSet by using the BindingSource. For C# developers, add two event handlers for the Button controls.

    this.customerBindingSource.DataSource = this.adventureWorksDataSet.Customer;
    this.customerContentControl.DataBindings.Add("Text", this.customerBindingSource, 
        "CompanyName", true, this.customerContentControl.DataBindings.DefaultDataSourceUpdateMode);
    this.button1.Click += new EventHandler(button1_Click);
    this.button2.Click += new EventHandler(button2_Click);
  7. Add the following code to navigate through the database records.

    void button1_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
    void button2_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)

When you open Word, the content control displays data from the AdventureWorksLTDataSet dataset. Scroll through the database records by clicking the Next and Previous buttons.

To test the add-in

  1. Press F5.

    A content control named customerContentControl is created and populated with data. At the same time, a dataset object named adventureWorksLTDataSet and a BindingSource named customerBindingSource are added to the project. The ContentControl is bound to the BindingSource, which in turn is bound to the dataset object.

  2. Click the Next and Previous buttons to scroll through the database records.

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