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Open existing Visual Studio projects to re-design and re-skin the (Foozball3000) - 1/31/2008 4:03 AM PST RRS feed

  • Question

  • By: Foozball3000


    I found this quote on MS Blend's webpage:
    "Open existing Visual Studio projects to re-design and re-skin the 
    applications."
    But i can't seem to find a tutorial/walkthrough or even just a clue on how 
    to do it.. We're working on a VB.Net (Visual Studio 2005 .Net Framework 3.5) 
    based project at the moment. And we want to re-design our forms to make it 
    more interesting and user friendly using Expression Blend (We currently have 
    Blend 2 December Preview). 
    Can anyone help us out or point us in the right direction?
    I heard rumors that we need to install WPF, but its only available for .Net 
    Framework 3.0
    Friday, February 22, 2008 4:57 PM

Answers

  • By: KAP

    That quote might be a tad misleading. While WinForms and WPF certainly 
    interoperate (feel free to host either in either), they really are two 
    different animals. 
    
    If you try to crack a Windows Form in Blend 2 (December Preview), it'll just 
    kick you back to Visual Studio because all it sees are a couple of a code 
    files (in my case .cs). Visual Studio (2008 in my case), on the other hand, 
    has a designer for Windows Forms and a designer for XAML (WPF).
    
    I don't believe you'll be able to just drop your VB.NET Winforms into Blend 
    and start to re-skin and make them more expressive. You'll have to create a 
    WPF Window and work in that model... which, frankly, is just a good idea. 
    It's a whole new set of things to get your head around... but, from an 
    interactive developer/designer point of view, compared to WPF, Window Forms 
    are, well, just sucky.
    
    I see no reason why you couldn't use some of the procedural code in your 
    existing Windows Forms Form. So... you have that.
    
    Best,
    Keith 
    
    "Foozball3000" wrote:
    
    > I found this quote on MS Blend's webpage:
    > "Open existing Visual Studio projects to re-design and re-skin the 
    > applications."
    > But i can't seem to find a tutorial/walkthrough or even just a clue on how 
    > to do it.. We're working on a VB.Net (Visual Studio 2005 .Net Framework 3.5) 
    > based project at the moment. And we want to re-design our forms to make it 
    > more interesting and user friendly using Expression Blend (We currently have 
    > Blend 2 December Preview). 
    > Can anyone help us out or point us in the right direction?
    > I heard rumors that we need to install WPF, but its only available for .Net 
    > Framework 3.0
    Monday, February 25, 2008 7:15 PM

All replies

  • By: KAP

    That quote might be a tad misleading. While WinForms and WPF certainly 
    interoperate (feel free to host either in either), they really are two 
    different animals. 
    
    If you try to crack a Windows Form in Blend 2 (December Preview), it'll just 
    kick you back to Visual Studio because all it sees are a couple of a code 
    files (in my case .cs). Visual Studio (2008 in my case), on the other hand, 
    has a designer for Windows Forms and a designer for XAML (WPF).
    
    I don't believe you'll be able to just drop your VB.NET Winforms into Blend 
    and start to re-skin and make them more expressive. You'll have to create a 
    WPF Window and work in that model... which, frankly, is just a good idea. 
    It's a whole new set of things to get your head around... but, from an 
    interactive developer/designer point of view, compared to WPF, Window Forms 
    are, well, just sucky.
    
    I see no reason why you couldn't use some of the procedural code in your 
    existing Windows Forms Form. So... you have that.
    
    Best,
    Keith 
    
    "Foozball3000" wrote:
    
    > I found this quote on MS Blend's webpage:
    > "Open existing Visual Studio projects to re-design and re-skin the 
    > applications."
    > But i can't seem to find a tutorial/walkthrough or even just a clue on how 
    > to do it.. We're working on a VB.Net (Visual Studio 2005 .Net Framework 3.5) 
    > based project at the moment. And we want to re-design our forms to make it 
    > more interesting and user friendly using Expression Blend (We currently have 
    > Blend 2 December Preview). 
    > Can anyone help us out or point us in the right direction?
    > I heard rumors that we need to install WPF, but its only available for .Net 
    > Framework 3.0
    Monday, February 25, 2008 7:15 PM
  • By: Foozball3000

    Thanks. You really helped a lot in understanding the relations.
    At this point we don't need to go full out on the redesign. So, i tried 
    designing the other way around...but that didn't work at all. I tried 
    creating a button in Blend as a control, and loading it in Visual 
    studio...but that didn't work. Both programs are running the same Framework. 
    Perhaps I'm just doing something wrong? Coz as far as i know, in theory it 
    should work, because that was the whole point of the .Net framework?
    (And i did add all the referances that blend uses in my VB form)
    
    "KAP" wrote:
    
    > That quote might be a tad misleading. While WinForms and WPF certainly 
    > interoperate (feel free to host either in either), they really are two 
    > different animals. 
    > 
    > If you try to crack a Windows Form in Blend 2 (December Preview), it'll just 
    > kick you back to Visual Studio because all it sees are a couple of a code 
    > files (in my case .cs). Visual Studio (2008 in my case), on the other hand, 
    > has a designer for Windows Forms and a designer for XAML (WPF).
    > 
    > I don't believe you'll be able to just drop your VB.NET Winforms into Blend 
    > and start to re-skin and make them more expressive. You'll have to create a 
    > WPF Window and work in that model... which, frankly, is just a good idea. 
    > It's a whole new set of things to get your head around... but, from an 
    > interactive developer/designer point of view, compared to WPF, Window Forms 
    > are, well, just sucky.
    > 
    > I see no reason why you couldn't use some of the procedural code in your 
    > existing Windows Forms Form. So... you have that.
    
    Monday, February 25, 2008 7:17 PM
  • By: KAP

    Hmmm... perhaps it will be best if I just tell you how I'm doing one aspect 
    of WPF/WinForms.
    
    I have an Add-In for Excel. Excel has Custom Task Panes that allow you to 
    drop in a custom Windows Forms User Control. If you want to use WPF in the 
    Windows Forms User Control (and thus in the Custom Task Pane), you use the 
    ElementHost to host your WPF content in the Windows Forms Control.
    
    This seems like it could work given what you described below... you could 
    host your new WPF button inside of your existing Windows Forms Form using the 
    ElementHost. Probably not the best approach, but it would work.
    
    As for VS2005 and XAML... I don't know if VS2005 has the XAML designer 
    (formerly known as Cider) by default. I believe when I was using VS2005, I 
    had to install some WPF extensions. You should  see some WPF options when you 
    click Add New Item... things like Page, Resource Dictionary, Custom Control, 
    Window, etc. There should also be some new project types as well.
    
    If you are running .NET 3.5 (or 3.0), then you're all good to run XAML/WPF 
    apps.
    
    Hope that helps...
    Keith
    
    "Foozball3000" wrote:
    
    > Thanks. You really helped a lot in understanding the relations.
    > At this point we don't need to go full out on the redesign. So, i tried 
    > designing the other way around...but that didn't work at all. I tried 
    > creating a button in Blend as a control, and loading it in Visual 
    > studio...but that didn't work. Both programs are running the same Framework. 
    > Perhaps I'm just doing something wrong? Coz as far as i know, in theory it 
    > should work, because that was the whole point of the .Net framework?
    > (And i did add all the referances that blend uses in my VB form)
    > 
    > "KAP" wrote:
    > 
    > > That quote might be a tad misleading. While WinForms and WPF certainly 
    > > interoperate (feel free to host either in either), they really are two 
    > > different animals. 
    > > 
    > > If you try to crack a Windows Form in Blend 2 (December Preview), it'll just 
    > > kick you back to Visual Studio because all it sees are a couple of a code 
    > > files (in my case .cs). Visual Studio (2008 in my case), on the other hand, 
    > > has a designer for Windows Forms and a designer for XAML (WPF).
    > > 
    > > I don't believe you'll be able to just drop your VB.NET Winforms into Blend 
    > > and start to re-skin and make them more expressive. You'll have to create a 
    > > WPF Window and work in that model... which, frankly, is just a good idea. 
    > > It's a whole new set of things to get your head around... but, from an 
    > > interactive developer/designer point of view, compared to WPF, Window Forms 
    > > are, well, just sucky.
    > > 
    > > I see no reason why you couldn't use some of the procedural code in your 
    > > existing Windows Forms Form. So... you have that.
    > 
    Monday, February 25, 2008 7:18 PM