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The Windows 8 WinRT control set looks limited for rich data applications, what's the plan?

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  • The plan is quite clear, to sell it :)

    Back from joking, what controls are you missing in particular?

    Friday, September 16, 2011 4:22 PM
  • Hi benaw, did you have a particular question that we can address?

    Friday, September 16, 2011 6:29 PM
    Moderator
  • Day 1. A data grid, users of rich ui applications expect to be able to see and interact with tabular data, orders, prices etc sorting grouping virtualizing.  If I was to build a Metro app I would not want to wait for until there is a solid version of something that is a customer excepted delivery feature today.

    (My experience has been the old WPF GridView was poor, the WPF toolkit version had a crucial event missing and the Silverlight toolkit version good except when theming & has been around for a while)

    If you think about data it is pretty important and there are many other data related UI controls that could be included as native but appear not. 

    2011 now so what is plan?

     

    Friday, September 16, 2011 7:22 PM
  • It sounds like you have an app that presents large amounts of data to the user and you want to closely control how this is presented.  The goal in the metro style is to make apps have a richer and more user firendly experience, but not all application types are perfectly suited to be Metro Style apps.  For instance, Excel is likely to remain a Windows desktop application.  For this reason, you may find some limitations in the framework. 

    Friday, September 16, 2011 7:34 PM
    Moderator
  • Not really imagine an application which displays results of train times, a flight search, orders placed, prices from suppliers of a good, pretty normal rich data application. Perhaps they want to see this tabular data sort by departure time or price and location. Let’s say bank transactions, there is a Metro style app for banking, code sample here, in the End-to-end examples and white papers, which indicates some people think differently.

    All data input needs some validation framework and some visual way of communicating this.

    When you say "more" what is the reference point, what does this mean?

    Friday, September 16, 2011 8:27 PM
  • I'm not sure I understand the purpose of your question.  The forums are for technical assistance.  Do you have a particular technical question that we can help you answer?

    Friday, September 16, 2011 8:51 PM
    Moderator
  • hi,

     

    i think ms would like to hear our opinion? I want also make an app which has a grid so the user can sort, arrange etc. his data.

    I don't want to show too much data but i want to play with it.

    regards,

    ladislav

    Friday, September 16, 2011 8:58 PM
  • To understand a very new to me OS and application framework and provide helpful feedback, I hope.

    In this area of rich data apps, the controls look to me at least, limited at this point. I understand this is a technical preview stage and it would be helpful to gauge what is being planned and the scope of functionality in the current set should I be unaware.

    This is the UI Design for Metro app forum after all and this is seriously relevant.

    It would be helpful to know what is planned:

    1. Is the scope fixed now for the controls in the WinRT or is this a start sample?

    2. Do any of the controls themselves provide a visual cue to data validation on input?

    3. Will there be DataGrid control at all to display tabular data?

    4. Is there plan for toolkit of none native controls that are built on the primitive types?

    kind regards.

     

    Friday, September 16, 2011 10:07 PM
  • It appears there will be fertile ground for custom control authors.
    Saturday, September 17, 2011 1:08 PM
  • First a regret to be in bold but this is the only way to pop the keyboard on a windows phone.

     

    Now I have the same request as many other.  Where are we heading for data manipulation on the metro style ?  As mentione, I would expect a data grid like silverlight telerik one.


    Marcheur extrême...
    Sunday, September 18, 2011 2:09 PM
  • Here i did click italic to pop the keyboard.

    I was wondering if the Metro style is just for rss feeds, weather, pictures and a bunch of other limited app ?  I don't want to be negative here but just asking if there will have more later ?


    Marcheur extrême...
    Sunday, September 18, 2011 2:13 PM
  • You can style your data in various ways using XAML and DataTemplates, ItemPanels, ItemContainerStyles, etc together with powerful databinding. It will certainly take some time to create the right UI but the result will pay off in the end compared to the traditional WPF/WinForms gridview.
    Sunday, September 18, 2011 8:41 PM
  • Microsoft is actively watching these forums and listening to customer feedback for Windows 8.  We do like to see how customers / developers are using the products and APIs and if there are areas where we can make our controls / API's more useful. 

    If you do have a suggestion or "wish", please be as specific as possible.  We appreciate your feedback.

    Monday, September 19, 2011 3:28 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks Dennis.

     

    A way to represent tabular data with grouping, column sorting and paging that was fast and fluid, themed for the metro ui but optimized for touch too would be very very useful.

     

    Perhaps something based on the SL DataGrid but optimized for a touch environment. I see there are already some good new UI interaction concepts implemented for visualizing grouped data in metro apps. Could this be built upon as an idea.

     

     


    • Edited by benaw Monday, September 19, 2011 5:38 PM grammar
    Monday, September 19, 2011 4:59 PM
  • I get an awful sense of Deja Vu! Yet another UI framework from Microsoft, with lots of flashy demos, but how many revisions of Metro/WinRT will be needed before it includes a decent set of controls for building business apps ?  (WPF/Silverlight - need I say more?). That's assuming such apps even belong in Metro-world. And please don't say we are going to have to rely on 3rd party control vendors for basic functionality. Here's hoping we get a decent set of controls out of the box before Metro-style gets abandoned in favour of the next next UI framework in Windows 12.

    Monday, September 19, 2011 11:30 PM
  • You're right Andrew. Microsoft is playing the same old broken record. They want fast and fluid apps and they know they aren't going to get that with rich controls. Like the first version of .Net, like WPF, like SL they provide the raw parts and leave it to you to build something out of that. It's their pattern and they seem quite content at continuing that legacy. And Dennis' initial deflection "The forums are for technical assistance." makes it quite clear they know best and are content with what they're providing. The problem with this approach is that it doesn't meet real world requirements and in the end causing application development to be too costly because of how much you have to build yourself. Providing composable controls shouldn't be the end game here for Microsoft.
    Thursday, September 22, 2011 2:26 PM
  • @Dennis: I have to say I'm kind of concerned by how quickly you fell back to "not all app types are suited to be Metro Style apps." Metro has a great value proposition for data driven apps, be it consumer oriented or line of business. If you guys are reimagining Windows and the user experience, shouldn't we as developers also be reimagining our apps and how users interact with them? The goal isn't to stretch Metro beyond its intended purpose, but rather to rethink app UI in terms of the Metro design language. Sure, some things just don't lend themselves to touch and immersion, but one should be careful about jumping to that conclusion far too quickly.
    Thursday, September 22, 2011 5:08 PM
  • @Microsoft.  No technical question but you need a datagrid solution for metro.

    regards,

    rob

    Wednesday, November 23, 2011 8:07 PM
  • @Microsoft. Indeed. Not only a datagrid, but even a pivotviewer like in Silverlight 5. And support for binding with dynamic data. These are the only controls missing for me to start developing metro style.
    Wednesday, November 30, 2011 9:13 PM
  • Now, this was a very poor answer... The guy is trying to "reimagine" his business app (I am doing the same) in the new context of Metro apps. It's just natural that we will want to have apps that actually get some work done  (other than seeing tweets or the weather) on ARM tablets running Win8. We would like to know of specific controls that would help us doing that. 
    Monday, December 5, 2011 4:16 PM
  • Hi Albino,

    For presenting date the Listview would be the way to go.  You can configure this as a grid to present data.  Then you can use the context zoom to drill into information you want.  These are great discussions of these controls and will get you started using them:

    http://channel9.msdn.com/events/BUILD/BUILD2011/APP-209T

    http://channel9.msdn.com/events/BUILD/BUILD2011/APP-210T

    -Jeff


    Jeff Sanders (MSFT)
    Tuesday, December 6, 2011 7:33 PM
    Moderator
  • Oddly this is the same mistake that was made in rolling out wpf.  There too there was initially no datagrid, and one had to customize other controls, until a year or two later a datagrid was added.  One wouldn't expect metro/winrt to have usable tools for line-of-business apps until a few years have passed but it would be good to see that a good toolset was being planned.


    • Edited by TechVsLife2 Saturday, March 3, 2012 9:43 PM
    Saturday, March 3, 2012 9:42 PM
  • Particular techinical question:

    How do I create a simple DataGrid like component using the Metro XAML's control ListView or GridView?  If I were using HTML5 and Javascript, I probably would have just created a <table>, but I am shocked how difficult it is to achieve with the new XAML controls.

    Someone mentioned the ItemsPanel, the ItemsContainerStyle, but looking at the API documentation on the site the tag examples are literally like <ItemsPanel>oneOrMoreItemsHere</ItemsPanel> which isn't helpful at all!

    Thanks, David

    The feeling I was getting from the tone of responses in this thread was basically "why would you ever need to display data in a table???" like we're asking some insane question...  The technical quesiton I asked above could be easily inferred by any of the other responses.

    Thursday, March 8, 2012 9:37 PM
  • Hi Jeff,

    Surely you are not seriously suggesting that for working with tabular data, which is a prerequisite for huge numbers of applications, we have to reinvent in-memory structures that work like the datatable in ADO.NET? Forget the physical database connectivity part of ADO.NET for a moment, because it's clear that data can be transferred from A to B using services and XML, and just focus on the disconnected stuff - namely, what happens after raw data becomes available to the app. To do any kind of tabular-oriented interaction you need the concept of a dynamic, row-oriented container to which your UI components bind. To exclude the datatable from WinRT, would seem to leave a huge number of developers with no migration path to WinRT at all. I cannot think a hole of this size is deliberate, so many developers must have missed something and clearly need to be pointed in the right direction. So please, tell us how working with tabular data is done in WinRT apps.

    Thursday, March 15, 2012 8:00 AM
  • Particular techinical question:

    How do I create a simple DataGrid like component using the Metro XAML's control ListView or GridView?  If I were using HTML5 and Javascript, I probably would have just created a <table>, but I am shocked how difficult it is to achieve with the new XAML controls.

    Someone mentioned the ItemsPanel, the ItemsContainerStyle, but looking at the API documentation on the site the tag examples are literally like <ItemsPanel>oneOrMoreItemsHere</ItemsPanel> which isn't helpful at all

    There are probably several ways to approach this, and I haven't really kicked templates and styles in Metro enough to give you any useful advice, but my first (WPF) thought is to create a style for your ItemsControl and replace the template with a Grid or a custom class that derives from Grid. So you'd have something like

    <Style x:Key="PseudoDataGrid">
       <Setter Property="ItemsPanel">
            <ItemsPanelTemplate>
                 <Grid> ... </Grid>
            </ItemsPanelTemplate>
       </Setter>
    </Style>

    You can use the ItemsPresenter classes to display the actual bound content, but you're almost certainly going to have to do a lot of fiddling in code to figure out how many columns you need, and to allow them to be re-sized or change the sort order, because there isn't any intrinsic support for that kind of thing in Metro.

    HTH


    Rebecca M. Riordan

    Friday, March 16, 2012 2:12 PM
  • Hi to all,

    I try to summarize my expectations/needs for Metro.
    I have tons of Desktop applications (several WinFoms) working with SqlServer and/or WebServices.
    My customers want to use them on Win8 Arm tablet (because Win8 intel tablets seem to be more more expensive and need largest batteries).

    I'd like to:
    - write new business apps in Metro in few hours compared to WPF/Windows Forms apps (there is a crysis in the World and customers want to pay less for applications then years ago)

    - Convert some Desktop Applications (also WinForms) to Metro with small effort (there is a crysis in the world ...)

    - run Metro/Destop applications (also WinForms) on ARM based tablets as well as on Intel tablets  

    I think that Microsoft will gain several market shares with these 3 functionalities.
    Are you agree?
    Thanks, Gianluca


    Dott. Ing. Gianluca Pezzoli

    Wednesday, March 28, 2012 8:41 AM
  • If you are using JavaScript for your WinRT apps there are lots of JavaScript data grids you could use. You could easily restyle them to be touch friendly. This is the beauty of using JavaScript/CSS instead of C#/XAML.  There are thousands of JavaScript frameworks and controls already out there.
    Friday, April 20, 2012 4:41 PM
  • what a bad idea. To use Data Grids in JavaScript.

    i have never seen one on market which make more thans basic table like support. We want an developer framework from Microsoft.

    Otherwise we can go to different platforms.

    Does Microsoft understand this. It´s hard to see that all good things from WPF/Silverlight are not in WinRT.

    At this moment WinRT is an Alpha Framework.

    Sunday, April 29, 2012 4:11 PM
  • I was working on a Windows 8 Data Grid:

    http://mytoolkit.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=DataGrid

    (download library and compile it)

    The Data Grid is still in beta, not feature complete and maybe unstable...

    Monday, July 30, 2012 7:08 PM