Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) — previously known as Avalon — is the next-generation presentation library and development paradigm for user interfaces. It was introduced with Windows Vista as a key architectural component in the .NET 3.0 Framework. This chapter introduces you to the WPF programming model and discusses key elements you'll need to know in order to work with WPF. Rest assured you will be creating applications that leverage the features of WPF in the future. Visual Studio introduces a fully enabled development environment for creating and customizing WPF-based applications.
The libraries that make up WPF were released in conjunction with the release of Windows Vista — not the commercial and much-publicized public launch of Vista in January 2007, but the initial release of Vista to enterprise partners in November 2006. The libraries shipped with Vista and coincidentally with Microsoft Office 2007, but what you may or may not have noticed at the time was the lack of development tools.
However, with Visual Studio 2008, not only are there tools for the .NET 3.5 libraries, but also tools for all of the .NET 3.0 libraries. Additionally, Microsoft released the Expression suite of tools, in particular Blend, which you'll also need if you are going to create custom WPF applications.
This chapter covers several key areas, including the following:
The WPF strategy
Why you should use WPF
Creating a WPF application
Implementing a custom ...