Chapter 31

Windows Forms

Web-based applications have become very popular over the past several years. The ability to have all of your application logic reside on a centralized server is very appealing from an administrator’s viewpoint. Deploying client-based software can be very difficult, especially COM-based client software. The downside of Web-based applications is that they cannot provide that rich user experience. The .NET Framework has given developers the ability to create rich, smart client applications and eliminate the deployment problems and “DLL Hell” that existed before. Whether Windows Forms or Windows Presentation Foundation (see Chapter 34, “Windows Presentation Foundation“) is chosen, client applications are no longer difficult to develop or deploy.

Windows Forms had quite an impact on Windows development. Now when an application is in the initial design phase, the decision between building a Web-based application or a client application has become a little more difficult. Windows client applications can be developed quickly and efficiently, and they can provide users with the rich experience that they expect.

Windows Forms will seem somewhat familiar if you are a Visual Basic developer. You create new forms (also known as windows or dialogs) in much the same way that you drag and drop controls from a toolbox onto the Form Designer. However, if your background is in the classic C style of Windows programming where you create the message pump and monitor messages, ...

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