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InfoQ Homepage News Simplifying Form Creation with XAML Power Toys

Simplifying Form Creation with XAML Power Toys

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Developers writing XAML-based data bound applications have a new way to automate the routine process of generating data-entry code.  Karl Shifflett has written XAML Power Toys for Visual Studio 2015 (XPT), an extension that greatly simplifies the tedious process of writing data entry forms.  XPT takes an existing view model or entity class and provides the developer with a visual layout editor from which they can indicate which fields to include.  The end result is XAML code ready to be compiled or further customized.

Sample XAML Power Toys Workflow 

  1. Start XAML Power Toys
  2. Select Source Class
  3. Optionally Set Form Options
  4. Drag and Drop Properties to Layout Surface
  5. Optionally Set Control Options
  6. Optionally Set Generate UI Options
  7. Generate UI

Currently XPT supports Xamarin Forms and Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) applications, with UWP support listed as an upcoming addition.  Beyond the GitHub page, Shifflett has produced several videos that walk through how XPT can be used in various projects (overview, bindable picker, multiple controls on same line, etc.). Xamarin’s Mayur Tendulkar has also written a brief introduction for those looking for information on how to use the tool.

The extension supports all full versions of Visual Studio 2015 (Community, Professional, and Enterprise). It has been released as open source software under the Apache License, enabling developers to see how it works and make changes if desired.

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