With the .NET Forms and Drawing class libraries you can create a drawing application C! la Visio that allows users to drag and draw shapes, select those shapes, and move them about the form.
by Lars Powers, MCSD
Mike Snell, MCSD
Jun 20, 2003
Page 1 of 7
here was a time, not too long ago, when browser-based user interfaces were considered both the status quo and the Next Great Thing. The demand for Windows Forms-based applications started to dwindle as the developer community fully embraced browser/server applications with their centralized server components and ubiquitous user interfaces. .NET, however, brings a much more powerful library of distributed communication technologies (such as Web services and remoting). As a result, .NET developers are seeing some of these traditionally browser-based applications becoming, more simply, Web-enabled and less tied to a browser. In short, developers can now see a very real business case for building distributed applications on Windows Forms technology.
As it happens, this article stemmed out of just such a business case. We were recently presented with a project that required a portion of the application to generate a visual representation of some data onto a Windows Form. Users of the application would then be able to move these graphical data elements around a page, add new elements, save, print, etc. All of these activities were second nature to a Windows Forms applicationand the System.Drawing namespace.
Instead of examining the intricacies of the System.Drawing namespace classes, we are going to start with a basic set of requirements that a developer might face. We will then detail how you can use the .NET namespaces and associated classes to create a solution to meet these requirements. As it happens, this article remains pretty focused on the System.Drawing namespace. However, we present a lot of good code here from the System.Windows.Forms and System.IO namespaces to name a few.
Let's get started by looking at a basic set of requirements.