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18 Dec

Thanks to Karl Shifflet and Unni Ravindranathan Buy tramadol from trusted pharmacy, , I've finally gotten my head around a superior method of populating Blend (and VS 2010's WPF designer) with sample data. This method, buy tramadol without a prescription, Tramadol price, coupon, which I am going to call the "DesignData build target", has the following advantages:

  • Blend will render your control as though it's running with real data, tramadol craiglist, Tramadol gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release, as you design.

  • You won't have to look up and type magic strings when you're creating your bindings in Blend, Blend will be able to list the possible properties for you, order tramadol online c.o.d. Tramadol in canada, Intellisensational!

  • Once compiled, your output dll will have NO baggage associated with your designery frivolities.

  • You don't have to write lots of dummy / mock / stub code

  • You don't even have to finish writing your viewmodel: however you DO have to write all your properties, sale tramadol. Buy generic tramadol, This is a Good Thing, because it means your bindings will have the right magic strings in them.

How does it work?

First, buy tramadol online no prescription, Tramadol in us, you need a xaml file that builds up a sample instance of your viewmodel. Then all you have to do is set your Blend-specific DataContext to read from that file, buy cheap tramadol no rx.

How do I tell Blend where to get this design data?

I've already blogged about the d:DataContext attribute, letting you set up a DataContext but only inside Blend, buy tramadol from trusted pharmacy. Fast shipping tramadol, Another secret of the "d" xml namespace* is the {d:DesignData Source=someDesignDataFile.xaml} markup extension. So all you need in your UserControl or Window's xaml is (usually on the first element):

d:DataContext="{d:DesignData Source=someDesignDataFile.xaml}"

Karl's blog post explains this in a little more depth, tramadol san diego. Tramadol tablets,

What should be in this design data xaml file?

Just like you usually declare and populate a Window or UserControl, you can actually declare and populate your own view-models as the root element of a xaml file, online buying tramadol hcl. Tramadol to buy online, I got myself quite confused when I started working with this, because i didn't realise that the root element of the xaml file should be a declaration of your viewmodel (I was actually placing my viewmodel within a ResourceDictionary >< ):


Here you can see I've defined a new ScrumBoardDesignDataDemo.ViewModel.Board, tramadol in usa, Tramadol trusted pharmacy reviews, and started assigning some StageNames to it. Buy tramadol from trusted pharmacy, I've used the clr namespace of my viewmodel classes ("ScrumBoardDesignDataDemo.ViewModel") as the default xml namespace, instead of using what xaml files usually give you: the WPF control namespace. This just cuts down on the amount of typing required, tramadol in japan. Delivered overnight tramadol, Normally, if you're trying to instantiate a class without a public, buy tramadol from canada, Saturday delivery tramadol, parameterless constructor in xaml, you'll get a compiler error, buy cheap tramadol. Tramadol over the counter, You also won't be able to set properties that don't have public setters. This technique allows Blend to do a bit of magic (reflectively creating a doppelganger of your class) that means you can bend the rules a little, tramadol for sale. More on that in my next post, buy tramadol from trusted pharmacy. Buy no prescription tramadol online, Let's just concentrate on getting some sample data into Blend.

By now, tramadol from international pharmacy, Purchase tramadol, if you go into Blend and you try to set up a binding through the binding dialog (you get this by clicking on the peg next to a property, say ItemsSource, purchase tramadol online no prescription, Tramadol overseas, and choosing Binding), you'll get  this helpful dialog:


See how the "Fields" tree is populated, tramadol prices. Tramadol in uk, That's Blend's version of intellisense, which means you no longer have to rely on knowing what the right property name is and hand-typing it, tramadol from canadian pharmacy. Buy tramadol no prescription, Don't go away. Buy tramadol from trusted pharmacy, We are only half finished. Blend might be helping you choose property names, over the counter tramadol, Buy tramadol online without prescription, but we're left with two more problems:

  • Blend isn't displaying the sample data on screen.

  • This xaml file full of things that were only useful during development is being shipped to our customers inside our DLL.

We can fix this with a simple, but quirky little feature, tramadol to buy. Ordering tramadol online, By setting our design data file's build action to "DesignData" we will have both of our problems fixed. Blend will realise that it's ok to try and instantiate the object in the xaml file, tramadol pills, Tramadol prescriptions, and MSBuild will leave that xaml file out of our dll.

Setting DesignData build action for the first time

Normally, tramadol paypal, Buy tramadol online without a prescription, if you have a look at the properties of a xaml file in visual studio you'll see that the Build Action is set to "Page", or in the case of App.xaml it's "ApplicationDefinition", where can i find tramadol online. You'd think that it's just a simple matter of typing the word "DesignData" into that combobox, but if you try this, you'll get an exception message, buy tramadol from trusted pharmacy. Tramadol in india, Karl's blog post is about a template he wrote that gets over this problem (by creating the file with all the right properties for you), but I had to figure out how the magic worked, where can i buy cheapest tramadol online. Where can i order tramadol without prescription, It turns out that it's relatively easy to work around this, you just have to edit the csproj file manually, tramadol medication. Real brand tramadol online, I'll walk you through doing this with visual studio – although you could just as easily use notepad.

Save all your files, buying tramadol online over the counter, Order tramadol online overnight delivery no prescription, right click your WPF project and choose "Unload". Buy tramadol from trusted pharmacy, This puts your project into a disabled state where you can't do anything but hand edit the xml – which is exactly what we want to do.

  1. Right click the (now greyed out) project file and choose "Edit".

  2. Locate the design data xaml file: image

  3. Edit the element to be a "DesignData" element with no children: image

  4. Save your csproj file, order tramadol from mexican pharmacy, Tramadol in mexico, right click it and choose "Reload"

Now if you compile your project, you'll find that all traces of this design data have been erased, buy tramadol without prescription. Online buy tramadol without a prescription, Even better, if you go back to blend, where to buy tramadol, Cod online tramadol, you'll see that your sample data is now present (you may have to rebuild or even reload the project):


So hopefully you've got another tool in your toolbox to help you (or your graphic designer) be effective in Blend. This is my favourite method so far, buy tramadol online cod, Free tramadol samples, however there's a couple of situations where it might be unsuitable. My next post will be all about why, where can i buy tramadol online, Where to buy tramadol, but just so you know, this doesn't work well when:

  • You want custom logic to occur in your viewmodel at design time (ie a Color property on your viewmodel changes whenever another integer property goes below zero)

  • You are using DataTemplates with no Key, order tramadol from United States pharmacy, Buy cheap tramadol, just a DataType, and are relying on WPF to find the Template by your ViewModel class, where can i buy tramadol online. Tramadol san diego, (I understand that Silverlight doesn't support this anyway, so no problem there!)

As always, where can i buy cheapest tramadol online, I'm keen to know if I got anything wrong. There isn't much information about the whole "d:" namespace on the internet. Also, my third and final post in this series (about the magic that makes this work and how said magic causes the above problems) will come with a demo project.

* This namespace is actually, but Blend always imports this as "d".

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  1. Rob’s Tech Blog » Design-time Data in Expression Blend 3

    20 December 2009 at 9:22 pm

    […] Update: I’ve detailed another technique for implementing design time data in blend in this newer post (using something called DesignData) […]

  2. Jonas Follesø

    23 December 2009 at 3:41 am

    Excellent technique to design time data in Blend! Just love it! Can even imagine how you could build some simple tooling around this – like an Blend add-on generating the XAML file based on a ViewModel type, perhaps combined with something like NBuilder to get the data (

    Great job – looking forward to trying this out :)

    Looking forward

  3. Sterling

    12 March 2010 at 1:56 am

    Thanks for going down this road. I’m surprised this hasn’t come up much yet as it’s been a severe source of frustration on our projects. Looking forward to that third post!

  4. Samuel Jack

    10 May 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Just started using this trick – really neat. Note that if you put your sample data xaml files in another directory you need to prefix the path you give to the DesignData Source property with “/”. So, for example, if you put Board.dd.xaml in the SampleData folder in your project you would use {d:DesignData Source=/SampleData/Board.dd.xaml}

  5. Chad Magendanz

    6 September 2010 at 2:31 am

    If you’re prototyping in WPF or Silverlight and want to use the Blend DesignData as your “real” sample data, what’s the easiest way to load that XAML file at runtime? Using XAMLReader.Load() seemed most obvious, but that didn’t work for me.

  6. Justin

    9 September 2010 at 3:40 am

    This works great except for one issue I am running into. If my view model has interfaces that it exposes the properties of those interfaces do not show up as binding possibilities in the binding list. If I expose directly the object behind the interface, those properties show up fine, but I can not get interface properties to show up using this method. They will show up if I directly set the binding to the view model, but then I lose the sample data. So I either get real dummy data, but have to hand type bindings, or I get an accurate list of bindings but no dummy data. Any idea on how to get my interface properties to show up in the binding list?

  7. Karli

    31 December 2010 at 5:11 pm

    You might want to add a little bit about d:IsDesignTimeCreatable=”False” here at some point – solves the DataTemplate-with-no-key problem when using the DesignData build action.

    Also, would like to see a quick technique for a design-time-only selected index (particularly useful for master/detail views). I haven’t yet found an ideal solution, short of a custom behaviour that checks for design-time and sets the selected index of, say, a ComboBox appropriately. Haven’t actually written said behaviour yet though… No doubt Blend will trip me up if I try ;)

  8. Design Time support in Windows 8 C# XAML | Macca Blog

    31 August 2012 at 1:23 pm

    […] Rob Fonseca-Ensor – The Curious Case of the DesignData msbuild target […]