We are researching options to make it easier for our users to achieve the subject in the next version. One of the popular scenarios we were aware of from our users was integration of custom controls, often created in Visual Studio using the standard WinForms or ASP.NET WebForms approaches, and primarily designed for presenting data from the XAF application database in some very custom manner so that built-in XAF Property Editors or List Editors were not good for this. For instance, you might want to show a list of records in a fancy grid with cards, image gallery or other controls or modes not integrated by default.
Current solutions and problems
XAF is very extensible framework and offers many ways of integrating custom or third party controls. We noticed that while doing so, feeding these custom controls with data from the application database was often a challenge for our users. This binding is done automatically for built-in forms and data editors, but requires writing some code that will read data via the IObjectSpace.GetObjects<T> method (to respect data security filters) and also listen to the IObjectSpace.Reloaded and other events to handle data updates. Finally, designing a data bound user control in Visual Studio often implies a direct connection to the database or using specialized data sources (e.g., to generate a list of grid columns or pivot fields), which do this for you. The latter forces you to think about obtaining an application connection string at design time, while this dynamic part is changed later in the most cases. Add to this different approaches for Entity Framework and XPO and you will get the whole picture.
New solutions (not yet built-in!)Briefly, we decided to simplify this scenario. Here are two videos that shows one possible option:
How it works?
In short, the proposed flow is as follows: