$299 ($399 with source code)
Las Vegas, Nevada
Need toolbars for a .NET application? With the Office XP style, perhaps?
Or how about a customizable status bar? Docking windows? For a rich set
of UI components, take a look at the XtraBars suite, a wide array of
native C# controls with a dizzying array of properties that you can
tweak to your heart's content.
There are lots of nice little touches here. For example, working with
toolbars and menus at design time is just about as easy as runtime
customization, using extended versions of the runtime dialog boxes; no
need to do everything by writing code or setting properties. And you can
host most anything on a toolbar. XtraBars includes a whole suite of
editor controls that you can put on toolbars, from simple combo boxes to
date pickers and beyond.
There are also other useful bits in the library. These include a popup
menu (that's also customizable by the end user), a numbered list (ideal
for building MRU lists) and a link container that you can
programmatically add links to (think of the IE Favorites menu). A popup
container control lets you put any Windows forms control into a popup
As always, Developer Express does the work to make it easy for you to
get started. There are demos and tutorials in both VB and C#, along with
source code to work from. There's also an excellent help file to teach
you how to use all the various controls.
I had a few design-time visual anomalies when using the controls, but
that may just be because my test system is overdue for a rebuild. At
runtime, everything performed flawlessly. There are certainly other UI
libraries out there for .NET, but few that pack this many features into
a single package.
Mike Gunderloy has been developing software for a quarter-century now, and writing about it for nearly as long. He walked away from a .NET development career in 2006 and has been a happy Rails user ever since. Mike blogs at A Fresh Cup.