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CAB - Coming Soon!

Well, it is about that time that I start my blog series on the Composite UI Application Block from Microsoft.

What is it?  Well, I will give you the short form and ask you to go look at the wiki: CABpedia.com.

In short, let me plagarize from the wiki:

CAB stands for the Composite UI Application Block, and it's a set of .NET 2.0 classes designed to make it easier to build complex Windows Forms applications. Perhaps the most important way it helps you simplify your applications is through decoupling the pieces of code that make up a large application.

CAB also provides support for decoupling the elements in the user interface. This means you can often make major changes to how the UI is put together without having to change any of the modules that make up an application. For example, you might have an Outlook-style user interface and then decide you want to change it to a web-style interface. No problem. Just change the UI shell and the modules will load themselves into the new locations as you've defined it.

When you start a CAB application, you start by creating a UI shell. This is the main form that might include the menu, tool bars, etc. Next you add one or more Workspaces to the form. These are the locations where the different elements of the UI will appear when the application is running. Finally, you create one or more modules that contain either elements that will appear in the UI, or Services that will be available for use by other classes.

It takes a little time to learn how to use CAB, but once you get used to it, CAB definitely helps build Windows Forms applications.

What can you do with CAB?  A whole hell of a lot, and starting on Monday, I will walk you through getting CAB working, starting your own executable, and then implementing modular application development.

Published Friday, November 2, 2007 7:31 PM by Tom Anderson
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