Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Microsoft Ribbon for WPF

I am pleased to inform you of the final release of Microsoft Ribbon for WPF. You can download the installer for this release here.

This is great news for Windows developers looking to build rich, fluent user experiences. From the MSDN documentation:
The ribbon is a command bar that organizes the features of an application into a series of tabs at the top of the application window. The ribbon user interface (UI) increases discoverability of features and functions, enables quicker learning of the application, and makes users feel more in control of their experience with the application. The ribbon replaces the traditional menu bar and toolbars.
In short, this control library gives you the ability to incorporate a ribbon user experience in your applications today.

For Windows developers, the ribbon provides a rich experience that you can incorporate quickly and easily for your WPF applications. What’s particularly cool about the Microsoft Ribbon for WPF is that it’s a control library that’s built 100% in pure WPF goodness.

File → New Project...
After downloading and installing the Microsoft Ribbon for WPF, you’ll find the WPF Ribbon Application project template listed for both Visual C# and Visual Basic:

This project template provides you with a very simple example to help get you started:

For a deeper examination of the XAML and control library that’s used to build this application, I strongly recommend that you read Pete Brown’s excellent summary of this release in a post entitled,Announcing: Microsoft Ribbon for WPF. Pete also provides an important point (with emphasis added):
The new ribbon control is compatible with WPF 3.5sp1 and WPF 4. This is a 100% WPF implementation, not a wrapper around native code. That means you get all the great WPF styling capabilities for the new control.
This fact cannot be underscored enough. A true WPF implementation means that you can incorporate styling and rely on assumed WPF functionality (i.e. RibbonButton support the ICommand interface – wahoo!). Having built my fair share of WPF applications in the past – in some cases, wrestling with control interop and styling issues – I love this news.
So, what are you waiting for? Download Microsoft Ribbon for WPF today and start incorporating it into your applications!
Related Links
PS: If you building applications with Windows Forms, check out Windows Ribbon for WinForms project on CodePlex.

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