WinForms Grid: Async Image Loading and Context Buttons (Now available in v14.2)

Thinking Out Loud
19 November 2014

Last year, we added a Windows Explorer View to our WinForms Grid Control - This View type gives you the ability to use a Windows Explorer-like UI metaphor for data presentation within the grid's container. If you've used the view, you already know that it offers multiple display styles, each with its own image size and display settings.

Based on your feedback, we've added a couple of important new features to the Grid and the Explorer View to help improve app performance and overall usability.

Asynchronous Image Load

Galleries, the Grid View and the Windows Explorer View now include a properties section called OptionsImageLoad - with access to the Boolean AsyncLoad property. To improve startup performance, when this property is enabled, the control displays records first and then loads images asynchronously as needed. 

We didn't stop there - You are also able to pass the image for each required item manually by handling the GetThumbnailImage event, which provides access to the CreateThumbnailImage method. This method takes an image as a parameter and scales it to the desired size (the Thumbnail).

To help improve the visual side of things and the overall end-user experience, we also allow you to add animation effects for thumbnails and image load indication - an option to activate random image load and a property that enables thumbnail caching. All of these can be accessed via the OptionsImageLoad property section.

An animation is worth a thousand words - so here is what it looks like at runtime...

Explorer View Context Buttons

WinForms Data Grid - Windows Explorer View Context Buttons

As you can see in this image, once a record is hovered, context buttons are displayed on-screen. If you look closely, you'll also see the new WinForms Rating Control we'll ship as part of this release.

Let us know what you think of the enhancements we've made to the Explorer View - we'd love to hear your feedback. 

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