WinForms Data Grid Master-Detail Mode - Performance and UX Enhancements (Coming soon in v16.1)

Thinking Out Loud
24 May 2016

Displaying master-detail relationships on a form in a creative/functional manner can be a tricky proposition. Many of you rely upon our WinForms Grid Control and its Master-Detail View to do the heavy lifting in this regard. Though a great option, over the years, we've heard from many of you about usability issues related to the use of multiple scrollbars for each individual data level. The good news is that we've addressed this issue in v16.1 with a new UI option...

WinForms Data Grid - Single Vertical Scrollbar for Multiple Views

With our updated Master-Detail View, we give you the ability to navigate all records (master-detail) within the grid using a single vertical scrollbar. With this new behavior, your UI should be more straightforward when presenting complex data relationships within a single grid container. As you'd expect, this new scrollbar mode is an option - should you prefer the classic approach to vertical scrolling, you are free to continue its use.

As I mentioned earlier in this blog post, displaying master-detail information inside a single grid can get tricky and it's quite easy to confuse end-users. Going to a single master-detail scrollbar will help address some of the usability issues our customers have reported to us, but we've also done our best to clean up the UI to help reduce friction. We now display only one Indicator through all views and have reduced visual noise (including improved detail tabs) where possible.

For our longtime Grid users: At this time, this new scrolling mode cannot be used for the LayoutView, TileView, or WinExplorerView.

WinForms Data Grid - Performance Enhancements

Our focus in this release cycle was not restricted to usability issues. Performance was on our mind and in that context, the algorithms responsible for calculating the layout of Master-Detail Views was re-worked so your apps can be more responsive than ever before. Additionally we've improved horizontal scrolling by optimizing scrolling bounds calculations and associated rendering code.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on the enhancements we've made to our WinForms Data Grid. Do you currently use our Grid in master-detail mode and if so, are you going to start using the single scrollbar mode in your next project? 

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