In my last blog post I showed you how to create GridViewColumn objects on the fly from the meta-data in a DataTable. By doing this you can create columns for a ListView at runtime instead of having to pre-define each ListView for each different DataTable. Well, many of us use collections of our classes and it would be nice to be able to do the same thing for our collection classes as well. This blog post will show you one approach for using collection classes as the source of the data for your ListView.
Many people like to view data in a grid format of rows and columns. WPF did not come with a data grid control that automatically creates rows and columns for you based on the object you pass it. However, the WPF Toolkit can be downloaded from CodePlex.com that does contain a DataGrid control. This DataGrid gives you the ability to pass it a DataTable or a Collection class and it will automatically figure out the columns or properties and create all the columns for you and display the data.
The DataGrid control also supports editing and many other features that you might not always need. This means that the DataGrid does take a little more time to render the data. If you want to just display data (see Figure 1) in a grid format, then a ListView works quite well for this task. Of course, you will need to create the columns for the ListView, but with just a little generic code, you can create the columns on the fly just like the WPF Toolkit’s DataGrid.