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Windows Community Toolkit 5.0 Shouts Out to WinForms, WPF

Windows Community Toolkit 5.0 includes new functionality for using UWP controls in Windows Forms and WPF desktop applications, introduces a new TabView control, boosts social media platform support and more.

The open source project (formerly called the UWP Community Toolkit) provides helper functions, custom controls and app services for .NET developers across a range of Windows 10 frameworks, such as WPF, WinForms, Xamarin, .NET Core and others.

The v5.0 update -- following v4.0 released in August -- features a developer preview of a new control that lets coders use UWP controls in non-UWP Win32 desktop applications, functionality enabled by pre-release APIs introduced in the 1809 build of Windows 10. The idea of this new WindowsXamlHost control is to let desktop applications built on older frameworks like WPF and WinForms use built-in or custom UWP controls. Documentation for the WindowsXamlHost control documentation is available here.

Along the same line, the new update also introduces wrapped UWP controls. "These controls wrap the interface and functionality of a specific UWP platform control," said Nikola Metulev, senior program manager, Windows Developer Team, in an Oct. 31 blog post announcing the release of v5.0. "These controls can be added directly to the design surface of a WPF or Windows Forms project and can be used like any other control." Now available as wrapped UWP controls -- again, in a developer preview -- are: WebView, InkCanvas, MediaPlayerElment, MapControl and others.

A brand-new control added to the platform is a TabView control, which received much discussion on GitHub in the two years since it was proposed and subsequently enacted. "The TabView control allows you to provide a rich Tab experience, with support for fully customizing the behavior, built in support for closing tabs, drag and drop and more," Metulev said.

Microsoft and community volunteers also provided hooks into the Chinese Weibo social platform and Twitter and LinkedIn .NET Framework support. "In this new release, the community continued to improve the cross platform experience by building the .NET Framework platform specific implementation required for authentication to enable OAuth on WPF and Windows Forms," Metulev said.

See the release notes for more information on the above and many other new features, functionality and bug fixes, including enhancements to the DataGrid control, InAppNotification, animations, services, helpers, developer tools, parsers and more.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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