Wednesday 8 May 2013

Binding Modes in WPF: TwoWay, OneWay, OneTime and OneWayToSource

Binding Modes in WPF: TwoWay, OneWay, OneTime and OneWayToSource

The Mode attribute defines the binding mode that will determine how data flows between the source and the target. There are four types of binding modes in WPF:

1. TwoWay Binding Mode
2. OneWay Binding Mode
3. OneTime Binding Mode
4. OneWayToSource Binding Mode

1. TwoWay Binding Mode

You have the view connected with its ViewModel, so every change you make in one of them is reflected into the other. To obtain that kind of behavior, you have to implement the interface INotifyPropertyChange in your ViewModel or using Dependency Properties, instead of normal CLR properties.The default however is two-way.

This type of binding is appropriate for editable forms or other fully-interactive UI scenarios. Most properties default to OneWay binding, but some dependency properties (typically properties of user-editable controls such as the Text property of TextBox and the IsChecked property of CheckBox) default to TwoWay binding. A programmatic way to determine whether a dependency property binds one-way or two-way by default is to get the property metadata of the property using GetMetadata and then check the Boolean value of the BindsTwoWayByDefault property.

2. OneWay Binding Mode

In one way mode, data flows from the source to the target each time a change is made on the source (ViewModel). OneWay binding is the default binding mode for the TextBlock's Text property and does not need to be specified. 

This type of binding is appropriate if the control being bound is implicitly read-only. For instance, you may bind to a source such as a stock ticker or perhaps your target property has no control interface provided for making changes, such as a data-bound background color of a table. If there is no need to monitor the changes of the target property, using the OneWay binding mode avoids the overhead of the TwoWay binding mode.

3. OneTime Binding

Like OneWay binding, OneTime binding sends data from the source to the target; however, it does this only when the application is started. When the DataContext changes, it does not listen for change notifications in the source. 

OneTime binding causes the source property to initialize the target property, but subsequent changes do not propagate. This means that if the data context undergoes a change or the object in the data context changes, then the change is not reflected in the target property. This type of binding is appropriate if you are using data where either a snapshot of the current state is appropriate to use or the data is truly static. This type of binding is also useful if you want to initialize your target property with some value from a source property and the data context is not known in advance. This is essentially a simpler form of OneWay binding that provides better performance in cases where the source value does not change.

4. OneWayToSource Binding Mode

OneWayToSource is the reverse of OneWay binding. Unlike OneWay and OneTime binding, OneWayToSource binding sends data from the target to the source. 

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