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PureComponents Component Review - Entry Set Providers
Chris Manning
I work as a professional .NET developer specializing in the areas of Windows Applications, Web Applications, and ADO.NET. I spend a good majority of my free time helping developers learn the .NET framework at vbCity and was recently awarded the Microsoft Visual Developer, Visual Basic MVP award. 
by Chris Manning
Published on 1/30/2006

In my opinion, I don't think anyone can argue that Pure Components has produced some really great components and controls.  And now we can add another one to the list:- The Entry Set Component Extender Providers.

There are three of them in the set. 

The Visual Extender (tm) (My Favorite)

The Validation Extender (tm)

The Item Binding Extender (tm).

All of them are packed with feature rich design time and runtime support.

Visual Extender - PureComponents Entry Set Providers

My favorite is the Visual Extender which allows you to seamlessly add run and design time feature richness to any Windows based user interface.  You know, the stuff that you usually have to spend hours adding to each control manually... a focus event here,  a mouse down event there.  With the Visual Extender, all that is a thing of the past.  Simply place your controls on the form and add the Visual Extender.  Then all you have to do is set the extended properties the component provides and you have a very slick, professional looking interface.

Some of the really cool features the Visual Extender provides to your controls:
-Windows Form Enhancements
-Surround highlighting
-Incorporated labeling
-Attention flagging
-Control region image support.

(Visual Extender Off)

(Visual Extender On.  A couple of clicks later.)


Validation Extender - PureComponents Entry Set Providers

Now lets talk about the Validation Extender.
One of my least favorite things to have to worry about is client input validation.  In particular I hate monkeying around
with Regular Expressions and the Regex classes of the framework.  One main reason is that I don't really understand Regular Expressions that well.  However, with the PureComponents ValidationExtender, it was one of the easiest things I've done in a long time.

The ValidationExtender is packed with loads of customizable features and provides properties to a range of .NET native controls. It is virtually 100% customizable in appearance and mode.  My favorite feature to use was the Regex validation.  I may not be good at Regex, but I can search the web and find Regex statements with the best of 'em.  All I had to do was find the one I needed -  in this case an email validation string - plug it into the Regex string property, set my validation mode,  choose how I wanted invalid values to appear, and wham....validation!  The whole process including the web search took less that two minutes.

Some of the features of note are:
-Validator types: Comparable, Conditional, DataType, Length, RegEx, List, Range, and Required.
-Customizable display mode for error messages.
-Global default values.
-Very easy to use.


ItemBindingExtender - PureComponents Entry Set Providers

Last, but certainly not least, the ItemBindingExtender, provides seamless, customizable and easy databinding from a range of common data sources.  These sources include datareaders, custom object, datarows, etc.

I think it's safe to say that if you've been programming for long enough, you've learned the ins and outs of databinding, and used it at some point.  I think it's also safe to say that you'll have encountered the little frustrating bugs and issues with the same. Null value in data source!  Need I say more?  The ItemBindingExtender makes databinding easy.

ItemBinding manager matches datasource names with the names you set on your controls.  So if you have a field or property called "MyInfo", and you set the "Id" property on the textbox to "MyInfo", then wire it up, set a little iterative counter or however you want to navigate your source, and immediately you've got seamless data binding.  To avoid the null bug, all you have to do set the default value property.



Summary - PureComponents Entry Set Providers

All in all a very impressive set of controls to make your programming life easier. Keep in mind that the total time it took me to create my testing application, including the learning curve, was only about 30 minutes. 

My advice: You should definitely add this set of components to your "must have" list.