In this simple article, I'd like to show how to use the new components
BindingNavigator in C# 2.0.
BindingSource offers the easiest way to navigate through records in a data source. And it is designed to simplify the process of binding controls to an underlying data source. Whereas a
BindingNavigator is paired mostly with a
BindingSource control to move through data records on a form and interact with them. To run the application and see it in action, I added the Northwind database as installNorthwind.sql containing only the Customers table.
You can not find the Northwind and Pubs sample databases in Microsoft SQL Server 2005 because they are not installed by default. But you can download these databases from the Microsoft web site.
What is BindingSource?
The new component
BindingSource in C# 2.0 is the replacement for
CurrencyManager. Although you can still use the
BindingSource component is the preferred way to bind your Windows Forms controls to data sources.
It supports the bindung of control elements in a form, and can be seen as a link between a data source and a control element. It provides advantages over traditional data binding such as:
- Encapsulates the
CurrencyManager functionality, and exposes the
CurrencyManager events at design time.
- Interoperates with other data-related Windows Forms controls, i.e., the
BindingNavigator and the
The default property for the
BindingSource class is
DataSource. The default event is
BindingSource provides a number of methods, properties, and events such as
DataSourceChanged, that allow for customization. The
Position property gets or sets the index of the current item in the underlying list. The
MoveLast() method changes the current value of the
Position property to the index of the last item in the underlying data source, which is equal to the value of the
Count property minus 1.
this.customersDataGridView1.DataSource = this.customersBindingSource1;
int count = this.flagsBindingSource.Count;
int pos = this.customersBindingSource1.Position;
this.bindingSource1.Position = this.bindingSource1.Count - 1;
More on: Microsoft MSDN.
Data Binding With »BindingSource« in a Windows Application
If you want to navigate through records in a data source as mentioned before, the
BindingSource offers the better and easiest way to do this. You can bind a
BindingSource component to the data source, and then bind, e.g.,
TextBox controls to the
BindingSource as we will see later. We can then use the built-in navigation methods on the
BindingSource such as
The easiest way to see the
BindingNavigator in action is as follows: choose the menu options: Data-->Show Data Source-->Add New Data Source. After you establish the connection, choose a
DataSet, and select a table, you will see in the Data Source window the table you chose. From there, now you can drag/drop the table onto the Windows Form, and you get the data from the dragged table on a
DataGridView including the
But we want to go another way which I think is the better way to understand and see how
BindingNavigator work together.
First drag/drop five
Buttons, and a
BindingSource from the Toolbox onto the form.
Now we have to adjust the two properties for the objects to find the data source clearly, which are:
After setting the
DataSource in the Properties window, click "Add Project Data Source..."
In the next dialog window, you choose the database, and click Next.
Through the Next button, you come to a new dialog. Here you search for an available database connection, or you create a new connection.
After you click the Next button, you will get the following dialog where you choose your database object, in other words: you choose here the table "Customer" and tick it, and click the Finish button.
Now, you have created and added, as you can see, a new typed
northwindDataSet". Mark the
DataMember in the Properties window, and click the "Customers" table. Now, an of
TableAdapter is created. A
TableAdapter is similar to a
DataAdapter, but related to a
DataTable. For example: if it describes the table "Customers", then the name of the
customersTableAdapter; for the table "Authors", the name would be
Now you have to combine all the control elements (
TextBoxes) with the
BindingSource object. You can do this in the Properties window entry "
DataBinding" of each
textBoxCustId and extend the "
DataBinding" entry in the Properties window. Click
Text, and then choose here the column "
textBoxCompanyName with the column "
CompanyName" and so on.
At this point, we have completed binding all the
TextBox controls to the
Navigation methods of the BindingSource
MoveNext(), MovePrevious(), MoveFirst(), and MoveLast()
Here are the event handlers for the
Click events of the buttons (Next, Previous, First, Last) for navigation.
private void btNext_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
if (this.bindingSource1.Position + 1 < this.bindingSource1.Count)
private void btPrevious_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
private void btFirst_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
private void btLast_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
Display the position of the current record:
private void fnDisplayPosition()
this.labelPosition.Text = this.bindingSource1.Position +
1 + " of " + this.bindingSource1.Count;
You can run the application, and the four navigation buttons should function now. But we have not implemented the
What is BindingNavigator?
BindingNavigator control represents a standard way to navigate and manipulate data on a form. It is a special-purpose
ToolStrip control for navigating and manipulating controls on the Windows Form.
In most cases, a
BindingNavigator is combined with a
BindingSource control to move through data records on a Windows Form. It is easy to modify the
BindingNavigator component if you want to add additional or alternative commands for the user.
- a VCR (video-cassette recorder) control which is used with
- based on
- extensible and pluggable.
Now, from the Toolbox, drag/drop a
BindingNavigator onto the Form, and the Windows Forms Designer puts it by default on the top automatically.
And at last, that brings us to our final operation. The
BindingNavigator still does not know where the data source is. We have to show the
BindingNavigator where its data source is. Mark
bindingNavigator1 on the Form1[Design] and set the
BindingSource property to the
bindingSource1) on the Form.
BindingNavigator is ready to do its task as a link between the data source and the control elements.
If you want to dig into the other features of
BindingSource, there are enough resources on the web. And I would particularly recommend the Microsoft MSDN web site.
I wish the article was a bit helpful.