The BarItem class and the RadOutlookBar control

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by Daniel R. Spalding | February 2014 | Enterprise Articles

In this article by Daniel Spalding, the author of Telerik WPF Controls Tutorial, we will learn about the RadOutlookBar control. First we will learn briefly about the BarItem class. Then we will learn how to use this RadOutlookBar control using GenericList, DataBinding, and database security. We will also discuss the usage of the RadOutlookBar with generic list binding with XML security.

(For more resources related to this topic, see here.)

The next aspect of the system we want to review is the BarItem class. The design of this class is set up to be used by the RadOutlookBarItem and RadMenuItem classes. The reason for this setup was to match the properties of the Telerik item classes. The following is a screenshot of the class design:

The main properties include Header, Position, and ReferId. The Header property is set up to match the Header property from the RadOutlookBarItem and RadmenuItem classes. The Position property orders the items on the system for proper display, and the ReferId property creates the structure of the view. The ReferId values are set up so that if the ReferId property is zero, this item becomes the header, otherwise the rest of the items become the items under that main item.

Now that we've covered the new concepts within this article, let's start to work with the navigation containers for Telerik. The next sections of this article will cover the RadOutlookBar and RadMenu controls using the concepts from this section to load these controls based on the level of user access.

RadOutlookBar

The first control I will review in this article will be the RadOutlookBar control. This control is unique to the Telerik toolset. The standard Visual Studio control library does not contain a control like the RadOutlookBar control. The first example I will review will be to set the binding of the control's tabs using both a list of class objects from the object layer, and the database to populate the list of objects and authenticate the user.

The first step will be to create a new window in the current WPF project; name this new window Chap5OutlookWindow.xaml. Once you have created the new window, you will need to add the RadOutlookBar control:

  • RadOutlookBar: Name the outlook bar RadTestOutlook

The final appearance of the window should be the following screenshot:

Notice that the RadOutlookBar control is already loaded with the options. This is the fully functioning example, but gives you an idea for how the window should look once we've finished this section.

RadOutlook with GenericList, DataBinding, and database security

This is the first example of populating the RadOutlookBar with the menu links from the database. The concept we are demonstrating is that the menu links inside the RadOutlookBar control will be populated based on the user that is authenticated into the system. In this example, we will be using database security. This means that the database will store the username and password, and security link information for the RadOutlookBar control.

Since we don't have a login form to gather the username and password, we will create the user information within the App.xaml.cs file instead. This will allow us to simulate the login process and authenticate the user in the system.

This should not be done for a production application—this setup is for demonstration purposes only. Hard-coding a username and password is always a bad practice in a real-world application.

The following screenshot shows how the code should look inside the App.xaml.cs file:

Let's review the preceding code. The first step is to create an instance of the UserEntity class. The next step is to determine the type of security the system will be using to authenticate the user. The app.config file has a setting for the type of security as shown in the following line of code:

<add key="SecurityType" value="DB"/>

This key value is passed to the system, and used by the system to determine which type of security is used in the App.xaml.cs class. The value is read by the system; it sets an enum property from the UserEntity class called SecurityType. This enumeration is then evaluated to determine the security setup for the system. The next step is to set the UserName and UserChkPwd properties. Once these properties are set we can then call the Authenticate method to verify the user information against the database. The next step will be to set the CurrentUser property in the application request class. This object is passed to each window to persist base application information to each window.

The final step will be to create an instance of the OutlookBarWindow class to open the window. Notice the code for the instance; we are passing the AppRequest object to the window using the instance method of the window. The following screenshot is the instance code:

Now that the window code is set up, let's review the LoadRadOutlook method from the BaseWindow class. This method requires two values: the OutlookBar object to be loaded, and a generic list of BarItem objects. The BarItem class takes the information from the database and loads the RadOutlookBar control using BarItems to create the RadOutlookBarItem objects to load the RadOutlookBar control. The LoadRadOutlook method also creates a RadTreeView control of the options within each RadOutlookBarItem object.

The database version then handles the gathering of the BarItem class and loading the RadOutlookBar control using a method called FetchMenuOptions. This method takes BarItems from the database query, and created a RadOutlookBar object with all the menu options for the current user.

This method gathers the menu information based on the current username and generates a generic list of the BarItem classes. This list is used by the BaseWindow class to load the RadOutlookBar control.

RadOutlookBar using generic list binding with XML security

The next method for populating the RadOutlookBar control on the window will be to use a serialized XML to populate the generic list of objects to load the RadOutlookBar control. The XML file has the group information and pulls the BarItem objects based on the user's group information. The example we will be using has the group information hard-coded into the group list, but this is just an example. You should not hard-code the groups in a real-world application. Here is the method for gathering the menu items from the XML file:

Notice that we first load the XDocument object, then deserialize the XDocument object to gather the list of BarItem objects. Once the full list is loaded, we use a Linq query to gather the items based on the user group for the current user. Now that we have that new list, we can populate the UserMenuItems property for use in the application. The application then calls the LoadOutlookBar method to generate the RadOutlookBar control again.

Summary

Thus in this article we learned what a RadOutlookBar control is and how it can be used with GenericList, DataBinding, database security and generic list binding with XML security. We also had a glance over the BarItem class and how the design of this class is set up to be used by the RadOutlookBarItem and RadMenuItem classes.

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About the Author :


Daniel R. Spalding

Daniel R. Spalding is a software consultant who works with many companies in the Delaware Valley area of Pennsylvania. His software has been used by several companies as their primary source for running their businesses. He has consulted with several large firms on software architecture and product prototypes using Visual Studio and C#. He started his business in 1996, but worked for Bell Atlantic for the first 5 years of his career where he was in charge of the Lotus Notes Center of Excellence for Philadelphia.

He has also been an adjunct professor for the last 19 years at both Drexel University and Peirce College working with students in all aspects of computing from software development to networking certification.

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