miércoles, 8 de febrero de 2017

WPF SearchAll Control essentials

SearchAll is a WPF control to make search easy and quick. SearchAll reduce time and effort with a very cool template and friendly interface. It is based in a web search control of Pluralsight site, but SearchAll control is valid for any type. It is a generic control.

We are going to show you your kindnesses.

I have always searched a technique for to save time, resources and space in the filter action of forms. All those TextBox, Combobox, DateTimePikers, events controls, etc, which never accomplish your task completely. SearchAll covers all possible cases whit a minimal code and with a great result.

SearchAll doesn’t save all cases, but it help ours in many occasions

Very Important:

SearchAll supports 4.5.2 .NET Framework version and newest.

If you install the Nuget package in a WPF application with .NET Framework of minor version, Visual Studio install correctly apparently but will not deploy the assembly in references.

We don’t have test SearchAll control in UWA, but the idea is include in the future.

SearchAll is an Open Source, and it is available for Nuget.

The Control

SearchAll Control is a very simple component and it has formed for three principals elements:

  • Text to search .- Is the part when we introduce the text to filter. In a usually use, when we click in this zone, will appear all window popup to fill the word or words to filtered, this popup gave us matches founds.
  • Cancel Filter Button .- This button is available when we have done a filter, and will allow us cancel the filter.
  • Filter Button .- Your function is to filter the source data, but this is only useful when Text to Search has been assigned for code. 

A single running flash:

See you in HD

The installation of SearchAll control is through package Nuget:

1.- We install the package.

Or run the following command in the Package Manager Console

Install-Package MoralesLarios.CustomsControls

See you in HD

2.- In the WPF Toolbox we will select ‘Choose Items’ >> Browse. We will search MoralesLarios.CustomControls.dll in our installation path. It is necessary build the project. 

Click OK, and it is now available.

In moving.

See you in HD

All we need is drag the component in our window.

SearchAll is a very easy control and only need setup the ItemSource property to run. Usually its data source is the same as ItemsControls (DataGrid, ListBox, ListView, ComboBox, etc) which will filter. We can do it through MVVM or Code Behind.

If you leave null the ItemsSource property, the SearchControl will be UnEnabled


        Title="MainWindow" Height="261.112" Width="525">
            <RowDefinition Height="46"/>
            <RowDefinition Height="*"/>
        <CustomsControls:SearchAll x:Name="searchAll"
        <DataGrid x:Name="dgData" Grid.Row="1" AutoGenerateColumns="True" />

Code Behind:

using System.Linq;
using System.Windows;
namespace WpfApplication17
    public partial class MainWindow : Window
        public MainWindow()
            var data = typeof(Enumerable).GetMethods();
            dgData.ItemsSource = data;
            searchAll.ItemsSource = data;

In action:

See you in HD

In the first time to filter press the Enter key. In the second time click in option.

It works

SearchAll works in a simple explain searching a letter/word in all properties of all elements of a data sequence:

For default only instance the ItemsSource property.

In moving

See you in HD

The SearchAll control filters the data sequence through the ICollectionView associated to ItemsSource collection property.  

The most important properties

To show the most important properties of control, we will use another application tests. This application is cooler, and in its interface show the SearchAll properties.

The DataSource of Application tests consists by all Windows NT Service (services.msc) of target machine. The domain class in .NET for this purpose is System.ServiceProcess.ServiceController:

 public class ServiceController
    public bool                    CanPauseAndContinue  { get; }
    public bool                    CanShutdown          { get; }
    public bool                    CanStop              { get; }
    public ServiceController[]     DependentServices    { get; }
    public string                  DisplayName          { get; set; }
    public string                  MachineName          { get; set; }
    public SafeHandle              ServiceHandle        { get; }
    public string                  ServiceName          { get; set; }
    public ServiceController[]     ServicesDependedOn   { get; }
    public ServiceType             ServiceType          { get; }
    public ServiceControllerStatus Status               { get; }



public IEnumerable<object> ItemsSource { get; set; }

The ItemsSource dependency property gets or sets the collection source to filter. It is the only property necessary to work.

If you don’t assign this property, the control will remain disabled.


public string Text { get; set; }

The Text dependency property gets or sets the content of search to filter.

When the Text property is clear, the buttons Filter Button and Cancel Button are disabled.


public int NumberSugerencyElements { get; set; }

The NumberSugerencyElements dependency property gets or sets the number maximum of suggestions displayed in the PopupSearch.  This property can be important at performance level, because if the source collection is big, and the text to search unlikely, the search task and filter task can be long. 

20 is default value.

In moving


public FilterType FilterClass { get; set; }

The FilterClass dependency property gets or sets the filter type applied to search.

The enum FilterType may have 5 values:

  • StartWith
  • EndWith
  • Contains
  • Equals
  • Custom

Contains is default value.

In the application test, we have implemented a friendly way to change this property throught double-click in the textblocks with the enum FilterTypes values.

In moving.

In the FilterType enum there is a finish value named custom. We will see this value in another article, with de advance aspects of SearchAll control. 


public IEnumerable<string> FieldsSugerenciesSearch { get; set; }

The FieldsSugerenciesSearch Dependency Property gets or sets the names and order of properties of type of DataSource (ItemsSource) for suggestions matchs in the popup search.

Null is a default value. When FieldSuggerenciesSearch is null, the SearchAll control engine find in all properties of type.

These are very simple examples in MVVM, because in both cases, we have configured an only field to search. The example of left side for DisplayName field and the example of left side for ServiceName field.

In our application tests, we have developed a dynamic change of this property by a popup setup. This popup will emerge clicking in ‘FieldSearch / SugrenceSearch’ label.

 So we go to see it in moving.

Another example with more fields in codebehind:


public IEnumerable<string> FieldsSearch { get; set; }

The Dependency Property FieldsSearch is equals to FieldsSugerenciesSearch. They differ in that is apply to the suggestions match in the popup search and FieldsSearch is apply in the result of filter datasource (ItemsSource).
Usually the values of these two properties will be the same.

Completely example with many properties:

Query Filtered Data

If we want to query filtered data, we can do:

In CodeBehind:

public void QueryFilterData()
    /// Use de ReadOnly Dependency Property FilteredItemsSource
    /// --> ServiceController is a data of mi DataSource (ObservableCollection in ItemsSource)
    var filteredData = searchAll.FilteredItemdSource.OfType<ServiceController>().ToList();

MVVM in ViewModel:

public void QueryFilterData()
    /// Use the ICollectionView of our DataSource
    /// --> ServiceController is a data of mi DataSource (ObservableCollection in ItemsSource)
    var filteredData = CollectionViewSource.GetDefaultView(Services).OfType<ServiceController>().ToList();

SearchAll control filter is based in Reflection, for this reason in the access to certain properties values, .NET Framework throws different exceptions.
In these cases the SearchAll control show a message with the info of incompatibility Property:

In moving

The next Chapter

We have been tried to explain the SearchAll control essential part. For the next chapter we will tell the advance part: Events, Custom Type FilterClass and another tips.