There are many things you can do in your development efforts that will affect how professional your customers consider your products to be. Among these the most important could well be a consistent and elegant User Interface. You only need a few of your UI elements to be out of alignment or to have an "old and tired" appearance for end-users to subconsciously perceive your application as less than top notch.
To help you apply a standard Look & Feel across your entire application and give your end-users a simple way in which to modify your UI's appearance, the ExpressQuantumGrid, ExpressQuantumTreeList, ExpressScheduler, ExpressPivotGrid, and ExpressVerticalGrid Suites implement our fully reusable Styles technology. With the Styles technology, all these products produce totally configurable and state-of-the-art UIs giving you complete control over data presentation in an elegant manner.
Style objects define the appearance of visual elements which make up the control (headers, group panel, detail rows, footer, etc). Each element has a series of Style properties that can be set to control the element's color, the choice of font, background color, and background bitmap. Once created, each Style object is stored within the Style Repository and can be applied to any control in a form which supports the Styles technology.
- Customizable Appearance Aspects
Style objects determine how the visual elements which make up the control are displayed (for instance, headers, group panel, detail rows, odd/even rows, footers, etc. in the ExpressQuantumGrid Suite). Each element has a series of Style properties that control its appearance aspects. A Style property can be assigned a Style object which defines a set of Style attributes - the color of the element's text, choice of font, background color, and background bitmap.
- Reusable Styles and Centralized Style Settings Control with Style Repositories
Once created, a Style object is stored within the Style Repository and can be assigned to a Style property that affects the visual style of a particular element. By specifying the same Style to each element type you can enforce a consistent visual appearance for all the controls in a form that support our Styles technology. As a result, modifying a Style attribute of the Style object causes automatic repainting of all the visual elements that have this Style applied to them.
- Scalability in Customizing Appearance Aspects
With Developer Express controls, you have multiple methods for customizing Styles so you achieve your objectives in the shortest possible time - from applying a Style to all the visual elements of a particular element type to specifying it for a specific element. Thus, you can apply the same Style to all column headers at once or specify a Style for each column header individually - The same for band headers and card rows. You also have multiple cell style customization options - from specifying Styles for odd and even rows to providing custom Styles for cells within a particular column.
- Applying Multiple Styles with Style Sheets
Each control that supports our Styles technology also has a StyleSheet property, where an entire palette of Styles can be applied to every Style property at once making the process of applying a consistent Style to your application a simple and easy task. Style sheets are also stored and managed in Style Repositories and can be saved to or loaded from INI files, so you or your end-users can quickly apply any Style to your controls - at design time or runtime.
- Instant Availability of Styles at Design Time
When applying a Style for a particular visual element at design time, you can choose an existing Style or create a new one in a specific Style Repository directly in the Object Inspector - no switching to the Style Repository is required! This greatly simplifies the process of customizing the appearance aspects of visual elements and helps you stay focused on your task.
Reuse - for Rapid Development of Reliable and Consistent Applications
Allowing developers to reuse common form elements (such as styles and common editors) and functionality, speeds up development and improves the consistency of applications - thus producing products that look professional and polished. By providing components with reuse functionality such as the ExpressQuantumGrid, ExpressQuantumTreeList, ExpressScheduler, ExpressPivotGrid, and ExpressVerticalGrid Suites (including editors in the ExpressEditors Library) we give you the tools necessary to decrease your development time and most importantly increase the reliability of your products.