Up Reference apps and tutorials

The Happy Hour Tutorial

Last modified on August 15, 2012 18:13

If you’re new to Cocktail, you've come to the right place. 

Belly up to the Happy Hour bar, a Silverlight application (v.4 or v.5) that you'll build from scratch. MVVM, convention over configuration, view composition, screen navigation, … they are all introduced here in short, easy-to-follow lessons that build progressively from a blank solution to a plausible application.

This series gets you started with Cocktail, guiding you towards proven architecture and practices that will sustain your application over time. We show you how … and we explain why.


Getting started

Download Cocktail, install the tools, and get ready to start developing XAML-based business apps.

Bare bones MVVM

Build a simple app with a single view. Migrate the supporting view logic out of the code-behind and into a homebrew ViewModel.

An MVVM Cocktail

Take that same app and introduce it to Cocktail. Boilerplate handwritten code melts away as Cocktail conventions do the wiring for you. Maybe this MVVM thing isn’t so complicated.

Conventions and diagnostics

Conventions seem like magic. What happens when the magic fails?  We learn more about conventions and discover that Cocktail is logging to the output window as the conventions are applied. Knowing how to interpret these logs will help you diagnose problems

Data in a ListBox

We create a model with a single entity, a DrinkOrder, representing a tasty beverage ordered from the bar. Each ordered drink appears in a ListBox, its values bound to controls in an ItemTemplate in the same conventional manner we’ve seen so far.

Entity Views

We discard the ItemTemplate in favor of View class. DrinkOrder serves as its own ViewModel. We add a new convention so Cocktail can associate a View with an entity in the Model. In fact, a ViewModel can have multiple Views.

Talk to the View

View/ViewModel data binding isn't always the best way to trigger a behavior in the View. When the binding logic becomes too convoluted and difficult to follow, it's better to switch to a different strategy and let the ViewModel talk directly to the view.

We'll revive the View code-behind and teach the ViewModel to call into the View via an interface

Images and ValueConverters

Modern application data includes pictures. In XAML you need a ValueConverter to translate from picture representation in data (typically as a source string) into images on screen. We see how Cocktail conventions can embed customizable image ValueConverters in the bindings.


TempHire reference app

After you've finished Happy Hour and understand the core design patterns associated with Cocktail-built apps, you'll be ready for the Cocktail reference application: TempHire.

TempHire is a reference architecture designed for medium-to-large business applications. It demonstrates a range of Cocktail capabilities including a Code First entity model, repository patterns, the Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) presentation style, view composition, screen navigation, data-binding, validation, multiple editing contexts, multiple data stores, security, testing, and much more.

Watch the TempHire videos for a detailed walkthrough—provided by Senior Director of Professional Services and lead developer of Cocktail, Marcel Good, and V.P. of Technology, Ward Bell.

Created by DevForce on January 31, 2012 16:57

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