Sorting and Grouping Using a CollectionView in Silverlight

This article shows how to sort and group data in a collection using Silverlight collection views.

Using Silverlight and XAML, you can bind to a collection of data. Once that is done, you can then sort, filter, or group the data using a collection view. A collection view is similar to a layer on a binding source collection. It enables you to navigate and display the source collection based on queries to sort, filter, and group data, without having to change the underlying source collection itself. If a source collection implements the INotifyCollectionChanged interface, the changes raised by the CollectionChanged event are transmitted to the views. A single source collection can have multiple views associated with it.

Silverlight supports sorting and grouping functionality through the PagedCollectionView class.

Consider an example that demonstrates how to sort and group bound data in a collection using an
PagedCollectionView object.

Create a Silverlight application named CollectionsDemo.

Add the following markup to MainPage.xaml.

<UserControl xmlns:sdk=""
d:DesignHeight="300" d:DesignWidth="400"
<Grid x:Name="LayoutRoot">
    <sdk:DataGrid Name="dgridMovies" ItemsSource="{Binding}" >
                <Style TargetType="sdk:DataGridRowGroupHeader">
                    <Setter Property="PropertyNameVisibility" Value="Collapsed" />
                    <Setter Property="Background" Value="PaleGreen"/>
                    <Setter Property="SublevelIndent" Value="25" />

The above markup creates a DataGrid and sets its ItemsSource property. The markup also sets style for the DataGrid rows.

Add the following code to MainPage.xaml.cs to create the Movies and Movie classes:

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Net;
using System.Windows;
using System.Windows.Controls;
using System.Windows.Documents;
using System.Windows.Input;
using System.Windows.Media;
using System.Windows.Media.Animation;
using System.Windows.Shapes;
using System.Collections.ObjectModel;
using System.Windows.Data;
using System.ComponentModel;

namespace CollectionsDemo
    public partial class MainPage : UserControl
        public MainPage()
            Movies movies = new Movies();

            // For sorting
            PagedCollectionView pg = new PagedCollectionView(movies);
            pg.SortDescriptions.Add(new SortDescription("Title", ListSortDirection.Ascending));
            dgridMovies.DataContext = pg;

            // For grouping
            pg.GroupDescriptions.Add(new PropertyGroupDescription("Year"));
            dgridMovies.DataContext = pg;

    // Represents a collection of movies
    public class Movies : ObservableCollection<Movie>
        public Movies()
            : base()
         Add(new Movie() { Title = "Sherlock Holmes - Game of Shadows", Year = "2011" });
         Add(new Movie() { Title = "ParaNormal Activity", Year = "2010" });
         Add(new Movie() { Title = "Michael Clayton", Year = "2010" });
         Add(new Movie() { Title = "A Separation", Year = "2011" });
         Add(new Movie() { Title = "Lost", Year = "2009" });

// Represents a Movie entity having two properties, Title and Year
    public class Movie
        public string Title { get; set; }
        public string Year { get; set; }

You will first create a PropertyGroupDescription object and pass the name of the property based on which sorting or grouping will take place. Then, add the PropertyGroupDescription to the SortDescriptions or GroupDescriptions collection of PagedCollectionView depending on which operation is to be performed.

These actions are done using the above code.

On executing, the output will be similar to Figure 1. As you can see, the movie details are grouped by year and sorted according to title.


Figure 1

For more information, refer the following links:


This article showed how to sort or group data in a collection using collection views in Silverlight.

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