Silverlight Observable Collections

In this article I introduce you to Observable Collections in Silverlight.

Creating tables:

create table Person
id int identity primary key,
FirstName varchar(50),
LastName varchar(50)
insert into Person values ('Jill','Jack');

Data Model Wizard

The Data Model was created as shown below:

Data Model

Created a class Person as shown below:

public class Person : INotifyPropertyChanged
        public event PropertyChangedEventHandler PropertyChanged;
        public void NotifyPropertyChanged(string propertyName)
            if (PropertyChanged != null)
                PropertyChanged(this, new PropertyChangedEventArgs(propertyName));
        private string _firstname;
        public string FirstName
            get { return _firstname; }
                _firstname = value;

Note that the class implements the interface
InotifyPropertyChanged. The Interface looks like below:

namespace System.ComponentModel
// Summary:
    //     Notifies clients that a property value has changed.
    public interface INotifyPropertyChanged
// Summary:
        //     Occurs when a property value changes.
        event PropertyChangedEventHandler PropertyChanged;

Creating Silverlight Enabled WCF Service.

Silverlight WCF Service

Added the method GetPersons:

        public IEnumerable<Persons> GetPersons()
            ProjectsDataEntities context = new ProjectsDataEntities();
            var resultset = from person in context.People
                            select new
                                Firstname = person.FirstName
            return resultset;

Created a POCO class:

public class Persons
    public string Firstname { get; set; }

Run the service:

Run Silverlight WCF Service

Add the Service Reference.

Add Service Refernces to Silverlight WCF Services

Now let's go to the Mainpage.xaml.cs.

Adding the reference as shown below:

using ObservableSample.DataServiceReference;
public partial class MainPage : UserControl
        ObservableCollection<Persons> collection;
        public MainPage()
            collection = new ObservableCollection<Persons>();
            DataServiceClient client = new DataServiceClient();
            client.GetPersonsCompleted += new EventHandler<GetPersonsCompletedEventArgs>(client_GetPersonsCompleted);
client_GetPersonsCompleted(object sender, GetPersonsCompletedEventArgs e)
            collection = e.Result;
                collection[0].Firstname = "Gill";
            dataGrid1.ItemsSource = collection;

In the client_GetPersonsCompleted, I pass the resultset from the WCF Service to the Collection. Modify the first element of the collection and then assign the collection to the ItemSource of the DataGrid.

Silverlight Observable Collection

In this example we have seen how to use an Observable Collection though I have not shown you the real advantage of Observable Collection. This was for the very beginners. I will in my next article explain how an Observable collection helps us in two-way binding i.e. Database to Silverlight and Silverlight to Database.

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