As I am architecting a new Line Of Business system for a customer, one of my thoughts is to recheck the situation with WPF controls.
The power and styleability of WP, with a few small exceptions, means that there isn’t quite the need for third party control libraries as there was in WinForms. In the days of WinForms it was a question of which of the main control libraries you picked, and how that was achieved with whatever ridiculous purchasing system was in place.
Now with WPF (and Silverlight soon), the focus has changed. There are a couple of holes in the WPF offering, like a paging grid, date time picker, numeric value editor. However, if you look at codeplex, most of the holes have been addressed by free controls. Also Xceed moved the goalposts for the component writing companies by giving away a top quality grid.
However, it’s not beyond some development teams to write their own controls as well – whereas that would have been a long, frustrating and expensive process in Winforms. I know because I have seen it 🙁
Another bad effect I see, is that some companies just won’t bother – and try to muddle through on their own , which does seem a mistake to me.
What does that mean for the major component vendors?
Well, in my opinion, it means they need to up their gameplan, and provide components on a different level. They can’t just provide decent grids and toolbars etc, that were missing from Visual Studio.
To be fair we have started to see the beginning of that, with carousels and ribbons