Introducing Infragistics Dock and Toolbar Manager Components
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by Brian Mains
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Infragistics Ribbon Control

The Infragistics Ribbon control is a very functional control. It supports the same styling as the Office 2007 platform. What's nice about this platform is that the controls within the ribbon fit to the contours of the section it is given, which means you have to manage less about the ribbon.

In addition, it automatically includes spacing between columns when one grouping overflows.  It's nice not to have to manage those details about the control itself.  To see how well this works, start by going to the Infragistics Toolbox, and selecting the UltraToolbarsManager component and dragging it onto a Windows Form.  It will prompt you to add a docked control to the form, so the form can be setup correctly (since the ribbon is docked to the top).  The following toolbar appears:

Figure 1

The "Show Ribbon" option allows the developer to show and hide the ribbon in the screen, expanding or compacting it.  This is nice if you have limited working room, you can collapse it out of the way. Design MiniToolbar designs a toolbar that is similar to the ToolStrip approach, and it is out of the scope of this article.  We are going to focus on the Ribbon only, and by clicking New Toolbar, the following prompt opens:

Figure 2

In the ribbon control, we have a new toolbar that appears as below:

Figure 3

The Toolbar has several collections that are important when setting up the Ribbons; first, there is a Ribbon property, which has a Tabs collection.  This collection hosts the series of tabs available in the ribbon (such as ribbon1 above).  There is a Toolbars collection, which lists each toolbar (we have one toolbar with one ribbon as shown above), and the tools associated with that toolbar.  In addition, there is an overall Tools collection, which contains all of the tools (buttons, etc.) setup in either the mini toolbar, or the ribbons.

To setup the form, these properties can be used to setup controls on the form.  However, the designer for the Infragistics controls is very dynamic, as we will soon see.  There are two ways to add controls; go into the Tabs collection editor in the Properties window.  Select the ribbon1 tab, and go to the Groups collection. Add a couple of groups, and view the results below:

Figure 4

When clicking on the tool, the following form appears, containing a variety of properties that you can assign (similar to the toolbar form above).  You can see that there is a nice list of controls that you can embed into your ribbon control.

Figure 5

Using some of these options, I quickly setup the following ribbon.  Though it may not make the most sense from the options I used, it's meant to illustrate some of the various options available:

Figure 6

Each item in the group is configurable.  To do this, right-click an item, this will adjust several of the needed properties.  In addition, the designer for the Toolbar manager also makes it easier with the following control:

Figure 7

Clicking "New Group" creates new groups that can be adjusted appropriately.  And, to help rapidly setup the code for the control, the designer has a "Generate Tool Click Code" option that pops up an editor to perform the requested action, as shown below.

Figure 8

In addition, Infragistics supports loading and saving configuration options, as well as a variety of other features to make this a very capable control.  The last feature that I'll mention is that the top region portion is also customizable using the same approach as shown above.

Figure 9

This is the top bar with a button, masked edit, and textbox.

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User Comments

Title: incomplete options appearing   
Name: Kay
Date: 2008-03-19 12:57:50 PM
After I drag the UltraToolbarsManager component on the Windows Form, I do not see three options. I can only see the "new Toolbar", while neither the "Show Ribbon" or the "Design MiniToolBar" are present. Is there any settings that need to be changed beforehand? thanks

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