Introducing Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)
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by Rajdeep Mukherjee
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This section provides some salient features of the WPF.

1.      WPF offers all graphics as Direct3D applications. Direct 3D applications are supported by Microsoft Windows Operating Systems and are part of Microsoft’s DirectX API. This is primarily used to render three dimensional graphics in performance savvy applications (e.g. games).

2.      Interoperability with Win32 is supported by WPF. Windows Presentation Foundation can be used internally to Win32 pre-existing code through hosting and at the same time, Win32 code can be used inside WPF. ElementHost and WindowsFormsHost classes can be used to enable interoperability of WPF with Windows Forms. 

3.      WPF provides a built-in set of brushes, pens and geometries and also provides shape primitives for 2D graphics. The WPF 3D features are just a subset of the Direct3D feature set. Additionally, WPF provides better integration with User Interfaces, documents and media. This way it provides 3D UI, media and documents.

4.      WPF supports all the standard image formats and video formats like WMV, MPEG and AVI. WPF also supports time based animations, Open Type Font features and Text rendering.

5.      WPF supports time based animations. These animation effects can be defined object wise and can be directly accessed from XAML markup. Animations can also be activated by external events like user action. WPF comes with a set of built-in effects that may be used readily by the designers.

6.      Developers with the help of WPF can write image codecs for their specific image file formats. This happens due to the fact that Windows Imaging Component codecs and APIs can be locally used by WPF.

7.      WPF supports XML Paper Specification documents. It also supports reading and writing of paginated documents.

8.      WPF offers many built-in controls like button, list box etc. There is a significant aspect to be considered for WPF and that is the logical separation of a control from its appearance. The visual appearance of any control can be changed by modifying the corresponding control template. A control may have any other control or layout and this enables excellent control on the composition.

9.      WPF offers some useful, built-in effects such as bitmap effects, special effects like dropshadows and blurring, etc. Other special effects can also be easily implemented by WPF.

10.  Binding and manipulation of application data is supported by WPF through its built-in set of data services. Data templates for controlling data presentation are also provided by WPF.

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