Introduction to Sample Data - Page 2
       by kirupa  |  3 May 2010

In the previous page, you received an introduction to sample data and how to get started by defining what your data will look like. In this page, we'll go further and visualize the data whose structure you created.

Visualizing Sample Data in your Application
What we are going to do next is display our data in our application. From your Sample Data definition, find the node labeled Collection:

[ find the Collection node ]

Select the Collectioin node and drag it onto your artboard. When you drag over the artboard, you'll see a tooltip that looks as follows:

[ drag the Collection node over the artboard ]

What this tootip says is that dragging and dropping the Collection node will create a Listbox and set the Collection's data as the source of a ListBox. What are you waiting for? Drag the Collection onto the artboard and drop it by releasing the mouse.
You will now be able to visually see what the tooltip described:

[ a ListBox containing the data from your Collection is displayed ]

As you can see, a ListBox is created with some Sample Data values making up what is contained inside your ListBox. This is a good start, but let's tweak what you see by modifying bits and pieces of your Sample Data.

Modifying the Sample Data Values
If you look at your ListBox, you see repeating sets of some text and a checkbox. The reason for this has to do with what happened earlier when you defined your Sample Data. Let's look at what you did earlier into a bit more detail.

Introducing the Property Type
The look of your Sample Data is defined in the form of Properties. Go back to your Data Panel and look at the Property1 and Property2 entries:

[ find the Property1 and Property2 entries ]

For Property1, click on the icon found to the right of the Property1 row:

[ you can now see the settings for Property1 ]

After you click on that icon, a menu will appear that contains some settings you can tweak to change what this property of your Sample Data looks like. Notice that this property is a String that displays Lorem ipsum text.

If you look at the data you currently have in your ListBox, you can see where these settings manifest themselves:

[ Property1 represents the Lorem Ipsum text ]

As you can see, your ListBox is populated with lorem ipsum text! This text corresponds to Property1 whose settings you just took a gander at.

By process of elimination, the checkboxes that you see must come from Property2. If you click on the little icon found to the right of the Property2 row, here is what you will see:

[ you will now see the settings that define Property2 ]

Notice that this property is just a Boolean. Since Booleans can only be True and False (and occassionally Null), Expression Blend automatically displays this property as a checkbox.

Ok, this seems like a good chance to take a break. In the next page, let's actually do some customizing!

Onwards to the next page!

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