Creating a Simple Action
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kirupa | 13 October 2010
Have questions? Discuss this Windows Phone
tutorial with others on the forums.
previous tutorials, you learned all about
Behaviors and how to use a
behavior that is provided out of the box by Expression Blend.
You find a behavior in your Assets Library,
drag/drop it onto something, tweak a few properties,
and (like magic!) you are done and everything just
There will be times, though, where you will not
find a built-in behavior to suit what you are trying
what, you want fries with that as well? ]
In those dark, uncertain times, you will
basically need to
write your own behavior. Fortunately, as you will
see shortly, that isn't something that is too
difficult. The Behaviors functionality is made up of
three components - Behavior, Action, and Trigger.
Each component does something pretty unique, so this
tutorial is focused on the most common of them, the
Mundane things you face
in in real life and mundane things your applications
face, in many ways, are not that much different.
They all revolve around cause and effect. When I
flip on a light switch, the light turns on.
When I click on a button, a sound plays. When my
application hits a certain time, it needs to close.
You can model those
types of relationships very simply with the
There are two behavior components that represent
the cause and effect portion of the sentence you see
above. The first is the Trigger, and the second is
Like two socially
awkward best friends, a Trigger and Action are
always together and within earshot of each other.
The Trigger is what determines when your Action
should fire. Your Action is what actually does
something. Independently, they are not useful, but
together, they make up the bulk of what you will
model using behaviors.
tutorial, you will learn how to create an Action
that works with our built-in Triggers to display a
message box. Let's get started.
While this tutorial is
written with Windows Phone development in mind, the contents of this
tutorial are equally applicable to Silverlight and WPF project.
So, make sure you have
everything up and running by looking at the
Getting Started with Expression Blend article.
Blend and create new project. Like I mentioned
earlier, your project can be either Windows Phone,
WPF, or Silverlight. I will be working with a
Windows Phone project.
Once your project has
been created, take a look at your Projects panel:
[ your Projects Panel displays files currently in
your project ]
Right click on the
node representing your project
(WindowsPhoneApplication10 in my case) and select
Add New Item:
[ we are going to add an Action - this is so
The Add New Item
dialog will appear. You will see a list of item
types you can create. Select the entry for Action
and give it the name ShowMessageBoxAction.cs
in the Name field:
[ select the Action item from the New Item dialog
and give it a Name ]
Once you selected the
Action entry and gave it the ShowMessageBoxAction
name, click OK to close this dialog and to add your
new Action item to your project. A few seconds
later, you'll see a CS file called
ShowMessageBoxAction created in your project and
open for you to edit:
[ your Action has been created! ]
Ok, now that you have
created your Action, let's go ahead and add some
code to make it do something. We will do that and
more on the
Onwards to the