One of the basic components of any Windows-based application is its forms because these provide users with the platform to interact with the application. The winform or Windows Forms tool is the primary instrument of the .NET Framework for creating such forms. Winforms require critical data for the application to function but such data does not necessarily have to be crammed in with the programming code. It would be much more efficient for this data to be in a separate file stored locally on the client computer. This allows the data to be modified without having to re-compile the programming code. Such critical data is called Application Settings.
In the process of creating Windows Forms, Application Settings data are categorized and bound to various application class properties. It is of course up to the programmer how to define and control the relationship between form and data within the limitations of the .NET application he is using to design the program.
- Use Visual Studio. Programmers and software developers naturally have their own preferences in software design and code editor applications. But when it comes to making Windows-based applications Visual Studio is apparently the most appropriate one to use. Besides having an integrated winform tool, the design application is a complete package that provides programmers with everything they may need from code editing to debugging.
- Select the specific winform. With Visual Studio launched and your application loaded, navigate to the particular winform whose Application Settings data you wish to modify.
- Run the Property Editor. On the Property Editor is a list, the item you need to expand is the one labeled ApplicationSettings.
- Look for the appropriate application class property. Remember that Application Settings data are grouped and then linked to specific application class properties. Select the property you wish to modify under the ApplicationSettings subcategory and then select the drop-down list that will appear beside it.
- Perform the necessary action. The drop-down list will give you a set of actions you can choose to perform. You can replace the setting bound to the property by selecting another setting on the list. You can create a new setting for the property by clicking on 'New'. Finally you can unbind the current setting by clicking on 'None'.
Besides containing important information directly associated to the operation of the program, Application Settings data also include user preferences and default user settings - two often sought-out features of Windows-based applications. User preference data is often configured to be stored as re-writable information while application specific data are read-only. All Application Settings data however are kept in XML format.