WPF – Windows Presentation Foundation
The Microsoft Windows Presentation Foundation provides the foundation for building applications and high fidelity experiences in Windows Vista, blending together application UI, documents, and media content.
WPF, a component of Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, empowers a developer to build the next-generation of Windows user experiences. WPF supports UI, media, documents, hardware acceleration, vector graphics, scalability to different form factors, interactive data visualization, and superior content readability.
Windows Presentation Foundation was created to allow developers to easily build the types of rich applications that were difficult or impossible to build in Windows Forms, the type that required a range of other technologies which were often hard to integrate. For example, the medical application below combines 2D & 3D graphics with re-styled forms element and interactive visualizations allowing the user to better understand and evaluate their data.
Going forward, Windows Presentation Foundation will be Microsoft’s solution for most types of applications including standard forms-based applications. WPF is a foundation which goes beyond traditional platforms and other user interface toolkits. The potential with the WPF platform is to build applications that set a new bar for sophistication, usability and user experience.
* If you have an existing Windows Forms application or are building a traditional forms-based application and are looking for a mature technology to use with mature tools and component support then Windows Forms is a good fit.
* If you have an existing Windows Forms (or MFC/Win32) application that could benefit from some of the advanced presentation features of WPF, you can add WPF to your existing project.
* If you’re wanting to create a new experience for your users that is rich, interactive, sophisticated, or highly custom or branded, WPF is Microsoft’s next-generation platform for your project today.
* If you’re targeting the web, Silverlight shares the same development model as WPF but is optimized for a lightweight, cross-platform runtime. Investing in either WPF or Silverlight nets you the skills, tools, and assets for both platforms.