What WPF Is

By Mahesh Chand May 08, 2007
WPF is the code-name of the presentation sub system of .NET framwork. This blog answers most frequently asked questions related to WPF.

Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) is the presentation (user-interfaces) sub system of .NET framework. It is used to create user interfaces for Windows operating system. The user interfaces are also known as Windows client applications or Windows applications. Now, with the launch of Windows 10, Windows apps means more than WPF based applications.

If you have been programming .NET, you must be familiar with Windows Forms and ASP.NET. Windows Forms are used to build Windows client applications. ASP.NET is used to build Web applications.

WPF was introduced in .NET Framework 3.0 to build Windows client and Windows browser based applications. Windows Browser based applications later dropped from the framework. Today, WPF is used to build Windows client applications.

What is WPF?

WPF is the engine that is responsible for creating, displaying, and manipulating user-interfaces, documents, images, movies, and media in Windows 7 and later Windows operating systems. Physically, WPF is a set of libraries that have all functionality you need to build, run, execute, and manage Windows client applications.

What is XAML?

XAML is a new descriptive programming language developed by Microsoft to write user interfaces for next generation managed applications.

How XAML is related to WPF?

XAML is a new descriptive programming language developed by Microsoft to write user interfaces for next generation managed applications. XAML is used in WPF to represent the controls and code with the help of C#, Visual Basic, and other .NET Framework languages.

XAML can be think as ASP.NET and/or Windows Forms in Windows Vista. For example, to write a Web application in .NET 1.0, 1.1, or 2.0, you use ASP.NET and to write Windows Applications, you use Windows Forms. Now in Windows Vista and .NET 3.0, you will use XAML instead of Windows Forms and ASP.NET.

Does that mean XAML will replace ASP.NET and Windows Forms? YES and NO. Both ASP.NET and Windows Forms will also be supported on .NET 3.0 but you don't have to use them if you don't want.

How do I build WPF Applications?

To build WPF applications, you will need to download and install Visual Studio 2015 community or other editions. The Community edition is free.

Download Visual Studio 2015 Editions >

Get Started with WPF


Mahesh Chand

C# Corner founder, 10-times Microsoft MVP, technical author, and software architect. Mahesh authored his first book, A Programmer’s Guide to ADO.NET in C# with APress at the age of 25. C# Corner is a memb... Read more

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