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Using the Class View, Class Designer, and Class Diagram tools

From: Visual Studio 2010 Essential Training

Video: Using the Class View, Class Designer, and Class Diagram tools

Classes and structures are the heart of building an object-oriented application. When you are creating these classes, you can use a tool called Class Designer to simplify integration tasks. If you are looking at existing classes, you navigate through your class structure with the Object Browser or the Class View. Let's start by looking at the Class View. I am inside Visual Studio, and I have opened a project called UsingClassWindows. You can see I have two folders in here that contain classes. I have a BookSeller folder, which contains five classes, and a DataServices folder, which contains this DataShuttle class.

Using the Class View, Class Designer, and Class Diagram tools

Classes and structures are the heart of building an object-oriented application. When you are creating these classes, you can use a tool called Class Designer to simplify integration tasks. If you are looking at existing classes, you navigate through your class structure with the Object Browser or the Class View. Let's start by looking at the Class View. I am inside Visual Studio, and I have opened a project called UsingClassWindows. You can see I have two folders in here that contain classes. I have a BookSeller folder, which contains five classes, and a DataServices folder, which contains this DataShuttle class.

I can investigate my class structure by using the Class View. To View the Class View, I go to the View menu and then choose Class View. It lives over here next to the Solution Explorer. It's usually a tab on the same area of the screen as the Solution Explorer. If you look at the top of this Class View, you'll see three different namespaces. The first namespace contains one class, my console program class. The second namespace, the BookSeller namespace, contains these five classes I showed you, and then this last namespace here contains one class.

Now if I double-click on one of these classes, it takes me over to the source code. I am thinking that I put this class in the wrong namespace, so what I can do is come up here and edit my code, and say this belongs in the BookSeller namespace. And after a few seconds, when you look over in the Class View, you'll see that the third namespace is disappeared. And now if I expand this section, you'll see that the DataShuttle is now part of the BookSeller namespace. The Object Viewer is another way to View the classes and their members. The difference between the Object Viewer and the Class View is that the Object Viewer provides a drilldown into the objects in any reference .NET assembly, not just the ones that you have written.

Again, I am going to return to the View menu. This time I'll choose the Object Browser. It lives in the center of the screen. This shows all of the reference namespaces that I have in my project. I can search for something like, say the Console window, and once I find the type that I am interested in, I can click on it and in this section of the screen, I can see all of its members. There are all the methods that are part of System.Console, and here are all of the properties. When I click on one of these properties, I can read about it down here in this bottom section. Same with the methods.

So it's another way of examining the classes that somebody else has written. Very handy. The Class Designer exists to make it simple to diagram and model your classes. It provides a visual representation of your classes and the relationships with other entities. It also provides a way of modifying those classes. Here is how you create a Class Diagram. You find one of your types, say this Book class. Before I go any further, let me close this Object Browser. Close that window. Right-click on this Book. This time I am in the Class View, and I will choose View Class Diagram.

What you see is a visual representation of your class, the structure of your class, not the code itself, but the structure of this class. I can click on these little chevrons here, and see the Properties on my type. I can also, on the bottom of the screen see the methods, properties, and fields that are part of this type. An alternative way of adding a Class Diagram is to go to your solution, right-click on your project, choose Add > New item, type in the word "class" here in the Filter box, and then pick this Class Diagram. That adds this file here, BookSellerDiagram.cd.

That ClassDiagram1.cd was created when I right-clicked on the book class and told it to view the Class Diagram. Now let's look and see what it says here. "The Class Designer allows you to visualize and work with types in your code. Create new types by dragging items from the Toolbox." If you go over and open your Toolbox-- you may not see it on your screen, but you can go to View, Toolbox-- here is a listing of the things I can create. I am going to come back and show you how to use that in just a minute. It also says you can, "visualize the existing types by dragging items from the Class View or Solution." That implies I can take this book, and drag it over and drop it on the surface, and then I could take this Person class and this Employee class and drag those over.

Because the Employee and the Person Class have a object relationship, the diagram shows this relationship arrow. If I double-click on the Employee model, I can see that Employee derives from Person. I can use the Class Diagram to diagram other classes that aren't part of my project. To do that, I need to go over to my Class View, and then up here in the Search dialog, I'll type the name of a namespace or type that exists in one of the .NET assemblies. For instance, I am going to look at System.IO. Now, I'll slide these over and make some room.

I'll open the System.IO namespace, and then I am going to take this File class and drag it over, or this Stream class and drag that over. And then I can click on this dropdown to learn more about the type, and I can see its methods and other details in the bottom of the screen. Let me switch back to this ClassDiagram1 that was generated earlier today. I am supposed to be able to go over to the Toolbox and pick up one of these items over here-- this Interface, or this Class, or this Delegate, and these Inheritance arrows--and I am supposed to be able to take these and drag them over to my designer surface.

When I drag the Class over, it says, what kind of class would you like to create? I think I'll create a Customer class. It's going to go in this file, Customer.cs. Then I can come down to this bottom section and add Methods, like the Save method. Or I can add a property, FirstName, and so on. And if you double-click on this model, it takes you over to where the code is being generated, and I can see that it created a class with this property and this Save method. So let's review what we have seen. If you want to look at objects in compiled assemblies, use the Object Browser.

If you want to examine or modify the classes in your own code, use the Class View or the Class Designer.

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This video is part of

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Visual Studio 2010 Essential Training

86 video lessons · 30617 viewers

Walt Ritscher
Author

 
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  1. 2m 3s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 1s
  2. 7m 19s
    1. Understanding the Visual Studio versions
      3m 51s
    2. Setting up your developer computer
      3m 28s
  3. 58m 2s
    1. Creating a Visual Studio project
      4m 58s
    2. Working with Solution Explorer
      6m 32s
    3. Working with big projects
      3m 53s
    4. Taking a tour of the Integrated Developer Environment (IDE)
      8m 36s
    5. Introducing drag-and-drop UI design
      7m 38s
    6. Working with the Properties window
      6m 44s
    7. Looking at Server Explorer
      7m 4s
    8. Exploring the new Help engine
      6m 41s
    9. Setting options for the IDE
      5m 56s
  4. 39m 25s
    1. Creating a simple WPF application
      1m 32s
    2. Building the UI with the editors
      9m 14s
    3. Working with the application code
      3m 37s
    4. Communicating with the web site
      7m 15s
    5. Connecting your data
      8m 4s
    6. Binding to an RSS feed
      5m 4s
    7. Packaging and deploying the application
      4m 39s
  5. 39m 46s
    1. What languages are supported in Visual Studio 2010?
      1m 17s
    2. Exploring basic settings for the Code Editor
      5m 35s
    3. Writing a C# program
      6m 48s
    4. Writing a VB program
      6m 29s
    5. Working with C++
      6m 38s
    6. Working with F Sharp
      6m 9s
    7. Font and color options
      6m 50s
  6. 1h 5m
    1. Formatting your code
      6m 43s
    2. Navigating your code
      7m 44s
    3. Using the Task List
      2m 26s
    4. Commenting your code
      2m 45s
    5. Documenting your code
      8m 26s
    6. Using IntelliSense effectively
      7m 0s
    7. Working with code snippets
      6m 25s
    8. Refactoring your code
      5m 15s
    9. Understanding code generation
      2m 10s
    10. Generating code with T4
      6m 29s
    11. Using the Class View, Class Designer, and Class Diagram tools
      5m 51s
    12. Refactoring VB with CodeRush Xpress
      4m 33s
  7. 1h 11m
    1. Working with project and item templates
      8m 38s
    2. Creating a console application
      7m 5s
    3. Creating a class library
      6m 26s
    4. Creating a web site with ASP.NET
      7m 37s
    5. Creating a rich internet application with Silverlight
      6m 57s
    6. Creating a classic Windows application with Windows Forms
      10m 31s
    7. Creating a dramatic Windows application with Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)
      4m 41s
    8. Creating a WCF service
      9m 1s
    9. Using an existing WCF service
      6m 38s
    10. Navigation UI designs with the Document Outline view
      3m 41s
  8. 33m 18s
    1. Creating a data project with SQL Project
      6m 24s
    2. Clarifying the confusion on .NET Data
      3m 31s
    3. Using ADO.NET in your application
      6m 50s
    4. Creating typed datasets
      7m 55s
    5. Using the data binding tools
      8m 38s
  9. 30m 13s
    1. Debugging code
      9m 32s
    2. Working with the Watch and other debug windows
      7m 46s
    3. Other debugging techniques
      6m 50s
    4. IntelliTrace historical debugging in Visual Studio Ultimate
      6m 5s
  10. 17m 56s
    1. Understanding Visual Studio editions and test tools
      2m 22s
    2. Verifying your code with unit tests
      8m 58s
    3. Running performance and load tests
      6m 36s
  11. 34m 5s
    1. Building your application
      4m 19s
    2. Customizing the build process with MSBuild
      6m 36s
    3. Setting assembly information
      2m 12s
    4. Deploying a basic Windows application
      2m 19s
    5. Creating an installer with Visual Studio
      7m 39s
    6. Creating a ClickOnce application
      5m 13s
    7. Setting up IIS for deploy
      2m 9s
    8. Deploying a Silverlight or ASP.NET application
      3m 38s
  12. 14m 0s
    1. Understanding source control
      2m 9s
    2. Setting up Team Foundation Server source control
      3m 5s
    3. Using Team Foundation Server source control
      8m 46s
  13. 17m 31s
    1. Understanding the .NET Office integration
      4m 16s
    2. Making a Word 2010 application
      7m 54s
    3. Making an Excel 2010 add-in
      5m 21s
  14. 31m 34s
    1. Understanding the extensibility model in Visual Studio
      2m 17s
    2. Adding external tools to the Tools menu
      4m 42s
    3. Creating macros
      7m 16s
    4. Using the Extension Manager
      5m 1s
    5. Creating an MEF add-in
      7m 9s
    6. Deploying and installing an add-in with VSIX
      5m 9s
  15. 25m 34s
    1. Working with configuration files
      5m 37s
    2. Using the Settings Editor
      7m 30s
    3. Using the Resources Editor
      6m 59s
    4. Localizing your resources
      5m 28s
  16. 1m 17s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 17s

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