We’re pleased to announce the second version of WPF Diagrams, a set of controls and components for displaying and editing diagrams in Windows applications! WPF Diagrams 2.0 includes new diagram types, new pre-built shapes and a dramatically simpler API for many scenarios. You can use WPF Diagramming to construct standalone diagrams, layouts or images, or you can use it to give your users a graphical way to build ‘live’ business objects such as business processes or data analysis flows — and now it’s easier than ever!
New shape diagrams…
To the existing repertoire of flow diagrams and star diagrams, we’ve now added absolutely positioned or ‘shape’ diagrams. Unlike flow diagrams and star diagrams, shape diagrams don’t have any logic associated with them, so they can be used for a wide variety of situations — from instructional graphics to UI prototyping to kitchen design! Users can move shapes around and connect them up as required.
…and goodbye separate products!
Part of our massive set of improvements in WPF Diagrams 2 is to merge the old Flow Diagrams and Star Diagrams products into a single product. We did this because WPF Diagrams 2 brings together all the capabilities of cyclic and acyclic diagrams — as well as adding so much more. And you’re not limited to shape, flow and star diagrams: we’ve made it easier to define your own diagram types so if you’re building anything from a BPMN editor to a circuit diagramming solution, WPF Diagrams is the product for you!
We’ve also hugely expanded the number of shapes built into WPF Diagramming. Nearly 80 shapes are pre-defined, from basic geometrical shapes like rectangles, stars and ellipses, through block arrows including curved arrows, callouts and multi-way callouts, to conventional flowchart and system design shapes like decisions, sort or merge operations, storage and the ever popular punched tape.
Of course, you’re not limited to our shapes: it’s easy to define custom shapes so if you’re building the next Balsamiq clone or circuit diagramming solution you’ll be right at home with WPF Diagrams 2.
Smarter layout options
We’ve improved and added new layout algorithms for diagrams and connections, including an A* pathfinder for fast, non-colliding connection routing and a force based layout algorithm for that sproingy effect everyone loves so much. The layout classes now work with all diagrams, not just flow or star diagrams.
New toolbox control
We’ve always had great support for creating diagram nodes and connections from a toolbox, with a variety of interaction modes and handy previews. In WPF Diagrams 2.0 we’ve added a dedicated toolbox control with grouping and filtering to make it easy to work with large numbers of node types.
The WPF Diagrams Foundation API provides a huge amount of flexibility, but many applications don’t need that flexibility. So for applications that just want to get it done, we’ve added a simpler API which makes it much easier to build shape-oriented diagramming applications. The new high-level API allow you to use pre-built shapes, define your own shapes and style your diagrams in just a few lines of XAML, without diving into the Foundation API.
We’ve also taken the opportunity to clean up the existing API a little. We’ve merged some overlapping properties, and significantly reworked the XML serialiser to make it easier to extend to support custom data and custom node types. (These are breaking changes so if you are an existing 1.x user you may want to keep a copy of the 1.x DLLs around until you have time to migrate. We’ll provide more info about this in a subsequent post.)
WPF Diagrams is bursting at the seams with capability – your imagination really is the only limitation for what you can achieve with the new version. Find out more about what is can do, and see more examples of the awesome visuals you can create on our WPF Diagrams page. Check it out!
Try it out
Want to take it out for a spin? You can download the trial edition of WPF Diagrams 2.0 for free. And we’re offering a limited launch discount.
Existing Mega Pack and WPF Diagrams customers already have the version 2 installation files in their accounts.