10. June 2009 04:51 by Mrojas in General  //  Tags: , , , , , ,   //   Comments (0)

Someone recently made me remind an old technology called DDE.

“Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) is a technology for communication between multiple applications under Microsoft Windows or OS/2


“The primary function of DDE is to allow Windows applications to share data. For example, a cell in Microsoft Excel could be linked to a value in another application and when the value changed, it would be automatically updated in the Excel spreadsheet. The data communication was established by a simple, three-segment model. Each program was known to DDE by its "application" name. Each application could further organize information by groups known as "topic" and each topic could serve up individual pieces of data as an "item". For example, if a user wanted to pull a value from Microsoft Excel which was contained in a spreadsheet called "Sheet1" in the cell in the first row and first column, the application would be "Excel", the topic "Sheet1" and the item "r1c1".

Note: In DDE, the application, topic and item are not case-sensitive.”


So in VB6 you can have something like:


Private Sub Form_Load()
Text1.LinkMode = 0
Text1.LinkTopic = "Excel|Sheet1"
Text1.LinkItem = "R1C1"
Text1.LinkMode = 1
End Sub



How can you do that in .NET. Is it possible in C#? Well I started looking around and found several forums explaining about all the API calls and I was just about to write my own solution when I found NDDE. This project hosted in CodePlex “provides a convenient and easy way to integrate .NET applications with legacy applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE)” :)


So this is a  nice example of how to do the previous lines in C#:

        //This class provides the infraestructure for DDE comunication
        NDde.Client.DdeClient ddeClient_TextBox1 = null;

        private void Form1_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
            //I initialize the DDEClient object. Application is Excel and Topic is Sheet1. I'm using the 
            //the TextBox as the syncronization object
            ddeClient_TextBox1 = new NDde.Client.DdeClient("Excel", "Sheet1", textBox1);
            //Connect to the DDE Server
            //Start the Advise Loop
            ddeClient_TextBox1.StartAdvise("R1C1", 1, true, 60000);
            //Setup the Advise Method
            ddeClient_TextBox1.Advise += new EventHandler<NDde.Client.DdeAdviseEventArgs>(ddeClient_TextBox1_Advise);
            //Setup a method to Poke the Server for TextBox cahnges
            textBox1.TextChanged += new EventHandler(textBox1_TextChanged);

        void textBox1_TextChanged(object sender, EventArgs e)
            //Syncronous Poking the server
            ddeClient_TextBox1.Poke("R1C1", textBox1.Text + "\0", 4000);

        const string DDE_postFix = "\r\n\0";
        void ddeClient_TextBox1_Advise(object sender, NDde.Client.DdeAdviseEventArgs e)
            //Advise only if needed
            if (e.Text.Length >=DDE_postFix.Length && textBox1.Text + DDE_postFix != e.Text)
                textBox1.Text = e.Text.Substring(0,e.Text.Length-3);
NOTE: Remember that you need to download NDDE and add a reference to this library

This is very good library, you can also set up a lot of Async calls to even improve performance. I have even thought of making an extender as the ToolTip control to add LinkTopic, LinkMode and LinkItem properties for Winforms controls or provide extensions methods to make all the syntax easier, but that is for a future post. Good Luck.

Something like sprintf in C# or VB.NET

31. July 2006 11:11 by Mrojas in General  //  Tags: , , ,   //   Comments (0)

Recently I was wondering how to format  an output string like I used in C or C++ where we had the infamous and powerful sprintf but I could not find a good refence until I found this page.

http://blog.stevex.net/index.php/string-formatting-in-csharp/ I think it will be very useful to print it and have it close as a good cheat code sheet.