When many of us were creating Windows applications with Visual Basic 6, the concept of data binding was often a controversial subject. Some people would never use automatic data binding whereas others would use nothing but. The idea behind data binding is simple: through some means (whether in design mode or at runtime), tell a control where it can find its source data and how to use that data when the control is being displayed. Unfortunately, the implementation of data binding often falls short of the idea. This was the case with Visual Basic 6; the default data-binding ability of the language was slow, inefficient, and often completely incompatible with the needs of the developer.
The .NET Framework and Windows Forms made extreme advances in the area of data binding, but even Windows Forms and .NET 1.1 could often create cumbersome and frustrating situations for developers. With .NET 2.0, data binding for Windows applications has undergone another radical overhaul. This chapter gets you started with using the built-in data binding mechanisms provided by Windows Forms 2.0.