Updated March 6, 2023
Difference between Winforms and WPF
Winforms is referred to as Windows Forms. It is a graphical user interface for.Net framework desktop applications. It has a set of managed libraries in the .net framework. It offers an extensive client library to provide the interface to access the native windows graphical interface elements and graphics from managed code. WPF is abbreviated as a Windows presentation framework. It was initially released by Microsoft with.Net framework 3.0 in the year 2006. It is a graphical user interface framework for building Windows applications. WPF is more than just a wrapper; it is part of a .net framework. It contains a mixture of managed and unmanaged code.
- In Windows application, Windows forms provide a wrapper consisting of a set of C++ classes for the development of Windows applications, and every control in windows form application is a concrete instance of a class. It provides a variety of controls such as text boxes, buttons, labels and web pages, along with options to create a custom control. For this, there is a windows form designer tool available in Visual Studio to handle the controls on the form and arrange them as per the desired layout for adding code to handle the events.
- In windows forms, application setting is another feature to create, store and maintain the information. Windows form class can be extended using inheritance to design application framework, which provides abstraction and code reusability. Forms should be compact with controls on their limited size. Forms can be broken into chunks packaged in assemblies that can automatically update themselves. Designing the application provides the scalability and flexibility with ease for debugging and maintenance. Windows forms cannot be passed across the application domain boundary.
- The major components of WPF architecture are presentation framework, presentation core, and mallcore. In WPF, UI elements are designed in XAML, while behaviors can be implemented in a procedural language. With XAML in WPF, the programmers can work in parallel with designers. WPF is a powerful framework to create a windows application, and it has great features like data binding, media services, templates, animations, direct3D, and alternative input.
- WPF application development can be done with the help of Microsoft tools like Visual Studio and Expression Blend. The developer mainly uses VS to create the WPF application, whereas the designers mainly use blend for WPF applications.
Head To Head Comparison Between Winforms and WPF (Infographics)
Below are the top 6 comparisons of Winforms vs WPF:
Key Differences Between Winforms and WPF
Both Winforms vs WPF are popular choices in the market; let us discuss some of the major Difference Between Winforms vs WPF:
- Windows forms are not vector-based UI. Whereas WPF is a vector graphics-based UI presentation layer. With the help of being vector-based, it allows the presentation layer to smoothly scale the UI components without having any size distortion issues.
- Windows forms are easier to use while developing the applications, whereas WPF is a little difficult to use as it requires good knowledge to use the controls.
- In windows forms, we can customize the controls as per the requirements. In WPF, we have third party controls as well to enrich the capabilities of the application.
- Windows forms have less learning curve. Whereas WPF has more learning curve as required to understand the full flow of controls and design part.
- Windows forms are less time consuming or less tricky. WPF is trickier and more time to consume for getting the things in place while developing the applications.
- Windows forms are not being used for developing new applications. WPF is being used mainly to develop new applications.
- Windows forms are large support in terms of developers, online community, libraries for helping in any sort while developing the application for beginners. WPF is also having enough support and libraries available to develop the applications and get the support quickly for beginners.
- In Windows forms, controls are difficult to customize, whereas, in WPF, controls can be customized easily as it is completely written from scratch.
- Windows forms are poor in providing consistency. WPF provides more consistency across the applications.
- In Windows forms, UI has been designed with the help of the language of business logic code. In WPF, it uses the XAML as a markup language to design the UI part of the application.
- Windows forms are mainly based on a pixel, whereas WPF is not pixel-based, which allows the scalability of the UI part for the application.
- Windows forms support data binding in a limited way, whereas WPF is fully supported data binding.
- Windows forms are not used with different themes or skins. WPF is mainly skinnable or themeable, where different skins or themes can be used for UI.
- Windows forms require less effort for designing the UI. WPF requires more effort as most of the work needs to do yourself.
Winforms vs WPF Comparison Table
Below is the topmost comparison among Winforms vs WPF:
|The basis of comparison||
|Advance||Windows form is an old concept for developing desktop applications||WPF is an advance or latest concept for developing the applications|
|Simple||Windows forms are simple to use as controls can be easily used.||WPF is complex to use as compared to Windows Forms.|
|Scalable||Windows forms are less scalable if the UI element needs to be extended later on.||WPF is extensively scalable for the UI elements in applications|
|Secure||Windows forms have less secure features||WPF has enhanced security features.|
|Design||Windows forms are not be used where designing is required||WPF is mainly used for designing the UI part of the application|
|Performance||In windows forms, things are achieved at a slower rate.||In WPF, things are mainly achieved at a very fast rate comparatively.|
Winforms vs WPF both are mainly used for the same purpose for developing and designing windows applications, but WPF can be used for the web application. The difference between them is scalability, performance as WPF can render fast compared to windows forms, complexity, and support.
WPF is mainly used as it is the latest and has good features for designing the UI for developing them.Net framework applications. It provides the flexibility and compatibility of third-party controls enriches the usage of the WPF framework. It allows separate work for designer and programmer as XAML is used for designing, and C# is being used for programming.
This has been a guide to the highest distinction among Winforms vs WPF. Here we additionally consider the key differentiation by infographics and comparison table. You may also look at the following articles to learn more –