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Experiences with UI Automation framework and Winform Apps

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  • User profile image

    UI Automation (UIA) is the new framework by MS (supposed to replace the MSAA accessbility framework). They've included this in the WinFX SDK, but from reading the sdk/articles it looks like you can use it with any managed (or even unmanaged) application.

    Wanted to get a sense from anyone who has used the UIA framework for their managed (Winforms) apps.

    Our product is based on Winforms/.NET 2.0, but instead of standard controls we have a Office 07 look/feel and that brings other issues like navigation and control support (from UIA framework). There are no real "menus" or toolbars...

    I am guessing the UIA framework doesn't really care about the type of UI.. I can use the button control (from the framework) for my Ribbon tabs, etc..

    Has anyone used this in their business apps or even small projects? Care to post some sample code (there is good SDK / msdn articles on the UIA, but I can't find a small end-to-end sample app anywhere).


  • User profile image

    Have you found the UI Automation forum yet? You may find it useful.

  • User profile image


    Yeah been going over the forum lately. Last night I managed to find that PDC dvd and see the Fun 307 session (on UI Automation). Finally had someone do a walk thru of the framework and show a real example.

    After watching it (although the actual provider piece for custom control was shown in unmanaged code), I was able to grasp what is needed when designing non-traditional UI. Ribbons, Chunks, etc (as seen in Office) have a very different way of navigating, and also different events/properties. Thankfully the framework has flexibility in this and you can write you proxy providers (for custom controls) that work with the framework.

    Now just need to get find some 'getting-started' code on managed front, and start coding for my custom (i.e. abstract wrappers around 3rd party library) controls!


  • User profile image
    Thomas Logan (MSFT)

    Hello Keeron I am glad you have found some of the content on how to implement your own automation provider.  We have a video for implementing a managed WinForms provider which we will be putting on the web in the next few weeks.  An announcement will be made on the UIA forum when the samples become available.  Please feel free to contact me at with specific questions about custom controls you are working on.

  • User profile image

    Where did you publish this video? I have not found it. Could you please publish link here?


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