If anyone out there knew about the BindingList before today, I sure wish one of you would have told me. Now I know, if you had known I was looking for something like the BindingList, you would have told me, but still…

Okay, all joking aside, the BindingList is what I’ve been trying to find for a long time. With Visual Studio 2005, the option to bind to an object data source is now possible (see screenshot).

Visual Studio Data Binding screenshot

The typical usage scenario for me with this data binding option is that I have just used .NET remoting to pull a collection of business objects back from a remote server. After that, I usually want to bind this collection to a datagrid or something like. For the past few months, I had used the new BindingSource object and set its DataSource property to my collection (usually a System.Collections.Generic.List<T> or a System.Collections.ObjectModel.Collection<T>). The problem I had was that any changes to either of those collections later would not fire ListChanged events. I had settled myself to the fact that I would have to reset the binding everytime.

Well, not so!

Dinesh Chandnani posted to his MSDN blog over a year ago about this subject. Too bad I didn’t find it until today. In his post, he provides some very simple code examples, one of which details how to get a “DataGridView bound to business objects.” *gasp!* Where have I been? This is what his code looks like:

DataGridView dgv = new DataGridView();
BindingSource bs = new BindingSource();
BindingList<Customer> bList = new BindingList<Customer>();
// Fill bList with Customers
bs.DataSource = bList;
dgv.DataSource = bs;

I wish I known about the System.ComponentModel.BindingList<T> before now. It would’ve saved me so much time. If you’re still trying to bind to a List or Collection like I was, take that guy out and bind to the BindingList instead! It really works the way you would expect it to!